Love & Sex

The Theatrics of Seduction

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Last weekend, I saw a theatrical adaptation of George Orwell’s The Farm — it was really well done, thanks to good acting and delightfully skimpy costumes. It also got me thinking how all those gothy drama kids from high school grew up, found jobs on respectable stages, and became people who we desperately want to have sex with.

What is it about actors (and I’m not talking celebrities) that makes us swoon?

I think it’s the confidence: the idea that no matter what, the world wants — needs! — to see you in all of your deliciousness. Which is exactly why theater has something to teach us all about the art of seduction. My advice? Go back to the greats to get your theatrical tips, and start with Hamlet:

The Classic Player:


[$27, Amazon]

Year: 1948
Actors: Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons
Highlights: Olivier is handsome and well-spoken, and he knows just when to turn on the crazy.
Tool of Seduction scene: Olivier and Simmons doing the “Get thee to a nunnery” scene. Totally hot.

The Emo Object of Desire:


[$20, Amazon]

Year: 1964
Actors: Richard Burton, Linda Marsh
Highlights: The live audience adds a thrilling hint of exhibitionism
Tool of Seduction scene: Burton’s “To be or not to be” monologue — move over Elijah Wood, Burton is the original sexy emo boy.

The Hipster Gentleman:


[$10, Amazon]

Year: 2000
Actors: Ethan Hawke, Julia Stiles
Highlights: This urban, corporate adaptation definitely gets points for creativity.
Tool of Seduction scene: Hawke, Stiles, and a swimming pool. Need I say more?