A select few men seem to hold a fatal fascination for women. While these fellows are not, as a rule, particularly attractive in a physical sense, nor even necessarily "sexy" and glamorous, all the same, whatever they are, or do, or have, it sets them dramatically apart from the ordinary run of male humanity. What special qualities do these singular men possess that gains them the adoration of the female sex? Can there even be any doubt that there exists a special gift, a peculiar talent, a knack for attracting women?

"The knack" has many facets, as many as there are variations on the theme of influencing people, of bending them, of enlisting them in your cause, of "converting" them, of recruiting them into a cult, of molding them into a mass movement, of bypassing reason and acting directly on the smoldering fires of naked emotion. Prophets and founders of religions have "the knack", as do successful politicians... and insurance salesmen. Attracting women is but one manifestation of this power, and a somewhat trivial one at that. In other times and places, this peculiar talent been named "charisma", animal magnetism, charm, or just plain personal force. It exists, and it has exerted a profound and ofttimes disruptive influence throughout history.

What is the source of this strange gift, and why is it so rare? The conventional materialistic world view fails to acknowledge its existence, much less explore its nature. The mystical explanation remains the only attempt to grapple with this phenomenon, this wild card in the affairs of our fellow humans.

Somewhere, beyond the reach of our senses, there exists a vast reservoir of raw energy, of force, of potential, of might be that can be tapped by anyone. Here, in the realm of the human spirit, it is faith, belief in the impossible, refusal to give up, indomitable fortitude that define the shadowy landmarks of this unknown continent. It is universally accessible... to those who find the hidden doorway. The key is a process of insight and revelation that is all too often the result of suffering, privation, intense pain on a very personal level. Conditions of extreme stress can suspend even the laws of nature and open the channel to experiences that transform our perception of the world, let us see the unseen, and grasp the very forces that bind the Web of Life.

The universe, they said, depended for its operation on the balance of four forces which they identified as charm, persuasion, uncertainty and bloody-mindedness.

Terry Pratchett

Dale Carnegie, the grand old man of the self-improvement industry, found it possible to make a very good living writing books and producing expensive courses purporting to teach the knack, those skills needed to "make friends and influence people". Many have followed in his footsteps, dressing up his message with a veneer of high tech and/or New Age flimflam.

Of late, it seems that every mercenary psychologist, spiritual advisor, and comfort peddler hopes to make a fast buck conducting seminars or writing best-sellers allegedly teaching "the knack". What is purveyed is a prettified mass-market version of low-grade "mind control" and brainwashing techniques. This is nothing very mysterious or esoteric, it is just simple communications skills intensified, with a twist toward manipulating people. Get the subject's attention, press her "hot buttons", subtly torque her emotions, subvert her perceptions, work her weaknesses. This effective, if somewhat crude methodology has been around for millennia. What was once known as proselytizing and plain salesmanship has been repackaged into "speed seduction", various high-pressure seminar-based training regimens, and an assortment of other programs for behavioral control.

The question remains, whether you, as a shy man can develop your own powers of attracting women, your own personal version of the knack. It is a matter of attuning yourself to the burning flame within you, of recognizing your own specialness, your uniqueness as a human being. This reaches far beyond issues of confidence and self-esteem, it touches upon your ultimate faith in yourself as a part of the Grand Design. You must affirm your belief that you are capable of forming stable relationships with women, and that this is an essential element in your life's work. Finally, it comes down to translating purpose and intention into action, of getting to the point that your everyday interactions with women mirror your inner feelings toward them...

If you like women, enjoy their company, and know how to express it in a tactful, understated manner, they will respond. Listen to the women in your life, be sympathetic, give them emotional support, and you will be amply repaid. You will develop a talent for attracting the women who need what you have to offer - your own unique self, encompassing all of you, your strengths as well as your weaknesses, your luminous humanity as well as your warts. This is your "knack".