If you are looking for a book on dating, you might stumble on The Game of Desire.
The Game of Desire: 5 Surprising Secrets to Dating with Dominance – and Getting What You Want is the second book by Shannon Boodram, more commonly know on the internet as Shan Boody. You may have seen her YouTube channel, where she talks about topics such as sexuality and dating through her knowledge as a certified sexologist and intimacy expert.
As a sex educator, Shan’s expertise has been called upon to host MTV’s Guide to Sex, Fullscreen’s Shan Boody is Your Perfect Date and Facebook Watch’s Make Up or Break Up.
Needless to say, she knows her stuff when it comes to dating.
Now, I have been a fan of Shan’s for a little while, so this review may be slightly biased. As much as I love Shan, I had been undecided on whether I should take the plunge and by this book. I had seen some articles about one of the experiments she did in the book (using vaginal juice as perfume), and I was a little concerned about what the book would have even be about (source). Luckily, I received the book as a gift (thanks Regina) and got my chance to delve into this beauty.
The book follows the journey of 6 women based in Los Angeles, California, that were fed up with dating at the moment and were struggling to find a deep and meaningful relationship with a partner. These women would then go through Shan’s 5 Phase strategy to become better seducers and be able to manifest the love lives they want. This may sound like it’s big talk but where is the action? I’m here to tell you it worked.
Shan welcomed these women into her home and personally worked through these phases with these women and brought in other experts to help along the journey. The work was rooted in science and psychology (there are references throughout the book) on how and why Shan put together this program the way that she did. With this academic backing, I was sold on the validity of the work early on, so it was great to see these scientific theories proved super successful for each woman involved.
To cut to the chase quite early, I loved this book.
Each women’s journey in the book is different, but I was able to relate to them each in different ways. Even though their personalities were quite unique, being able to see the contrast in their experiences as they progressed through the program and how issues emerged at different times and for different reasons across all of them. I also loved there was some representation of queer women.
Even if you aren’t able to relate or empathise with the women, it was so interesting to read about how other people navigate dating nowadays, particularly now that is largely online. I was worried that I wasn’t the target demographic for this book and would not connect with the work like others would. I was so wrong. I really shouldn’t have judged a book by its’ cover.
Regardless if you are similarly down on love, or struggling to move beyond casual relationships with others, this book is still such a good read. It’s more than just hear is how to seduce people and be the best dater. The advice given and skills taught can be useful to anyone. It’s about learning more about yourself, addressing your strengths and weaknesses, and using this information to “step into your expertise” (as Shan says) and project the most confident version of yourself.
The self-development tools in this book are incredible. While I was writing notes while reading for this review, I found myself writing notes for myself and taking pictures of sections to send to friends, because I knew this would be useful.
I learnt so much about myself in the process of reading. In the first phase of the program, Shan gets the participants to answer a series of questionnaires and tests to get to know them on a deeper level and for them to understand themselves on a deeper level. I am a sucker for quizzes, especially if they make me more self-aware and illuminate behaviours I didn’t know I was doing (good and bad).
I found myself even going on to the book’s website (https://www.thegameofdesire.com/) to do the full version of these tests. If you don’t know what your love languages are, I recommend starting of with that and if you have already done that, my favourite is the attachment style quiz.
Shan was insightful and thoughtful. Her experiments were tailored to each person, as they didn’t need help in the same areas. She challenged their comfort zones and gave them so many tools to show off how awesome they were.
If you take nothing away from this book on how to take control of your dating life, the book will still teach you on how to draw people to you and for them to see all the great things about you. The principle of this work is about not waiting for things to happen to you, it’s about taking charge. Shan teaches you about being confident in your skin (and that’s what will attract people to you) that will be beneficial in all aspects of your life, personal and professional.
One of the best parts of the book is that is designed to be replicable, so you can take what you need from it and utilise that in your own life.
In summary, this book is all kinds of empowering. Shan understands the skillset needed to feel confident and powerful while dating and shares exactly how to execute these skills to find yourself a “high-interest playmate.” If you are looking for a book to make you more self-aware of your dating habits, or just a fun (albeit nosy) look into awkward, funny and exciting dates of other people, than I highly recommend picking up The Game of Desire.
I also promise the vaginal juice experiment is not as odd as it seems and makes sense within the context of that phase of the program.
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the book that really stuck with me, from non other than supermodel Winnie Harlow:
“Confidence is less like a power and more like a skill. Kind of like whistling. It’s something you know you want to do so you start practicing until one day you’re a whistling-ass motherfucker.”