Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Weapons of Mass Seduction


I feel as though I should have strong opinions about weapons. My (macho military) father gave me my very own rifle at the tender age of eight (a .22, which I used to shoot soda cans off the branches of a fallen tree.)

Then I came of age in the Bay Area, went to college in Santa Cruz, and realized weapons were a no-no...whether one is shooting recyclable cans or something decidedly more sinister.

Still, given the nearly pathological absence of common ground upon which to base an actual conversation with my loving and devoted father, I have often accompanied him out to the shooting range so we could bond over the relative merits of his Glock .40 versus the nine millimeter.

But I don’t really care that much, one way or the other, about weapons. Not the way my cousin, for example, sought the perfect butterfly switchblade knife, dragging me in and out of Oakland pawnshops and the back doors of dimly-lit Chinatown shops. Not the way my father lovingly dismantles, cleans, and oils his pistols and revolvers. Not the way my childhood friend Markie Bartle clambered over bombers at the Moffett Field expo, wanting to know precisely how many people each weapon could kill, and how quickly.

My reaction isn’t only yuck…it’s also *snooze*. I just don’t much care.

But seduction…that’s a horse of a different color. And seduction wielded like a weapon? Even better.

After all, what would the mystery genre be without weapons of seduction? Noir would be flat, thrillers would flail, suspense would lose its compelling edge. So in the interest of fiction, I’d like to start the discussion of Weapons of Mass Seduction.

Anything come to mind?

When it comes to standard hetero male-female relationships, I'll list a few no-brainers.

*Disclaimer: in my experience, the following list applies to most men. There are always exceptions, and they are notable.* But by and large, the hetero males of our species are remarkably vulnerable when it comes to certain weapons of seduction:

Corsets – We talked about these previously on the Pens, but they're worth another mention. (I received several private messages from male colleagues/blog readers that week...just sayin')

Stockings – Thigh highs. Garters or no. ‘nuff said.
High heels --Pain-inducing, crippling footwear...a powerful weapon, indeed.

Cleavage – Apparently there are men who don’t enjoy the boobage. Chesticles. Whatever you like to call them… but I think the sheer number of monikers indicate how overwhelmingly popular they are. Hooters. Love pillows. Tatas. Bazoombas. Fun bags. The list goes on…and on. (As an aside: check out the old school allure of "Bosoms")

Conversation. I know, I know, the stereotype is that men don’t care to hear what women say. Not true, in my personal experience. For instance, talking about sex in a clear and open way --one that indicates neither fear nor revulsion—is, apparently, rare. And seductive.

And women? Women are just about as easy as men.

I’ve heard men complain that it’s tougher to seduce women. I beg to differ. It’s just that a lot of men try to seduce women with what they themselves think to be attractive. Speaking not for everywoman, but for many of us, I can categorically say:

Flat abs/washboard stomach? Whatever. Ability to scale rock walls and windsurf? Yawn. Fancy car, lots of cash, bestselling status? What are we, fourteen? And bragging about any of the former, or dissing the ex-wife? Good lord in heaven, where’s the exit???

On the other hand…A man who’s sweet to little kids? Hot. If he likes animals, is kind to old people? Steaming.

Smart, good sense of humor, looks you in the eyes while talking to you?
Excuse me while I go fan myself.

*And one personal fetish: if he can spell (or at least bother to use spell-check)…I’m a goner.*

So when it comes to weapons of seduction, I say: Wield that stuff like a knife, baby. Oh, and then go write a novel about it. After all, where would mystery/drama/comedy be without it?


Rachael Herron said...

Weapons of seduction are the best kind. I like the wink, myself, the kind that no one else but the two of you see...

camille minichino said...

Whew, it's hot in my office!
For the opposite take on this (what a coincidence) I'm blogging today on on how tough it was for two of my characters to hook up because of their uptight author!

[I usually diligently stay away from BSP here, but couldn't resist today!]

Juliet Blackwell said...

I love it Camille! Just read your post, and it cracked me up. See, I can talk a tough game here but in my books I tend to be a bit shy. Not sure why, exactly...the, uh, tough to write about, but it can be.

And Rachael --I know what you mean. Having a secret that only you and your beloved know about...very alluring, indeed.

Sophie Littlefield said...

Best list ever. Every man should carry a copy in his pocket! Though if he needs a reminder to be nice to kids and old people, he's probably not the right just forgot one - big tipper!! :)

Mysti Lou said...

I love a man who can argue with me without getting pedantic, patronizing, or flustered. Pretty sure I was raised bad(ly).

In an election year, it's the weapons of mass seduction that I worry about :)

Mario Acevedo said...

I got my fill of guns in the army. Once a bunch of us officers were at a shooting range and one said that firing an Uzi was better than sex.
I replied, "At least sex with women." (I kid! I kid!)

Between Sophie's use of emotional weapons and Juliet's powers of seduction, we men don't stand a chance. Then Rachael can finish us off with her knitting needles.

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