August 04, 2011

Giacomo Casanova

Giacomo Casanova

ONBOARD S/Y BUSHIDO—The smell of pine wafting from the shore and the sight of sun-bleached terracotta houses shimmering in the midday heat remind me of the simple island life during the good old days before super yachts, oligarchs, and the brain-jolting cacophony of modern music emanating from so-called clubs. I’m lying off the eastern side of the Peloponnese, far from the flesh spots of Spetses and Porto Heli, having done them all last week. Finally I have my mail and the Spectator, and I am happy at last.

But only for a minute.

I read a New York rag that describes Dominique Strauss-Kahn as a great seducer, and I turn into Orlando Furioso quicker than you can say, “Errol Flynn.” How dare these know-nothings call that froglike corpulent sybarite a seducer? It’s like calling the Wehrmacht’s conquest of France a stealth operation. Our phallocentric culture tends to do this sort of thing. Every whoremonger is now referred to as a seducer—even a lowlife such as Boris Berezovsky. “He’s had countless lovers,” writes Richard Kay. You mean hookers, don’t you, Richard? People who look like DSK and BB are either grab-ass artists like the former or whoremongers like the latter. No one of the fairer sex would give themselves freely to such ghastly looking individuals. It’s either physical force or financial weakness that does the trick, believe you me. And I know all about the Casanova syndrome. Poor old Giacomo was not exactly a looker; he was bald and had a pot belly, but he had the art of seduction down pat. It is called crave-ability, the knack of convincing a woman that one cannot live without her, and Giacomo had that talent in spades. Just like DSK has grab-ability down pat.

“Convince a woman beyond any doubt that you are willing to die if you can’t possess her, and chances are good that you will land her.”

Convince a woman beyond any doubt that you are willing to die if you can’t possess her, and chances are good that you will land her. Women’s emotional reactions are different to those of men. They like romance and men like porn. It makes it easy for people such as Casanova, and very easy for those who look like Errol Flynn, as great a seducer as there ever was. Not many could resist him. He had great charm to go along with his great looks and was very well-read. Both his parents were academics, and he could reel off a poem for any occasion that would make a girl’s head spin. What more could a girl want? Especially young American girls on the make in Hollywood. David Niven used to tell us about Flynn’s ability to charm the fair sex, Niven being no slouch when it came to snaring women. I only met Flynn once, at El Morocco, and he was drunk but very friendly and nice. The girl I was with went weak at the knees, but I was twenty and quick on my feet. I managed to maneuver her away from him, and I learned a good lesson in the process. Always be polite and nice to women, and never try rough stuff à la Strauss-Kahn. Ditto Prince Aly Khan, no relation. Aly was extremely polite and romantic, and, of course, a great seducer. As was Gianni Agnelli, the Italian president of Fiat who broke many a heart with his good looks and refined manners.


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