Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them

Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them

by Betsy Prioleau


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Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them by Betsy Prioleau

Swoon is a glittering pageant of charismatic ladies’ men from Casanova to Lord Byron to Camus to Ashton Kutcher. It challenges every preconceived idea about great lovers and answers one of history’s most vexing questions: what do women want?
Contrary to popular myth and dogma, the men who consistently beguile women belie the familiar stereotypes: satanic rake, alpha stud, slick player, Mr. Nice, or big-money mogul. As Betsy Prioleau, author of Seductress, points out in this surprising, insightful study, legendary ladies’ men are a different, complex species altogether, often without looks or money. They fit no known template and possess a cache of powerful erotic secrets.
With wit and erudition, Prioleau cuts through the cultural lore and reveals who these master lovers really are and the arts they practice to enswoon women. What she discovers is revolutionary. Using evidence from science, popular culture, fiction, anthropology, and history, and from interviews with colorful real-world ladykillers, Prioleau finds that great seducers share a constellation of unusual traits.While these men run the gamut, they radiate joie de vivre, intensity, and sex appeal; above all, they adore women. They listen, praise, amuse, and delight, and they know their way around the bedroom. And they’ve finessed the hardest part: locking in and revving desire. Women never tire of these fascinators and often, like Casanova’s conquests, remain besotted for life.Finally, Prioleau takes stock of the contemporary culture and asks: where are the Casanovas of today? After a critique of the twenty-first-century sexual malaise—the gulf between the sexes and women’s record discontent—she compellingly argues that society needs ladies’ men more than ever. Groundbreaking and provocative, Swoon is underpinned with sharp analysis, brilliant research, and served up with seductive verve.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393068375
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/04/2013
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Betsy Prioleau is the author of Seductress and Circle of Eros and was a scholar in residence at New York University where she taught cultural history. She lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Great Seducers: The Men, The Myths 1

Part 1 Anatomy of the Great Seducers

Chapter 1 Charisma: Lightning in a Bottle 32

Chapter 2 Character: The Goods 60

Part 2 The Seducers Way

Chapter 3 Lassoing Love: The Senses 97

Chapter 4 Lassoing Love: The Mind 134

Chapter 5 Locking in Love 159

Chapter 6 Torching Up Love 191

Chapter 7 The Great Seducer Now 221

Acknowledgments 247

Notes 249

Text Credits 319

Illustration Credits 323

Index 325

What People are Saying About This

Molly Haskell

Betsy Prioleau’s witty and compelling book is a fresh take on the question of what women want. I wholly agree with her nicely elaborated thesis that the true seducer is not the swaggering Don Juan of myth and melodrama, but the perfectly ordinary-looking man who likes, loves, and listens to women.

Andy Borowitz

I read Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them in the hope that some [of] its subjects would even slightly resemble me. I loved the book anyway.

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Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
Swoon: Great Seduc­ers and Why Women Love Them by Betsy Pri­oleau is a non-fiction book which tries to ana­lyze what makes a ladies’ man. The book makes an inter­est­ing read and I only wish I would have read it when I was sin­gle and still look­ing for a mate for life. The book has bad news for us guys – being a ladies’ man can­not be learned, one has to be born with “it”. The author found out that there is no tem­plate for being a Casanova, it’s nei­ther money nor atti­tude but com­plex, and some­times dis­tinct, personalities. Ms. Pri­oleau ana­lyzes the great lovers of our time and from ages long ago from Casanova to Ash­ton Kutcher and those who aren’t famous but get the ladies, the schmos down the street which we all scratch our bald pates in amaze­ment when­ever they get the girl (a notable excep­tion is myself – just to think I was sit­ting by the phone for hours and days wait­ing to be interviewed). The book is divided into sec­tion about Charisma, the char­ac­ters, the mind, senses and more. The author pro­vides exam­ples from his­tory, fic­tional and non-fictional peo­ple as well as famous and the not-so-famous as they per­tain to each sec­tion and/or sub­sec­tion (some swoon­ers are in more then one place). It was inter­est­ing to read how wrong the ideal “ladies man” is in the eye of soci­ety, this won­der­fully researched book shows that they are not hand­some mil­lion­aires but those who have many other qual­i­ties (beauty is not one of them), the main one being joie de vivre – a love of life, and those man sim­ply put women up on a pedestal. While I did enjoy the non-fiction part of the book, I didn’t care for the exam­ples of men from romance nov­els. While I do appre­ci­ate fic­tion of any genre I felt that a woman writ­ing about an ideal man (which might exist – but prob­a­bly not) didn’t really teach me anything. Swoon is an enjoy­able book with much to teach the men of the world about women. While the bad news is that on