The art of seduction is the art of getting what you want without fighting. In other words, in a successful seduction, the seducer gets everything he or she wants from the 'victim' willingly, to the point where the 'victim' goes out of their way to help the seducer get what he/she wants.
Of course, I am putting the word 'victim' in quotes because although the skillful seducer gets everything desired, the 'victim' doesn't necessarily feel victimized. In fact, in a good successful seduction, the victim never feels pressure but gives out of their own desire to please the seducer.
One somewhat unknown fact about seduction is that it's something created by women. Yes, the Don Juan's of the world are known as the great 'Seducers' but they did not create the art of seduction.
As explained in "The Art of Seduction" by Robert Green, in past times it was more common for men to be merciless and as a result women became almost helpless. Yes, she could entice a man but once a man gets sex she loses her power. This was overcome by women such as "Bathsheba, from the Old Testament; Helen of Troy; the Chinese siren Hso Shi; and the greatest of them all Cleopatra", who created seduction as a way to gain power.
In Cleopatra's case, after she was thrown out by the pharaoh (her brother/husband, as was the tradition there, then) she showed up at a meeting of another conqueror rolled up in a rug. When the rug was unrolled she stood up in stunning cloths and makeup. Everyone was speechless. That night Julius Caesar became her lover.
Cleopatra continued to dazzle Julius Caesar with sensual and visual delights, becoming the male fantasy figure that is an underlying part of all male psychology (more about that later). In other words, having sex with her wasn't enough, she created a desire to possess her. And when Caesar was most seeking her attention, she would withdraw and leave him wondering what he did wrong. Then he would strive to make things better thereby becoming more her slave everyday. She did reclaim her throne.
In the 17th century men appropriated women's techniques of appearance, style and dramatics and combined it with "soft words", which are a weak spot for women, to overcome their resistance to sex. This was an age when women had more freedom and choice. Many of these seducers were Spaniards from which the Don Juan legend sprung.
In our times women are treated less like property, giving them a sexual and political freedom that they haven't had in an average of 4000 years (2000 yrs in Europe and 6000 yrs in the middle east -approx- matriarchies dominated before then). So of course previous tactics of getting a women, such as arranged marriages and as part of business or political deals has ceased to work. (At least, in the west).
This means that now more than ever, seduction has become a key method of gaining power, both sexual or social.
Can seduction skills help anyone? Yes. If you are not good looking, it simply doesn't matter. You can still seduce successfully. Cleopatra was plain looking but her use of make up made her extraordinary, by being able to capture the male fantasy figure in her persona; which is nothing new, women know this today just as Neanderthal women knew about it in their time, and there is even evidence that the Neanderthals mined for red ochre to use as lipstick (yeah, that they were 'savages' may be a myth...the tradition of burying the dead and the domestication of the dog can also be traced to Neanderthals - for more read, Primitive Mythology By Joseph Campbell).
Gabriele D'Annunzio, was a journalist in the 1880's in Roman society, who was so ugly that men didn't care if he talked with their wives. But when he talked to women, some said it was like church bells, other said it was hypnotic, and still others claimed he would transform into the God Apollo. He knew just how to flatter a woman, suggesting sex and romance without necessarily doing anything, making their hearts flutter. He married the daughter of a Duchess and continued to grow is social and literary stature through the help of powerful women.
For women, for whom marriage was like slavery, found excitement and pleasure in the idea of a man who was totally absorbed in them and with whom they could let go of the huge social role of civility, commitment and loyalty that she is expected to maintain in society. At a lecture I attended, I actually heard a successful 'intellectual' claim, with complete assurance, that "chastity is a woman's greatest virtue", which underlines the role she is expected to play.
The seducer offers her a break from conventional reality and she is a willing victim. Just as a man is when faced with a 'Marilyn Monroe' like persona, who stimulates him in a way that is very powerful and effective.