A piece of a different nature.

As I write this, I am once again caught by the bug of chess.  The game of kings, as Andy Dufresne put it.  A hobby that I picked up as a young boy, it is something that I go back to every few months, sometimes obsessively.

Perhaps a perfect example of the how chess captures my imagination can be seen below.  A remarkable game played by the then-World Champion José Raúl Capablanca.  Even more incredible was that the Cuban played his opponent blindfolded.

Whilst us poor amateurs (like me) awkwardly struggle with the mechanics of the pieces, the greatest players maneuver in accordance to intuition.  Mastery in action.

Chess is known to attract the most unorthodox minds.  In addition to one David Esotica, Gary Kasparov, one of the greatest players of all time, wrote the book How Chess Imitates Life.  An intriguing idea aimed at a niche audience, the game is was not immune to the reach of philosophy.

But of course, you’re reading this for something a bit more fun, aren’t you?

How Chess Imitates Seduction

This beautiful scene from the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair is an elegant metaphor for the game of seduction.  I love its subtext.  Layers upon layers of meaning.  Ultimately, neither the game nor the seduction is at focus.  It is the tension, insinuation and anticipation.

It reminds me of a piece of advice when it came to seduction:  Never play chess games with women.  A man cannot match her social intelligence.   “Sex is woman’s secret”, as the Chinese sages used to say.

I believe this to be true.  I found it best to be completely, sometimes brutally, honest about my intentions, allowing the situations to unfold for themselves.  Throw out the games, the tactics and the techniques.

However, there have been times when my work has been accused of being just that: an unethical deluge of sexual manipulation.  I will admit that this has bothered me at times, not because it questions the validity of my writing, but rather my own integrity as a person and as a man.

I spent a few moments reflecting on what was actually taking place.  Evidently, such spartan and caustic accusations had more to do with the accusers themselves.  But what was it specifically that was erupting?

Roger Moore’s seminal work King Warrior Magician Lover gave me some of the insights I was looking for:

The Magician energy is the archetype of awareness and insight, primarily, but also of knowledge of anything that is not immediately apparent or nonsensical (p106).

Certainly, this energy, combined with the Lover archetype, was extremely useful in my life when it came to relationships and women.  After all, what is more nonsensical to my logic than female intuition?

Further reading revealed more:

Whenever we are detached, unrelated… whenever we use our knowledge as a weapon to belittle and controls others or to bolster our status or wealth at others’ expense, we are identified with the Shadow Magician as Manipulator.  We are doing black magic, damaging ourselves as well as [others] (p114-5).

Reading these words, I could see pieces of my own journey.  Certainly, when Diana came into my life, I was tempted with the riches of using her for own means.  Looking back, I judge that I’d conducted myself with integrity, and I am satisfied that this has continued with the fruition of Red Silk.  I suspect some of these biting criticisms have come from men and women  living under the shadow of wounded fathers.  I recognise the place where they speak from.

If I took the chance to reiterate my personal mission, with my writing and my work:

  • To create a space of safety and healing for women, through raw and wild relationships, orgasms and sex
  • To create a space of empowerment for men, through shadow, initiation and a focus on young intellectuals

My vision for Red Silk is to reinvent to connotations of seduction.  With the archetypes in mind, it is brutal and powerful, deeply compassionate, water-tight safe and charmingly intuitive.  Like a fabulous combination on the mental chess board, the maneuvers attack a woman’s weaknesses with overwhelming force; weaknesses that she has hidden deep inside, secretly craving for them to be torn apart.

But sometimes I still get it wrong:

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