Seduction is the process of one person deliberately enticing another person into an act (see motivation). The word has a negative connotation, either seriously or mildly (and also used jokingly), and may refer to an act that the other may later regret and/or would normally not want to do.
The most common example is inducing sexual desire in order to persuade someone to change their behavior to meet the desires of the seducer.
The term is generally used to imply that the seducer is acting out of a motive other than love for the seducee, and that the object of the seduction would not ordinarily have engaged in such behavior.
There are many strategies that can be used for seduction, depending on sex, personality and circumstances. Many social behavior theorists classify seduction as a specialized form of persuasion. Seduction can also be viewed as a form of power that relies on psychological mastery rather than the use of coercive power, money or intellectual appeals.
Myths and legends and popular literature have many accounts of sexual seduction, and describe a number of gods of seduction and seduction allegories. From the story of Eve in the Garden of Eden to the Sirens of Ancient Greece described in Homer's Odyssey, to stories of Krishna and Pan, these stories of seduction involve themes of temptation of the forbidden, sexual desire, and a departure from the prevalent societal norms.
Certain individuals have used seduction skills to achieve great power or fullfill their desires. Cleopatra VII of Egypt used seduction to help consolidate her empire by charming the two most powerful men of the Roman Empire at the time, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Giacomo Casanova (1725 - 1798) was a famous 18th century seducer, whose name has become synonymous with seduction. The "mad monk" Rasputin (1869? - 1906) achieved great power in the later days of Romanov Russia through his supposed mystic powers and his sexual influence. Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), Britain's only Jewish Prime Minister, turned from writing romantic fiction to gaining political power, eventually leading the Tory party and influencing Queen Victoria to such an extent that she made him a member of the peerage, the 1st Earl of Beaconsfield.
Social-influence scholars have developed a variety of ways of categorizing the mechanisms through which people persuade others to change their behavior. Robert Cialdini's Influence: Science and Practice is one such resource. In the book, Cialdini presents a number of principles of persuasion, citing and discussing a range of research and anecdotes. Robert Greene's The Art of Seduction (http://www.seducersworld.com/chapters.html) is another such book that categorizes types of seducers and targets as well as the tactics and methods used.
An open-source movement of seduction strategies used by men has recently emerged, compiling tactics and techniques (http://www.fastseduction.com) of various seduction methods.
Magazines such as Cosmopolitan Magazine and books such as The Rules (http://www.therulesbook.com/) have gained notoriety as resources for seduction strategies used by women.
A related term is temptation. Advertising, marketing, packaging, and so forth, are meant to make a product more tempting. In some contexts (e.g. in the Lord's Prayer), the word refers to evil that is tempting.