High life

Taki's Christmas gift to readers: a masterclass in the art of seduction

All you need is the 'Juliet letter'

13 December 2014

9:00 AM

13 December 2014

9:00 AM

Here is my Christmas gift to Spectator readers, one that applies mostly to unmarried males, but is also available to married ones who might wish to test if that old magic still works. (Female readers of the best magazine in the whole wide world might also pick up a few hints.) This is, of course, not to be confused with the amateurish, vulgar and embarrassing inventory of the American Julien Blanc on how to pick up women. His guidance is meant for tattooed beer drinkers trying to pull drunken slags in cheap bars. Mine is for gentlemen endeavouring to make an impression on ladies and well brought-up young women. Here we go:

Needless to say, the way to success with the fairer sex cannot be taught. One either has it or one doesn’t. Politeness comes first — that and humour. Make a girl laugh and you’re halfway there. Never harass, never beg, never insist too much. (Choking as foreplay is a real no-no.) Wit and self-deprecation are indispensable. Ever since I began to look my age, I’ve become more polite than usual, and when the opportunity arises, I approach the lady or ladies in question and ask, smilingly, if any of them are at all interested in a much older man. Women are much nicer than men, and in all the years I’ve been trying this, all but one have laughingly said yes. I never thought it would work in Greece, but the last time I was there, two months ago, I approached a table of five girls who were looking awfully jolly — and in their cups — asked them this particular question and they roared with laughter. Because of a slight accent when I speak Greek, one of them mistook me for an American, and said in a low voice, ‘The oldie is cute.’

As previously mentioned, this is how to pick up strangers of the opposite sex in polite society. In Hollywood, for example, nothing I’ve said counts. La La Land requires its very own key questions that are a sine qua non. ‘What are you missing in your life?’ is Hollywood pick-up 101. The most important of all is, ‘What can I do to make your life better?’ As the famous film director James Toback said to me, ‘Anyone not responding to that is not worth picking up.’ Being direct in California helps as much as it hinders at 5 Hertford Street.


Anything that doesn’t feel like a pick-up line is a very good line. A hint of potential authenticity is a plus, and can sway the lady after a drink or two. As is the enticement by disappearance. Having come on strong romantically, a very polite goodnight accompanied by the expression of a wish to see her again is very potent. Women are curious and easily intrigued, and what better way to intrigue them than to leave them alone to think of you. Another sine qua non is never, but never, ask about her boyfriend, husband or lover. Pretend that she’s never had any of the three. Never give her time to think of him; women, unlike us, have a conscience. This is very important. And don’t talk about yourself, ask her about herself instead. Her job, her dreams, her likes or dislikes. Always with jokes thrown in for good measure and with plenty of smiles.

Poetry and elegance might seem a bit decadent nowadays, but lyricism with a touch of madness, or even perversity, intrigues the weaker sex. You may sound direct à la Hemingway, redolent of Oscar’s withering hauteur, or even passionate like Verlaine; if she’s any good she’ll love it. But always end up with a joke, telling her you’ve been rehearsing it since you spotted her at the start of the evening. Honesty rarely fails to impress. Never forget that seduction is an art, and the drunken gropings of many of today’s seedy Lotharios puts the stronger sex to shame. Another good tip is to flirt with the girlfriend of the one resisting you. Not too much, just enough to allow her (the object of your affection) to go further. Be thoughtful, be yourself, be passionate, be light and funny. Do all of the above and it will guide you to Nirvana.

Which brings me to the ultimate weapon for seducing a woman, the written word. Desire in a woman has many faces. She can be moved by a smile, an image, a phrase; but nothing moves her more than a declaration of love. Even from a stranger. Saying it out loud does not work, at least for the kind of woman I like to pick up. Forty years or so ago I wrote the following to one resisting me: ‘Dear X. There’s a marvellous line in Romeo and Juliet when Romeo, having avenged Mercutio’s death, is advised to flee Verona. But Heaven’s here, where Juliet lives, he cries. However sudden this may sound, or corny, this is how I’ve felt about you since the moment I met you last night. Love, Taki.’ It worked. Repetition, of course, dilutes the meaning, and after my original success, I overdid it. There are hundreds of these letters getting yellower by the minute, and someone even suggested that the original could be worth a lot, but never mind. The R&J letter, as I call it, is the artillery, to soften up the target. When it’s nice and soft, the cavalry charges with the following: ‘Heaven without you would be too much to bear, and hell would not be hell if you were there.’ If she can resist that one, give up and stop wasting your and her time.

Having said all that, I am the man who failed miserably where the deputy editor of our very own Spectator is concerned, and that’s because women, thank God, are above all unpredictable. Have a very happy Christmas and New Year.

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  • Laguna Beach Fogey

    There’s a lot of good material here. I’ve been reading Taki since I was a schoolboy in England in the 1980s, so I looked at this article with considerable interest.

    Alas, there are a few big misses here, too. Also, some evidence of white-knighting, male feminism, and blue pill thinking, which I find shocking and disappointing. Taki, a male feminist?! Say it isn’t so!

    These days chicks dig jerks over gentlemen. They may claim they want gentlemen, but their behaviour says otherwise. They consistently favour the cads, thugs, bad boys, and rogues over the nice guys. Nice guys indeed finish last. Most of the time they don’t finish at all, if you get my meaning.

    I almost choked on my morning tea when I read this line: “women, unlike us, have a conscience.” Nonsense. Women are far crueler in their way than men. Women also don’t love in the same way that men do. Men suffer when they expect women to reciprocate affection with the same quality and intensity. It’s men–not women–who are the romantic sex

    Wit and humour are indispensable. Self-deprecation, not so much. Women want confidence and cocky bad boy charm.

    The written word is indeed powerful, but we mustn’t give our young men the impression that going around quoting Shakespeare is going to drop panties. Keep in mind, too, lot of modern American and English girls are barely literate.

    Being direct in California works. It’s amazing how effective “I want to f*ck, let’s go somewhere else” can be here. Crude, I know. But the days of courting “ladies and well-brought up young women” are long over. Especially in the Anglosphere.

    If “the way to success with the fairer sex cannot be taught” then what is the point of an article such as this one? It can be taught, and it can be learned. We should be teaching more of our young white men the new realities of women, relationships, and sex.

    • Malus Pudor

      The written word is indeed powerful, but we mustn’t give our young men
      the impression that going around quoting Shakespeare is going to moisten
      any panties….

      What a splendid and sensual description of the carnal responses of women to the stimulation of literary references… although the last time that I tried quoting Shakespeare to a a woman that I was attracted to, she told me that she preferred Coleridge… I subsequently discovered that she was not referring to the opiate-addicted poet, but to the billiard ball CEO of Conde Nast….

      • jjjj

        Tell her about your Jesuit upbringing, that’ll be sure to get her wet.

        • Malus Pudor

          Stalker !

    • Samson

      You type out of your arse.

      • Laguna Beach Fogey

        In educated circles it’s pronounced ‘house‘.

        • jjjj

          No, you really are a cringeworthy arse…

          • Laguna Beach Fogey

            :::yawn:::

          • BarryObola

            You are the imbecile Taki stalker.

          • jjjj

            Taki? Is that you?

          • Malus Pudor

            More paranoia from the resident pinhead… Taki wouldn’t waste time bickering with a lightweight jerk like you.

          • jjjj

            Ha ha! This is great.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        That’s a good trick if you can do it.

    • justejudexultionis

      How about a massive re-injection of Biblical evangelical Christianity into this country so that men and women start treating each other as human beings again (as opposed to mere f-k objects)?

      • Christian

        I share your sentiment but not your optimism

    • jjjj

      ‘our young white men’??????????

      • Laguna Beach Fogey

        OMG.

        Wow. Just wow.

        I can’t even.

        Etc., etc.

        • Christian

          How dare you not take her/his/it’s fake outrage seriously? Apologise this minute!

          • jjjj

            it’s? Did you learn the use of the apostrophe?

          • Christian

            Yes. My iPad on the other hand skipped English class to smoke behind the bike shed shouting something about “autocorrect will take care of all that bollocks”. You should have used quotation marks by the way but now I’m turning into a pedantic grammar nazi like you so I’ll control myself.

          • jjjj

            Good, do so.

          • Laguna Beach Fogey

            Your comments should come with trigger warnings.

          • jjjj

            Yawn…

          • Christian

            Feeling silly now aren’t you!

        • GenJackRipper

          You forgot to tell him “it’s actully 2014!”

    • BarryObola

      You’re the man but self-deprecation does work absolutely.

    • skipcook

      I’m with you. Nice to a chick looks like weak and dependent. We can misunderstand it all we want, only to our demise. Women, whether they admit it or not, are looking for security. It doesn’t come with a nice warm and fuzzy guy, If a girl is looking for a gay friend, that’s where nice guys fit.

      • Albert Wonders

        looking for Status (and not in the material sense ; in the social sense ).

  • BigCheddar

    I’ve been reading Taki for 30 years. I hold such affection for his writing that I take the words as they come with no real critical analysis, just joy. That is how his wonderful musings are best digested. Love this pice, thanks Taki.

    • jjjj

      ‘ that I take the words as they come with no real critical analysis’
      And what does that say about you?

      • BarryObola

        Something smells fishy here? What kind of fish would that be?

        • jjjj

          A Greek fish.

          • BarryObola

            Nah. That´s not it. I´d say it´s gefillte fish.

    • Rudy Schmidt

      It was “pice” alright.

  • EricHobsbawmtwit

    This is all very well but today you will need a signed contract and preferably photography or video evidence, to avoid the inevitable rape accusation.

  • justejudexultionis

    It is depressing to observe how the sex psychosis has infected even the most allegedly esoteric sectors of modern western civilisation.

  • jjjj

    Happy Hanukkah, Tacky.

  • jjjj

    ‘. A hint of potential authenticity is a plus, and can sway the lady after a drink or two…’

    Taki, was there a particular reason why you of all people were qualifying authenticity? And from your experience, the less authenticity, the more drinks the lady needs to have?

    • GenJackRipper

      Can one be more beta male than you?

      • jjjj

        Yes, you: Omega male.

        • GenJackRipper

          It’s spelled A-L-P-H-A

        • Sanctimony

          jjjj (Tourettes perhaps) Has a vendetta against Taki and is overwhelmed with an obsession about all matters Levantine.

          • jjjj

            Sounds like you’re overwhelmed with all things ‘levantine’. What’s the matter shit head, afraid to use the J word? By the way, are you actually Taki?

  • jjjj

    ‘women, unlike us, have a conscience’

    Ah…self reflection on your part.

  • George Mcnulty

    Taki, When you croak it , the magazine has a big problem. Good health. george mcnulty ,cannes

    • jjjj

      LOL

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Get into character as an English gentleman, take yourselves “somewheres east of Suez” and throw in a bit of Jane Austen speak.
    Supply and demand, my fine fellows …
    Alternatively, if you simply want to get laid and sidestep that plaintive, “When will I see you again?”, may I direct you to “The Definitive Guide to Whoring in Asia”. Available in all fine bookstores.
    Jack, third world Asia
    Taking up the white man’s burden

    • jjjj

      Yawn…The fake Englishman strikes again. Zzzzzz….

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        What do you mean “fake”?
        You must be one of those nutters that think you can’t be English if you live abroad of your own volition. Or don’t support a football team. Or don’t eat English food. Or don’t make at least one spelling error per sentence.
        If you’re English I don’t want to be.
        Jack, Penang

        • Jackthesmilingblack is either a Japanese or some other Oriental. Best leave him to his own “autoeroticism”!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            If only you’d take your own advice.

  • Albert Wonders

    Thanks for the 50 + years of enjoyable columns , Taki .

    • jjjj

      How much brown-nosing can he take?

  • Albert Wonders

    Taki , you’re the most entertaining . I’ve read you since your ‘ Letter from Europe ‘, in the early 1960’s National Review . This is the first time I’ve thought to reply . The reason you have what it takes, Taki , is simply Status , ( social , not material ) . You have the Social status , and that is why women are attracted to you . It matters not your age ; your wealth ; your erudite and whimsical prose ; your marital history and beautiful children ; your celebrated athletic prowess as skier , martial artist , or tennis player ; your smile and humour ; your literary or Shakespearean allusions ; Mostly your Social status . That’s what floors them . Thanks for the 50 + years of enjoyable columns , Taki .

    • Malus Pudor

      A p…-take, I presume, unless I’ve had an irony bypass !

  • Rudy Schmidt

    What a creepy, predatory, dirty old man.

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