When two people are at one in their inmost hearts
They shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.

—I Ching

Picking a Partner

Find someone who has similar tastes, values, interests and pastimes to you, so that you’re likely to complement each other.

The poets say:

Never shack up with someone
Called ‘River’ or ‘Star’
Named after trees
Or whose name ends in ‘R’

If you’re serious, and want to learn more about a potential partner, get to know their friends and family, especially their parents, close friends, and work colleagues.

Listen to your friends’ opinions, too, though not too much! If you’re really trying to win someone over, make sure that your friends are talking you up, and your rivals down.

You must be equals, and treat each other as equals. Be wary of marrying someone much richer or poorer than you, as it can make the power dynamic difficult.

Winning a Person’s Trust

Take it easy at the beginning of a relationship. Sleep together for the first few nights without having penetrative sex and without either of you reaching orgasm.

If your partner is shy or embarrassed, turn the lights off and embrace in the dark.

If you take the initiative, do so without haste or forcefulness. Begin with embraces and touches that you know your partner likes.

Engage in conversation. Encourage your partner to open up by asking them questions.

Be gentle. Touch nipples delicately. On the first night, allow your caresses to move as far down as the belly button and then stop. On the second and third nights, allow your hands to explore further and plant kisses everywhere.

Start by caressing your partner’s thighs and, if they like that, move up to the crease where the thigh meets the crotch. When rapport and trust are established, you may masturbate each other, but do not fuck yet, or make each other come.

Be patient and pick the right moment for penetrative sex or mutual orgasm, working up to it gradually.

After fucking for the first time, talk about your past hopes and dreams, discuss your future together, and promise to learn by heart your partner’s innermost desires so that you can make them all come true. That is how you fall in love.

Read your partner right
Fulfill their hopes, their wants
Relax them by this stratagem
To win their trust and love.

Steer a middle course
Neither obsequious
Nor obstinate
But somewhere in between.

People who inspire trust,
Foster confidence, elicit lust
Become the most endeared
Of folk by everyone they meet.

Do not be shy with shy ones:
Taking modesty for neglect
They will quietly curse
Your animal-dumb ways.

Nor should you be over-bold:
Rash or sudden moves
Arouse alarm, unease,
Dislike, anxiety, disgust.

A lover loved improperly
Will grow to hate your guts
Despising you, your kind,
Will dump you double quick.

Seduction

Give presents to the person whose heart you’re trying to win: small gifts, trinkets, trifling things, jewelry or clothes for a special occasion.

Find out what they really want and then get it for them, with no apparent effort.

If the person you’re wooing likes stories, charm them with romantic tales or stories that will resonate with them.

If they’re a music fan, play songs they’ll like. If they enjoy fine food, impress them with your culinary skills. If they like to be astonished, amaze them with conjuring tricks. And so on.

Consider seducing their close friend so that news of your sexual prowess will reach the ears of the person you are really trying to win over.

Make sure that you’re always well-dressed and observe whether your intended pays close attention to you.

It’s really important to be able to read the signs of mutual attraction.

Someone who’s attracted to you may well avoid eye contact or be embarrassed if you catch their eye. Similarly, they may look at you only when you’re looking away.

But they will stay physically close to you for an extended time.

And if you’re across the room from them, they’ll stay rooted to the spot, chatting brightly to whoever’s with them, not wanting to leave the room while you’re in it.

If you catch their eye across the room, they will laugh or start talking excitedly to their friends.

If someone mirrors your body language, it’s a pretty good sign that they’re interested in you.

As is befriending your friends and colleagues. If someone’s got a crush on you, they’ll be solicitous with your friends and especially attentive when they talk about you.

If someone wears an item of clothing that you’ve said you like or always wears something that you’ve given them, it’s a pretty strong signal.

So, too, is their disinterest or dejection if one of their friends mentions someone other than you as a potential date.

Having subtly read the signs
The space between the lines
You need to figure out
How you’re going to advance.

Some are won by games
Some by savoir-faire
Others still by gaining
The trust of all their friends.

Taking the Initiative

Once someone’s made it clear they like you, you need to take the plunge.

Perhaps you take their hand lightly or gently touch their arm or face while you’re talking to them. Perhaps you grab them playfully underwater whilst swimming.

Consult the previous section on ways of touching and embracing, especially the ones for those who are not yet lovers.

If they have a headache, fetch them medicine and offer them a head massage. If their shoulders ache, suggest a back rub.

If you’re out in public, sit next to them so that your legs are pressed tightly against each other. Use the toe of your foot to press the toes of their foot. Or gently stroke their fingers with yours.

When you’re alone, say: ‘I need to talk to you about something.’ You’ll be able to take their measure from the tone of their response.

Talk about your feelings and your aspirations, exposing your tenderness, and your desire for love and affection.

Passions mount and inhibitions subside under cover of darkness. That is the time to act.

Vatsyayana says: ‘When someone has indicated that they are open to your advances, you must seize the moment and follow through.’

Choose a partner well:
Someone who’ll cherish you
Oblige your wishes
Treat you with respect.

Greed forgets about looks
A lack of excellence
Ignores closets full of lovers
Chooses status instead.

But a rich spouse beloved
For material assets
Provides neither pleasure
Nor lasting protection.

A smaller paycheck
Is a much better bet
At least if they adore you
Unglamorous though it seems.

Avoid the old,
The destitute,
People who travel lots,
Liars, gamblers, cowards.

Beware the capricious
Given to violence or rage
Steer clear if you can
Of those currently committed.

Between prospects
Of equal worth
Select the one you love the best
And one that loves you back.

Forming a Long Term Partnership

Arranged marriages (and worse) may still be common in certain countries, whether for forging alliances between families or for cultural or religious reasons. But partnerships based on mutual love and attraction are the best.

Arrangement, abduction
Power plays, rape
These are not civil ways
To begin a partnership.

As love is the end
So should it be
The basis
And beginning.

A long life together
Contains joy and sorrow
So best to found it
On mutual devotion.