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Recreating Romantic Comedies in the Streets of Amsterdam

December 2, 2011

By Marlene Werner

Since the launch of his Amsterdam-based seduction coaching company Blusher Seduction, Jean-Baptiste Trannoy has helped numerous men and women in the search for sex, love and friendship. Outside of the ‘community’ (those who know about the existence of seduction ‘theory’ and make use of it), people still react with curious astonishment when JB introduces his vocation and usually have a preconceived notion in mind about what kind of guy would consider using his services – a preconception that could not be further from the truth.

Most of his clients are intelligent, educated and well-groomed guys from upper income level, who ‘suffered’ from a lack of female input in most of their life due to specific educative choices. “Most of them have very rational jobs, a lot of engineers, who went through studies without having a lot of girls around,” he says. Due to the nature of their studies and their jobs, which stress rationality and analytical thinking, they have lost a sense of spontaneity and their childish playfulness, two major tools in the box of a seducer.

Elliot, a long-term friend and supporter of Blusher – by the way a 34-year-old engineer – still remembers vividly the moment in which JB gave him the most crucial advice: “At this time, I was really feeling to miss something in my relationships. I thought with too much complexity about almost everything regarding social life. This was like a vicious cycle; it led me to more dissatisfaction, then more ‘thinking’, then even less ‘quantity’. After a few months, I was even wondering what to say to girls and how to say it. When we talked about this, he just said: ‘Why don’t you talk to them as if they were one of your friends? Just talk, as you talk to me!’”

What makes Blusher stand out among the blurring crowd of seduction-coaches, according to Elliot, is that “his method is much more centered around simplicity and basics of ‘coaching’: finding expectations, setting objectives, working around beliefs… and doing it on the field to see that reality is easier than theory.” His competitors try luring clients into their nets by “giving you a ‘method to put the woman you want into bed’, which is exactly what a lot of men like to hear, and also exactly the kind of ‘girl’s manual’ some people would like to find. However, these methods bring a real separation between reality and its experience. Complexity brought by an almost algorithmic view of seduction makes lot a lot of basic social skills, like spontaneity, disappear.”

Consequently, Blusher distinguishes himself from the, especially American, competition by means of his solid ethics. According to him most dating coaches cheapen the profession by being tacky, objectifying women, and strategizing a game that is supposed to be situational. “It is more about a mindset that makes you independent and able to react to a variety of situations, rather than memorizing a set of rules and strategies that are applicable to any situation: that is bullshit. Successful coaching is about independence,” Blusher says.

A major obstacle for most clients is their fixation on the outcome rather than the ride. “Many of them act as if they could cast the perfect girlfriend on the street and only want to talk to the ones that come right out of a photoshopped magazine. But you know what, even with the girl next door who may not be the best-looking girl on the planet, you are going to find charm in her. Everyone has something!,” Blusher adds with a glimpse in his eyes. A major advantage of talking with as many strangers as possible without thinking of results is the total immersion in the game and the appreciation of the fun in the process. Blusher adds “when you do not play for results, rejection does not exist.”

Another client, Gregoire, a 31-year-old business-consultant, echoes JB’s ideas; according to him “the key to succeed in seduction is to have fun.” During his participation in two Summer Bootcamps in Paris he “learned how to relate with girls and how to make seduction a playful experience rather than hardship, which it had been until then.”

He adds: “The most important thing I learned is that teasing girls in a playful, sensual way was a great way to seduce them. This was a momentous change: In the past, I had viewed seduction as a performance-based exercise, during which I had to display knowledge and expertise. This led to what I call “object-based or “concept-based” conversations. I would talk about daily news, political and philosophical opinions. However, this type of conversation would negate or minimize relationships-dynamics that are omnipresent in seduction. After the training, I focused much more on how girls react to what I say, rather than focusing on what I say. I learned that seduction is above all about creating a relationship.”

Blusher’s emphasis on the involvement of his coachees’ vis-à-vis, the girl, shines through in a word he keeps repeating throughout our interview: co-creation. He counters criticism that accuses seduction coaching of misogynistic traits with the latter argument. “In my method it is not about making use of a girl, or manipulating her into something she does not want. It’s about a genuine interaction between two people, and I help them in bringing these situations about. What happens after is a matter of general human decency not about seduction.” What became clear from the beginning is that JB cares heavily about a mutual satisfaction drawn from any encounter and possibly following relationship between two people.

Elliot fondly reminisces in his experiences from a Summer Bootcamp in which he participated after breaking-up with a long term partner: “Being with 5 other men, discovering they can talk to women they did not know and how much simple satisfaction it can give really helps. Blusher let us give ourselves the authorization to talk to people everywhere. This is really like discovering a liberty that may be essential for some people and that is generally taken away by your own feeling of social constraints.”

JB wants to create a world for his coachees in which they do not feel hindered to talk to absolutely anyone, whether it is on the street, in a club or at a private party. As a consequence, they do not fall prey to idealizing the girls they meet every few years, but find themselves in a situation of social abundance. They make friends, lovers and have an active choice in possibly making one of them a long-term partner, rather than making this decision by default.

But where do these encounters take place? Where can one meet a potential mate? According to JB: “Everywhere!” His personal favorite remains the street, especially in Amsterdam. “Almost no one approaches on the street in the Netherlands. Several very pretty girls I talked to have never experienced it. For Dutch girls it’s almost like being in a romantic comedy when a guy comes over to talk to them and shows a genuine smile, some spontaneity and eloquence.”

Upon further research into whether JB’s estimations reflect the girls’ reality, it appeared that his interpretations hit the nail on the head. Amanda a tall, Dutch, deer-eyed beauty talks smilingly about her encounter with JB: “He approached me at a street corner near Thorbeckeplein. He was really spontaneous and gave me a compliment. I felt really flattered, because it was such a spontaneous action. It is so much nicer to be approached during daylight instead of in a noisy club: you can see the other one better, and especially hear the other one better. So my impression was really good because he approached me on an unexpected time and place.”

Anne, a clever, petite French girl was approached by one of Blusher’s clients while indulging in a sunbath and girl-chatting in Paris’ Jardin du Luxembourg. “At first sight we were quite surprised and a bit on our guards, but after he insisted so much on how charming we were, it became quite funny and sweet and we started chatting. It was a funny and nice experience, nothing pushy and a good atmosphere, so good memories.”

The question remains in how far JB’s success with women is a matter of skills he had in him naturally or whether they reflect his years of learning. Attraction between people is often reduced to a hunt for status and good-looks, especially by evolutionary psychological theories. JB takes a creative twist on these theories in claiming that status can be reflected not only by the amount of money that is stored on your bank account, but also by spontaneity, creativity and social behavior; and these are characteristics that can be trained. “I use a lot of improvisation skills in my methods. Coming up with a good opening line for an approach is helped big time by training creativity and spontaneity, two ingredients of improvisation.”

JB’s views are partly shared by a professional opinion about seduction coaching, obtained from a social evolutionary psychologist from the University of New Mexico, who specializes in mate preferences and selection, Geoffrey Miller. According to him “you could potentially increase someone’s outgoingness, confidence, sense of humor, apparent social status/wealth, and visual salience (e.g. by dressing flamboyantly). These changes would mostly be useful for short-term mating.” It is these domains that JB focuses on, while ensuring the fun of the game for the two people involved.

Most of JB’s clients are extraordinarily interesting people; they just do not know how to show it. He adds some enlightening last words on the topic: “What it comes down to is that we all have common denominators; we are all sad, depressed, feel little and insecure sometimes and in the end we are all going to die. We should not waste time with hypocrisy and shyness.”

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