Beauty As A Weapon
Since we’re all adults, we know that looks matter in all areas of life. A lot. In the real world, we are all judged by our appearance. Especially women. For women, beauty is a weapon. A weapon that disarms men of means, power and influence. A weapon that opens doors of opportunity that might otherwise be closed. A weapon that is either working for—or against—each individual woman.
Over the centuries, there’s been a curious reversal. Most marriages were solid structures and only love affairs were ephemeral. Men of influence chose and remained married to their wives for reasons that had very little to do with the woman’s individual attributes. Instead, powerful men chose their wives based on the political status and wealth of the woman’s family.
Generally, as long as her father and brothers maintained their wealth and influence, a wife was relatively secure in her marriage. The political and social price of divorcing or abandoning a wife was prohibitively expensive in earlier eras. Only royal mistresses and courtesans absolutely had to master the arts of capturing and holding powerful men’s interest and desire in order to live well.
There’s been a reversal over the centuries. In the modern West, marriage is fleeting and a woman’s ability to live well is determined by two (sometimes interlocking) skill sets: her ability to provide for herself, and her ability to attract and hold quality men’s interest and desire. A woman who has to do every, single, thing in her life without any man’s help is a burdened woman. Such a woman is operating under a disadvantage in any context, whether it’s at work or at home. Even when there’s no expectation or even serious desire for a liaison, men are more inclined to help a beautiful woman.
Since modern marriages are based on the ever-shifting sands of emotion (and nothing else), it behooves modern women to study the timeless strategies used by women from previous eras. Women whose livelihood depended on their ability to utterly captivate men of means who were surrounded by an endless array of other beautiful women. A woman who wants to:
- stay married to, or
- if necessary, quickly replace a husband with another quality husband
would be wise to study the ways of the courtesan.
In Europe, the courtesan’s arts were a matter of poverty, wealth, and government for several centuries.
In the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries [in France], the position of royal mistress was almost as official as that of prime minister. The mistress was expected to perform certain duties—sexual and otherwise—in return for titles, pensions, honors, and an influential place at court. She encouraged the arts—theater, literature, music, architecture, and philosophy. She wielded her charm as a weapon against foreign ambassadors. She calmed the king when he was angry, buoyed him up when he was despondent, encouraged him to greatness when he was weak. She attended religious services daily, gave alms to the poor, and turned in her jewels to the treasury in times of war.
Sex With Kings: Five Hundred Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge, pg.5
Let’s be clear. With this category of posts, I’m not talking about sex. Sex was one part of the courtesan’s repertoire, but it wasn’t the only part. Nor was it the most important one. By itself, sex has never been enough to bind a man to a woman. This is even more true in this modern era of mass promiscuity. Since nobody in the intended audience is playing dumb, then I won’t have to repeatedly emphasize that I’m not talking about (or advocating) prostitution. Or that the ongoing Beauty As A Weapon series of discussions are intended to assist Sojourners in securing and maintaining wholesome, stable marriages to quality men. Finally, I’ll note that I’m also not solely talking about external beauty, although that’s an important component of the courtesan’s arts.
With this ongoing series of posts, in addition to beauty tips, we’ll discuss the behavior skills that make a woman an enduring object of desire for quality men. In future posts, we’ll study the examples of some of history’s most famous courtesans. Before we get to that, let’s discuss the minimum requirements for cultivating one’s beauty as a weapon.
PURGE YOURSELF OF “VULGARIAN” TENDENCIES
In his book, The Art of Seduction, Robert Greene describes several basic anti-seductive qualities,
Seducers draw you in by the focused, individualized attention they pay to you. Anti-Seducers are the opposite: insecure, self-absorbed, and unable to grasp the psychology of another person, they literally repel. Anti-Seducers have no self-awareness, and never realize when they are pestering, imposing, talking too much. They lack the subtlety to create the promise of pleasure that seduction requires. Root out anti-seductive qualities in yourself, and recognize them in others—there is no pleasure or profit in dealing with the Anti-Seducer.
The Art of Seduction, pg. 131. He goes on to list a number of anti-seductive behaviors. I believe the primary anti-seductive trait among modern African-Americans is what he calls “The Vulgarian.” Among modern African-Americans, this trait plays out as the conscious, deliberate refusal to see oneself and one’s behavior as others see it. Mr. Green describes The Vulgarian as follows:
Vulgarians are inattentive to the details that are so important in seduction. You can see this in their personal appearance—their clothes are tasteless by any standard—and in their actions: they do not know that it is sometimes better to control oneself and refuse to give in to one’s impulses. Vulgarians will blab, saying anything in public. They have no sense of timing and are rarely in harmony with your tastes. Indiscretion is a sure sign of the Vulgarian (talking to others of your affair, for example); it may seem impulsive, but its real source is their radical selfishness, their inability to see themselves as others see them. More than just avoiding Vulgarians, you must make yourself their opposite—tact, style, and attention to detail are all basic requirements of a seducer.
Id. at pg. 136. We’ve previously discussed various manifestations of Vulgarian behavior: cursing in public, “keeping it real,” and so on. It’s best to drop Vulgarian habits as soon as possible.
RECALIBRATE YOUR BEHAVIOR AND CHOICES AS YOU INCREASE YOUR STATUS
When you cultivate and increase your external beauty, you simultaneously increase your status. There’s a need to recalibrate your behavior as you make your physical transformation and ascend the social “food chain.” Since nobody in the intended audience is playing dumb, then I won’t have to explain that there’s always a competitive social food chain in operation. Sometimes the jockeying for status is overt; and sometimes it’s subtle and muted. I also don’t have to explain that there’s no such thing as opting out of the competition. People who mistakenly believe they’re opting out are actually only succeeding in marginalizing themselves.
As the Adonis Index trainers point out to men here and here, behaviors and mannerisms that might have been endearing when a person is lower on the food chain can register quite differently (and negatively) as they ascend the food chain. This reality is contrary to the some of the (idiotic) cultural slogans that are popular among African-Americans, such as “Don’t ever change . . .”
In the real world, as you change (improve) your exterior circumstances, other people automatically start changing their perception of you. This causes a change in their reactions to you. Sometimes these changes are overt. Sometimes they’re subtle. But there are always changes of some sort. And so, some of your outer behavior and choices need to change as well.
This dynamic plays out in many different contexts. Let me give an example from the workplace. Several years ago, one of my colleagues was promoted into the management tier of my firm. Like many African-Americans, he mistakenly assumed that “staying the same” would ingratiate him with his former colleagues who are now his subordinates. So he continued sitting around with them during lunch in the same employee break room they had always used for lunch. For a long time, it didn’t occur to him that things were inevitably different because he’s now part of management—he’s now in the “boss” category.
It didn’t occur to him that his continued presence in the employee break room during lunch meant the subordinates who weren’t his personal friends could never relax during lunch. Until it was explained to him, he didn’t understand why everybody who wasn’t his friend stopped eating lunch in that break room. He mistakenly thought he was ingratiating himself with his former peers. Instead, he was imposing on them. He ultimately learned to invite his subordinate-friends into his office for lunch. And leave the employee break room for the “worker bees.”
Charm is a way of getting the answer ‘yes’ without having asked a clear question.
A reader named YMB made a comment to this post that more modern, Western women should consider. She said,
It’s definitely not a question of whether one’s physical beauty and comportment are weapons or not- it’s just a question of whose arsenal they end up in. If you’re not making them work for you, then they will work for other women who will use them to help them get what you want or what you have.
She’s right. That’s real.
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