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The prelude to the ,000 wedding these days isn’t just the budget-busting shower—although that’s —but the bachelorette party, in which the bride and her BFF’s don their skinnies and spaghetti straps and head to a bar to be hit on, sometimes bride and all, by whatever males are bold enough (the typical accoutrements of the bachelorette party are a “ironic” veil for the bride and a sculpted replica of a male sex organ that’s often brought to the bar)., especially the 40-something Samantha (hitting 50 in the 2008 movie), who, during the six seasons that the series ran, racked up nearly as many sex partners (41) as her three coleads combined—and Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte were no slouches themselves in the quickie department. But there’s a problem: While it’s a truism that the main beneficiaries of the sexual revolution are men, it is only some men: the Tucker Maxes, with the good looks, self-confidence, and swagger that enable them to sidle up successfully to a gaggle of well turned-out females in a crowded and anonymous club where the short-statured, the homely, the paunchy, the balding, and the sweater-clad are, if not turned away outside by the bouncer, ignominiously ignored by the busy, beautiful people within.
Out of such anxiety was born the “seduction community,” part band of brothers, part nakedly commercial and ferociously competitive business enterprise.
Louts who might as well be clad in bearskins and wielding spears trample over every nicety developed over millennia to mark out a ritual of courtship as a prelude to sex: Not just marriage (that went years ago with the sexual revolution and the mass-marketing of the birth-control pill) or formal dating (the hookup culture finished that)—but amorous preliminaries and other civilities once regarded as elementary, at least among the college-educated classes.
It helps, of course, that there’s currently a buyer’s market in women who are up for just about anything with the right kind of cad, what with delayed marriage (the average age for a woman’s first wedding is now 26, compared with 20 in 1960, according to the University of Virginia-based National Marriage Project’s latest report); reliable contraception; and advances in antibiotics (no more worries about what used to be called venereal disease). On the one hand, she decried the double-standard unfairness of labeling a girl who fools around with too many boys a “slut,” and, on the other, she lionized “the Slut” (her capitalization) as the enviable epitome of feminist freedom and feminist transgression against puritanical social norms. It’s the underlying theme of Eve Ensler’s girls-talk-dirty titled “Sluts” has made so many women’s studies reading lists that term-paper mills sell canned essays purporting to dissect it.
Yet his only experience practicing law to date has consisted of getting fired from a ,400-a-week summer-associate job at a prestigious Silicon Valley firm for, among other things, showing up intoxicated at the orientation meeting and complaining that he couldn’t see anything because he had lost his contacts in a hookup with a girl he had met at a party the night before; informing a female recruiter at the firm that he was “calling a porn line” when she walked into his office unexpectedly; and getting fall-down drunk at a firm retreat and shouting the F-word at a charity auction attended by the partners and their spouses.No-fault divorce, moreover, has pushed the marriage-dissolution rate up to between 40 and 50 percent and swelled the single-female population with “cougars” in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. A group calling itself the Women’s Direct Action Collective issued a manifesto in 2007 titled insisting that “a woman should have the right to be sexual in any way she chooses” and that easy availability was “a positive assertion of sexual identity.” In other words, if people call you a whore because you, say, fall into bed with someone whose name you can’t quite remember, that’s their problem.On top of it all is the feminist-driven academic and journalistic culture celebrating that yesterday’s “loose” women are today’s “liberated” women, able to proudly “explore their sexuality” without “getting punished for their lust,” as the feminist writer Naomi Wolf put it in the to trying to remove the stigma from . Of course, if a man mistakes a woman being “sexual in any way she chooses” for consent to have sex, it’s still rape.A cadre of guru-like leaders appeared with a set of elaborate rites, precisely defined techniques, and an acronym-laden private language known only to initiates—purposely designed to appeal to men, whose minds seem to thrive on ritual, hierarchy, and complex esoterica (think baseball statistics, Scout badges, the military, the Catholic Mass, and the Freemasons). Jeffries pioneered the coinage of distinctive seduction lingo—his most widely used neologism: “sarging,” named after his cat Sarge and meaning trolling the bars for desirable women—as well as the use of the Internet.His website, Speed Seduction, is going strong hawking CDs, DVDs, software tutorials, and personal coaching in pickup techniques.