Ovid’s plan of action

Mars and Venus

“You, who for the first time are taking up arms beneath the standard of Venus, find out, in the first place, the woman you are to love.”

Ovid, in his two-thousand-year-old dating guide ‘The Art of Love,’ lays out his plan  in three stages: (1) find your woman, (2) “bend her to your will,” (3) do what you need to do to make your love endure.

We shall talk about all these stages in due course, but in passing I’d like to say that we often neglect the third. Once you’ve made a conquest, don’t slack off. You need to keep the flame alive. Don’t start being a typical bloke and fart and belch in her company (sorry, but it needed to be said). Don’t neglect oral hygiene if you still want deep kisses and more. Don’t stop the behaviours that she found attractive and exciting in the beginning. Especially when married, tend the fire.

Back to the matter in hand.

Ovid goes on, “Now that you are still fancy-free, now is the time for you to choose a woman and say to her: ‘You are the only woman that I care for.’ She’s not going to be wafted down to you from heaven on the wings of the wind. You must use your own eyes to discover the girl that suits you.”

I definitely don’t agree that you should go up to a woman and straightaway say, ‘You are the only woman that I care for.’ She’ll run a mile unless already desperately in love with you, and that you cannot count on. You have to work on attraction – a process explained in my own book. One important principle of attraction is, let her come to you. Paradoxical. For now let’s just say, never appear desperate. But Ovid is right that your soulmate is not going simply to turn up and ring your doorbell.

Ovid goes on, “The hunter knows where to spread his nets… .” This should be part of your strategy. You need to think about where the woman of your dreams is likely to hang out. If you’re a wild party animal, don’t look for her in the library. And if you hate parties and prefer intelligent conversation, don’t torment yourself by going somewhere where the music is so loud you end up deaf. Your soulmate won’t be there anyway. However you do have to go out looking. And wherever you go, you need to keep practicing the arts of attraction until your babe magnetism is fully charged and under your control.



Increase your chances of success in dating and in bed. A quick tip about the importance of smells.

It is said (and I have reason to believe it) that women are generally more sensitive to smells than men. It’s not that our noses aren’t as good as women’s. It’s that smells are more important to them than to us.

The part of the brain that deals with smells is one of the most primitive parts of the brain, and our initial reactions to smells are unconscious and powerful.

 So, let’s cut to the chase. Be clean. That means shower at least once a day. If you’ve been working hard all day, shower again before you go out in the evening. Use deodorant. This is about removing unpleasantness.

You expect a kiss (or more?) – then brush your teeth. If you’ve not been to the dentist for a while, go. Tartar builds up around the base of the teeth and harbours bacteria that give off a bad smell. A trip to the dental hygienist will sort this out.

For an additional touch, a modest amount of a male perfume helps create attraction. Women appreciate it.

Even if you’re happily married and don’t need to ‘pull,’ following these tips will very likely get you more sex with your beloved. Don’t slack off!

After the first sex

Excellent advice from the other side. What not to do after a date that ends in bed. Read and learn.

What should we men learn from this?

Don’t overstay your welcome. Leave her wanting more.

To be honest, I have seldom (well only once, to be exact) in my whole life slept with someone I didn’t want to be with the next morning. That’s because I am one of those men whose built-in order of preference is (and was, almost always) (1) love and (2) sex, not the other way around. (If your preference order is currently the other way around, that’s fine, just be clear about it.)

So, whether or not you are one of those people who don’t sleep with a woman unless you’re really in love, try to look your best in the morning.

Top tip: if you are hoping for more sex in the morning, go and freshen up. A quick brush of the teeth will avoid that off-putting mouth smell. If she’s still asleep, use the time to make her a cup of tea or coffee.

Hopeless romantic, or common sense?