What would social life be without a Don Juan? These are the men who live for romantic pursuit, seduction and sexual conquest. The arsenal of weapons they employ is unsurpassed, but also frequently welcome in a world in which niceties and the art of flirtation have fallen by the wayside.
Priapus, the Greek satyr driven by his own bodily desire, may have been the first womanizer. But when the character of Don Juan appeared in Europe, including in plays by Moliere and an opera by Mozart, the name became synonymous with a mode of behavior that struck a note in the collective unconscious. Giovanni Casanova, the 18th century Venetian diarist, came to further exemplify the archetype by writing honestly about his own inclinations as a lothario. “When love is in the way, men and women as a general rule dupe each other,” he wrote.
But not all Don Juans are bad guys: Hugh Hefner has a reputation as both an honest and caring lover. “I have slept with thousands of women and they all still like me,” he once boasted. Noted bachelor George Clooney fits into this category as well. Francoise Truffaut’s The Man Who Loved Women shows the sensitive side of a seductive character, as does the role of George in Shampoo, played by Warren Beatty. “We’re always trying to nail them and we know it,” his hairdresser character says in the movie. “They don’t like it. They like it and they don’t like it.”
Jack Nicholson, Charlie Sheen, Wilt Chamberlain, Steve McQueen, Sean Connery
Charming, fun, well-mannered, and sexually attentive, Don Juans make the game of seduction fun for women who have their own rich and romantic fantasy lives as well as self-confidence.
When they become toxic bachelors and relentless womanizers, they can become unreliable at first, then ultimately cruel as they extricate themselves to move on to the next conquest.
Fashion for men and women, romantic meals, wine, seductive music, and bon mots
- Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
- Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
- Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars by Scotty Bowers
- Casanova by Stefan Zweig
“The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.” -Fredrich Neitzsche