Go to contents

Exploring Temptations

Posted June. 25, 2005 10:32,   


Psychology of Seduction - Written by Patrick Lemoine / Translated by Lee Se-jin/ 323 pages/ 12,000 won/ Published by Bookpolio (Daehan Printing & Publishing)

Dating is a requirement for the present-day adult. This is because people these days find their soul mates themselves, unlike the past when parents or matchmakers had a hand in the matter.

Temptation is the first scene of the first act of the contemporary love affair. Regardless of continent, however, temptation has traditionally been a condensed synonym for ruin, fallacy, and sexual domination. In the Christian version of the creation of the universe, the first seducer in the history of mankind was the snake that fed Eve the forbidden fruit, Satan. If God gave man pecuniary rationality and immortality of the soul, Satan gave out strictly secular things such as an animal nature and bodily death, in addition to a hedonistic fate. Veteran seducers like Don Juan and Casanova were faithful to their animal natures.

The author, who is a renowned psychiatrist in France, suggests that we should overcome this animal nature by confronting it. For this, he readily plunges into the “Stream of Senses” consisting of the five senses and hormones, and works his way through the “Taboo Swamp” of incest and puerile love. The map and compass of his exploration are sciences such as animal behavior, evolutionary biology, and anthropology, but humanities act as a sturdy cane.

She Had Eyes Like a Revolver; Her Gaze Was Breathtaking-

The first sense of temptation is vision. This is more apparent in preying men than guarded women. Men respond keenly to the size of women’s pupils. When shown identical pictures of a woman, men would opt for the one in which the woman has dilated pupils. Women in the Renaissance period who caught on to this fact would use atropine-based eye drops to dilate their pupils and deepen their gaze. Atropine triggers the same symptoms of love, such as an accelerated heartbeat, convulsions, and parched lips. The name of the plant extract is called Belladonna, literally “beautiful dame.”

Killing Me Softly with His Song-

When one’s vision discovers the to-be-seduced subject, the sense of hearing sets off true temptation. Women are more vulnerable to bass than tenor. Nothing suits this fancy more than the raspy voices of Italian men like Frank Sinatra. On the other hand, men fall for the nasal vocals of Marilyn Monroe or the high-pitched, shrill tones of Popeye’s girlfriend Olive. Meanwhile, the reason why nightclubs turn on the music to the earsplitting max is because sound, like alcohol and dancing, prevents the logical frontal lobe from activating and aggravates the cerebrum, which is responsible for instinct and emotions. Intense sound also barricades the acetylcholine in the nervous system, generating similar symptoms of atropine.

The Taste and Smell of Love is the Taste and Smell of Genital Organs-

Love is the desire to taste one another. Kisses are to taste each other. On Brazilian farms, there is a unique “love potion” that curbs unruly husbands. The potion is coffee, made from a brew of very old panties. The sense of smell is also the greatest weapon of temptation. You can forgo other senses, but the sense of smell is indispensable in order to breathe. In a letter from Napoleon from a battlefield to Josephine, words like: “I will return in a fortnight so do not wash and wait for me,” or Monroe’s “The only thing I wear in bed is Chanel No. 5” tell of the power of smell. Various research on sensual pheromones back up this fact.

I Love You because You are Too Young, Young, Young-

The true merit of Monroe lies in her winning charms. Men are captivated by her childish appeal. Humans become more attracted to the nubile looks of the opposite gender as they age. This is because mankind has chosen to take the juvenile evolution tactic to prolong the infantile stage. This tactic is still in the works. The growth spurt of man ceased at 18 years of age 30,000 years ago, but nowadays construction continues until he is 25 years old. Underage sex and pedophilia (the sexual abuse of a prepubescent child) are the side effects.

The efforts of the author to banish male-domination reach limits in some areas. For instance, the writer confines being attracted to persons of the opposite sex possessing youthful and beautiful appearances to men only. Perhaps “metrosexuality” has not yet arrived in France. The original title is “Séduire ,” and was published in 2004.

Chae-Hyun Kwon confetti@donga.com