There’s a lot out there about how the Mystery Method’s obsolete.
It’s always easier to judge something on the surface. It makes you feel righteous and superior. But that’s vulgar understanding, and it always misunderstands. Real understanding looks for the good, and isn’t quick to throw things into moralistic categories. It’s harder to do, but you get closer to reality.
Now, let me say here at the outset. I’m not saying the Mystery Method is the “one and only” method. Of course there’re always more than one way to do something. But some methods work better than others. I know MM works. In my experience, it’s the fundamentals of game. And that’s the case I’d like to make to you below.
- Here’s Phil showing Hercules the fundamentals. I could almost hear him echoing Michael Jordan’s words: “Get away from fundamentals… the bottom can fall out of your game. Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise. Once you’ve got the fundamentals down, you’ve got a solid foundation to build on.”
Why would some say it’s obsolete then? They’re victims of marketing. Marketers are usually the ones saying the Mystery Method’s obsolete.
Marketers love the word “new.” So do customers. When we see words like: “My NEW product and method is improved!” We want it more.
By saying one method’s out-of-date, marketers attempt to link pain with it. By saying “their” method is up-to-date and better, they attempt to link pleasure with it. To make you buy.
It’s the old case of tear down the “popular” guy to make yourself look more desirable. Very sportsman-like. Not.
And for guys who want to learn how to be more successful with women, these marketing messages just ends up confusing us. Worse, we’ll buy the “new, shinny” product, and it sucks.
So, let me kill this completely false message the Mystery Method’s obsolete. I want to assure you not to be fooled. Fundamentals don’t go obsolete.
To do this, I wrote a fictionalized dialogue between “Introverted Playboy” and I. It was based on a real-life spat. He’s another blogger, and he had commented on this video I had posted.
By the way, he recently changed his blogging name to Justin Attraction, and he now goes by that name. That was about two or three weeks ago (about 7/20/14 or and it’s 8/7/14 now). But because I had been working on this post before he changed his name (since about the end of May), I kept his old one below.
Anyway, you’ll see both our points-of-view below.
Warning: what I wrote might be a little long. Okay, no, it IS long. So, you might wanna grab a cold one. Along the way, we’ll definitely nail down the fundamentals of game.
The Introverted Playboy, now known as “Justin Attraction.” The dialogue below is between him and me.
Quick note about “Introverted Playboy/Justin Attraction” Respect to him. He’s an author and a coach. He’s smart, he puts out sound stuff, and he gets great testimonials. He’s off-base to claim MM is obsolete, but respect still goes out to him.
Anyway, back to you. I hope I’ve portrayed his viewpoint fairly, so you can decide the question yourself.
What I think you’ll see is this: these marketing messages are intellectual masturbation. Useless in the real world, with the added bonus of being paralyzing.
Worse, I can’t help wonder if those who’ve been duped by the hype have even tried MM? And justify their fear of not trying it with these rationalizations? I don’t know.
Check it out for yourself. If nothing else, I pasted some cool pics and videos into the post. If you don’t want to read all this, I don’t blame you, but check those out. I think you’ll still get a sense of the argument.
Again, the argument: MM isn’t obsolete because they go over the fundamentals of game.
CHAPTER ONE. MYSTERY METHOD ISN’T THE “ONE” WAY, BUT *IS* FLEXIBLE
He’s gotten a lot of publicity, but that doesn’t mean his is the “only” way.
Introverted Playboy: Mystery had good ideas but most of them are obsolete.
Renaissan: You’re absolutely wrong. Most of Mystery’s ideas aren’t obsolete, because they’re about the fundamentals of pickup and seduction. Fundamentals don’t become obsolete.
IP: Well, much of it is.
Ren: Like what?
IP: That my method is THE method. That there’s only one way. To say “this is the only way” is simply wrong, because there’s more than one way.
Ren: There’s only one way? I wasn’t aware of that. Or that Mystery ever claimed that.
IP: Doesn’t the Mystery Method say you must approach indirectly?
Ren: Mystery prefers the indirect approach himself, but you can use MM with a direct opener, too. An approach depends on the context. If a woman’s alone, giving a compliment can work better than going direct. If she’s in a group indirect can be easier. I use a combination of direct and indirect approaches myself.
IP: How can you use both a direct and an indirect approach at the same time?
Ren: They’re a difference in energy. A direct opener’s sincere and serious. Again, it’s best done with one girl. An indirect opener’s a more playful energy. It’s targeted to more than one girl, or groups, because it doesn’t alienate anyone. The other advantage of going in with a playful energy is it lets you approach more sets.
That’s probably why Mystery likes the indirect approach best. It doesn’t alienate, and allows him to approach more.
Again, you can still do the Mystery Method with a direct opener.
IP: Well, his methods are marketed as the be-all and end-all of attraction and seduction.
Ren: It is? Wasn’t aware of that one either. Which specific marketers are you talking about? The marketing messages I see are the ones that diss the Mystery Method, not that it’s the be-all and end-all of attraction.
IP: Remember how MM was billed “how to get beautiful women into bed”? As if it was the final word in the matter? But what it really is, is: a highly specialized method for a particular kind of guy in a particular context.
Ren: Uh, that was the subtitle of of Mystery’s first book, yes.
No where in this book, or in the subtitle of his book, does he claim to have the “only” way.
But who said it was the final word in the matter? I believe you added those words in yourself. I’ve read that book four times. Never saw that claim anywhere. Sounds like your own interpretation.
Also, if you ever listen to Mystery, you’ll hear him say he developed the method for himself, because it worked for him. He happened to teach it to other guys, and it caught on like wildfire. I’ve never heard him claim it’s the final word in the matter. I HAVE heard him say he’s excited to learn from other pickups artists, though.
What’s funny is many of those guys Mystery taught his method went on to open their own pickup companies. They then dissed MM saying it was obsolete and called their game “Natural.” *Cough* Vin DiCarlo and Gambler *Cough* Even though they’re super theoretical and use MM. Why? To make sales. It’s a marketing technique.
IP: Well, MM was developed for specific contexts. Night game in Los Angeles and Las Vegas mostly, and for the goal of dating women in the short-term. They don’t work in other contexts like daytime, shopping malls, low-energy situations, and for other goals like same night lays vs. long-term dating.
Ren: Hahahahaha! Oh, you’re serious. Um, no. Mystery has approached women all over the world, in the day, in the night, high-energy places, low-energy places. He’s gotten same night lays, he’s had long-term relationships. And obviously he used his method to do it.
Same with me. I’ve used MM in every context you can imagine. The mall, bars, coffee shops. I’ve had same night lays, threesomes, foursomes, picked up strippers. And I’m in New England, a completely different culture than LA or Vegas. MM works, man. Why? They’re about universals that cut across time and culture.
CHAPTER TWO. CAN GAME HAVE UNIVERSALS?
IP: We have to be very careful with the idea of “game universals.” What works for one guy may not work for another. MM is one style, one strategy, out of many that could work depending on a guy’s status, approaching different kinds of girls with different personalities. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
Ren: There are many paths up a mountain, but you still need some basics to get to the top. In game, if you don’t have sexual tension, emotional connection, masculine energy, you ain’t going nowhere with a girl. Whatever your style of skinning a cat is, you’ve gotta have fundamentals. And fundamentals are what MM’s about.
IP: Okay, I agree there are some game universals. But we have to be careful. Style is a universal, peacocking is not. Flirting is a universal, negging and disqualification is not. Status is a universal, preselection is not.
Ren: Do you even know what peacocking, negging and preselection are?
This is peacocking. Wear one or two interesting items of clothing. Here Johnny Depp wears an interesting bracelet, an interesting hat. His T-shirt and his jeans (that you can’t see in this pic) are “supporting” pieces.
IP: Peacocking is hilarious, and I guess it can be useful. But it’s basically dressing really weird and bizarre to stand out.
Ren: A common misperception. Peacocking is one of the basics of style. Which is wear one or two interesting items of clothing with supporting pieces. A supporting piece can be a pair of jeans, or a shirt, nothing that stands out. An interesting item is something that stands out, like a necklace or even a cool tie. Something that makes you go “wow” or “that’s kinda different” or “that’s pretty cool.”
It’s a basic of style because, these one or two items make you stand out from the herd of generic, Mr. Nice Guys who dress the same. You don’t have to go nuts here. Peacocking just shows you’ve got an edge and the balls to be a little different. That’s an attractive attitude to communicate through your clothing.
Bonus: they make great icebreakers, too. If you’re wearing a cool necklace or an interesting hairdo, you’ll find girls will opening you. “Cool tie,” she might say.
Just because Mystery has his own unique kind of style doesn’t mean you have to dress exactly like him. You can model other stylish people, a movie star you admire, a rock star you like, a character from a movie you’d like to be like. The point’s to break out of the generic Mr Nice Guy clothing, and take a few chances.
Okay, what about negging. What’s your understanding of that?
Below’s a classic example of play-fighting (or negging) — done with music!
IP: It disqualifies yourself from being a potential suitor. They can take the form of subtle insults to lower a girl’s self-esteem.
Ren: God, no! Another misunderstanding. You’re right they’re meant to disqualify you from being a potential suitor, you’re wrong to say they’re meant to lower girl’s self-esteem. Negs is just banter, man. No big thing.
They’re like what the philosopher Baudrillard once said about seduction:
“Challenge, not desire, is the key to seduction.”
Jean Baudrillard, the French postmodern philosopher (1927-2007). His most famous book is “Simulacra and Simulation,” but he also wrote a book called “Seduction.”
It’s making yourself into a bit of a challenge.
Animals play-fight with each other all the time.
Play-fighting. What negging is.
That’s what negs are. Play-fighting. It’s HARMLESS.
Or, it’s like one of my favorite quotes from the movie Tao of Steve:
“We purse that which retreats from us.”
Negs really negate yourself, not her. It’s about pulling away from her to draw her in.
Probably the best thing they do is
It’s the complete opposite of what most other guys do when they:
- ask “can I buy you a drink?”
- ask “so where are you from?”
- tell a girl “you’ve got great tits, wanna fuck?”
- give her a bunch of generic compliments: “you’re so pretty.”
- get obsessed with “that one girl”…
Instead, a neg does two things:
- communicates to her friends: “I’m not after your hot friend,” or as you said it “disqualifies you from being a potential suitor.” At the same time you…
- play-fight with the hot friend, creating sexual tension with her.
It’s FLIRTING. The argument’s over a word, a label.
Mystery coined the term “neg” for play-fighting, banter, playing hide ’n’ seek, catch me if you can. Whatever you call it. For what you do when you create sexual tension.
To her friends it looks like you’re not getting along, and their “bitch shields” don’t activate. But below the surface you and your target are feeling this sexual charge.
You can see negs in romantic comedies. In the beginning the two leads usually don’t get along. Their playful conflict and dissonance creates chemistry. Later they fall in love.
EXAMPLES OF ROMANTIC COMEDIES WHERE THE LEADS DON’T GET ALONG AT FIRST BUT FALL IN LOVE LATER (i.e. “negs”)
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (2003)
The Proposal (2009)
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
That’s what negs are. Playful conflict. It adds spice to an interaction.
It’s NEVER meant to insult women. If you insult a woman, you’re a dick and you’re doing it wrong. If she’s laughing and hitting your arm, well done. You’re negging on each other.
IP: I get that. But the problem with negs is that so much of a successful neg comes down to tone and the spirit you’re 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.
Ren: So? Is that any reason not to try it? Because you might not get it “perfect” the first time? So what if you fuck up? That’s how we learn. By fucking up.
Besides, it’s such an easy fix.
If your attitude is one of an arrogant prick, of course negs aren’t gonna work. Be playful.
If you’re an arrogant shit and you look down on people, then ANYTHING you say will come off as arrogant and insulting. Negs aren’t the problem, then. It’s your attitude.
But if your attitude’s playful and positive, that is you feel great and want to share that great feeling with everyone else, that attitude will come off, too. Even better, as Lance Mason from “Art of Attraction” once said:
“Positive energy is the male equivalent of cleavage.”
Having positive energy is the male equivalent of cleavage. It attracts.
The key to attraction is having a positive energy. That’s why smiling and laughter and giving “feeling good” and social freedom’s so important. It’s a pleasurable feeling that women’ll link to you.
But if your attitude’s playful, and all you want to do is put a smile on a girl’s face, and you don’t look down on people, that attitude will come off, too. It’ll be fun.
That problem you’re talking about has more to do with attitude, not negs.
I was nervous when I first tried negs, but the payoff’s been fantastic. It’s helped me cure my “nice guy syndrome,” become more assertive, be more playful, not to mention I’ve learned how to be funnier. Take the risk, break out of your comfort zone, and try ‘em. It’s worth it.
Negs, or being a playful challenge, is a fundamental to game.
IP: Well, what I don’t like is Mystery frames disqualification as utterly necessary. But in reality, tons of guys succeed by just being totally honest and direct about what they want.
They approach a girl, tell her she’s hot, escalate, and case closed. Disqualification is just one option. It works in some cases, with some women, for some guys. It’s not universally always true.
Ren: Wrong again. Like we talked about, you always need sexual tension. Tension comes from conflict, like tug-o-war. Tug-o-war doesn’t happen by saying to the other team “You guys are so strong and wonderful. I’ll surrender to you.” Then the rope goes all slack. No. Tug-o-war happens when both sides tug.
Sexual tension is like playing tug-o-war. This picture is NOT an example of sexual tension. When sex or romance gets mixed in, the tug-o-war turns into sexual tension.
Don’t get me wrong. Being honest is great. I’m all for honesty. I’m honest and direct when I approach. But then I immediately inject some playful conflict, too. Otherwise the interaction becomes dull.
Also, when you pull away slightly, it creates want. What’s the nature of wanting?
Not having. When you have, the wanting goes away. So, being a bit of a challenge makes people want more. Again, it’s a fundamental of game.
Besides, who doesn’t enjoy some laughter, and that cliff-hanger feeling where you don’t know what’s going to happen next?
Okay, okay, okay. You’ve brought us back this issue of the direct versus indirect opener. Cool, whatever. You can do MM with a direct approach, no problem. You said tons of guys do go direct without any disqualification. Which guys did you have in mind?
IP: Tom Torero, Jon Matrix, Yad, Justin Wayne, the guys over at daygame.com, or even somebody like Chris Good Looking Loser. They all get hot girls without using MM. The evidence is there, dude.
Ren: Alright, let me watch those guys.
Each one of these guys approached ONE girl in the DAY. So, they opened with direct openers.
Ren: Every one of those guys approached ONE girl during the DAY. I thought we talked about this already. Of course, a direct approach IS more ideal in that context. If you’re going to approach groups of women, the game changes a bit.
Direct honesty is the way to go during the day. All I’m saying is it’s helpful to throw a little playful challenge in there, too. To make things interesting, to make her chase, to make her want.
IP: Well, here’s the other thing. Mystery’s game is so conversation-focused. There are tons of guys that focus on physical escalation, with minimal talking, and are successful.
Ren: I’m not sure who you have in mind, but I know Matador has a really physical game. And guess what? He was a student of Mystery’s. So what?
3. Quick Sex
Why scrape the barrel…
…when you could have this?
IP: Well, what if you’re looking for simple, quick sex, with little interest in getting to know a girl or developing a deep connection? Sometimes a girl’s horny and wants any guy to sleep with. You don’t need all these weird tactics. You just need to be in the right place at the right time.
Ren: So then you’d become the “player” without standards who sleeps with the first horny girl he sees. Neither talks to the other again. Basically “getting” sex for their own self-interest. And being as passive about as possible.
Why would you want to just go for anyone, like sloppy drunk chicks? MM’s designed to pick up quality girls, the 9’s and 10’s. And part of MM is to be selective about the women you have sex with, to have sex with a girl you’d actually want to see again.
But, hey, if you want to go for the 5’s and 6’s, you can still use MM, too.
For me, the point of learning game isn’t to scrape the barrel and get laid by just anyone, but to learn a life skill and grow as a man.
IP: And what if the 9 or 10 happens to be a sloppy drunk?
Ren: She won’t be much of a 9 or 10 anymore. And kinda illegal if you took her home.
IP: The idea that hot girls are fundamentally “different” from other girls is a common fallacy. The same woman can be all dolled up in a nightclub 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. All women function in the same way.
Ren: Women and men function in the same way because we’re all human and we all want love. Why stop there? But to ignore the fact that 9’s and 10’s get more attention is just ignoring reality.
Girls who get more attention, get hit on more, get more breaks in life because they’re genetic freaks have a different psychology than a girl who’s been ignored all her life. So, there is a difference between approaching a 9 or 10 versus a 6 or 7.
IP: Every man has a different definition of hotness. One man’s 10 is another man’s 6. There’s a lot of subjectivity there.
Ren: Maybe some guys are into fat chicks. But put a fat chick on the cover of a magazine, I doubt it would sell as well. All of us know the difference between a 10 and a 6.
And ever heard about that experiment done on infants? Where scientists showed them pictures of average faces versus “beautiful” faces? The babies gazed on the beautiful faces more. There’s a lot more objectivity to beauty than you think. You know that. C’mon, man.
Grace Kelly. That’s a pretty beautiful face. Wouldn’t you say? Or is beauty just relative?
IP: I really, REALLY don’t like the number system for various reasons, but that’s for another discussion.
You’re absolutely right, there is such a thing as objective beauty. But objective beauty lies in things like symmetry, a certain wait-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. That’s 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 like 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.
Ren: Yes, gourmet food is gourmet food, but some might prefer filet mignon over lemon herb chicken. Who cares? My point is there are 9’s and 10’s. It’s not harder to attract 9’s and 10’s, it’s just different. There’s a little more play-fighting involved.
And that learning game is more than about getting laid. We may have all gotten in game for that originally. But it’s really about breaking the comfort zone, learning a life skill, growing as a man.
Ren: What about preselection? What’s your understanding of that? I’m guessing you think that’s another obsolete idea?
From Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence.” According to his research on marketing, there are six basic weapons of psychological influence: Reciprocity; Commitment (and Consistency); Social Proof; Liking; Authority; Scarcity.
IP: Again, Mystery 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 essential I see it as entirely optional. And sometimes detrimental. Because it can come off as bragging or in poor taste.
Ren: You’ve gotta read Cialdini’s “Influence” some time. He writes about six psychological factors that makes people want stuff. One of them is social proof. If lots of people want a product, it makes others want it, too. That’s all preselection is. Social proof.
An example of social proof.
And who said anything about bragging? Preselection addresses a pitfall a lot of guys fall into. That is, talking bad about their ex-girlfriends. He don’t realize that just makes him look bad.
Or, talking about how no women like him, and he’s a loser.
Chris Farley portraying himself negatively… not exactly the way to attract women:
How could talking about yourself in this way possibly attract a woman?
The point is, negative talk about yourself and ex-girlfriends isn’t attractive. It’s like trying to sell a product by saying it sucks and no one likes it.
On the other hand, you can talk well about your ex-girlfriends, and yourself. For example, you can mention a girlfriend in passing. And talk well of her. Or, you can present yourself in such a way that you’re successful with them.
Don Juan DeMarco portraying himself positively by showing he has a clue with women… slightly more effective
No bragging, man. Just being conscious to replace negative talk with positive talk. How you can benefit her.
And you can take all that up a notch. If a woman sees you surrounded by women, it might pique her curiosity. She might think: “If he has value for her, he might have value for me.”
It’s an effective strategy.
There’s a great scene in “Legally Blonde” that illustrates this, too. To show the principle goes beyond MM:
Reese Witherspoon helps a guy attract a girl he’s interested. The girl’s not interested. Reese pretends he gave her pleasure, then broke her heart. Next thing you know, the girl’s interested in him. Elle Woods understood preselection.
Elle Woods demonstrating Social Proof:
You don’t have to use this strategy. But if you know people gravitate to what others want, why not use it?
IP: Maybe you can “pique her curiosity,” but it’s not guaranteed and it’s not essential. It’s totally optional. Also, it works great for certain girls, such as many who are very status-conscious, but not as well for others.
Ren: Brother, you couldn’t be more wrong. Preselection has NOTHING to do with “status-conscious” girls. It has everything to do with human psychology.
And if you don’t want to use preselection, cool. I don’t care. To me, you’d be like a guy who only wants to play “Mary Had A Little Lamb” on the piano. Sure, he can get by. But why not expand your horizons and learn a little Mozart? If you understand this piece of psychology, you can use it to make your game even tighter.
IP: Preselection brings up something else that’s been nullified by subsequent lessons in recent years, and that’s Mystery’s take on evolutionary psychology. For example, his ideas about being the “tribal leader.” You don’t necessarily have to be the biggest, more powerful guy in the room to pickup women.
5. Evolutionary Psychology and High-Status
Ren: So, now you’re saying you don’t need a lot of masculine energy to attract a woman?
I agree with you on one point. Evolutionary psychology. I’m not a fan of it myself. Ever since I read Lewontin’s “Biology As Ideology.”
This book, by a Harvard geneticist, makes a very convincing critique of evolutionary psychology
David DeAngelo talks a lot about evolutionary psychology too, and it always makes my eyes glaze over. But I’ve never needed to believe in those myths to practice pickup.
That said, I DO think Mystery’s idea of the “tribal leader” is super-useful out in the field.
IP: Dude, “Tribal Leader” IS evolutionary psychology. He talks about ancient tribes and how the instincts that evolved in that prehistorical environment are still relevant today, and so on. That’s evolutionary psychology.
Ren: That’s the psycho-babble decorating a deeper truth. That women are attracted to masculine energy, especially to a high-status male rather than a low-status one.
There’s a joke, and I think it comes from Chris Rock but I’m not sure, where if Bill Clinton were working in a 7-11, women wouldn’t find him attractive anymore.
You could almost add to that: even if Hillary were president of the United States, guys still wouldn’t find her attractive. But it doesn’t matter if Candice Swanepoel were working in 7-11, she’d still be hot.
Candice Swanepoel. Wouldn’t matter if she worked at 7-11, would it?
IP: So, how do you convey high-status in the field? Brag?
Ren: No way. High-status can translate in the way you carry yourself, in your body language, the way you dress, speaking well, treating people with respect, unafraid of drawing boundaries. The swagger that comes from success with women.
That attracts chicks like cah-ra-zy. The way youth, facial symmetry, waist-hip ratio attracts guys.
Women find a survivor quality attractive because it’s masculine. It shows he’s strong enough to take care of her.
Wolverine: A man who can survive and who can protect. The idea is that’s masculine, and masculinity attracts women.
Men find a replicative quality attractive in a chicks because it’s feminine. Or it’s a sign of fertility.
Whatever the reason, being aware of the difference between how guys get attracted and women get attracted is super-useful in the field.
IP: Well, survival and replication is all part of evolutionary psychology. Which is fine. But to say it has nothing to do with pickup is silly.
Ren: You just totally missed my point. First, you don’t have to believe in evolutionary psychology to practice this idea. The idea being looks attract guys more, and having high-status attracts chicks more than looks. What I was trying to say was, you don’t need evolutionary psycho-babble to practice that.
IP: I agree status can make a big difference. But status is FLUID and dependent on context, as well as on the girl’s preferences.
A tatted-up 19-year-old hipster with a crappy part-time job into the indie rock scene is likely to have a VERY different conception of “status” than a 28-year-old 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.
Ren: We can keep returning to this theme of relativism versus universals until we’re blue in the face. It’s still a cop-out.
Maybe a 19-year-old hipster has different taste in men than a 28-year-old Harvard grad. But strength, confidence, and masculinity are universals that’ll attract a woman no matter what. Whether she’s a tenured professor or a 19-year old college student.
IP: Well, if you say “status” is just about confidence, body language, and swagger, that’s hardly revolutionary and we don’t need MM to tell us that.
Ren: I wasn’t arguing that “confidence attracts women” is what’s revolutionary about MM. What’s revolutionary about MM is it’s a practice that helps guys GET that confidence and swagger.
You said at the beginning of all this Mystery had some good ideas. Out of curiosity, which did you have in mind?
CHAPTER THREE. IF MM IS *MOSTLY* OBSOLETE, IS THERE ANY GOOD?
The “good” of The Mystery Method, according to Introverted Playboy: Mystery was the first to take a scientific approach. If that were true, what about all the academics who’ve taken a scientific approach to attraction before him? (Arthur Aron, Hellen Fisher, Desmond Morris, Lucy Brown, David Buss, Geoffery Miller, Margaret Meade, John Gottman… to name a few.)
IP: The GOOD thing that Mystery introduced, and this WAS revolutionary, was the notion we should take a scientific approach to understanding attraction.
Ren: Scientific approach? You mean evolutionary psychology?
IP: No, he gave us a different take on women than, for example, “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.
Ren: Not sure if I follow.
IP: You could take your uncle’s word for it, OR you could look critically at the evidence and see what’s really going on. And see that status, for example, is part of what attracts girls. But there’s also more to the story.
Ren: Okay, so you do think status attracts women.
IP: I guess so.
Ren: My point: saying MM’s obsolete is dangerous because some might be tempted to throw out the baby out with the bathwater, and the fundamentals that go along with it.
IP: I do think people who dismiss MM out-of-hand run the risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
But over time we’ve learned that only some of it you need, some of it is optional, some of it is only necessary in a certain context. And some of it will work great in some cases and actually be harmful in other.
Maybe obsolete isn’t the right word. Maybe incomplete or inadequate, or “not the whole story” would have been better.
CHAPTER FOUR. MM IS COMPREHENSIVE
Ren: Woooooow. That’s EXACTLY what’s awesome about MM. It IS comprehensive. It’s a guideline of what to do from meet to sex. It has the same structure as the beginning-middle-end of a story.
Mystery with a diagram of his method. Looks complicated, but the idea’s simple: attract first (A), build comfort second (C), save seduction for last (S). More on this below.
Like storytellers, pickup artists can use the MM structure to give them the freedom to use his imagination to create his own “stories” with his own style.
There’s so much flexibility within the MM structure. As evidenced by all the guys who came after and added to him.
How else do you explain why Mystery’s trained more master pickup artists than any other? OR changed the lives of countless men who felt they were hopeless with women, like me?
IP: All the respect 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 infield action.
1. MM’s Comprehensive Allows For Different Styles
Ren: So? That’s how it is with any art. A teacher teaches you a skill, but you don’t master it until you make it your own. RSD may have their own style, but they still use the fundamentals of MM: create sexual tension, be the man, entice her to chase, attract first, build comfort second, seduce last.
IP: 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.
Ren: If a guy starts learning piano and gives up does that invalidate piano? Just means he gave up.
If a guy doesn’t make the basketball team, does it invalidate basketball? Just means he didn’t make the cut.
If a guy never got his black-belt in martial arts, does it invalidate martial arts? It means he stopped going.
Same with people who had turned to PUAHate. Instead of looking at himself and how he could he improve, he blames an outside force, gets bitter and instead of growing just complains. It’s called sour grapes.
“Sour Grapes make the best whine.” Hehe. So damn true. Especially for the guys over at puahate.com.
Now, if MM is as specialized as you say, how do you explain him having his own TV show?
IP: Don’t go by TV. They’re in it for shock value and entertainment and money, nothing more.
Ren: Blanket statement, maybe? I’m not citing TV as an authority. I’m talking from the producer’s point-of-view. If I’m a producer who wants to create a show that appeals to a mass audience, I’d want it it to have mass appeal. If MM was so specialized, how could he have that mass appeal?
Maybe our disagreements boil down to where we’ve been practicing game. Maybe your focus has been on one-on-one day game, whereas my practice has revolved around approaching women in groups at night.
IP: I do approach small groups, 2-3 max. But I approach those groups usually with wing men available. I generally avoid mixed sets.
Ren: Maybe that’s why you say MM is obsolete, then. Because you’re afraid of trying it out. It’s definitely a different energy during the day. I know trying out MM’s been a life-changer for me.
IP: Note the higher energy in the night. More physical style like RSD succeed very well in the night game, so again it’s relative.
Ren: I feel like we’re going around in circles. We already established that. No one’s arguing you only have to approach indirectly. MM is just a proven guideline that works, a flexible structure with fundamentals. You can adapt that to all sorts of contexts.
IP: Well, a lot of it was off the mark, and other PUAs have learned it’s unnecessary. You say it’s comprehensive, but it’s not.
2. MM Shows All The Classic Mistakes Men Make With Women
Ren: How come MM explains every mistake a guy makes with a woman using each step:
- The Mr. Nice Guy who approaches in comfort: “come here often?” By skipping attraction.
Below, the Nice Guy: he opens in comfort without bothering to spark interest/attraction first. And he hides the fact he’s being nice to get sex.
- The Creepy Guy who approaches in seduction: “let’s fuck,” or just stares with lust. By skipping attraction and comfort and opening in seduction.
The Creepy Guy. He opens in Seduction, before attracting or building comfort.
- The guy who attracts, but gets stuck in comfort because he doesn’t kino escalate: the Friend Zone. By opening in attraction, builds comfort never moves to seduction.
The Friend Zone. He may have attracted her and built comfort, but he stays in comfort because he fears physically escalating.
- The Player who attracts, but skips comfort and rushes to seduction: girl feeling buyer’s remorse, not returning his calls. By opening in attraction but skipping comfort.
The Player. He attracts, but skips comfort, and goes straight for seduction. He might get sex and rack up the women, but they usually have buyer’s remorse afterwards.
The idea is so damn simple.
- Attract a woman FIRST before seducing or building comfort. Get some sexual chemistry going.
- Build comfort and get to know her, second.
- Then make a move (never in public, always in private) into a mutual seduction, third.
Simple, elegant, practical. Explains each mistake and how to solve them.
Also, it shows guys what the mating ritual looks like.
Every time we fall in love, regardless of place, time, we go through this process. We’re first attracted. We get to know the person. Then we seduce.
In fact, Desmond Morris, the zoologist who studied human behavior like any other animal, observed in “The Naked Ape” that the human mating ritual goes through three phases:
- Pair formation (courtship, or the attraction and comfort phases),
- Precopulatory activity (foreplay), and
- Copulation (sex).
He says it’s not always done in that order. For example, look at pre-arranged marriages. Husband and wife have sex before building a connection. But couples in a sexual relationship do go through the stages eventually.
Morris also observed that courtship last waaaay longer in humans than in animals.
Desmond Morris, the zoologist, made a similar observation as Mystery: the human mating ritual goes through three main stages.
What was before a mysterious process about HOW to be more successful with women on purpose (not on accident), has become like turning on the light in the dark so we’re not fumbling around.
Like a story structure, you fill MM out however you like. Just like the universal structure of story. Just as there are an infinite amount of stories, there are an infinite amount of ways to fill out MM.
3. MM Is Linear AND Cyclical
IP: Attraction-Comfort-Seduction. I personally find that model too linear. I think of the seduction process as more cyclical.
IP: Yes, balancing comfort and stimulation.
Ren: Um, that’s already part of MM. He calls it microcalibration. Even in comfort you’ve still got to be a bit of a challenge. Throughout attraction, comfort, and seduction you balance the “neg” part of things with interest, appreciation, connection.
Mystery on Microcalibration: the “cyclical” aspect of MM
In fact, that right there is THE unifying principle that binds attraction-comfort-and seduction together. As well as taking the lead and being the man all along the way.
IP: My way is so much simpler. I discuss my model of attraction and seduction in my ebook Introverted Seduction.
Ren: Yeah, “Introverted Seduction.” Why do you call yourself “Introverted Playboy” anyway, and your book “Introverted Seduction”?
The point isn’t to stay introverted or extroverted, but to grow.
IP: Because it’s geared towards introverts. Introverted guys have unique challenges and strengths in game. People think we have a handicap in game, but with practice, we can excel. We just have to play to our strengths, and not act like extroverts.
So, my book’s about how you don’t have to wear furry hats, paint your fingernails black, run routines, or neg. It’s meant for men who like to spend time alone and enjoy quiet conversations with one or two people. So I wrote this book about how introverts can succeed with women.
Ren: By remaining introverted.
IP: Right. Be true to who you are.
Ren: First of all, you’re confusing the man with the method. Mystery the man has that style. You can still have your own style and learn MM. MM, on the other hand, is just a guideline you can adapt to fit that style of yours.
Second, did Jung have in mind to stay introverted when he invented those labels “Introversion” and “Extroversion”? I thought his point was to become a more integrated human being. Not to remain the same. To integrate some of the energy you’re deficient into your personality, so you can grow.
Carl Jung (1875-1961), the psychologist who invented the terms “introvert” and “extrovert.” We might lead with one temperament, but we have the ability to be both. The point is to integrate both energies into our personalities.
IP: No, it’s about knowing your strengths and playing to those. It’s about not pretending to be someone you’re not, and being true to yourself.
Ren: Mystery was a big-time introvert before he taught himself game. To this day he’s an introvert. You have to be to invent something like MM. But he also now knows how to be outgoing, too. In other words, he’s become a more “whole” person.
Same with Neil Strauss. Big-time introvert before he learned game. After he learned game, he also learned how to bring out his personality better.
David DeAngelo was an introvert. Ross Jeffries was an introvert. Brad P was an introvert. Tyler Durden was an introvert.
I’d say most of us who learn game started as nerdy introverts. I’m an introvert myself.
I don’t think any of us would say we’re pretending to be someone we’re not after learning how to be more extroverted. I think we’d all say we’ve learned to become a more well-rounded human being, who knows how to bring out his best self.
MM is for introverts by an introvert. It helps introverts break out of that comfort zone. AND extroverts learn a shit load too. For example, the winner of the first season of “VH1’s The Pickup Artist,” Cosmo, was a natural extrovert.
Below is a video of Cosmo. He gives an example of a qualifier in it. Only thing I’d disagree with him is they’re NOT meant to bring down someone’s “value.” Qualifiers are more about helping a girl step down from her pedestal, if she’s on one, so you and her can now talk human-being-to-human-being.
IP: Well sometimes a guy doesn’t want to be an extrovert. I’m not saying Mystery’s model doesn’t work or can’t work. I’m just saying it’s rigid and limiting.
Ren: No, man. Just the opposite. MM’s super flexible. You can adapt it to your own personality and any context you’d like.
Or, are you saying it’s not good to have structure at all? That all structure is rigid and limiting?
5. MM’s Structure Gives You Freedom
What happens when there’s no structure, direction, map.
IP: I prefer to be intuitive about it. You don’t need a structure.
Ren: But structure’s what keeps the universe in place. It keeps the body in place. It keeps a story in place. It keeps music in place. And it keeps game in place.
And the beautiful thing about structure is it’s as flexible as a tree bending in the wind.
Not only that but having a structure allows you to take the lead. It’s like a map that helps you know where to go next. Otherwise, without a structure, you’d get into these fumbling, go-nowhere conversations.
Ironically, it’s having no structure that’s limiting. Structure sets you free.
IP: Structure sets you free? How’s that possible?
Ren: Imagine a bridge between two cliffs. That’s what structure is. Without the bridge in place you can’t get anywhere, and you might drown in the water below.
What having no structure is like. Can’t go anywhere.
Now, if you have a wobbly bridge, you won’t be able to walk across it with a lot of confidence. But if you have a strong bridge, now you can dance and have the freedom to be yourself. It’s counter-intuitive, but a strong structure gives you more freedom.
When striking up conversations with with strangers, it’s especially helpful to have a plan. Knowing what to do first, second, and third allows you to lead an interaction to a destination.
IP: Well, I think MM creates unnecessary extra steps that just get in the way. As many have said over the years, his teachings are complicated and contain unnecessary, superfluous material. It’s too complicated and completely anti-intuitive.
6. MM Is A Backwards Rationalization Of An Intuitive Process
Ren: Nope. You’re looking at MM through the lens of other people’s labels and misunderstanding, rather than taking the time to understand MM itself.
MM is the result of Mystery looking back on all his successful pickups and seeing a pattern. Certain things happened again and again when he succeeded. When he failed, he found that pattern wasn’t in place. That pattern became the Mystery Method.
And any skill seems it’s complicated at first. If you read about about how to drive a car, you’d probably think it’s too complicated and anti-intuitive. But after you practice those steps, it becomes intuitive. It’s helpful to have steps as a teaching tool until talking to women becomes intuitive.
Driving a car seems counter-intuitive and complicated at first. The instructions are meant for beginners. The more you practice the guidelines, the more “second nature” it becomes. Until you’re driving 87 miles an hour while texting. Not recommending that.
IP: Well, there’s just too much superfluous material.
7. Every Step In MM Has A Purpose
IP: A1, A2, A3… way to complex.
Ren: What does each of those refer to?
IP: A1 Open, A2 DHV, A3 qualify.
Attraction: it works the same way as electricity or magnetism. Opposite forces attract. Like forces repel. Masculine energy attracts the feminine. And playful conflict attracts more than being completely alike and perfectly nice.
Ren: Each one totally necessary and has a purpose.
I’ve gotta share this cool experiment with you. Did you hear about this by Arthur Aron at SUNY-Stony Brook on what makes two people fall in love?
Ren: Oh, it’s so cool. You know what her found out? He discovered there are three things makes us fall in love: sexual tension, mutual self-disclosure, and to discover the other person likes you for legitimate reasons.
When I first read this, it blew me away, because this is exactly what A2 and A3 refer to.
You do only two things in A2: a) create sexual tension with your target through negs (or play-fighting) and b) self-disclose yourself to her friends through DHV (or sharing yourself).
A3 is the mirror image of A2. By sharing yourself first in A2, you’re in a better position to ask about herself, by qualifying her. After she answers your question, you give a “Statement-Of-Interest,” telling her you like her, and make her feel liked for legitimate reasons.
The entire purpose of the attract phase: spark sexual tension, mutual self-disclosure, so you can make her feel liked for legitimate reasons.
The real genius of A1, A2, and A3 is it ALSO answers four basic questions people ask themselves (credit: hilarious and insightful blogger BossyMoksie) whenever a stranger approaches them out of the blue:
- Why is he approaching me? (Or, what does he want from us?)
- How long am I going to be stuck with him? (Or, hopefully we’re not stuck with him.)
- Who is he?
- What can he do for me?
A1, the opener, answers the first two questions. First, you “root” yourself, i.e. let them know why you’re approaching.
You can be honest and direct: “You guys looked cool and I wanted to introduce myself” or “I’ve got this rule that whenever I see someone attractive, I’ve gotta say hi.”
Or, you’re approaching because you’re being outgoing, friendly, out meeting everyone.
Or, you’re approaching because you want to get a female opinion on something…
Below’s the REAL origin of the classic opinion opener “Who lies more, men or women?” at about 4:15
Whatever the reason, people won’t hear a word of what you’re saying unless they know why you’re talking with them first.
Second, give some kind of a time constraint. This can be verbal: “I’ve only got a sec.”
Or, through your body language: if your feet are turned away from them it communicates you’re not going to be there forever. In fact, you’re on your way out.
My favorite constraint’s to play-fight within the second sentence out my mouth. This is my favorite because it’s all about positive energy. Positive energy is the #1 thing to attract. It’s the male equivalent to big tits.
Third, open within 3 seconds to avoid being the Creepy Guy who stares or stalks. Really he’s being “The Nice Guy.” He waits for the woman to leave her group so he can catch her alone and hit on her… Much better to disarm the group using stories and humor that shows a non-insulting LACK of interest.
That’s all A1 is. Opening within 3 seconds, hooking a set by rooting yourself, and giving a constraint. Once you do that, you’re into A2.
And A2 is all about introducing yourself. It answers their next two questions:
You’re telling the group who you are. And…
…by initiating an interesting topic of conversation (DHV) while bringing humor to the table (negs), you’re giving the group value.
Once you introduce yourself it’s natural to ask about them… and you’re off into A3.
Brilliant. It works in any context you can imagine. And you can fill this structure out however you like.
IP: Well, what about C1, C2, C3…?
Comfort: getting to know each other, and building a connection.
Ren: C1, C2, and C3 are distinguished by location.
C1 takes place in the pickup venue. It’s also the secret to getting a solid phone number. Which is spending 25-40 minutes with her.
Getting a number in three minutes WILL flake. ‘Cause she doesn’t know you. Spending time getting to know her (25-40 minutes) gives her reason to pick up the phone.
But why play phone game at all when you can “time bridge”? That means NOT waiting to make a date later, but right there and then when you have her in person. It’s the opposite of what most guys do. It’s smart.
C2 is about visiting 3-5 venues with her. They’re neither in the pickup location nor the sex location. This builds more trust than spending the same amount of time with her in one place. If she sees you in only the venue you met as strangers, you’ll still feel like strangers. If you go to places together, well, you’re going into them “together.” You’re no longer strangers.
And THAT’S the secret to inviting her back to your place. Take her to multiple places. Then when you invite her to you place, she’ll accept because it’s just one more place.
Also, C2 means NOT waiting to kiss her at the end of the night. Be kissing already. Be touching each other already. That way when you go for foreplay in S1, it’s not an awkward move but an organic one.
C3 begins once she’s accepted your invitation to come back to your place and she’s alone with you there.
C3 means having a non-sexual reason for inviting her up: check out my aquarium, check out that movie we talked about, play that song on my guitar for you. Allow her to plausibly deny she’s coming up for sex. Let her save face and not appear “slutty.”
C3 also means NOT pouncing her when she’s at your place. For example, check your messages. Get her a drink. Put on a movie, play her a song on your guitar, play the home version of Dance, Dance Revolution. Or tell each other’s grounding stories. The grounding story can also be done in C2, but it’s often done in C3.
C3 continues to build comfort and trust, because you’re NOT pouncing as soon as she’s alone with you. By not pouncing, it builds sexual tension. She’s more likely to pounce on you!
IP: And S1, S2, and S3?
Ren: S1 is foreplay.
Foreplay: emotional connection turns into a physical connection.
S1 is the rule to NOT make out until you’re in private.
S1 also includes the idea that foreplay is about teasing her. Smelling her hair for five minutes without touching her. Not going directly to her sexual spots. To inch toward them but take detours, building even more sexual tension. Taking two steps forward, one step back. Making her want it more and more.
Why we should never skip foreplay.
S2 is female psychology 101 about why her “Last Minute Resistance” to sex comes up.
The reason: it feels like our First Minute Resistance to approaching.
She doesn’t want to be perceived as a slut. She wants to know you’re gonna stick around after sex. Not necessarily get married, but to know the option is hers.
Why Last Minute Resistance comes up.
So, S2 is all about empathy. It’s about not forcing the issue, or making her feel guilty, or logic-ing her to death about why she should have sex. It’s about agreeing with her, then trying again later until she feels comfortable.
The point’s to let her know you’re going to stick around after sex. And that the notion of “slut” is double-standard bullshit.
The best way to deal with LMR is preemptively, though. By hinting you’ll stick around sex throughout the comfort phase before the issue might come up later.
Finally, S3 is first time sex.
Giving her great sex.
It’s about being choosy who you have sex with. To have sex with someone you want to see again. If you’re polyamorous, she can be one of your girlfriends (and that means being upfront with her that you’re in a “dating” phase of your life, it does NOT mean sneaking around) or if you want one girlfriend, maybe she’s it.
The point is: practice up until S2. Only cross the line to S3 if you want to see her again.
See how comprehensive MM is? How flexible and adaptable it is?
IP: It does make sense.
Ren: Tell me about it!
8. MM Uses Routines AND Spontaneous Conversation
Routines are like a pianist learning a piece by Mozart or an actor learning his lines or a cook learning a recipe. You can focus on your delivery. Based on that foundation you can make up your own stuff. We mix routines and spontaneous conversation all the time.
IP: But maybe his style is useful for beginners who need specific words, stories, questions to get conversations going and to transition into more interesting interactions.
Routines are useful only if they’re unique to you. Ultimately, I think everyone should cultivate their ability for spontaneous communication in the moment.
Ren: I’ve been practicing pickup for awhile. I still use MM, routines, AND spontaneous together.
You’re not saying you’re above routines, are you? That it’s only for beginners? Because all of us rely on routines everyday.
When we say “Hi, how are you” or “thank-you” those are routines. When we tell the story about “why I chose to live in the state of Maine” again because we’ve polished it and we know it works, that’s a routine. Comedians use routines, too.
Then we can build on that foundation of a routine to make up our own stuff. But we always use routines and spontaneous communication together.
I also like routines because it teaches you to tell a story so well that you bring out your personality. You get to concentrate on your delivery like an actor. You can concentrate on your body language, your facial expression, your tone. The emotional communication.
Pickup is a performance art. It’s a way to become your best self. MM gives you the tools to do this.
HAVE YOU TRIED MM?
Ren: Now, I’ve gotta ask. Have you even tried MM out, or is everything you know about it hearsay?
Ren: Introverted Playboy? Hello?
The Mystery Method isn’t obsolete. It’s a message that originated in marketing to compete with Mystery. They had to knock him down to make themselves look better. Some guys bought into this and seem to use it as an excuse not to try it at all. Instead of taking the time to understand MM, they ignore the treasure trove that’s in it.
Worse, those who who’ve bought into the intellectual masturbation around the messages probably haven’t even tried it. They prefer direct, one-on-one day game because it’s safer.
Another theme behind this message: there are no universals, everything is a free-for-all. That was the same argument the sophists had put forth in ancient Athens: there’s no truth, everything is relative. It confused the Athenians then, it confuses guys today.
The obsession with the newest, shiniest thing is not unlike claiming there are no objective standards. Of course there’s room for change. But without standards or fundamentals you’ve got no basis to build on.
Even in Einstein’s theory of relativity, there are universals. Without the universal of the speed of light, the relativity of time and space doesn’t work.
There are universals underlying game, and there are fundamentals. That’s what the Mystery Method is about. The fundamentals. It’s not the be-all and end-all. It’s like the beginning-middle-ending structure story-tellers use to tell stories.
The structure’s flexible and there’s lots of room for invention. In fact, it’s structure that frees an artist to invent. Much of the new developments in pickup are possible because of the foundation MM laid down.
Rather than talk about it, try it. You’ll see for yourself.
The Mystery Method isn’t obsolete, because it’s about the fundamentals.