The Story of My Life (1822) is Casanova’s autobiography, spanning his travels, adventures, arrests (& escapes), duels, kings’ encounters, and, of course, his many seductions and conquests.
Albeit not intended as a seduction manual, it indirectly provides enough wisdom to make it a wonderful seduction manual.
Who Is Casanova
About The Author: Giacomo Casanova was an Italian philanderer, traveler, and author.
He is best remembered for his adventures throughout Europe, for his love of women, and for his many love conquests. His name has today become synonymous with “womanizer”.
How to Be Casanova: Tips From A Master Seducer
In this summary, I will focus on Casanova’s techniques and mindsets:
1. Leverage Dating Power Dynamics
Casanova was skilled at conversations, and he had a great grasp of female psychology.
But he was also a master at leveraging power.
Many of his lies happened because he leveraged the power of his position, social status, or money.
- When he had money, he threw it around
- Seducing maids, he had them do work for him to highlight his power over them
- He was always careful to come across as powerful and high-class
1.1. Leverage Cultural Dominance
Casanova came from a rich country and was a well-learned man.
He knew more and had experienced more than almost any girl he met.
And he always used that to his advantage.
For example, he tells a lower-class woman:
Casanova: What my dear child, you wish to become the wife of a Venetian and you cannot write?
And guess what?
Soon after, the woman is proving herself to him, trying to show him that she is “good enough” for her (this is the “judge frame”).
Some of his gambits are refined, advanced power moves.
They must be executed well or you can come across as snotty and break rapport instead of creating attraction.
1.2. Leverage The Power of Money
What’s the point of having money if you can’t get what you want with it?
Sure, Casanova had plenty of skills and would have been successful even without money.
But his financial firepower, which he always threw around lavishly, did help in many seductions.
Casanova was also good at using and leveraging money to the best of its seductive value.
For example, once he threw a party where he hired chauffeured coaches to go pick up his guests.
That, of course, made him the biggest draw of the night and established his reputation as a man of vast resources, who knew how to enjoy life.
You can rest assured that, at that party, he was the big prize for all the women attending.
On another occasion, he says;
I was successful with both of them because I was rich. If I had been a poor man, I should have neither of them.
And he was well aware that money could help seduction.
Without counting my physical attraction, I had plenty of money and was not afraid of swinging it.
He also spent his money on pleasures such as food, good clothes, and good accommodation, and that’s very attractive to women.
2. Become Aware of Social Power Dynamics
Casanova was quite aware of the dynamics of power.
He knew that if he allowed a man to assert power over him, his attraction for women would tank.
And he was always guarded to come across as a powerful, dominant man.
One French man told him that as a Venetian he must have been a good friend of France because “Venice is under the protection of France”.
That was a power move, and Casanova immediately rejected it in such a way that the whole table erupted in laughter on his side.
That’s a good understanding of social dynamics.
2.1. Learn How to Influence & Manipulate
Casanova also had top social skills.
He crashed a party to speak with a girl she was pursuing.
And when the angry and conservative old general found out and scolded him publicly that he wasn’t invited, Casanova replied:
General: Sir, I did not ask you to come
Casanova: that is true quite true general, but I thought no doubt correctly that the omission was due to forgettfulness, and I thought myself obliged all the same to come and pay homage to your excellency
What a damn genius.
The general was still angry, and Casanova worked him during the evening with some more social finessing.
By the end of it, the general loved Casanova and Casanova was on his way to getting the girl.
2.2. Introduce Yourself In High-Power Fashion
When requesting help, to get out of prison, Casanova would leverage his means and connections:
Casanova: My name is Giacomo Casanova, I am a subject of the Republic of Venice (…) I have sufficient means (…) I am known to the Venetian ambassador, the Count (…), the prince of (…)
That’s some good leverage for his power network.
3. Use Onion-like Captivating Self Description
What’s an onion-like description?
Take a look at this dialogue:
Her: What sort of life do you lead in Venice?
Casanova: I spend time at the theater, in the societies and in casinos, where I fight with fortune sometimes with good, sometimes with bad success
Her: Do you visit the foreign ambassador?
Casanova: No, because I’m too much acquainted with the nobility
Notice how he does not tout his own horn, yet he gives enough that prompts her to ask for more.
And eventually, it comes out that he is a well-connected, powerful man.
But it’s her who teases out his attractive traits.
That’s the onion technique: say a little, prompting her to ask for more, then show one more layer.
And she will be wondering what more great things you’ve got going on for you.
4. Use Self-Effacing Irony to Seem More Relatable
Casanova dressed stylishly.
Heck, he even had his hair professionally done at a time when almost nobody did that.
For example, when one of his targets complimented him for his clothes, he said:
Casanova: (my clothes) they are my way of distracting attention from my face and figure
Now he made her laugh while looking humble, and while still showing off his style and social intelligence.
This is important especially when you do come across as cool, attractive, and high power.
- Value & availability: the key to getting shy and low self-esteem women
5. Dating Strategy: A Lover Who Still Makes Her Feel Special
I invented on the spot 3 imaginaries stories.
Making a great display of tender sentiments and of ardent love, but without alluding to amorous enjoyment.
Particularly when she expected me to do so.
Sometimes delicacy, sometimes respect of duty interfered to prevent the crowning pleasure.
But I took care to observe at such moments of disappointment that true love does not require that important item to be truly happy.
Here Casanova is playing with her romantic ideals.
He is showing himself as a man who can get women and make them fall in love with him… But who does not sleep around with random ones?
That way, she will feel special for having been the one.
This can be very helpful indeed, especially for men with the reputation of a rake.
I remember once a woman at my place who uttered “oh yeah, so great to be one of a hundred”.
6. Envelop Women With Unrestrained Passion
Casanova was a deeply emotional man.
He talks about crying, being so in love as to go mad, flying into rages, and wanting to kill himself.
The sentence “I was in love” litters the book.
I spent three hours in conversation with the charming girl.
And when I left I was deeply in love.
Emotional state transfer and the fact he himself was so deeply enveloped in passion undoubtedly increased the feelings of many of his women.
And it made him come across as more natural, more honest, and more relatable to women since women tend to be more feelings-oriented.
Casanova was also happy to be duped just to get closer to the object of his desire.
I knew very well that I would be duped. But I loved his sister so much.
6.1. Yet, Also Use Calculated Romance
Casanova was a romancer at heart and always abandoned himself to feelings and emotions.
But he also knew when to play the game and how to position himself.
For example, he says:
I composed the letter.
Short, but calculated to restore peace to her mind.
He then goes on to describe his own letter as a “genius”.
6.2. Casanova Was Sometimes Slightly Manipulative
Casanova also worked hard to further increase his influence on women.
He knew that the “cabalistic science” was baloney.
But he kept pretending it was true -and that it could even be taught- to increase his influence over more gullible women.
6.3. Casanova Was Passionate In Every Sense: Also Vengeful
Casanova was a passionate man all around.
The first story of his love as a 12-year-old kid is hilarious.
He went near his love’s house but saw another man coming out. And he says:
I pick up myself quickly with the intention of taking my revenge upon Bettina, whom nothing could have saved from the effects of my rage at that moment.
After he couldn’t reach her and retreats to his room, he says:
Deceived, humbled, ill-treated, an object of contempt to the happy and triumphant Cordiani, I spent 3 hours ruminating the darkest schemes of revenge.
Over the course of “History of My Life,” he goes on to describe a litany of situations where he seeks revenge for his honor. Including a local prince.
7. The Mindset: A Great Lover Loves Giving Pleasure
Casanova loved giving women pleasure.
The happiness I gave her increased mine twofold.
For it’s always been my weakness to compose 4/5 of my enjoyment from the sum total of the happiness which I gave the charming being from whom I delighted.
This is a trait that many successful womanizers share.
8. The Demonic Power of Words: Romance All Over
“Demonic Power of Words” is Robert Greene’s expression from “The Art of Seduction“.
And that might have been one of Casanova’s best weapons.
Most of all, his alliteration to discuss sex is noteworthy.
And during seven hours I gave her the most positive proof of my love and ardor.
I varied our pleasures in a thousand different ways.
Talking about not falling in love, he says he is not attracted to a woman without sounding mean and while saving her face:
Yet, I did not surrender to her charms
On showing his D:
(..) Playing the coquette, she gets angry because I did not conceal from her looks the very apparent proof that her charms had some effect on a particular part of my being.
And on having sex with a virgin:
And after kissing her spheres of rose and alabaster I penetrated into the sanctuary of love which, much to my astonishment, I found to be a virgin citadel.
He used the same kind of language with his women.
That helped him come across as intelligent, witty, and high-quality.
9. Threesomes Technique: Go For The More Open-Minded Woman
Casanova says that timidity in a girl can be an obstacle.
But when there is another girl, timidity is more easily conquered than if you were alone.
He explains that fathers and mothers feel more secure if their daughter meets a man with another woman.
But if he is a skilled seducer, it makes no difference with the more disinhibited one and it helps seduction with the shyer one.
You start with the more open alpha female of the two.
And the shyer girl will feel compelled to follow.
10. Take Risks
Casanova took a lot of risks in his life, in many realms.
Gambling was a popular pastime in the noble circles he frequented, and he won or lost vast sums of money at games.
Whenever he won, he loved spending money on luxuries and seductions.
He engaged in several duels to revenge his honor or simply settle arguments.
Casanova said of his first duel:
I was fortunate enough to give him a gash across the shoulder. He could not move his arm. And he had to cry for mercy.
On another fair duel, he mortally wounds a well-connected Polish general and gets himself wounded.
Soon after the duel, he says:
I was alone and without any weapons in a snow-covered country, my hand was wounded, and I had not the slightest idea which way was to Warsaw.
Not only did he have to risk the duel, but he also had to risk prosecution after fairly winning that duel.
He was, of course, a risk-taker in love as well.
And he says about a fling of his:
Her reasons were a mixture of prudence and love.
Two feelings which seldom blend together.
At one point he couldn’t resist anymore to see a Muslim woman’s face that he lounged and sought to remove her veil.
11. Approaches: Use Both Cold-Approaches & Social Circle Game
Casanova approached women in many different ways.
Many of the women he met through social circles of the upper class.
Quite a few of them were his servants or the daughters of his hosts.
He would go to church when he saw a beautiful lady so that he could talk to her.
He followed some women and knocked on the door of strangers to introduce himself after he saw where they’d lived.
And with a few more, he came up with crazy stratagems and plans.
Sometimes he just went with the spur of the moment.
One time he saw a beautiful woman on a gondola:
I do not hesitated, but jumped into the gondola and paid double fare on the condition that no more passengers are taken.
Notice that his bold entrance showed not only confidence but also power and resources.
I believe that the best approach strategy indeed is mixed. When you learn to come across as socially confident and powerful, then you get a huge boost within social circles.
At that point, relying solely on cold approaches is limiting your options, because you’d be giving up on one of your main strengths.
12. Use Sex Talk to Get Women Thinking About Sex
Casanova used “sex talk” hundreds of years ago.
Talking to one of his targets he says:
Casanova: in honor to the wonderful night they passed she has given him the nickname “count six times”
Her: But what has six times got to do with sleeping with Madame Lamborghini?
Casanova: My dear, the explanation is simple, the count has done in one evening what some husbands take a year to do
And there you are, now they are into sex talk and it wasn’t even him who initiated it.
He just baited her into it.
Furthermore, he is using intelligent “social climbing in absentia” to position himself as better than “most husbands”.
Or in another dialogue he purposefully confuses “height” to lead her to think about penises:
Her: But you are taller than your friend
Casanova: I’m not speaking about that kind of tallness, but another if you know what I’m talking about. And there my friend is really monstrous
And from there he transitioned to women who prefer bigger and women who prefer more average sizes.
Then he goes into his own penis and tells her “I will not leave you in doubt, tell me what you think” (LOL).
12.1. Sexual Move: Hand on Dick
Casanova loved drawing attention to his penis.
But not only attention.
He also loved women to get a handful of his manhood (which is a great move, of course).
I quote him:
As she left, she gave me such a kind embrace that I could bare it no longer. And guiding her hand, I showed her the power she exercised over me.
13. AMOG-Ing: Surreptitiously Discredit Competition to Look Better by Comparison
This is a technique I explained in one of my very first articles.
It consists of dropping comments about the competition that, albeit not overly critical, make you look better by comparison.
For example, Casanova says:
Her: I cannot imagine a young man to ever fall in love with her
Casanova: Oh that’s nothing to a man of 25. One is always ready for an assault at that age. Not like me, who only feels a man in the presence of charm like yours
Casanova goes very direct and blatant here.
I wouldn’t have done that and left it implied instead.
But different eras and different people, different styles.
14. Make Women Prove Themselves to You
Casanova was terrific at making women prove themselves to him.
Explaining to a woman why he could not find the perfect girl to get married, he lists how awesome they were… But the things they were lacking in.
Casanova: She was extremely vain and would have ruined me with her expenditures for luxuries and fashionable clothes. Fancy this: she used to spend 50 sequel a month to the hairdresser
Her: She was a giddy foolish girl. I only spend 1 sequel…
With that first sentence, he is indirectly parading his standards and setting up hoops for her to jump.
Which she does right away. Now she is proving herself to him.
To another woman, he says he wants to have children if he gets married and her ex didn’t.
So now she is even more excited about him (also see: atypical seduction techniques).
However, Casanova was not a power-seeker.
And he was also happy to prove himself to women, especially when blinded by love, passion, and lust.
15. Pace Future Reality & Establish Romance (AKA: “Fait-Accompli”)
Pick-up artists used the term “pacing reality” to describe a favorable situation.
Casanova didn’t know that expression, but he certainly was using it to his advantage.
Casanova: Perhaps people will think that we love each other, and that we make such a great couple
Her: Than you should inform your mistress that we are in love with each other
Casanova: I have no mistress, and I shall have none because I cannot a find a girl prettier than you in whole Venice
Little later he asks her if she will love him, and when she confirms, the seduction has taken a huge leap forward towards consummation.
16. Adopt “Healthy Entitlement Mentality”
Let me be clear:
Entitlement mentality, overall, is something you must rid yourself of IF you feel like you’re entitled to things without giving back enough value or without having to work first.
But the idea that you deserve the best can be helpful to help you achieve high.
Casanova often felt entitled to a great life -and to women-.
Commenting on the pretty wife of a 60-year-old man, he thinks that “the affair could be arranged amicably”.
Thinking that the man would be “amiable” with him having an affair with his wife is an example of entitlement mentality.
Casanova also used a superb power move on her:
Casanova: Please tell me, madam if the captain is your husband or your father.
He says of himself and rating his chances high:
I was young, enjoyed excellent health, I had money and plenty of daring.
16.1. Always Prioritize High-Quality Women
Casanova had sex with all kinds of women.
But he showed a preference for women of his caliber, well-learned and well-spoken.
He says of a woman:
She received an excellent education, and it increased the pleasure of my conquest
17. Mindset: Stand Against Violence & For Love
Casanova did lie.
And sometimes he even flew off the handle.
Yet, overall, he was a respectful and supportive man.
At last, by force.
This was too much. The mere idea of using violence has always shocked me.
I’m still of the opinion that the only pleasure in the amorous embrace springs from perfect union and agreement.
However, when in Russia, he adapted to what was the custom of the country.
And he says:
And so violent she had been that was compelled to conform to the custom of the country and beat her.
Strange to say that I could have not taken a better way to prove my love.
There is a perversion mix between love, lust, and violence.
But we will not dig deeper here.
18. Handle LMR With Both Physical Assaults & Words
Here is a good mindset for you:
Enjoy last-minute resistance.
Casanova enjoyed last-minute resistances.
A little resistance sharpens the appetite.
When favor is granted with too much ease it lose a great deal of its charm.
But keep your eyes on the goal.
Casanova could be quite “pushy”, too.
I then began to caress her and make assaults in the style of an amorous man.
But it was all in vain, though I managed to stretch her on a large sofa
From the dialogue above you can understand that Casanova was not afraid of playing the game of overpowering her resistance.
Little later he says that he then chased her laughing, showing an extremely important trait for lovers: making escalations fun and never too confrontational.
Sometimes Casanova would use rationality to dismantle women’s verbal resistance.
If your duty forces you to repulse me in spite of yourself, then your duty is a burden. And if it is a burden, it’s your enemy and you should get rid of it.
Then he invites her to close her eyes and “let go”.
19. Shed All Socialization Shackles: Underage Girls
It’s a different era.
And Casanova engaged with very young women.
Some of it might be considered in the vicinity of pedophilia.
He says visiting his daughter:
But one of my daughter schoolmates pleased me too much for my peace of mind
He would later get sexual with one of his daughter’s schoolmates.
20. Adopt Inner-Confidence Bolstering Beliefs
Casanova says that if a man truly wants to do something, he can do anything.
And of happiness, he says:
Happiness is the fruit of imagination.
If you wish to be happy, fancy that you are so.
Both are very helpful attitudes to be a successful player.
Casanova Best Quotes
My favorite of them all;
The man who professes his love to a woman in words must be sent to school again.
A little resistance sharpens the appetite.
When favor is granted with too much ease it lose a great deal of its charm.
On the most typical Casanova:
As usual, I fell in love with her
On the ease of seducing innocent girls:
The more innocent a girl is, the less she knows of the methods of seduction.
Before she has time to think pleasure attracts, curiosity draws her a little further and opportunity does the rest
On enjoying life on earth:
I was happy.
I love to say so in defiance of those moralists who say there is no true happiness on this earth.
It’s the expression of “on this earth” which makes me laugh. As if it were possible to go anywhere else in such happiness.
Death is the end of all, as after death man has no sense.
No one should dogmatize on uncertainties, and after death everything is doubtful.
Notice how he uses his maxim to gain intellectual power over the woman:
On the contrary, Madame, I like questions.
I have been teaching for the past six years to always ask questions.
He who asks nothing, learns nothing.
On the sweetness of negative feelings:
There are sorrows so sweet that they are almost joys.
On the nature of men and women:
A grateful woman has only one way of showing her gratitude. And that is to surrender herself without reserve.
A man is made to give, and a woman to receive.
On the nature of princes and powerful men:
For princes do not forget small injuries as they forget great services.
Casanova didn’t hold average people in very high regard.
Talking of democracy, he says:
Where are thou now.
Your sovereign is the people now, the most brutal and tyrannical sovereign in the world.
Casanova was a living paradox.
He is caustic against the church, highly skeptical of religion, and fiercely against repression and inquisition.
And yet, he goes to church and believes in the positive effect of prayers.
He laughs at the cabal and knows it’s not real, and yet he goes on a mission to discover the secret of gold creation.
I don’t think Casanova ever stooped low with his games, but he certainly engaged in trickery and manipulation. And he certainly left a few women pregnant without providing.
And yet, he always prided himself on his honor and of his positive treatment of women.
Was Casanova a psychopath?
No, I don’t think Casanova was not a sociopath.
BUT he was high in some psychopathic traits and he was a “dark triad man” since he was also high in Machiavellianism and narcissism.
He had way too much turbulent feelings to be a full-blown psychopath though, and he also showed a strong conscience several times in his memoirs.
Also, see more dark psychology techniques in:
A Rebel By Nature
Casanova was, in many ways, a man of honor.
But he also was an inveterate philanderer, a freedom lover, and a rebel.
He says of military career:
The worst of professions for the constant self-abnegation, for the complete surrender of one’s will, which passive obedience demands.
It required a patience for which I cannot lay any claim.
And more about the politics within the ranks:
Loved Freedom, Starting With Financial Freedom
Speaking again of his refusal to pursue a military career, says Casanova:
As any kind of injustice was revolting to me. And I could not bare myself to feel dependent.
Furthermore, says Casanova, his tastes were too expensive to be covered by a military career.
As any good high-quality man, Casanova wanted to be independent.
I earned enough to keep myself without need anybody’s assistance.
And I always thought that a man who can support himself is happy.
Intelligent, And Street-Wise
Casanova was streetwise in many ways.
When asked to share his plan about the lottery he said “not before I am given a written statement that I will receive my share”.
To send a message to a woman she wants to get in touch with, he first drops an empty letter as a decoy to her hated, protective auntie.
And as the auntie gets the first letter, he throws the real letter to his true target.
LOL, what a fu*king legendary move.
And he was obviously extremely high in mating intelligence.
I’m not the biggest fan of biographies and autobiographies.
I used to think it was a waste of time reading about other people’s lives when you could live your own and learn more efficiently from more condensed books.
Casanova changed my mind.
By the end of the book, I felt like we had taken a trip together and I also got emotional when, at the end of the book, we had reached the end of that trip.
Autobiographies should always be taken with a pinch of salt, of course.
Yet Casanova is open-minded enough about so many of his worst moments that he seems rather objective.
He talks about being tricked, for example, badly taken for a ride by some women, and even of his experience with impotence. That increases my trust that his stories are genuine.
It’s a long book, but I loved it.