The Frisky Feminist

Seduction! Er, How Do I Do It?

Q: I am new to the whole sex thing. I am eighteen and I want to learn how to seduce my partner. It’s so easy for him to seduce me, but I want to know how to seduce him. I tried dressing for him, wearing clothes that might suit his….needs? Do you have any advice on what I should try or just advice on seduction in general?

A: Well, what does your partner do to seduce you? Is it the mood he sets, the things he wears, what he says and does? It can be lots of fun to seduce your partner, and there are all sorts of things you can do to/for/with them.

As with pretty much everything else sex-related, though, the specifics are going to vary from person to person, so contrary to what Cosmo would have you believe, there aren’t really any concrete rules about how to seduce somebody. I had a boyfriend who thought that red underwear was just the hottest thing in the world, and future Mr. paperispatient is completely neutral about red undies. (I mean, I don’t think he’d protest if I modeled some for him, but the color isn’t a particular turn-on for him.) Similarly, I get a little hot and bothered watching him put on lotion, while that never did anything for his past partners.

When we asked in the first paragraph about how your partner seduces you, that was not only because it might help you get some ideas in general, but it might also offer you a bit of insight into the things that he finds sexy. From my experience (and this can go for things besides sex), people sometimes do what they want you to do to them or do what they find sexy and seductive hoping you’ll find it that way too. So if you love when he rolls over in the morning and starts gently kissing you, you could try doing that to him one day instead. Are there any body parts of yours you’ve noticed he particularly likes? How might you play those up a bit?

Monica from the TV show friends rubs a box of pasta and some carrots on her body, trying to seduce Chandler
Image from

But also think about what you find sexy. Almost all of the times I’ve felt like I really seduced the crap out of somebody, I felt sexy and good about myself, and that confidence and sexy-feeling certainly came off to the seductee. Lots of things can make you feel sexy – hot underwear does it for me, but so does lifting weights or hearing a song with a really good beat. And unexpected things can be sexy to a partner; I wasn’t aware of my whole “enjoying watching him put on lotion” thing until he put on hand cream in front of me and I found myself drooling. These discoveries can often come naturally as the two of you spend more time together. (If you’re a Friends fan, you probably remember the one where Monica takes Rachel’s advice and tries to seduce Chandler by making everything around her sexy; it didn’t work well, to say the least, so don’t feel like you need to make a huge amount of effort every time.)

And while I love to mock Cosmo for their ridiculous sexy tips (tying your underwear around your wrist as a bracelet, really?), there’s nothing wrong with looking to outside sources for ideas, just keep in mind that you’re idea-gathering, as opposed to looking for instructions or the “right” way to seduce someone or have sex. The first time I tied up future Mr. paperispatient, I was thrilled and also really nervous, and I did a lot of fantasizing and also a lot of reading, because I wanted to be really smooth and sexy and because I am a nerd, I will attempt to research absolutely anything. And it’s certainly a fun subject area to try to research – you can look through sex advice books and gather suggestions that you find appealing, read some erotica and remember a few moves you think your partner would enjoy, take note of how a burlesque dancer takes off her bra, and so on.

Finally, if you haven’t already, you can also ask him what he finds irresistible. I know that it might seem smoother and more seductive if you haven’t discussed it with him ahead of time, but it’s a surefire way to get some insight into what he finds seductive, and I know I’ve never found a partner any less appealing when they’re doing something they know I’ll love just because we talked about it before. And have fun! Whatever you try, your partner will probably be delighted by your desire to seduce him and enjoy himself a lot.


Keep the great ques­tions com­ing! (Hee.) Got a ques­tion to ask, sub­ject you’d like us to dis­cuss, or myth you’d like us to bust? You can e-mail us at or send us an anony­mous mes­sage via the spiffy new Ask Us! fea­ture here.

By paperispatient

I recently earned my MA in women’s studies. I enjoy reading, working out, playing Scrabble, watching cheesy movies, and cooking yummy vegetarian meals with my partner and Frisky Feminist co-author, Future Mr. paperispatient.

One reply on “Seduction! Er, How Do I Do It?”

OH MAN I remember that Friends episode! One of the very few things about that show I do remember, besides Marcel.

In all seriousness, one of the best pieces of advice on “sexiness” I’ve ever gotten was from my (male) best friend. I was fussing a little bit about how much I weighed and he said, “Most guys would so much rather be with a girl who’s a little heavier but confident and comfortable in her own skin, rather than a glamour model with low self-esteem. It’s bad for her and it’s bad for us.”

TThe lesson I took away from that: If you act like you’re absolutely irresistible, you will be.

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