A gentleman’s alternative to pick-up artistry and the Return of Kings

by richardhutton

Reading one of the more permissive (I can think of a less charitable term) publications today, my attention was drawn to a thought-provoking portrait of one scion among many, at the forefront of modern manhood’s swelled ranks: offering tips aplenty on the cultivation of masculinity and moustaches coterminously; or else extolling the merits of bonding with your like-minded brethren – using a carefully considered cipher. For example: “identify your fellow tribesmen by asking them how long a piece of string is. If they give you the correct answer, then their fraternity will be clear”.

Well, I’m afraid this simply will not do. To put it mildly, I am often left aghast at the parlous state of manliness in this day and age. I remember a time when men were men, women were women, and the miscellaneous were miscellaneous (I was only ever curious myself, rather than fully exploratory, as my wife grew to accept in time – but that is neither here nor there for present purposes. Let bygones be bygones I say).

The solution is at hand, however. Nobody is more keen on edifying the young than I; and serving as an exemplar to them, regardless of background. Therefore being a man of the world, so to speak, I believe that my own life lessons should be imparted as an illustrative example to all.

Nowhere is it more important for men to accomplish manhood than when learning how to make dalliance with one’s better half, using due decorum. My years may be advanced in number, but they have by no means left me lacking in vigour. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Now in my finest years, I take an informal approach to the whole hows-your-father business. My standard technique is as follows: a good clearance of the throat, followed by the raising of one eyebrow, a brisk folding of the newspaper (one of the more sensible ones sets the right atmosphere for proceedings; nobody wants to read about the merits of vegetarianism for example, during such moments), placing it down firmly upon the table; before raising the second eyebrow, and then finally murmuring ‘darling, brace yourself’. Naturally, my wife then signals her assent with a roll of the eyes.

Five minutes later, when all has been said and done, we then discuss a variety of invigorating topics – from lawn maintenance and crop rotation, to the shortcomings of our neighbour’s wayward loft renovation. I am not normally one to suggest that other people follow my example in life – to each their own; however, if young men want to enjoy a 35 year stint of marital bliss, likewise, then I can only recommend taking a leaf out of my book.

Should a more formal approach to proceedings be required, then the way forward can be illuminated with equal clarity, herein. In my opinion – which, being time-tested, is therefore unquestionably correct – what is lacking in romantic exchanges these days is a sense of due decorum. To put it another way, modern conveniences are no substitute for time-honoured tradition. The Victorians had the right idea about so-called sexting with mobile phones – they were against it from the outset.

With this ethos in mind, therefore, instead of making any direct-reference to the whole please-and-thank-you business, when a member of the fairer sex has caught the fancy of your kindling passion, I would personally opt for the following gambit as an ice-breaker:

“Madam, I formally request the delightfulness of your felicitous passion, this evening. In the first instance, this will involve the making of eye contact. If your permission is granted, the holding of one hand – subsequently two – would be much welcomed”.

If permission is indeed granted, you can then proceed to the second stage of seduction, giving the object of your desire an insight into your character, in an oblique manner, through engaging her interest with a series of bracing topics. Conversation is an art form, after all – and, to that end, mentioning the durability of a fine Harris tweed will demonstrate that you are a fellow of style, as well as substance; while suggesting that hungry families should simply sell one of their investment portfolios – should they wish to make ends meet more comfortably – will demonstrate that you have a keen social conscience.

And finally, let it be noted, that the only gentlemanly way to arouse passions of the material kind in a woman, is to regale her with a bawdy anecdote, which brazenly flies in the face of established propriety.

Success surely awaits.

 

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