Book Reviews three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality by Sigmund Freud

Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality Sigmund Freud AoS
(translated and revised by James Strachey, with introduction by Steven Marcus)

Freud found this book necessary to write after the summer of 1897, “when he found himself obliged to abandon his seduction theory.”(xii) In this volume he outlines many of the famous psychological theories that we know him for today from the Oedipus complex to his ideas about sexual deviance which challenge previous theorists like Krafft-Ebbing. More importantly however, is how the work applies for a seducer.
The first prime example is that women generally look for males based on a template of their father, which is explained to a degree here, and the idea is used in modern seduction literature from Leil Lowndes’ Undercover Sex Signals’ to Dan Indante and Karl Marks’ The Complete A*hole’s Guide to Handling Chicks.’
Another interesting example occurs when Freud points out: “The most striking distinction between the erotic life of antiquity and our own no doubt lies in the fact that the ancients laid the stress upon the instinct itself, whereas we emphasize its object. The ancients glorified the instinct and were prepared on its account to honour even an inferior object; while we despise the instinctual activity itself, and find excuses for it only in the merits of the object.” One can take this point not only as a social critique of the endless obsession over beauty, but also as a successful way of reframing a target’s mental state for persuasion in seduction.
A personal favorite example is, “In this respect children behave the same kind of way as an average uncultivated woman in whom the same polymorphous perverse disposition exists. Under ordinary conditions she may remain normal sexually, but if she is led on by a clever seducer she will find every sort of perversion to her taste, and will retain them as a part of her own sexual activities.” (xxxix)
The main point to get out of his essays is that infant sexuality plays an enormous role upon adult sexual orientation, inclination, and deviations. The successful seducer will be able to play subtly upon these themes without becoming liable for the faults of too close an association with the parental figure’s theme may bring.
Another salient point Freud makes is, “the fore-pleasure’ attained by the technique of joking is used in order to liberate a greater pleasure derived from the removal of internal inhibitions.” Such a basis could be a sound foundation for the cocky-funny’ method of pick-up and is just a sound tactic in general.