Video: Neil Strauss and Mystery

I wanted to share the first hour and a half of this video with you (it’s two hours total). It’s the eighth DVD of a series Neil Strauss put out called “The Annihilation Method.” Neil’s goal was to divulge everything about the game in it.

The first hour of this video is mostly Mystery speaking. The half hour after that is Mystery and Neil Strauss talking about phone game. The last half hour is Steve P and Hypnotica, and in my opinion not as good.

Yes, I know the section I’d like you to check out is an hour and a half. But there are so many solid fundamentals it’s totally worth it. Mystery covers attraction, dealing with Last Minute Resistance, phone game, and other invaluable nuggets of gold. Great review. I learned a ton. Check it out:

10 thoughts on “Video: Neil Strauss and Mystery

  1. Introverted Playboy

    Mystery had a lot of interesting ideas, but much of it is obsolete or has been nullified by subsequent lessons in recent years, and that includes a lot of his take on evolutionary psychology.

    One idea is that the tribal leader gets all the girls. Not necessarily. Sometimes a girl is just horny and wants any guy to sleep with. He doesn’t have to be the biggest most powerful guy in the room. He just needs to be in the right place at the right time.

    Preselection–he mentions this as one of the core necessities to attract a woman. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned past girlfriends or anything similar to a girl (at least not before sex). Rather than being essential, it’s entirely optional, and sometimes even detrimental (as it can come off as bragging or in poor taste).

    Disqualification from being a potential suitor–again, he frames this as utterly necessary. But in reality, tons of guys succeed by just being totally honest and direct about what they want. They approach her, tell her she’s hot, escalate, and case closed.

    This is also related to the idea that indirect is preferable to direct. Not always. Justin Wayne and the guys at, among many others, demonstrate that direct opening can often be better and more efficient.

  2. renaissan

    You’re absolutely wrong about most of your reply. The only points I agree with you are that you don’t need indirect openers to open and evolutionary psychological is a load of crap.

    But evolutionary psychology has nothing to do with pickup. Yes, people like Mystery and David DeAngelo have related it to attracting women. But you’ve never needed it to practice Mystery’s Method or David DeAngelo’s techniques, and you still don’t. I’ve never been a fan of evolutionary psychology, especially after reading Lewontin’s Biology As Ideology.

    Where you’re mostly wrong is that Mystery’s ideas are obsolete. It’s a smug comment. But I forgive it because I know it’s part of a larger cultural phenomenon that’s obsessed with what’s new and shinny. The new and shinny has a lot to do with marketing. “Buy my product, it’s new and improved!” In reality it’s just a variation on a fundamental. The word “new” sells products. I mean how new and improved can you make water?

    But if you really understood Mystery’s ideas (and I’m not sure you do) you’d understand they’re sound fundamentals. Most pickup artists and companies have had their start by learning his fundamentals, and have just put their own spin on them. That’s it. I’m sorry man, but fundamentals don’t go obsolete.

    For example, remember that the Mystery Method was designed to pick up 9s and 10s, THE hottest women. It’s not designed to pick up sloppy, drunk girls who’ll sleep with anyone. You’re right, you don’t need the Mystery Method to pickup those kinds of girls. But who would want to? Mystery Method assumes you’re after quality, not whoever will sleep with you.

    Also, you’ve completely misunderstood preselection. Read Cialdini’s Influence some time. He writes about six psychological factors that make people want to “buy” stuff. One of them is social proof. That’s all preselection is. Social proof. If the hottest women see that you have value for other hot women, you’ll pique their curiosity. “Maybe this guy has value for me,” she might say. It’s human nature to gravitate towards something that other people want.

    As for the “tribal leader,” the idea is to convey you’re a high-status male. That could include ways a guy carries himself (body language), the way he dresses, speaking well, how he treats people around him (with respect and unafraid to draw boundaries). Guys are interested in the physical looks of women (waist to hip ratio, youth, facial symmetry). The hottest women are more interested in men who have high-status rather than low-status. This is also related to preselection because high-status means others value you. Women want a strong man who can take care of them, and for hot women high-status also increases their social value.

    Finally, it seems like you’ve completely misunderstood disqualification, too. The idea here is most guys approach these hottest of the hot by checking them out from afar, giving her empty compliments about her looks, asking her for sex, grinding on her on the dance floor, offering to buy her drinks, asking her a zillion questions, completely ignoring her friends and only focusing attention on her… in a word blatantly offering his dick.

    So, to stand out from that blur of guys you “disqualify” yourself by saying “I’m out having a great time, meeting new people. Hey, I’m not after her. A girl has got to have more than looks/makeup/skimpy outfit to interest me.”

    See how this is also a form of preselection? Because the message is: “I come from an abundance of hot women, not a scarcity. I’m not intimidated by her beauty because I’m used to beautiful women.”

    In a word, the Mystery Method is about NOT seducing a woman first, or building comfort with her first or even attracting first and getting stuck in comfort or skipping comfort to arrive at seduction too soon. It’s about attracting a woman first, building comfort with her second, to allow for mutual seduction third.

    Tell me how in God’s name that’s obsolete?

    1. Introverted Playboy

      No smugness here. Dude, in the video he talks about ancient tribes, and how the instincts that evolved in that prehistorical environment are still relevant today, and so on. That’s evo psych.

      Even ideas that we all use like value and status are directly based on insights from evolutionary psychology, which is fine. So for you to say that it has nothing to do with pickup is just silly.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying MM is all crap. I’m just saying a lot of it was off the mark and, as other PUAs have learned and demonstrated, unnecessary. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

      Just because Mystery came first chronologically does not mean his take was perfect, and the final word on the matter.

      I agree that you can learn lots of fundamentals from the MM. But there is a lot of stuff you don’t need that comes along with those fundamentals.

      “…9s and 10s, … not sloppy, drunk girls”

      And what if the 9 or 10 happens to be sloppy drunk? See, there’s a lot more to the story.

      Hey, don’t take my word for it. Just look at guys like Tom Torero, Jon Matrix, Yad, Justin Wayne, or even somebody like Chris Good Looking Loser who get hot girls without using MM. The evidence is there, dude.

      But also, this idea that really hot girls are fundamentally “different” from other girls is a common fallacy. They are not. All women function in the same way.

      And every man has a different personal definition of hotness. One man’s 10 is another man’s 6. There is a lot of subjectivity here.

      The same woman can be all dolled up in a night club and get hit on by lots of guys, but then Sunday morning at the coffee shop with no makeup and sweats, suddenly she’s considered less hot. Same girl. What works on her in the club will be different from what works in the cafe.

      Preselection–exactly, you can “pique her curiosity.” It’s not guaranteed and it’s not essential. It’s totally optional. Also, it will work great for certain girls (such as many girls who are very status-conscious), but not as well for others.

      Again I go back to guys like J Wayne or Torero or Yad. They are not walking the streets with a clique of hotties. Yet they succeed… with hot girls.

      High status–I totally get that. And I agree status can make a big difference. But status is EXTREMELY fluid and dependent on context, as well as the girl’s own preferences. A tatted-up 19-year-old hipster girl with a crappy part-time job, into the indie rock scene, is likely to have a VERY different conception of “status” than a 28 y.o. preppy Harvard grad who works with a lobbying firm in D.C. Accordingly, two very different kinds of men will be considered highly attractive to them. And note that both of these girls can be super-hot.

      (Now if you will say “status” is just about confidence, body language and swagger, well, that’s hardly revolutionary and we don’t need MM to tell us that.)

      Disqualification–dude, I’m quite familiar, lol. I’m giving you a different perspective.

      “So, to stand out from that blur of guys you “disqualify” yourself…”

      Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. Some girls just want a fucking man to take charge. And yes, that includes some hot girls. Maybe they have been surrounded by weak guys pussyfooting around them, for instance.

      The point is It DEPENDS. This is why I said disqualification is not necessary, and for Mystery to say it is, simply does not square with the evidence. Disqualification is one option, and it works in some cases, with some women, for some guys. It is not universally always true.

      MM is one style, one strategy out of many that could potentially work for different guys, with different levels of status, in different venues, approaching different kinds of girls with different personalities.

      We have to be very careful with this idea of “game universals”. What works for one guy may not work for another. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

      1. renaissan

        I’m glad you clarified. I was responding to your comment that Mystery’s ideas were obsolete. Sounds like you’ve changed this to “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” That’s fair, that’s cool, maybe even obvious. But that’s not what I was responding to. I had even agreed in my previous reply that indirect openers aren’t the only way to open.

        I’m also glad you named the pickup artists that you did. Those guys approach ONE girl during the DAY. So OF COURSE it doesn’t make sense to disqualify yourself. The Mystery Method was developed in the clubs of Hollywood to approach groups of people in the nighttime. Different context, different approach.

        With that said, I still want to respond to your other comments. You had some good points. I liked what you had to say, so I’d like to respond.

        Your evolutionary psychology comment: yes, Mystery talks about tribes. What I was saying was two things: First, you don’t need to believe in that to practice his techniques. Second, his argument is a backwards rationalization of this simple observation: what attracts guys is looks, what attracts chicks is status. But you don’t need evolutionary psychology to come to that conclusion.

        Your comment about 9s and 10s that are sloppy drunks: I think you know what I mean. A woman who’s falling over herself isn’t the most desirable woman in the room (and ethically questionable, if not outright illegal, if a guy took her home).

        Your comment that one guy’s 10 can be another guy’s 6: Maybe a few guys are into fat chicks, but if I were to put a fat chick on the cover of a magazine, I’m not sure if it would sell as well. All of us know the difference between a 10 and a 6. If you don’t believe me check out some of the experiments that have been done on babies showing they prefer to gaze on “beautiful” faces. There’s more objectivity to beauty than you might think.

        Your comment that a hot woman and an average-looking women are the same: Yes, women are women underneath the makeup and the flash. Why stop there? Couldn’t you also say a hot woman and a man are really the same because we’re all human and we all want love and to be loved? And you’d be a hundred percent right. But to not acknowledge that the hottest women tend to get more attention is just being oblivious. And the women who get more attention, who get hit on more, who get more breaks in life just because they’re genetic freaks requires a guy to change his approach a little–ESPECIALLY if he’s approaching her in a CLUB OR BAR (not as much in the day time).

        Your comment about you don’t need MM to tell you you need confidence: True, but who was arguing that? However, that MM is a practice that helps guys GET that confidence… I’d say hell, yeah.

        Finally, your comment about “game universals”: Of course there are different paths to the same mountaintop. But underneath those different paths, there ARE universals. Sexual tension, emotional connection, the dance of push-pull, the magnetism between masculine energy and feminine are energy are universals. Whichever way you “skin your chicken,” as you say, whether you’re doing day game or night game, indirect approach or direct approach, you’ve got to have those elements there.

        That’s why I love the Mystery Method. Yes, it works best on groups, in lounges, on the hottest women. But more than that he uncovered those universals, and ways to put them to use.

        I think ultimately we agree. My only point was the danger in saying Mystery is obsolete is it might tempt some to throw out the baby with the bathwater, and the fundamentals that go along with it. But you said there were some good ideas in MM. Out of curiosity, which did you have in mind?

  3. Introverted Playboy

    Now I never said MM was obsolete. I said much of it was obsolete. Not the whole thing. There are some important and interesting ideas in there. I haven’t changed anything, just explaining.

    But what is really obsolete is the idea that “my method is THE method.” This is how you get chicks. Remember MM was billed as “how to get beautiful women into bed,” as in the final word on the matter. As opposed to what it really is, which is a highly specialized method for a particular kind of guy in particular contexts.

    To say “this is the only way” is simply wrong, precisely *because* there is more than one way.

    Evo psych–the thing is, all ideas are based on something. You don’t have to know how a cell phone works to use one, but still that cell phone is the product of chemistry and physics. And if you want to make a better cell phone, you’re going to have to deal with that science.

    The GOOD thing that Mystery introduced (and this WAS revolutionary) was the notion that we should take a scientific approach to understanding attraction. As opposed to “what my buddy does, and he’s really good with chicks” or “what my uncle said about the birds and bees,” which is what most male discussion about attraction was based on for generations to that point. This scientific approach was indeed novel.

    So yeah, you could take your uncle’s word for it that “women like status,” or you could actually look critically at the evidence and see what’s really going on–and see that status is definitely part of it, but there’s also more to the story.

    I agree with you that drunk chicks are undesirable, lol.

    I really, REALLY don’t like the number system for various reasons, but that’s for another discussion, lol.

    You’re absolutely right–there is such a thing as objective beauty. But objective beauty lies in things like symmetry, a certain waist-hip ratio, clear skin, healthy-looking hair, and so on.

    So although there are clear-cut objective, universal factors, there are still MANY factors that are subjective. This is why I say one man’s 10 is another’s 6.

    There are so many examples. I know one guy who ONLY dates black and hispanic chicks. I know another guy who only dates east asian chicks. No doubt they both respond to symmetry, but they have very different physical tastes nevertheless.

    Look at the difference between, say, Taylor Swift and Beyonce. Personally I consider them both very beautiful. But they are also VERY different looking–skin color, body proportions, hair texture, facial features.

    A guy who likes big tits and ass will probably prefer Beyonce to Taylor. While Taylor will get lots of guys going, that particular guy would probably not even notice her in a bar.

    Game universals–again, I agree. But we have to be careful. Style is a universal, peacocking is not, for instance. Flirting and teasing is a universal, negging/ disqualification is not. Status is universal, preselection is not.

    So what MM did was identify a whole bunch of stuff and say “this is what you need.” But my point is that over time we have learned that actually only some of that stuff is what you really need, some of it is optional, some of it is only necessary in certain contexts, and some of it will work great in some cases and actually be harmful in others.

    I do think people who dismiss MM out-of-hand run the risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater as you said.

    Good ideas–disqualification is a great idea, despite not being universally necessary. Peacocking is hilarious but awesome and a useful concept at the same time. Preselection is a great point too. Probably the most important contribution, as I said, was the notion that we take a rigorous scientific approach to attraction.

    1. renaissan

      Fair enough. The plus is Mystery used a scientific approach. What’s crazy is saying his method is the ONLY way to attract women. Agreed. Mystery favors the indirect approach. And that’s not the only way to approach.

      Also, I hear what you’re saying that within objective beauty there are personal preferences. It’s almost like saying gourmet food is gourmet food, but some might prefer filet mignon over lemon herb chicken. Fair.

      Here’s where I think we’ll have to agree to disagree though: when you said much of MM is obsolete. Hell, no. I’d say just the opposite. MUCH of it is still VERY relevant.

      Also, maybe we’ll have to agree to disagree that MM is only for a particular kind of guy. But if that were the case, then how is Mystery the man who’s trained more master pickup artists than any other? Or, who’s changed the lives of countless men who started off clueless with women? If he was that specialized, why would VH1 give him his own TV show?

      Yes, his “group theory” is for a specific context (night-time at bars and lounges). But the majority of his other ideas can be applied to any other context. For example, his most basic idea is you must attract a woman first, build comfort with her second, and seduce her third. That’s as universal of a structure as saying stories must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

      MUCH of it is obsolete? Not sure about that one. Might be an exaggeration. And the ideas you listed as “obsolete,” like negging and peacocking, I’d say are misunderstandings.

      For example, negging IS a form of flirting. It’s not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings. If a girl isn’t laughing, it’s just being mean. Baudrillard once said “challenge, and not desire, lies at the heart of seduction.” That’s what negs are. They’re ways to playfully challenge a girl. They’re meant to create sexual tension. That’s it. Unfortunately, they were misconstrued to mean cutting chicks down. Not at all.

      As for peacocking, you might be right that it’s not necessary. I mean be as best-dressed as you can, and you’ll still stand out. But peacocking is still HIGHLY effective. Wearing one or two pieces of clothing that serve no other purpose than for aesthetic/sexual ornamentation can help a guy stand out from the crowd. (You might even say a tie is a type of peacocking because it’s just an interesting item of clothing.) Peacocking helps with style. Says a guy’s got balls to be different. And works as a great conversation starter.

      And you might not even need disqualification. Especially for a one-on-one approach. But it’s still a SUPER smart strategy in the night when approaching groups of people, and having to deal with any potential “bitch shields.”

      Maybe our disagreements boil down to where we’ve been focusing on practicing game. Maybe your focus has been on one-on-one day game. I know a lot of my practice has revolved around approaching women in groups during the night. It’s definitely a different energy during the day.

      I know MM has been such a life-changer for me. I agree you don’t always have to approach indirectly. But that’s just the tip of the MM iceberg. There’s so much other good.

      I really appreciate your thoughts, and the different perspective.

      1. Introverted Playboy

        “But if that were the case, then how is Mystery the man who’s trained more master pickup artists than any other?”

        All the respect in the world to Mystery, no doubt. But look at what happened with many of those guys–they wound up developing their own styles and methods. You look at someone like Tyler Durden/ RSD, for instance, and what he teaches now bears almost no resemblance to MM, as far as the infield action.

        And remember there were and are tons of guys who did not succeed with MM, and eventually turned to other things (or turned their back on game altogether and joined PUAHate and whatnot).

        (Don’t go by TV–they’re in it for shock value and entertainment and money, nothing more.)

        Attraction-Comfort-Seduction: I personally find that model limiting and rigid. I’m not saying it doesn’t work or can’t work, but it’s only for particular kinds of girls and guys in certain contexts. In many cases, it creates unnecessary extra steps that just get in the way.

        Negging–I get that. And I agree it is misunderstood by many people. This is off-topic, but the problem is that so much of a successful neg comes down to tone and the spirit you are saying it with. The same exact line, spoken in one way will come across as insulting and arrogant, and in another way will be playful and fun.

        Yeah I’ve focused overwhelmingly on individual girls, both in the day and night. At night, I do approach small groups (2-3 girls max). But I approach those groups usually with wing men available. I generally avoid mixed sets.

        (Note that higher energy, more physical and more direct styles like RSD succeed very well in night game, so again, it’s all relative.)

        Maybe a better word than “obsolete” would have been incomplete or inadequate, or “not the whole story.”

  4. renaissan

    RSD: That’s GREAT guys developed their own style. That’s how it should be. No one’s saying to become Mystery-robots. It’s the same in any art. A teacher teaches you a skill. You don’t master it until you make it your own. RSD may have their own style, but they still use the fundamentals MM taught. For example, approach women by not hitting on them or kissing ass but through sexual tension, disqualification, enticing their target chase them. Exactly what MM teaches.

    For the guys who turned their backs on game or PUAHate: means nothing. If a guy starts learning the piano and gives up that doesn’t invalidate piano. It just means they gave up. If a guy doesn’t make the basketball team, it doesn’t invalidate basketball. It just means they didn’t make the cut. If a guy never got his black belt in martial arts, it doesn’t invalidate martial arts. It just means he stopped going. And maybe instead of looking at himself, blames. It’s called sour grapes.

    TV show: were you thinking I was citing television as an authority? Um, that’s not what I was saying at all. I was looking at it from the producers’s point of view. If I’m a producer who wants to create a show that would appeal to many, not just a few, I’d want it to be have mass appeal. My point was: if MM appealed to as specialized a type of person as you were saying, why would a TV producer even bother with him?

    Attraction-comfort-seduction model as too rigid: Are you crazy? That’s like saying a beginning, middle, and ending is too rigid to tell a story with. How many countless stories are created BECAUSE of that structure? It’s that structure gives story-tellers the freedom to use their imagination. Similarly, the MM structure gives a man freedom to use his imagination and flow with a woman. No structure (for example walking across a wobbly bridge) inhibits freedom. Structure (for example walking across a sturdy bridge) gives you the freedom to dance. You can do so much within that MM structure. It’s exactly what revolutionized success-with-women and what gave so many guys a fighting chance.

    MM as incomplete: Again, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Because what I love most about MM is it DOES give the whole story. It IS comprehensive. And it’s flexible enough to allow for change and countless different styles.

    Have you even tried MM out, or is everything you know about it hearsay?


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