Caught in a Web of Seduction

I’m posting some old writings, mostly untouched (for better or worse). This one’s from 2001 one and is about how well the Net handle’s the mechanism of seduction…

If what we desire is the desire of the other, then seduction is where it’s at. For its in our receptivity to the other that desire is awakened even as it yields to seduction. As we soften in the seductive embrace of the other our sense of self and with it all self limitations melt away and are suspended for the encounter in which our active desire is to be desired. In this moment of acquiescence is a powerful surrender that promises to forge, even if only fleetingly, utter and complete connection. It is this disappearance of self that happens so easily on the Net, where anonymity already provides us a guise behind which to conceal our active, accountable, and engaged selves and through which to let a connection to flow.

The power of attraction obtains from the affective power of force, force’s own affectabiliity or receptiveness. It is a power in which we are impressed as opposed to expressed. A disposition of selflessness in which we receive the active force of the other while putting our own active forces in suspension.

In a culture dominated by the challenge to produce and to make something of ourselves, the attraction of attraction should come as no surprise. After all, we spent the first months of our lives in a state of blissful unity with our mothers; individuation and separation occur only with the emergence of ego. Lacan refers frequently to the “mirror phase,” that moment in childhood development when the little one discovers himself in the mirror as an object, and Other. Seduction operates in the other direction. Picture yourself with difficulty, if you will, being seduced by a man or woman (your pick) and catching yourself in the mirror; a moment shattered, certainly, for the act of seduction works by erasing self-awareness.

The net’s ability to conduct the flow of seduction works because as a medium it has no mirrors. Where this produces solitude and isolation in the physical world, in the virtual it facilitates seduction. For what breaks seduction is not an encounter with the other, but an encounter with the self. It’s in the sudden and jarring shock or recognition that seduction falls apart. Those precious and tantalizing moments when we meet others online for play or seduction are protected by the absence of reflective surfaces—and enhanced by the empty and formless space into which we allow ourselves to fall.


  • Anonymous

    Precious moments, yes ,but we are not falling, rather soaring into the inimitable space that allows expression to really be “free”. As long as we do not have to “face” the reaction of the other to our words we can say what we feel and present the image of the self that we choose. As long as we remain “faceless” we can truely be ourselves.

  • adrian

    interesting comment. of course being a faceless self, as you present yourself anonymously here, can be a lonely way to soar

  • Anonymous

    Not really lonely, afterall as you say , the expansive network of connectivity that we have with other people gives us the ability to have instant access to them.which means we can chat to any one, any where, anytime. How can that be lonely? Anonymity enables the communication to flow as it allows all the pre/misconceptions associated with a name(or a face) to merge into a probabilty space of endless posibilities in time and space.leaving nothing but the words and the meaning behind what is written.

  • adrian

    Curious.. I don’ know who you are and would prefer it if you email me. But one quick comment; it seems you think that anonymity protects you from being misunderstood or misinterpreted.

    Must people agree with you, then, all the time in order for you to feel connected? That would be like looking into a mirror, no? Wasn’t there a flower named after that?

    Seems to me that “perceptions associated with a face” are precisely the opening moves of human encounters. If that were not the case, then there would be no mutual effort in the production of meaningful experiences. All meaning would be situated in the Speaker, and none in the Listener.

    That, my friend, would be mighty lonely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.