S E D U C T I O N; we breathe it like oxygen.
by: Remmy Ar'emen
When most of us hear the word seduction, we typically jump right to characters like Casanova and Cleopatra. The definition of seduction is stated “as a means of seducing; enticement; temptation” (dictionaryreference.com). Other than things like the obvious sex, secrets and all night parties with your bestties, what is seduction, right? How about Propaganda, Advertisement, or Religion? I’m going to explain these examples to help expand the way you define the word seduction; to consider that it’s a method to lead someone adrift in a behavioral choice they wouldn’t have otherwise made without the influence. When you’re done reading this, maybe you’ll understand why I muse we breathe it like oxygen.
So let’s start with Propaganda shall we? A seduction that’s been used for a long time from Rosie the Riveter to the more current Occupy/99% movement. In the example of Occupy there’s a general stigma that it’s a group of free-loading jobless hippies, as mainstream media (which most of our nation subscribes) often portray it. The mainstream media propaganda of the Occupy movement uses segments of the whole reality to paint an unsavory picture as an enticement to its viewers to also see Occupy the way they want them to; a collection of disgruntled “unemployed” protestors. In contrast you have the 99% propaganda that calls to the blue-collar worker, the middle and lower classes of our society, to stand together as the 99% and speak their grievances. Being honest about your outrage with the government is a lot easier when there are others to join you. This isn’t the place to go into full detail about the way those signs and slogans influence what we think, and sometimes what we do, but like a sexual seduction there is the goal of drawing an individual to join. Those signs and slogans are designed, like the seductive swagger of the opposite sex, to grab your attention, spark your interest and lure you into their intent. I invite you to consider how much propaganda you’re seduced into and consider the words by Orestes Euripides who said, “When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.”
Of course, if you’re not really into politics you might not have much to think about but there is one kind of seduction I’m quite sure everyone is familiar with; advertisement. Oh yes, it dominates our TV’s, websites, radio stations, buses, billboards and more. The entire design of an advertisement is to seduce a target audience to its subject matter. Who doesn’t remember the Budweiser frog commercials? “Bud”, “Weis” and “Er” were frogs who first appeared for Budweiser beer during the Super Bowl in 1995; it was a swamp scene where the first frog, Bud, is spotted croaking his name, later the other two frogs pipe in croaking theirs in no particular order until they fall into the “Bud”, “Weis”, “Er” rhythm, thus croaking the name of the beer company. It was catchy, entertaining, and built the feeling of a good, humorous time with Budweiser Beer and is only one of many advertisement campaigns. In a paper presented at the Biennial Conference of the Society for Research in Child Development (D. Gentile, April, 2001) they tabled out a study of 7th to 12th graders for Beer Brand Awareness, Preference, Usage and Loyalty among students; in it, four schools were polled and the results indicated that 99% of those surveyed recognized the Budweiser brand and 54% admitted to brand loyalty toward the “King of Beer”, indicating their superior seductive ability over competitors like Miller; polled with only 6% brand loyalty despite 97% recognition. More interestingly, considering the audience of the survey being under-aged, it also leaves room to imply Budweiser’s advertisements weren’t just appealing to the assumed target of the 21+ age market, but to generations just under that legal line, no doubt in hopes of anchoring that brand loyalty for future sales when they come of age. Tracing it back to the comparison of sexual seduction; advertisement is the clothes or movements that show off the assets of the seducer, and is the pick-up line or comment that hooks the target of the seducers desire, drawing them in with suggestions of interest, pleasure and a good time.
Alas, seduction has been around a lot longer than the erection of protestors and the boom of advertisement across the globe. In religion there are references of seduction like the story of Adam and Eve from the Bible. A serpent, implied to be the devil, lures Eve to eat an apple from a tree she knows she’s not supposed to and in turn, she then sways Adam to do the same. In this particular story it is the enticement of knowledge and understanding that bring Eve to take the apple. Convinced by the snake it’s for her benefit, that there are great things to know, Eve succumbs as many would. And like the story of Adam and Eve, religion itself in its mass varieties from Christianity to Quantum Activism, all offer a truth and understanding of things such as life, origin and the afterlife. They appeal to our human instinct for guidance, security and happiness. The more commonly known Christianity offers the people a loving yet heavy-handed and all-mighty God who promises great pleasure and happiness in the afterlife as well as happiness and righteous morals in life, for their obedience to his word and worship to his name. The practically unheard of Quantum Activism offers a simple but very controversial concept; thought is power, that someone can shape and influence their reality simply by changing the way they think about the world around them; in this religion, the individual is God of their own reality, part of a Quantum Consciousness made up of all consciousness’ (including the possibility of alien consciousness). In both cases there is that general pattern of if you believe or do this, than you will have this; in terms of the seduced and the seducer, religion is like the prospect of a long term relationship of prosperous enjoyment between the sexually involved.
As my twin (NejraTu) wrote, “seduction comes in many forms and flavors; and like pigment and contrast, should be used to enhance ones reality.” Seduction is an art of reading human behavior to manipulate someone into changing their behavior when they otherwise wouldn’t have without the influence. Seduction, in a way, could be seen as one of the human super-powers; a branch of Manipulation, one of the greatest powers of all. By definition, seduction is enticing and as most who know its craft can attest—it in of itself is alluring. The conquest of being able to seduce, knowing the art of seduction, is a seduction. Whether it’s for sexual pleasure, calling to like minds, enticing for profit, or for life-meaning and purpose, most people desire the ability to influence others, even if only on a subconscious level; so it would appear to be as abundant in its many facets within our world physically and conceptually as the air we breathe. To this truth, and the truth that you have read this far, I have successfully seduced you into exploring the concept of seduction with me. And as seduction (and where its power spawns) none of it is by physical force, but rather through strategic and stimulating means meant to peak your interest and coax you to choosing, for yourself, that you desire to continue. Previously seduction may have been as invisible to you as the oxygen molecules in the air, but maybe now you’ll be able to identify seduction aimed your way. The question is, will you allow yourself to be seduced?