MUST SEE Vin Armani Tao of the Gigolo
MUST SEE INTERVIEW WITH SHOWTIME'S GIGOLO VIN ARMANI
Interview Vin Armani, Showtime Gigolo and Author of Tao of the Gigolo.
Senior Editor FashionErotica
MANY men talk the talk, but precious few walk the path, or the Tao as it is called in Eastern philosophy. Showtime's gigolo, Vin Armani, isn't simply a professional escort. He honestly loves women and sees that the value in each one he meets is in learning more about who he is as a man. Every newly revealed facet of himself allows him to better understand how to be the best man he can be and thereby making him a world-class gigolo whose success is measured by repeat, long-term clients, and the ability to balance work with his personal love life. How does he do it? Armani, who studied Philosophy at Howard University, has written his first book, Tao of the Gigolo, sharing what he has learned so far and how that knowledge applies to his daily life.
MG: After reading Tao of the Gigolo, Vin, I have to add you to my list of favorite people with which to have a good, deep conversation. Your philosophy is very thought-provoking. Now, I have to admit that there were a couple of areas where (as a woman) I instinctively wanted to disagree. Ex: Where you said (paraphrased) that a woman should trust in a man to set the tone of the relationship.
I caught myself wanting to say "No way!" Then I realized my reaction came from personal experiences where that didn't work out for me (I got hurt) and that it left me feeling powerless. I understood your point, though, that if a man makes himself worthy, earns a woman's trust, that perhaps this wouldn't be a bad thing because I believe that deep down, we ladies do want a man we can trust to take care of us. I thought of this analogy of riding a horse (in this case, the man is the horse).
A woman is riding a horse into dangerous territory which the horse senses and then balks at her insistence to continue in that direction. A smart horsewoman knows to trust the animal to lead her into the safer path. The horse has both their interest at heart, and if allowed to lead, will do so, getting them both home safely. All it takes is trust in the intentions. As a man, and a gigolo, how do you get women who have been burned (and therefore are no longer trusting) to trust you?
VIN ARMANI: Thank you for your kind words and thank you for taking the time to read my book. Experience has taught me that you cannot "get someone to trust you." Trust is something that one either gives or doesn't. It can't really be "earned" as some people like to claim. Trust is very much a binary: you either trust someone or you don't. I'm not talking about having blind faith or having zero misgivings. To use the metaphor of a "trust fall" (where one person closes their eyes and falls back into another person's arms), you either trust someone enough to risk injury or you don't.
In order to be trusted, you first have to trust. When I want a woman to trust me, I first show her that I trust her. Key to that, both as a man and as a gigolo is being open about my intentions and my feelings toward her and then behaving congruent with what I have said. She is completely free not to trust me, and I don't ever demand that she trust me. Professionally, I am quite content to be as patient as she needs me to be. Should she choose to trust me, however, her level of enjoyment when it comes to the time we spend together will be magnified directly correlated to just how deeply she chooses to trust me.
MG: I approached your book as the 'second class of women...the curious truth-seeker'. That's just my natural self. I have to admit that I am not sure how I would feel about entering into a relationship with someone, for any reason, knowing the guy may not be monogamous. This is probably because it wouldn't occur to me to be with someone else when I'm into that one person. Maybe women have 'love-blinders', I don't know. There's definitely a need for a strong feeling of security for that to work, and I know it works for some people. I know people it works for. For those it doesn't work for, the questions that plague them and eventually kill that relationship are "aren't I enough?', "why am I not enough", "don't you love me?" etc. It's all insecurity, so how can you reassure someone that just because you find something attractive about another doesn't make the one you're with any less special to you? How do you leave her better than you found her?
VIN ARMANI: Insecurities are incredibly powerful. In any relationship (romantic, business, friendship, etc) it is a feeling of insecurity, as opposed to any actual occurrence, that most often leads to the dissolution of the relationship. The reality is that all sexually healthy people, men and women, are sexually attracted to more than one person. That doesn't mean that you will choose to take action based on that attraction. It doesn't mean that the attraction is deep or founded in anything healthy. Being sexually attracted to someone besides your chosen partner is no more a threat to a romantic relationship than finding a previously untried food to be delicious is a threat to your love of your favorite foods.
In my life, I have chosen to live in truth and reality. I am totally open with any woman I encounter about my beliefs about monogamy. If those beliefs and my corresponding actions make her uncomfortable or are a deal-breaker in terms of a potential relationship between the two of us, then there is no need to push the issue any farther. My views on romantic relationships are unconventional. I'm a gigolo, how much more unconventional could my romantic life be? It takes a similarly unconventional woman to have a healthy relationship with me. Thankfully there are many more such women in the world than you would think. I have very little need to do any convincing or reassuring of my partners. We already share a mindset.
MG: At what point in your life did you realize that simply talking honestly to women would get you further than any bad lines or tricks?
VIN ARMANI: In my mid-twenties I spent several years involved in the "seduction (pickup) community in LA." I've always been intrigued by the workings of the human mind, and I saw what "professional" pickup artists were doing as very interestingly applied psychology. Spending some time with that group of guys, however, I soon became aware that most of what was really going on was that hard-up guys were being conned into spending thousands of dollars to basically learn a corny song and dance from men who weren't actually all that good with women. I always tell people that I am "lazy." I guess because of my physique or my relative success in my career people have a difficult time believing that I actually am lazy. I am lazy in the sense that I don't want to perform a single action that I need not perform to get a desired result. My nature in this regard is what brought me to the realization that being open and honest was all that was required to seduce women.
As an experiment, I decided that I would see just what pickup lines, "patterns," or games were really required to "get laid." As a control, I began approaching women with complete (and often explicit) openness about my intentions toward them. I expected I would get rejected about 100% of the time and then I would adjust (tune) my approach and behavior until I was able to get that rejection number down to a place where I was actually having great success with women. Lo and behold, I never had to adjust my approach. Complete honesty and a willingness to risk rejection was actually the most effective method for seducing women. Not expected, but for a guys who hates to waste motion, a great realization.
MG: So how did this wisdom come to you and how much of that wisdom can you attribute to familial females in your life like your mom?
VIN ARMANI: All wisdom comes through experience. I love to learn new things about human socio-sexuality and then go and apply what I've learned. That experimentation is incredibly fun to me and is what has provided a constant source of new wisdom about the nature of my reality.
Ironically, one thing that I have learned is that women are a good source of information about seduction only insofar as doing THE EXACT OPPOSITE of what women tell you should be done in order to seduce them -- is the precise method for seducing them. If you want to hunt lions, the least effective thing you can do is ask a lion how to hunt lions. First, a lion has never hunted a lion. Second, a lion, when asked, would tell you how it would "prefer" to be hunted... which is "unsuccessfully." If you want to hunt a lion you ask a lion hunter and then learn through doing.
I have had a chance to spend time with many wonderful women in my life. I love women. In terms of seduction, I have received nothing but "bad advice" from women. I hope men continue to take women's advice on how those women should be seduced. I don't need any more competition
MG: Zen Master Vin, (I suppose I should say straight out that I am one of those happy/smiling types who never says anything with intent to offend, so when I call you Zen Master, I mean it in both a joking, and also a respectful way.) Love the analogy of the lion. Have to say, that had me laughing. I suppose that would be mostly correct except for those rare individuals (or lions) who truly "know thyself". I will stubbornly stick to my belief that I know what works for me, and you can sit back, smile, and shake your head. If I'm wrong (and I'm usually okay with that), then I'll think of you and laugh about it later if and when it's proven so.
Back to your book. One of the things that strikes me about you, even before reading your book, is your honesty. I could see it in your approach to people on the show, men and women, both. If I met you not knowing anything about you, I'd be immediately at ease around you, so I think you were already far wiser than the average man of your age to begin with, and it's all due to how open and honest you appear to be. Perhaps it's your willingness to observe and learn. There's a genuine sweetness about you, Vin. With that said, you state that for a man/gigolo to truly connect with a woman, to seduce her, he should tell her his reasons for wanting to seduce her.
I found that interesting because I can't recall off-hand ever hearing someone say "I want you/want to seduce you because......"; not in such a direct manner. I have heard guys tell me this when talking about my friends whom they are dating, but they didn't tell my friends this, and none that I've encountered in a relationship have flat out stated such to me. Can you explain this a little more? How have you put this forth to a woman?
VIN ARMANI: That is the secret to seduction. There is no trick. It's right out in the open, and I can share it openly and still, 99.99% of men will never implement it. Even my best friends, who see my success with women and consciously know that all I am doing is just being honest and stating my intent (they've sat and watched me do it), simply will not implement the practice. As a result, they don't have my results. It's actually amazing to me to watch.
Have you seen the movie "Vicky Christina Barcelona?" There is a scene in the movie where Javier Bardem's character "picks up Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39PuFOTjtk8 - the gist of it starts at 29 seconds of the trailer). He just basically says he wants to invite them to travel with him, to drink good wine, and to make love... period. And they go! And had they not gone, it's likely two other women would have. In fact, for all we know, he could have already asked twenty women the exact same thing.
This hits upon a concept I am covering heavily in my next book (should be out in the Fall). I call it 'The Confident/Creepy Continuum'. When you ask someone, "What's the one trait in a man that every woman is attracted to?" the universal answer is "Confidence". But what the hell is "confidence." No one seems to be able to define it. So I defined it. But in order to define it, I had to find its antithesis - creepiness. Creepiness, at its essence is the trait that a woman ascribes to a man when she knows that he has ulterior motives and is hiding his true intentions. Confidence is the opposite. I put my intentions and desires out there. If a woman decides that what I am offering is not for her, that doesn't bother me one bit. I only want to spend time with people who want what I have to offer. If I am not honest about what I want and what I have to offer, I can never be sure that the people I am around are actually interested in me; the real me.
I tell women why I want to be with them and exactly who I want to be TO them. It's up to them to choose whether or not that works for them. Regardless of their response, I would never hide my intentions. I genuinely want to see everyone on this planet happy. Why wouldn't I? If she chooses me, I will break my neck to make her happy. If her happiness lies elsewhere, however, then I want her to find it. With me, or without me, I want her to find her bliss.
MG: You talked about marriage in great detail as being basically a barter system then and now; about how the world really is versus how we think is should be. Is it safe to say you won't ever marry? I feel almost the same way about the institution of marriage, that it's more of a legal binding of property, and that a true commitment doesn't require a ceremony. However, marriage is, at least, the most recognizable way that a man can make his intentions known to a woman; a way of saying that he is putting her above the others, that she's special. In the absence of the ceremony, how might a man then express this deep feeling?
VIN ARMANI: I don't want to be insulting, but... REALLY? Please read that sentence again and see if you are talking about how the world REALLY is, or how people think it "should be."
MG: I'm not offended by the answer to the marriage question. No worries. My point was this: Even in the world of 'how it is', intentions aren't clear until...they're clear! Something must be said or done to make them understood. That's not a "should be". It's simple communication. In the "should be" world, a guy gets down on one knee, presents his shiny rock, and says "marry me". This should-be scenario plays itself out every day in the "how it is" world, too. Now, remove that should-be scenario. It no longer applies. Are you saying in the case of relationships that if a woman wants to know what her man's intentions are, she must simply wait it out and see if he's still around five, ten, fifteen years down the road? Take it day by day? I know I'm throwing a lot of 'should-be's" at you, but my professor would always do the same to me to make me think, and possibly to aggravate me. Dr. Sadler is a great guy, but I often wanted to kick him.
Back to this - when women want to have children with a guy, they want a commitment because they want to know the father-to-be is planning on being around. In the case of children, at least, women want to know they can plan for these sorts of things. So in the absence of a binding legal contract (which is how the modern world attempts to commit) where is the assurance for these women in this world of no guarantees?
VIN ARMANI: The reality is that even in the PRESENCE of a binding legal contract, there are no assurances. The divorce rate is over 50% in this country. A marriage contract is certainly no guarantee of fidelity (never was), and brings no assurances that a man will be an attentive and caring husband and father.
As an entrepreneur, I am intimately aware of the fact that, for a man who is true to his word, a handshake is just as binding as a fifty-page contract. For a man who is not true to his word, a contract is as worthless as the paper it is printed on. Because marriage is a contract, the same holds true. If a woman is looking for assurances in the "legally binding" auspices of marriage, she's already lost. The assurances lie in the honor of the man and woman themselves.
There's a great paradox in your question. If a woman's trust for a man is so weak that she needs the "assurance" that she thinks marriage brings, then, in reality, she doesn't have the requisite trust in the man she is with to be able to have a successful marriage anyway. The people who are committed to one another do not become more committed BECAUSE they get married.
MG: On your next book, the creepiness factor. Wow. I have to say that in the few times I've encountered the 'creepy' guy, the one who I have a strong gut reaction to that says "run away", I'd have to say that you're right about the ulterior motive question. The creepy guy makes a woman feel unsafe, as if she will come to harm around him. Confidence, on the other hand, can also be tricky because there's a difference between the type of confidence women find attractive and out-right cocky. Abusive men can be confident in their ability to bully, so the confident men women wish for are those who emote confidence in providing a safe haven. Still, there are a lot of women who feel the warning from within and still walk right into a bad relationship.
I'm sure you've known such women through your profession. How has their experience with you helped them come to recognize the pattern they most likely repeat in their relationships? Have any spoken of this with you, and do you think the action of choosing a gigolo is, perhaps, their way of trying to control, in a positive way, their encounters with men, (like a stepping stone to breaking bad habitual choices?)
VIN ARMANI: It's never my goal to show a woman "the error of her ways," or anything like that. At best, what I hope to do is give women a positive experience in an environment where they can feel safe and won't be judged. My hope is that such an experience can provide an example of a possible future path they can take when it comes to relationships. To be frank, most people, men and women, really suck when it comes to relationships. Very few people have ever had an example of a healthy relationship on which to model their own relationships (never mind having experienced a healthy relationship themselves). If anything, my clients hire me so that they can have an experience where they DON'T feel the need to control their encounter with a man, since they feel sure that they can trust my intentions and my motives which, of course, they can.
MG: I think most people will take what they read from your book and decide how it relates to their own personal experiences, much like I have. How much do you think personal religious upbringing has to do with clinging to ideals and traditions surrounding relationships even in the face of factual statistics that show the failure of those ideals/traditions as greater than the successes?
VIN ARMANI: That's the magic of religion as a tool for control. If you can teach a child, from a young age, that even though they can clearly see the world around them and understand how things work, that what they are experiencing is wrong (that virgins can give birth, that people can rise from the dead, or walk on water, and that there is a man in the sky who talks to people and smites them when they have been bad) then you can convince them of just about anything, provided you appeal to authority.
MG: Why do you think those same people who cling are so afraid of/threatened by non-traditional relationships (polyamory, LGBT, interracial, etc)?
VIN ARMANI: When you have lost your ability to discern what is real and what is not, the world is a scary place. The people of whom you speak are not JUST scared of non-traditional relationships. They are scared of just about everything. Non-traditional relationships just happen to be one of the things that scares them.
MG: On to our current political climate and the perceived "war on women" by the far-right wing. How much would you like to explain the Tao to the unenlightened men who are currently passing severely restrictive laws on women's reproductive health (birth control, abortion, etc)?
VIN ARMANI: The men of whom you speak are not evolved enough to even begin to absorb anything I write about. That's fine. It's not my job to "evolve" anyone. Besides, history has shown that, in this modern age, the more repressive a regime, the shorter-lived it will be. The real people that need to be educated are the women (and young men) who are having sex with the men passing these laws. If those women want the behavior of those repressive men to change, just refuse to have sex with them until they change. Men are simple. Sex trumps politics every time. Women already hold all the cards, they just need to start playing them. That's why I view what I do, which primarily consists of empowering women, as a positive practice with revolutionary implications.
MG: Fear is the tool used by the few to control the many. Always has been, always will be. It's prevalent in religion, politics, bullying, even, sadly, some parenting. Where are you now on your path? At what point or at what realization(s) would you say are you currently? How do you determine where you will 'travel' next?
VIN ARMANI: I don't really know how to answer that last question. I'm learning more everyday about myself and the world in which I live. I hope that process of learning never stops. I don't see any reason why it should stop. Next steps are just that... "next steps.". Every moment is one foot in front of the other.
MG: I'd like to thank Vin for taking time to discuss his book with me, and for the personally autographed copy. Perks of the job, ladies; perks of the job!
OK open minded singles & couples... this is chock full of ideas ...
Get a copy of Gigolos First Season of Gigolos a must have for your personal library.
So women.... dare order your guy a copy of this book? Keep it for yourself to see if you are missing something? Guys... expand your repretoire and arouse your woman's curiosity... Put a copy of Vin's Tao next to your favorite edition of the Kama Sutra....
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This interview has been conducted by San Antonio-based freelance writer and author Michele Gwynn for Fashion Erotica Magazine. Michele pens a Sex and Relationships column as well as a National Animal Rights Column for Examiner.com. She has conducted interviews with Showtime’s Gigolo Nick Hawk, international actor Rudolf Martin, former Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader and first female scout for the L.A. Lakers Bonnie-Jill Laflin, former UN Ambassador Sichan Siv, the cast of Broadway’s The Jersey Boys, HGTV’s Kitchen Cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri, to name but a few. In addition, she has authored a science fiction short story, Harvest, and a children’s fiction, The Cat Who Wanted to be a Reindeer available on Amazon.com. Michele is currently working on her first full-length erotic novel which will be out in 2012.