A woman asked, “Mister Gaiman, you’re kickass. I was just wondering, what do you think is the best way to seduce a writer? I figured your answer would be pretty spectacular.”
Mr. Gaiman, one Neil, responded with the following:
In my experience, writers tend to be really good at the inside of their own heads and imaginary people, and a lot less good at the stuff going on outside, which means that quite often if you flirt with us we will completely fail to notice, leaving everybody involved slightly uncomfortable and more than slightly unlaid.
So I would suggest that any attempted seduction of a writer would probably go a great deal easier for all parties if you sent them a cheerful note saying “YOU ARE INVITED TO A SEDUCTION: Please come to dinner on Friday Night. Wear the kind of clothes you would like to be seduced in.”
And alcohol may help, too. Or kissing. Many writers figure out that they’re being seduced or flirted with if someone is actually kissing them.
This response immediately struck a chord with me. It reminds me of two instances in my life in particular, with two very different women that ended two very different ways. The first instance was with a lovely young woman from a sorority who happened to be good friends and sorority sisters with another lovely young woman who I had been known to spend the occasional evening kissing. My kissing friend, if you would like, was also what we like to call a “kiss-and-tell.”
One evening I was walking the former home when she began to talk quite garrulously about the virtues of her chocolate flavored chap stick. Having extolled the virtues and expertly smeared the stuff across its intended destination, she asked me if I would like to taste it. I, being a writer and not a fan of chap stick, passed on her kind offer. She insisted I give it a try. I insisted I was really quite ok, thank you very much and walked her home. She was never very friendly after that occasion. It was years before I realized, looking back, that she had made up an excuse to kiss me. If for some godawful reason you think she really just wanted me to try her chap stick, please keep it to yourself. My ego is quite happy with the story the way it is.
Conversely, last year I went on a nice date with a single mother a year or two older than me. We were sitting and talking on what was truly the most vilely uncomfortable futon in history and I asked her a very simple question, one that I am wont to ask: “What are you thinking?” Her response stated her interest and intent quite clearly. “I was wondering what it would be like to kiss you.” The writer in me was quite pleased, understanding that it was quite clear that he was being seduced. Mr Gaiman shows his knowledge quite well. There was both alcohol and kissing involved.
The rest of the evening was quite lovely.
Being a writer such as the one described by Mr. Gaiman, I don’t do well with coy women. I don’t play games nor chase after fleeing hind. I don’t like hunting. I may be a wolf, but I want to play not prey. When I find a mate, we can hunt life together in an effort to live to our fullest together. I want another wolf. Not some long legged deer whose tail flashes as it disappears into the forest.
Perhaps it is because I don’t want a prize. I want a woman I can be proud of, who I can introduce to the people I admire and say, “This one chose me!” A partner, a playmate, yes, put not a prize. A woman should not be hung over your mantle, stuffed and immobile. She shouldn’t be polished and put on a shelf, but lived with, explored, experienced. Give me someone strong, independent, and affectionate by choice.
My fantasies often linger on the woman I meet who decides that wil ye, nil ye, I am hers. Someone who is willing, when I am uncertain and wonder if we should take a break, to say, simply, determinedly, “No.” (I did that once. It worked.) I know she’s out there somewhere. I have met many women like her. But I’m still waiting. I’m looking forward to that moment, that decision. And the kissing. I’m definitely looking forward to the kissing.