By Chiara Atik, McClatchy/Tribune
Burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, author of "Burlesque and the Art of the Teese" (It Books), recently gave Britain's Daily Mail a "master class in seduction." Some of the tips are a little hard to take seriously at first, but if you stop focusing on the silly details, you may be surprised at how effective her strategy is.
Proper attire: "All women should have a perfect-fitting black lace bra, with matching panties — string and brief — and a good suspender belt," Von Teese said.
I actually had to Google "suspenders," which probably says a good deal about my knowledge of the "art of seduction." Agent Provocateur has some that cost approximately a billion dollars. (Well, anywhere from $90 to $300.) Victoria's Secret mercifully sells them for $19.
Also, if you, like me, weren't exactly sure what the garters are supposed to hold up, you'll probably need to invest in some tights. I mean, "stockings."
Lipstick: "Apply lipstick in full view of your victim. This is particularly effective when done slowly and with a pretty compact," Von Teese commands.
The only compact I'm familiar with is the Mayflower Compact of 1620, but Google comes to the rescue once again and informs me that she means a small mirror.
Wear perfume: "Make him lean in to smell it," she advises. Apply the perfume to your pulse points: neckline, wrists, behind the ears, behind the knees. These spots cause perfume to mix with your body chemistry, perfect for seduction. (Don't overdo it, and for God's sake, skip the "cloud" method in which you spray a cloud of scent and walk through it.)
Dangle your stiletto from your foot: Obviously, this isn't going to work with sneakers, so the larger point is: Choose seductive footwear.
Not for every day, but you probably have a party coming up that calls for a slightly more delicate shoe. And no need to get ridiculous with the foot-dangling here; the shoes themselves will go a long way in making you feel more seductive.
Practice: "Before I go to bed at night I practice taking off my clothes glamorously. Every time I remove a stocking, I do it in exactly the same way I would onstage," Von Teese said.
OK, so that sounds a little deranged. There's no way we're actually going to recommend you come home from a long day of work and take off your fleece-lined leggings as if you're Gypsy Rose Lee.
But if you practice comporting yourself in a slightly more elegant (and, sure, seductive) manner on your own time, being sexy will become something you are, not just an act you put on around guys.
It all comes down to the golden rule of dating: Confidence is the most seductive trait of all.