A man is often secretly oppressed by the role he has to play—by always having to be responsible, in control, and rational. The Siren is the ultimate male fantasy figure because she offers a total release from the limitations of his life. In her presence, which is always heightened and sexually charged, the male feels transported to a realm of pure pleasure. In a world where women are often too timid to project such an image, learn to take control of the male libido by embodying his fantasy.
Cleopatra provided constant variety—tributes, mock battles, expeditions, costumed orgies. Everything had a touch of drama and was accomplished with great energy. By the time your head lay on the pillow beside her, your mind was spinning with images and dreams. And just when you thought you had this fluid, larger-than-life woman, she would turn distant or angry, making it clear that everything was on her terms. You never possessed Cleopatra, you worshiped her. In this way a woman who had been exiled and destined for an early death managed to turn it all around and rule Egypt for close to twenty years.
From Cleopatra we learn that it is not beauty that makes a Siren but rather a theatrical streak that allows a woman to embody a man’s fantasies. A man grows bored with a woman, no matter how beautiful; he yearns for different pleasures, and for adventure. All a woman needs to turn this around is to create the illusion that she offers such variety and adventure. A man is easily deceived by appearances; he has a weakness for the visual.
Create the physical presence of a Siren (heightened sexual allure mixed with a regal and theatrical manner) and he is trapped. He cannot grow bored with you yet he cannot discard you. Keep up the distractions, and never let him see who you really are. He will follow you until he drowns.
The Sex Siren has a more urgent and immediate effect than the Spectacular Siren does. The incarnation of sex and desire, she does not bother to appeal to extraneous senses, or to create a theatrical buildup. Her time
never seems to be taken up by work or chores; she gives the impression that she lives for pleasure and is always available. What separates the Sex Siren from the courtesan or whore is her touch of innocence and vulnerability.
The mix is perversely satisfying: it gives the male the critical illusion that he is a protector, the father figure, although it is actually the Sex Siren who controls the dynamic.
A woman doesn’t have to be born with the attributes of a Marilyn Monroe to fill the role of the Sex Siren. Most of the physical elements are a construction; the key is the air of schoolgirl innocence. While one part of you seems to scream sex, the other part is coy and naive, as if you were incapable of understanding the effect you are having. Your walk, your voice, your manner are delightfully ambiguous—you are both the experienced, desiring woman and the innocent gamine.
Your next encounter will be with the Sirens, who bewitch every man that approaches them. . . . For with the music of their song the Sirens cast their spell upon him, as they sit there in a meadow piled high with the moldering skeletons of men, whose withered skin still hangs upon their bones.—CIRCE TO ODYSSEUS, THE ODYSSEY, BOOK XII
The voice. Clearly a critical quality, as the legend indicates, the Siren’s voice has an immediate animal presence with incredible suggestive power. The Siren must have an insinuating voice that hints at the erotic,
more often subliminally than overtly.
Body and adornment. If the voice must lull, the body and its adornment must dazzle. It is with her clothes that the Siren aims to create the goddess effect that Baudelaire described in his essay “In Praise of Makeup”:
“Woman is well within her rights, and indeed she is accomplishing a kind of duty in striving to appear magical and supernatural. She must astonish and bewitch; an idol, she must adorn herself with gold in order to be adored. She must borrow from all of the arts in order to raise herself above nature, the better to subjugate hearts and stir souls.”
Movement and demeanor. The Siren moves gracefully and unhurriedly. The proper gestures, movement, and demeanor for a Siren are like the proper voice: they hint at something exciting, stirring desire without being obvious. Your air must be languorous, as if you had all the time in the world for love and pleasure.
Your gestures must have a certain ambiguity, suggesting something both innocent and erotic. Anything that cannot immediately be understood is supremely seductive, and all the more so if it permeates your manner.
The Siren must prepare for age by paying attention early on to the more psychological, less physical forms of coquetry that can continue to bring her power once her beauty starts to fade.