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The Ridiculously Long Article About Why the Twilight Books Are So Seductive to Women
Series overview and Bella the main character:
I would describe the first book as the perfect seduction. Although all the books are well written and contain much that is alluring and seductive to women. A woman desires a man that fits into her self image fantasies that have been forming since she was very young. And thanks to Disney these fantasies are embedded even farther then her genetic wiring ever intended. I know, I know. Every woman is a unique creature. But all women have far more commonalities then they have differences. So lets start with what they most likely have in common with this book.
The reality is that the popularity of the series was made off of book one. In a very real sense these book are an emotional roller coaster and likely not for the reasons you think. The roller coaster isn’t about Bella getting into life threatening danger and having the love of her life come save her. That’s what us guys tend to concentrate on when we read this story. But women are far more drawn to the real life ups and downs of Bella’s relationships (all of them) not just the ones she has with Edward and Jacob.
Her parents, her father doesn’t understand her, and although he clearly cares he is emotionally ill equipped to relate to her. She feels alienated from her mother whom she has always taken care of. This strikes a cord because who of us (even us guys) very often feel at younger ages that our parents simply don’t understand what its like to be us. We feel that they are out of touch with the realities of life at whatever age we are.
Her human friends are the same way she has her close girlfriend, the boy who likes her that she has no interest in, and the not really a friend who seems to always be trying to be polite while undermining her position and trying to stick a dagger in her back. We all know that social circles like this not only exist but are common place.
Bella also spends much of the book struggling with the idea of her own self worth. As we know most people, even ones that seem to hold all the cards in life, have problems with there feelings of self worth. Counter-intuitively it is also the case that many of the most beautiful and successful people also have the biggest problems when it comes to there viewpoint of themselves. Women in there teens and twenties almost universally from what I can tell suffer from great doubts about who they are, what there worth, why people love them, if there good enough, and what people think of them. They are also extremely sensitive to factors of social proof and overall social value of a person.
The books are all about Bella seeking happiness but there is always a looming threat on the horizon that brings her crashing back down. The author describes and invokes emotion very very well. The highs of being in love, the lows of it crashing back down. Changes in there emotional states is exceedingly alluring to most women. You can even find women that are addicted to it in a way, by looking around for a girl that is a “Drama Queen”. She needs changes in her emotional states so much that she sub-consciously creates emotional drama in order to feel it. Drama accomplishes a lot of things t once. Its gets attention, it sends emotion through the body (emotions are a highly addictive chemical), it’s a way to be self righteous, its often fun, its interesting and prevents boredom, it gives things meaning… and on and on. There are a lot of good reasons for drama. But most men simply cant understand them because drama fulfills needs that MOST men don’t have. Changing a woman’s emotional state is what much of seduction and attraction is based off of.
Sensuality and sexual energy, mixed with danger and the forbidden. In the books Edward and her cant be together because it’s a danger to her. Not only could she be hurt by him, simply because he is much stronger then her, but he for the first two books is also likely to loose it and drink her blood. A considerable amount of female sexual fantasy revolves around that idea of danger within the safety of being with a man she loves and feels safe with. If you have never done it I suggest reading “My Secret Garden” a book that is all about women’s sexual fantasies. You might also consider the prevalence of fantasy’s that include handcuffs and or the idea of being tied up in some way. Though these generally require a man she feels comfortable with as there is a certain safety factor that must be met. I find this to be a bit of a contradiction and ironic because ultimately a woman can never be totally safe with the type of men they are most attracted to.
Books three and four also continue the them of sexual tension and sensual danger that Bella and Edward have had all along. Once they are married sex is not the soft caring slow and careful thing that is most peoples reality. Its much more visceral then that. This again speaks to the sexual fantasies of women. One of the things that most men don understand is that properly motivated, properly released, a woman’s sexual energy and appetites can, and do outstrip a mans. If you don’t agree I recommend looking into the work of Steve Picus, this conclusion is supported by such facts as;
1. A woman is the only creature in existence that has an organ that is specifically for sexual pleasure.
2. A woman’s body is able to have five totally different types of orgasm. Clitoral, Vaginal, Blended, Full body, and Psycolagnic. (Like Neil said Look it up)
3. A woman can be given an orgasm that lasts minutes or even hours.
None of the above is true for men.
The “our secret world” factor. In the books Bella has a secret that she shares with first Edward and then another secret that she has with Jacob. It creates an “us and them” that links a woman’s viewpoint of herself and what she knows the “conspiracy” and the future with the presence of a particular man.
I would of course be remiss if I didn’t break down the principal men in the books and the why of how they are so attractive to women.
Edward: The first thing you need to know is that Edward at least in book one is not the Emo loser that he is in the movies.
Edward begins the series as the mystery man. He’s good looking, seems to be of high social value as he’s part of a kind of elitist group in the school. In his book ‘Influence’ Robert Cialdini talks about a psychological principal called the ‘Halo Effect’. In a nutshell, humans naturally assume that attractive and powerful people are smarter and more trustworthy then average people. However while most women are interested in looks to some degree, they are MORE interested in how you make them feel.
Inexplicably he doesn’t seem to like Bella. His reaction to her is repugnant for no reason that she can see. This spikes her attraction because most people, particularly young girls want to be liked. She has to wonder why and in doing so is forced to think about him. Women select men in modern human courtship. And even if the man selects the woman, many if not most women still harbor the secret fantasy that there ‘letting him do it’… etc. Its useful to note this point because in the books Edward is the selector and not the selected. This kid of thing is very powerful, as it does one of my favorite things. It points out something to a woman that shes most likely NEVER heard from a man in her entire life.
As this begins to lighten up he begins a series of push/pull that again spikes her attraction. He remains always a bit of a mystery; even after she discovers that he’s a vampire his past is clouded. He shows masculine traits, he’s nonreactive to her and to other antagonists, but he shows an ample willingness to protect Bella and his loved ones. He shows intelligence and culture but not at the expense of an ability to have fun. He has a slightly reserved personality but shows a wicked sense of humor in a few instances, and a willingness to walk away that shows he’s non needy. He clearly exudes a sense of danger and excitement. He often talks about how he’s not safe for her to be with and how she needs to find someone else. I don’t think I could write a more perfectly seductive character.
Ultimately Edward in the first book is a fairly good example of a fictional person that is good with women. It says something that women are that drawn to him even though he isn’t real. Perhaps we should consider it closer.
Jacob: Jacob is going to teach us all what not to do if you don’t want your heart handed back to you on a plate after being minced up, beat up, and told lets just be friends. Don’t get me wrong I liked the guy but I also was more then a little disappointed in how he acted.
In book one Jacob is a small player. He’s a kid that Bella gets some information out of by flirting with him a bit.
In book two Jacob is good with Cocky/Funny he has fairly good frame control and basically just assumes that Bella is going to be his. He tries to Kino escalate. He does push/Pull as well but its really only due to the fact that he also becomes dangerous to be around, and as one girl I know said “he’s a bit of a bastard”. This actually works in his favor as it gives him a kind of masculine edge. For quite a while he comes off as way more of a man then Edward does, which I suspect is half the reason that women who read the book love him. Then it all falls apart because his seeming masculine qualities are simply a front, there not real.
When Bella makes her choice at first he begs her not to go which is a huge way to demonstrate that hes low value. Then it gets a little better because he cuts her out of his life like he should after she dumped on him. Then he lets her back in his life to dump on him some more but continues to try and win her back by going cave man on her. When he finds out there getting married and he runs away for a few months only to come back for the wedding and get hurt again. After that his whole story slides into the realm of fiction so badly that it’s not even worth going over. He does have a happy ending of sorts but its pure fiction.
I’m of the opinion that the other half of the reason women find him attractive is that Bella really did a number on him and they feel sorry for him. How she treated him is so wrong it should be illegal but unfortunately it’s something that happens in the real world far too often.
Bella knew that he loved her, knew that she didn’t love him and simply was stringing him along because at the time she was emotionally wrecked and she felt better around him. Every time he tried to escalate she shut him down but then would fly right back with some rubbish about needing time or something like it. She was hurting him, she knew it, and she kept doing it out of her need. I am of the opinion that this is one of the most cold-blooded and evil things a woman can do to a man, and rather unfortunately things like this happen in real life all the time. But I don’t lay all the blame of this on Bella. If Jacob had dealt with it properly he would not have had to live through all the pain.
Jacob kept coming back. He knew that Bella didn’t really love him. He knew that she had picked Edward and was a fool to think she was going to change her mind on the spot. What he should have done was cut her out of his life and moved on. He showed how needy he was and let Bella’s choices be the deciding factor in if he was going to be happy or not.
Ultimately due to the fact that this book is fiction he ended up happy, but I cant help but consider how many girls are going to come away from reading this book this thinking that what Bella did is OK simply because Jacob ended up fantasy world happy and how many guys are going to be damaged from this simply because they have no idea how to deal with situations like it.
It’s important to remember here too that the male actions are designed to be the ideal FEMALE fantasy. The feeling of power and attractiveness a woman feels when being pursued by multiple men is why there’s so much interaction with Jacob, especially in the 3rd book where Bella reverts to a straight up terrible person as mentioned above. Women often view men trying to attract them as a sort of a game. They talk about it with each other, they have standard lines they learn when a guy asks for their number. I have had conversations with women who go out on the weekends with the mindset of “I am never going to meet Mr. Right at a club, but it boosts my ego to have men paying attention to me by the dozens, and I like to have free drinks… etc.
Edward’s constant insistence that Bella do what she wants, that he won’t force her to choose, and that he doesn’t get possessive is what works for him there. Bella’s self-esteem is inherently low and she seeks external validation: she only gets that from Edward by pursuing him, but she gets it from Jacob even when treating him like garbage. Which one do you think she ends up with? Even when he’s being weak, Edward’s still demonstrating that he is high value, and when Jacob goes caveman, he’s still doing it in a way that clearly suggests “If I can just make you love me, then we can live happily ever after…classic AFC mindset.
The other key is, to a large extent, confidence. Edward NEVER supplicates. He asks her for nothing. Even when he goes on and on about her being “His only reason for living”, he’s never ASKING her to stay. There’s a subtle but very important difference between martyrdom and fishing for pity, and I think that difference is a sense of nobility of purpose.
Edward never, EVER, compromises who he is. His values are completely and unilaterally consistent. He controls his frame absolutely. Bella gets sucked into his reality and cannot leave, nor does she want to. So, again, even when she’s his “reason for living”, he is completely confident and assured in his reality. It breaks for no one and modifies for no one: he manages to be the ultimate independent even while being dependent.
That might be the key to the Rake mentality, come to think of it. That’s essentially Edward to a T (see the Art of Seduction by Greene if you haven’t read it): he’s the archetypal model of that personality: utterly consumed by passion and desire for the woman involved while at the same time still in control of his frame and his situation.
The other key here is (and this is so, so important): Edward doesn’t make that shift to Bella or nothing until she succumbs to him. Bella GIVES Edward her love, Jacob ASKS for it. Once she’s sold on you, a woman will put up with amazing amounts of crap; go begging for it and you’re done.
Because of all this and the initial coldness, aversion, and desire to drive her away until he can’t resist her anymore, he’s essentially executed a textbook seduction. Here are the bullet points:
* Before they interact, he DHV’s.
* He receives the most ideal social proof humanly possible (EVERYONE loves/wants/is in awe of them)
* He immediately controls the frame and the interaction between them (think of the ‘hatred’ he demonstrates at the outset as the ultimate neg/push)
* He doesn’t approach until all of this is established.
* He makes her qualify herself (first interaction is the microscope scene? He forces her to prove she’s more than simply pretty)
* He fulfills one of the most primal possible needs to fulfill, that of the invincible protector (stops the van)
* Continues the push-pull interaction, makes her work for every single piece of him.
* Waits for losers in school to ask her to the dance, suggests something totally different for them to do (already creating that secret world AND demonstrating he’s not like all of them)
* Plays invincible protector AGAIN, and introduces danger (he clearly intimates he’s ready, willing and able to kill while making her feel safe)
* Keeps sexual tension exceedingly high
* Acknowledges her sexuality and demonstrates its power (his inability to resist her blood) while at the same time not succumbing to it, maintaining his status as her EQUAL (that’s important), but remaining in control. She gets to both feel desirable and desired AND doesn’t view his desire for her as a DLV.
* Continues to make her work for every little bit.
* Constantly good/suave/confident at EVERYTHING, NEVER brags or seeks approval.
* Continues to play the C&F/You’re too innocent for me game, and finally–
* Waits for her to fall for him totally, THEN commits to her totally WITHOUT CHANGING HIS CONFIDENCE LEVEL/INTERNAL CODE ADHERENCE.
He’s committed to her until death because HE DECIDES TO BE, not because of anything she does. He makes a decision and sees it through, NO MATTER WHAT. Again, this is so, so important. “I choose to love you, and that means I’m now doing xyz”, instead of “You love me, and because you love me I’m going to do xyz”. He is ruled by HIS passion, not hers. In a way it’s almost entirely independent of her; it’s not based on her actions but “who she is”.
To sum it all up
Edward is ruled by his own code, NOT BY BELLA. He is overwhelmed by his feelings for her but is not enslaved by them.
Jacob, of course, is the exact opposite. Immediately shows interest (Book 1), fails every shit test she gives him (fix my bike so I can hallucinate about my boyfriend kthxbye), is forceful rather than confident, misreads signals, gets angry at her when she doesn’t reciprocate his feelings, tries to AMOG Edward and gets blown out, begs for approval, etc.
Jacob is ENSLAVED by his lust for Bella and seeks to abdicate control. He doesn’t accept her love once given; he begs or demands it before it appears.
That’s the essence of inner game right there, it seems like. Jacob has plenty of AMOG behaviors and moments, but it’s all a lie: It’s a skin he puts on, just like the wolf. Edward’s the vampire, period. He is who he is, and nothing–not even uncontrollable passion–truly subverts him. He’s not faking it.
Women love this book because it bull’s-eyes the ideal male companion AS SEEN BY A WOMAN and indulges the ultimate, guilt-free fantasy–of all their insecurities being swept away in an avalanche of perfect seduction and pure, narcissistic validation (the guilt conveniently off-shifted to the heroine so they can call her down for her bad behavior and then become her as she’s being seduced). Reading these books is like reading the diary of the naive, curious, insecure girl inside every woman (just like reading any Conan novel is like reading the diary of any naive, curious, insecure boy inside every man.) Ignore them at your peril.
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