A Few Bad Apples in Pickup Don’t Invalidate the Whole of Pickup
Again, because the skill is neutral, of course a guy can use it for ill. He can easily make it about self and ego.
But you can say the same for any skill. There are selfish, egotistical concert-pianists, professors, scholars, athletes, artists, actors, salespeople, Christians. But does that invalidate the whole of Christianity, acting, art, athletics, scholarship, and piano? Does a few bad cases make the whole of the skill inherently selfish?
Of course not.
There are many others who’ve mastered the skill without being egoists. I’d say most guys learning this skill don’t want to hurt women and don’t want to use them. They’re in it to better themselves. But more on that later.
This logical fallacy, by the way, is called “Composition/Division.” (And if you want an awesome list of other logical fallacies, check this out. Sweet-ass site.)
Anyway, this fallacy assumes that what’s true for a part must be true for the whole. Or, the whole must apply to the parts. For example, thinking, “I’m made of atoms. Atoms are invisible. Therefore I must be invisible.”
Yes, there are some bad apples in pickup. That doesn’t make the whole of pickup a bad apple. The few bad apples are just bad apples. The bad apples who may lie, manipulate, and bullshit doesn’t mean that’s inherent to pickup.
In fact, you could draw parallels to ethics with pickup. Allow me to explain in part three.
‘Cause I hear how horrible it is to learn pickup a lot. You may even have some of these doubts yourself. I wanna address these, so you have no doubts this path is an awesome one.
Myth #1: Isn’t Pick-up About Lying, Manipulation, and Bullshitting a Girl into Sex?
Usually I hear women come up with this one. But to be honest, it was a concern of mine before getting into pickup, too. I didn’t want to get into something that was about lying, manipulation, or bullshit.
But it comes down to intent. The skill itself is neutral. It’s neither manipulative or non-manipulative. The man breathes the manipulation into the skill if that’s his intent.
It’s similar to money. Money itself is paper with ink printed on it. It’s neutral, neither good nor bad. It’s the intent that makes money a good or evil. Persons who are greedy and rich were probably greedy before they got rich. Persons who are generous and rich were probably generous before they got rich.
Similarly, those who use pickup to manipulate were probably manipulators before they learned the skill. There are plenty of PUAs who are in this NOT to manipulate, bullshit, or lie, but to grow as men.
In any event, neither money nor pickup is “evil” in itself. It’s the intent of the man that makes it selfish or not.
So, when I hear this old wives’ tale, I know it’s a gross generalization.
When women say it, I think there’s a valid fear. It’s lazy thinking, don’t get me wrong, but I think there’s a valid fear beneath it. Perhaps they fear men will learn the skill and use it to manipulate them, lie to them, not see them as human beings.
But learning this skill doesn’t mean this happens.
This myth becomes offensive when women (or anyone else) accuse, stereotype, condemn, and get moralistic on ALL pickup artists before understanding the specific man.
After hearing enough of these accusations I myself almost feel guilty that I have male desire, and that I want to learn how to succeed with women.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with having male desire or wanting to succeed with women. The irony is this accusation is often used as a manipulative guilt trip itself.
So, why can’t a guy learn how to become more attractive, and talk to a women better without lying, manipulating, and bullshitting?
Do those terrible things really follow from the desire to become more attractive?
Indulge me for a moment and let me take this accusation apart to show you how ungrounded and fallacious it is. I’ll begin in part two.
Australian model Sophie Turner leaving her hotel and heading to judge the Cambridge Style Week in Cambridge, England.
To attract a Sophie Turner, we need our fashion to be in gear. Right?
It’s funny ’cause, as you and I know, attraction works differently for women. If a woman’s hot enough, she could be wearing the tackiest outfit from OK! Magazine and we’d still want her.
Not so for a woman.
A guy could be six feet tall, have perfect teeth, eight-pack abs, but if he’s wearing white socks with black shoes, she’ll instantly be like, “um no.”
So, to attract a Sophie Turner, we NEED to have our fashion in gear.
Now, fashion isn’t the whole story when it comes to attracting chicks. Of course not. But it IS a fundamental. Clothes sends a message about ourselves before we open our mouths. One of them being: “if his fashion is together, he must be together. He’s got status.”
Women DO judge a book by its cover. It’s helpful to have an attractive cover.
But if you’re anything like me, you’re not huge into fashion. For the longest time I had zero interest in it. Thought it was unmanly. That’s about the time I also had zero success with women. Since I learned pickup, I learned improving your fashion doesn’t make you any less of a man. Just the opposite. Makes you more of an adult man.
Think James Bond. Is he unmanly? Course not. Yet he’s got his fashion in gear.
Before I share with you what I’ve learned about fashion let me say: I’m no fashion god. But learning these Dos and Don’ts have been SUPER helpful to me. So, of course I wanted to pass them along to you, too.
Again, the benefit of following these guidelines: you’ll feel more confident. And it attracts women before you open your mouth.
Okay, here they are:
::: DON’Ts :::
1. Don’t wear clothes that don’t fit right.
Don’t wear clothes that are too baggy. Wear clothes that show your shape. Even get rid of clothes that fit ALMOST right. Keep clothes that fit EXACTLY right.
2. Don’t button your shirt all the way up.
Button all the way up looks nerdy. Not to mention stuffy.
Martin Short showing us what happens when we button all the way up. Not the best look in the world.
3. Don’t unbutton your shirt too far down.
Unbutton too far down, like douchey. And like Tom Jones.
Don’t unbutton your shirt too low either. Good rule of thumb to follow: Don’t unbutton more than two buttons.
Always leave the top button undone. For a more relaxed look, you can leave the second one undone. But don’t unbutton more than two buttons.
4. Don’t tuck in sweaters, T-shirts, or sports jerseys.
If these are your outer layer, don’t you DARE tuck these in. Unless you intentionally want to look ridiculous. The only shirts to tuck in are button-down shirts. We’ll talk more about when to tuck these in, in the DOs section.
5. Don’t wear Sneakers.
Shoes and Boots are better than sneakers. Some sneakers are okay, like Diesel or Puma. But stick to shoes and boots. They look more masculine.
6. Don’t wear Sandals.
Plastic flip flops are a no-no. High-end sandals are okay in places like Florida or Hawaii. Otherwise sandals are a no-no. Girls don’t like seeing guys’s ugly toes. On a related note, absolutely DO NOT wear socks… especially white socks… with sandals. This screams “Goober.”
These scream “Mr. Nice Guy.” There’s no edge to them. Jeans are the best things to wear at a bar.
10. Don’t wear pants that have a sagging crotch.
It looks sloppy. And you look like an old man.
Beware the sagging crotch.
Wear pants that FIT.
Jeans with no sagging crotch. Much better.
11. Don’t wear free T-Shirts from advertisers and businesses.
These make you look cheap… like you’ll wear whatever you get for free.
And they make you look like a billboard. It also kinda says you lack your own personality. Don’t do it.
12. Don’t wear T-Shirts with Vulgar Sayings and Negative Connotations.
These messages associate you with seventh grade humor. And they send a negative message about you before you’ve even opened your mouth.
Don’t do it. Please.
13. Don’t wear the same color head to foot.
Variety of color pleases the eye. Don’t go monochrome.
14. Don’t wear white Socks with Black Shoes.
Match your sock-color to your pants-color. Michael Jackson got away with white socks and black shoes because he wanted to draw attention to his feet when dancing. If you don’t have Michael Jackson’s dance moves… at the very least… wear black socks with black shoes.
::: DOs :::
1. Make sure your clothes fit.
Again, wear clothes that show your shape.
This communicates you’re a sexual person. And that you’re sexually comfortable.
2. Always look your best.
Joe Manganiello (from “True Blood”) looking his best.
Even if you’re going grocery shopping. You never know when you’re going to run into a woman you want to attract. Plus it does something to your confidence when you look your best.
3. Evaluate yourself in the mirror before going out.
Make sure there’s no lint. No bulges in pocket. Clothes are ironed. Also… nose hairs are trimmed. Haha
4. Wear things that have no purpose.
Like jewelry, hats, wristbands.
Johnny Depp sporting items of clothing that serve no purpose, like his wrist band, ring, and handkerchief. His hat is also more for ornamentation.
This is what Brad P calls “sexual ornamentation.” (See his excellent ebook “Brad P’s Fashion Bible” for more.) This relates to the next item…
5. Wear at least one interesting piece of clothing, no more than two.
Have a showpiece in your outfit.
The blazer and scarf are examples of show pieces.
The idea is if you have the COURAGE to stand out. Learn from the peacock.
Unique button-down shirt.
They grab your attention. They’re unusual. They show boldness of attitude. Adventurousness. Fearlessness. Standing out from the crowd. Sometimes they make you stand-out so much that women approach YOU. That takes care of the most challenging parts of the pickup. Nice!
WARNING: If you have no showpieces, your outfit will be boring. And you risk blending in. And if you have more than two showpieces, you’ll be too busy. Like this guy below:
This guy probably has too many show pieces on: sunglasses, wrist band, necklace, scarf, jacket, designer pants. His only supporting piece is the T-shirt. Result: too busy.
The eye can focus on so many things at once. Stick to one, two maximum, showpieces.
6. Wear supporting pieces.
Wear supporting pieces. They support the show pieces.
Johnny Depp’s supporting pieces: T-shirt, jeans, boots.
Plain white T-shirt.
They’re not meant to grab your attention. They’re high-quality pieces of clothing, but they’re more plain. They’re meant to support the one or two “show” pieces.
Rule #1– stay away from bright, neon, vibrant colors.
These come off feminine.
Rule #2– don’t wear colors that blend too much with your skin tone.
For example, if you have a dark skin tone, stay away from dark tones. If you have an olive complexion, stay away from olive-colors. If you have pale skin, stay away from pinks, reds, oranges, yellows. Better to have colors that contrast and complement your skin tone.
Rule #3– be aware what color you wear says about you–
Pink/Peach: Upbeat, calm… by the way, pink is totally acceptable.
Black: Authority and elegance.
White: Virtue and cleanliness.
Blue: Trustworthy and intellectual.
Yellow: Alertness and optimism.
Burgundy: Passion and luxury.
Gray: Class and efficiency…
Gray is also a neutral color, and goes great with a lot of other colors. Black and white are also go with virtually any color, too.
The simplest rule is this. A belt should match your shoes in color and finish. Shiny shoes demand a shiny belt. Matte shoes demand a matte belt. Black shoes demand a black belt.
And here’s another great rule about taking care of your belt: Belts should always hang vertically. A lot of guys leave belts in their pants. I know I have. If you do, you’ll curve and damage the seams.
One last rule. Don’t wear a shirt tucked in your pants without a belt.
9. Tucked vs. Untucked.
Rule #1– Look at the hem of the shirt. Does it dip or is it straight across?
If the hem of the shirt dips in the front, and in the back, the shirt is meant to be tucked in. It’s a business shirt. The dip is there to keep the shirt tucked in.
See that large dip in the shirt on the right? Shirt’s meant to be tucked in.
If the hem is straight across, and there’s a split in the side, it’s meant to be untucked. It’s a casual shirt.
The shirt on the right has a hem with a slight split in the side. You know you can wear that untucked. (The shirt on the left falls too far down the crotch to be left untucked.)
There are also shirts, like from Express, that can be both tucked AND untucked. The hem has a SLIGHT dip in the front and back, so you can tuck or untuck.
This is a shirt from Express that can be tucked or untucked. You can tell it can be both by the slight dip in the front and back.
Rule #2– Does the hem cover most of the crotch?
If the hem covers most of the crotch, it’s too long. Tuck it in.
If the hem is less than half-way you can keep it untucked OR tuck if you’d like.
Rule #3– Do you want to go for a polished look or a casual look?
A tucked shirt gives you a polished look.
KEEP IN MIND: too polished, you risk looking effeminate. But there IS a time and a place to be polished. For example, formal occasions or first impressions. Here, polished says: “put together.”
An untucked shirt gives you a casual look.
KEEP IN MIND: casual tends to put people at ease. And a more rugged look makes you look more masculine. There’s also a time and a place for casual, too. Like informal occasions.
OPTIONAL IF YOU GO UNTUCKED: unbutton the top two buttons. Roll up the sleeves no higher than mid-bicep. This’ll give you a cool, casual look.
Ryan Gosling sporting the mid-bicep sleeve roll. Highly recommended look.(Just don’t roll the sleeves any further than this.)
BONUS: Make sure the arm of your shirt isn’t too long or too short. See pic below:
Rule #4– What’s the rise of your pants? High or low?
If the rise of your pants is high, leave the shirt untucked. Unless you wanna look like Urkel.
If the rise of your pants is low, it’s safer to tuck.
Also, look at the environment you’re going into. If it’s formal, tuck. If it’s casual, it’s safe to untuck. That’s a good decider.
I myself prefer untucked because it sends a more relaxed message.
Rule #5– You can tuck and untuck at the same time.
Here’re some pictures to show you what this looks like:
The tucked/untucked look.
David Beckham killing the tucked/untucked look.
Another prime example of the tucked/untucked look.
Rule #1– When in doubt, match your socks color to your pants color.
Rule #2– Wear black socks with black shoes.
Purists say to extend socks over calves to prevent your bare leg from being exposed while sitting. It’s not necessary. But avoid wearing tennis socks with shoes.
Rule #3– Wear tennis socks with sneakers.
Visible socks with sneakers make you look like a kindergartener.
Rule #4– Wear NO socks with sandals.
Rule #5– DO wear socks when your toes don’t show.
Foot and shoe moisture attract fungi, viruses, and other bacteria. Socks are good.
The form beneath your clothes make your fashion pop. So if you’ve got a good body it makes your clothes look better. I wrote a post on how to build muscle and lose fat over here. But a great place to start is p90x or p90x3. Those programs got me in the best shape of my life.
In any event, a great body is universally appealing. It makes you look healthy, sexually ready, and like your life is together.
Muscle is masculine. All of that attracts.
12. Change your wardrobe every 2 years.
Keep up with the times. Styles are constantly changing.
13. Check out these stores.
> Diesel: Good for many sexy stereotypes.
> H&M: Rapidly changing rack. Inexpensive. But falls apart in a year.
> Century 21: Good closeout deals on “label” clothes.
> Express: Stay away from “Modern Fit” shirts (too loose). Go for “Fitted” shirts. You’ll find great styles here.
> Abercrombie: Their muscle shirts will show off your shape well.
> Nordstorm’s: Great prices on sales rack.
> Urban Outfitters: good for supporting pieces
> Bloomingdale’s: Best department store (stay away from JC Penny and Sears. Macy’s is so-so.)
14. Model guys who dress well.
Pick a movie star you admire and steal his style. Copy it. It’s a great place to start.
::: Things You Can Do Right Now :::
1. Get rid of anything in your closet that doesn’t fit right.
Even stuff the “almost” fits. Get rid of it. Donate them to like Good Will or Salvation Army.
2. Find a movie star you admire.
Choose two or three of his favorite get-ups. Copy it. That is, list the accessories (or “show pieces”) he has on as well as his supporting pieces. Then…
3. Go to a few of the stores I listed above and buy the items on your list.
H&M is an inexpensive place to start. Bloomingdale and Macy’s has a variety of brands and clothing items to choose from. They’re good places to start. Here’re some classic staples to get if you don’t have them already:
Jewelry (like necklace or wrist bands)
Button down shirt (a white one is a staple)
4. Try on your new style.
The coolest thing is you’ll feel like a new man. If your friends and family give you shit, ignore them. It’s sad, but people we know sometimes try to hold us back… especially when we’re bettering ourselves. It’s their egos at work. Keep experimenting with your fashion and bettering yourself. Don’t let them hold you back.
5. Check out other resources if you need.
HIGHLY recommend Brad P’s “Fashion Bible.” I learned a lot of what I know now from that ebook. Plus I’ve also got more on fashion in my ebook “The Mystery of Women” coming out in the fall of this year (2015), too.
::: Do it! :::
When a guy gets his fashion in gear, here’s the result. 😉
This isn’t about techniques, but inner-game. It’s about developing the Renaissance Man within. It’s a longer post, but I promise this idea will be worth it.
‘Cause you could have all the game in the world, but if you’ve got nothing to back it up, you’re gonna come off as shallow, having no substance… hello turn-off.
Yes, cultivating the Renaissance Man within isn’t exactly “active” game. But your SUB-COMMUNICATION will be waaaay better. You know, what you “say” in between the lines. The tiny unthinking, subconscious things you say and do, like body language, your reservoir of stories and conversation topics, confidence.
Oh hell yeah, confidence. I’d say a guy becomes a man of high-value FOR REAL by cultivating his inner Renaissance Man. I mean, he’s realizing his potential, choosing the “high” road over and over, how could he not? That’s a HUGE source of confidence.
Then of course there’s the fact that as a Renaissance Man you keep your woman attracted in the long-term, rather than merely attracting her in the short-term.
Actually, I’d say that’s the biggest benefit of becoming a Renaissance Man. Better than helping you “get” women, it’s good in itself. It’s good in itself to become a more excellent, well-rounded man.
So I know this post isn’t exactly how to “game” women. But without a solid foundation to build a house on, the house’ll crumble no matter how pretty it looks from the outside.
Shit, I love what I’m about to share with you. This idea inspires me to no end. I mean I named my pen-name after the idea for God’s sakes. I hope it’ll inspire you, too.
Okay, here’s the basic idea behind this post: let’s not let the ideal of the Renaissance Man die.
Every guy’s got a Renaissance Man inside them.
You’ve got one, I’ve got one. So why not let that beast out to play? Especially since it’ll make us into naturally attractive guys.
Emphasis on “naturally.”
I mean, look, learning how to pickup chicks and how to cold-approach and how to attract women kicks ass. I love it. Shit-load of fun. And not to mention, all-important skill that can apply to life outside of pickup.
But it’s ONE skill. There’re others. So, if we only focus on that one skill, don’t you think that kinda limits us? Stunts us from becoming all that we could be?
Like, what if our life became about picking up women and nothing else? Then what? What would our conversations be like? What would our relationships be like? How interesting would we be as human beings?
Whoa, that was a lot of questions. But here’s my point.
Yes. Having no life outside of pickup stunts our full potential as human beings.
But a man who also spends time building a life outside of women becomes a fuller human being. You’ll be like: Screw needing women to validate me. Or having to wear a “pickup” mask. Or fearing there’s nothing behind my pickup mask.
You’ll be the man who’s a “10” on the inside. That kind of guy attracts “10’s,” and KEEPS ’em keep coming back for more… ‘Cause he’s a “10” himself.
How cool is that?
Now, what better way to cultivate a life outside of pickup and become that “10” than cultivating ALL our gifts? Than becoming a Renaissance Man?
Okay, okay, okay. I get your point already. What the hell IS a Renaissance Man anyway?
According Baldessare Castiglione…
Baldessare Castiglione (1478 – 1529) Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier, writer. He was famous defining what the Renaissance Man is in his book “The Courtier.”
in his book, “Courtier” every Renaissance Man has six characteristics in common. He’s a:
He’s got social intelligence (and perhaps seduction skills…)
He CONTRIBUTES to (and participates in) society.
He explores existence, learns, grows in awareness.
He’s got a craft in something and does it with care, imagination, creativity, even play.
He takes care of his body and health, he’s strong and assertive, he’s equanimous and honest.
Castiglione was writing during the Renaissance when everyone was a Christian. Doesn’t mean you have to be a Christian per se, but to have some kind of spiritual life. In other words, a Renaissance Man does things for “the greater glory of God and the salvation of man” (the Jesuit motto). Put another way, he works to puts aside ego to love.
My favorite part?
ALL of us have the ability to be this. It’s not a few are born to be Renaissance Men. Being a Renaissance Man is the lot of being human. It IS being a human being. A FULL human being.
But unfortunately, our culture tends to specialize. So it seems strange that you could be a nerd AND a jock. Or an artist AND a scientist. Or a Christian AND a warrior. It’s like in our culture we think “you’ve got to be one or the other.”
Not according to this ideal.
According to the Renaissance Man ideal, we can do it all. And there are plenty of people that have proved it’s possible.
Check out some of these examples so you KNOW it’s possible for you:
black belt, weight-lifter. He speaks Swedish, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish. Studied chemical engineering, and economics. Professional actor (see ‘Rocky IV’), founding member of a New York theater company and a production company, he’s directed six films, and apparently can sing.
Actor (see Lord of the Rings), singer, composer, professional photographer and abstract painter–whose work gets featured in actual art galleries. A poet and a general badass.
Philosopher and cognitive scientist. His work has influenced psychology, and he literally invented modern linguistics.
professor of cognitive science, artist, calligrapher, composer, programmer, and physicist. He’s also fluent in three languages, and he’s studied eight others.
SCHOLAR – Made important discoveries in electricity, invented the “Franklin Stove,” discovered three methods of cooling, introduced several crops to the U.S., invented bifocal glasses, studied several languages, designed a phonetic alphabet, mapped the Gulf Stream and Routes for the post office, traveled extensively in U.S. and Europe, involved in founding of two colleges (University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University).
CITIZEN – Founded first U.S. Hospital, first circulating library, first fire department, first police department, first insurance company, founded street lighting, paving and cleaning, started American Philosophical Society, started Society to Abolish Slavery, started “Leather Apron Club” Union, first postmaster, originated matching contributions idea, crafted well-known maxims on thrift, business-owner, “Patron Saint of Printing,” held government positions such as governor, Ambassador to England, Minister to France, helped found the United States, Philanthropist, organized fund raising and contributed to many worthwhile causes.
GENTLEMAN – Known to be a ladies’ man, known for his great sense of humor, known for his diplomacy and social skills.
ARTIST – Wrote for several early newspapers, considered U.S.’s first writer of humor, drew first cartoon in an American newspaper, founded “Poors Richard’s Almanack,” invented musical instrument – glass armonica, designed “sea anchors”
was said to demonstrate the most courage on the battlefield during the Peloponnesian War, one of history’s greatest philosophers, humble stone mason/sculptor, active citizen in Athenian democracy, known for his gentlemanly sense of ethics, duty, sense of humor, wit, social skills.
“But hold on,” I hear someone saying. “If I follow this Renaissance Man ideal, won’t I just become a jack-of-all-trades but master of none?”
Here’s what I think we can learn from the examples above.
Yes, each of these Renaissance Men often had a focus. For example, Da Vinci focused on painting. Socrates focused on philosophy. Franklin seemed to focus on being a citizen. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t also be poets, musicians, scholars, and so forth as well.
To think otherwise is limited thinking. It’s to defeat one’s self before even beginning.
In fact, when I say “Renaissance Man,” I don’t mean just being multi-talented. I mean being a COMPLETE human being:
Being a scholar (learning and developing), a citizen (contributing and participating), a gentleman (social skills), a warrior (healthy body and assertiveness skills), an artist (using a skill that helps us imagine) and “Christian” or spiritual person (serving a higher power and living an ethical life) are just different facets of being human.
In fact, Plato had this PHENOMENAL idea that “education is recollection.”
We’re NOT born blank slates. We DON’T begin life knowing nothing. It’s NOT that a teacher fills us with knowledge.
Rather, we’re born with the answers within from birth. It’s just the teacher’s job to help us remember. According to Plato, we can learn math because we already have the ability to learn mathematics within.
If that’s true, you can take that a step further.
The reason ANY of us can learn music, art, science, ethics, or whatever, is because we already have the capacity to do it. We just have to remove the plank from our eyes and remember how. The Renaissance Man is within all of us. It’s prewired within us already. It’s what it means to be human.
That’s how I understand the Renaissance Man. Developing the WHOLE human person, not just a part.
I hope we haven’t become so specialized as a culture that we think this is impossible. If so, we’re in danger of creating a self-fulfilling prophesy where we’d be walking around as one-dimensional men.
To show specialization is not the only way of thinking, look at the ancient Greeks. They were the ones behind this Renaissance Man ideal after all. In fact, historians named the Renaissance era with the French word for “rebirth” because this was the age where persons were rediscovering the Greeks and their value of plural excellence. Rebirth of the Greek ideal.
This ideal wasn’t a big issue for the ancient Greeks as it is for us moderns.
Few Greek were specialists (like us). Instead, they were about plural excellence. That’s why so many Greeks were naturally Renaissance Men.
Plato was a poet, a budding politician, a philosopher, and a star wrestler (Aristolces is Plato’s real name; Plato was his wrestling nickname… Plato meant “broad” in Greek… because Plato had such broad shoulders. We know Plato by his wrestling nickname. Isn’t that awesome?).
Aeschylus, the “father of tragedy,” was a great poet and playwright but if you look on his gravestone, his inscription makes no mention of his plays, only his military achievements. He had fought in both Persians Wars and identified more with his honors as a warrior. But he was also an active citizen, gentleman, and a member of the Eleusinian cult.
Thales, the first philosopher in Greek philosophy, was a mathematician, an engineer, a scientist, a philosopher, an entrepreneur, a citizen who attempted to federate the twelve city-states on the coast of Turkey to fight against the Persians.
To be a Renaissance Man in ancient Greece was not an anomaly. It was expected. All men strove for plural excellence, NOT for specialization.
Why was this ideal not a big issue for the ancient Greeks?
Here’s my theory at least. Maybe they thought plural excellence IS what it means to be human.
We know how much the Greeks exalted humanity, what humanists they were. Perhaps what they recognized and loved in humanity was its universality.
The Greek myth about Prometheus explains what this “universality” is.
Prometheus. His myth hints at why the Greeks thought EVERY person has the Renaissance Man within them.
Check out the myth. I think you’re gonna like this…
First, backstory: Prometheus was a Titan who lived before the gods were even born. In fact, Zeus and the rest of the gods had to battle the Titans in order to rule Mount Olympus. Prometheus was one of the few Titans that had helped the gods beat the Titans.
His name meant “foresight.” He had a brother named Epimetheus and it meant “after-sight.” In other words, Prometheus was the one who thought before acting, Epimetheus acted before thinking.
Okay, here’s the story: Prometheus and Epimetheus were given the task of repopulating the earth after the gods beat the titans. The gods gave the two brothers gifts to hand out to all the beasts. Prometheus crafted an animal called “Man” with great care. He even modeled them after the gods.
But Epimethus made all sorts of animals rapidly without thinking. And he gave away all the good gifts to them. So animals could run fast, see, smell, hear better, and had more endurance than Man. Plus they had coats of fur that kept them warm in the cold nights.
Man had no gifts and no ability to survive in the wild.
Prometheus took pity on man. Of course he did. Man was his special creation. So this is what he did. He asked Zeus to have some of the sacred fire to help them out.
Zeus said, “Hell, no. The fire belongs to the gods alone!”
Prometheus couldn’t bear to see Man suffer so he decided to steal some of the fire anyway. He carried it down to earth.
Prometheus stealing some of the fire from the gods for the sake of humanity.
And thank God. ‘Cause the fire kept Man warm in the night. It also kept away other beasts so they wouldn’t attack.
Even better, a strange thing happened.
Man would watch the smoke spiral upward. Their eyes lifted from the ground up the the heavens. They began to wonder, think, become more aware, and they built temples to honor the gods.
Still, when Zeus found out about Prometheus’s thievery, he punished him… SEVERELY.
He chained Prometheus to a rock with unbreakable irons, and each day an eagle would eat out his liver. At night his immortal liver grew back again. But every day the eagle returned to make him suffer again.
Prometheus getting punished for his transgression. He was chained to a rock and an eagle would eat out his guts during the day. His guts would heal during the night. The eagle would eat out his guts again the next day.
They say it was Hercules who finally rescued Prometheus, but that’s a whole other story.
The point is, humans didn’t have a special gift like other animals. Their gift was fire, awareness, and their ability to transcend their “one-giftedness” that the other animals were limited to.
Jean-Paul Sartre made a similar point.
Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 – 1980) twentieth century existentialist philosopher from France.
In his essay, “Existentialism Is A Humanism” he argued that what makes humans unique is we’re NOT bound by an “essence.” We exist first. We have this incredible freedom to create our own essence.
I like the way a Renaissance philosopher put it. Giovanni Pico Della Mirandela…
Giovanni Pico Mirandola (1463 – 1494), Italian philosopher from the Renaissance. The same insight in the Prometheus myth can be found in his “Oration on the Dignity of Man.” That book has been called the “Manifesto of the Renaissance.”
…in his “Oration on the Dignity of Man” drew out the lessons of the Prometheus myth in this way (by the way, I know this is a long quote, so feel free to skip it, but let me tell you how WORTH it is to check it out):
“Man is the most fortunate of living things and deserving of all admiration…he’s not of the brutes alone, but also of the astral beings… Hear what this condition of man is… The Great Artificer still longed for some creature which might comprehend the meaning of so vast an achievement, which might be moved with love at its beauty and smitten with awe at its grandeur. He brought forth man.
But there remained no archetype according to which He might fashion a new offspring… All space was already filled; all things had been distributed in the highest, the middle and the lowest orders… At last, the Supreme Maker decreed that this creature… (man has) nothing wholly his own, (but has) a share in the particular endowment of every other creature. Taking… this creature of indeterminate image, He set him in the middle of the world and thus spoke to him:
“We have given you no visage proper to yourself, nor any endowment properly your own… (but) whatever place, whatever form, whatever gifts you… select, these same you may have… The nature of all other creatures is defined and restricted… you, by contrast, aren’t impeded by restrictions… by your own free will… you, trace for yourself the lineaments of your own nature. I have placed you at the very center of the world, so that from that vantage point you may with greater ease glance round about you on all that the world contains. We have made you a creature neither of heaven nor of earth, neither mortal nor immortal, in order that you may, as the free and proud shaper of your own being, fashion yourself in the form you may prefer. It will be in your power descend to the lower, brutish forms of life… (or) to rise again to the… divine.”
To have what (man) chooses, to be what he wills to be! The brutes from the moment of their birth bring with them all that they will ever possess. The highest spiritual beings were from the very moment of creation… (are) fixed in the mode of being. But upon man… God bestowed seeds pregnant with all possibilities the germs of every form of life. Whichever of these a man shall cultivate, the same will mature and bear fruit in him. If vegetative, he will become a plant. If sensual he will become brutish. If rational, he will reveal himself a heavenly being. If intellectual he will be an angel and the son of God. And if dissatisfied with the lot of all creatures, he should recollect himself into the center of his own unity… become one spirit with God, in the solitary darkness of the Father Who is set above all things, himself transcend all creatures.
Who will not look with awe upon this our chameleon? …If you see a man dedicated to his stomach, crawling on the ground, you see a plant, not a man. If you see a man bedazzled by the empty forms of the imagination… and made a slave to his own senses, you see a brute, not a man. If, however, you see a philosopher, judging… (from) the rule of reason… he is a creature of heaven and not of earth. If… a pure contemplator… wholly withdrawn into the inner chambers of the mind, here is neither creature of earth nor heavenly creature, but some higher divinity clothed with human flesh.
Who will not look with wonder upon man… (who) is designated sometimes … by the term “every creature” because he models, fashions, transforms himself into the likened of all flesh and assumes the characteristic power of every form of life?
But what is the purpose of all this? That we may understand… we have been born into this condition of being what we choose to be–that we ought to be sure above else that… we appreciate it… we may… not pervert this free option. We(‘re) impatient with mediocrity (and) pant after the highest things. Let us emulate the kind of life life they lead. For if we lead this kind of life, we shall attain their same estate. If we burn with love for the Creator only… (we) transform into… a heavenly being.
Humans have the ability to be anything we want. We’re both brute and angel. We’re not fixed, we’re “every creature,” we’re universal. The choice is ours what we make ourselves into: to transcend our brutishness or to cultivate our more universal “God” nature.
It’s that universality that’s at the heart of the Renaissance Man.
Marx the same insight, too.
Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) German philosopher who worked in England. Much of his philosophy was a critique of capitalism (rather than about communism).
He thought the essence of humanity was the creative act, to be universal men. But unfortunately, he observed most of humans are stuck working 9-5 jobs, getting minimum wage, and not fulfilling his humanity. That’s why he was so passionate about healing the contradictions and injustices inherent in the capitalist system.
Again, whole other story.
My point is: it’s that universality the Greeks loved so much about our humanity. It seems like for them, it was expected to cultivate this universality within us, ’cause it’s what it means to be a well-functioning human.
THAT’S what it means to a Renaissance Man.
Awesome right? See why this ideal inspires me to no end?
Okay, okay. What does all this have to do with pickup?
My point: Pickup focuses on ONE area of the Renaissance Man… the “gentleman.” That’s important, but let’s also develop the other five areas.
For example, how can we also:
Contribute to our community? Be a citizen?
Be an Artist? Fire our imagination?
Be a warrior? Perhaps making our bodies stronger? Becoming more assertive? More courageous to be honest?
Be more spiritual? Serve God (or whatever label you prefer to name that which is larger than us)?
Exercise our mind? Learn more about philosophy, science, math, history?
Again, what does this have to do with pickup?
I alluded to it at the beginning of this post, but it’s about becoming a more excellent man FOR REAL.
It’s one thing to have tight game on the outside. But if a pua’s sub-communication isn’t there, his game will be like an empty shell. If we build a life FOR REAL that kind of confidence spills over naturally in our sub-communication. Women will feel that inner-strength coming from us.
Also, if you’re building a life FOR REAL, you’ll have a life she’ll want to be part of. And, you’ll naturally have more references to talk with her about once your pickup is done.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s important to get the techniques down. But that’s just the part of the iceberg that peaks up from the surface. Even more important is what’s underneath.
Imagine a girl coming back to your place, and you can play the guitar for her.
Imagine being able to talk poetry, politics, psychology, history, sex, the stars, movies, music… if she’s interested in some or all of those things… with your girl.
Imagine being able to whisper Italian in her ear as you make love to her: “Sei la piu bella donna del mondo” (you are the most beautiful woman in the world).
Imagine being able to sketch her.
Imagine if giving to charity were part of your everyday life anyway. Then when you’re on a date with a woman you help an old lady cross the street. Not to impress her but ’cause it’s who are. You’d attract her without trying. As a byproduct of who you already are.
These are just a few of the surface-level benefits that can help a guy with his success with women by being a Renaissance Man. Call me biased, I just think becoming one helps a guy be naturally attractive to a woman.
But, again, screw being a Renaissance Man for her. Be a Renaissance Man for you. Because it’s good in itself. Because constant growth, constant “rebirth” in becoming a more excellent man is good in itself.
Okay I’m done. I’m stepping off the soapbox now.
All I wanted to say is: let’s master pickup, but let’s also develop our whole person, too. Let’s become an excellent men first and worry about attracting women as an after-thought. Let’s become the “sun” that naturally draws women in, rather than being a “planet” seeking to revolve around her.
Shit, man. Let’s become Renaissance Men.
You know what she’s thinking? “Mm-hm, I likes me a Renaissance Man.” Swear to God. 😉
Gotta share this awesome insight from Tony Robbins.
Tony Robbins listening to Shallow Hal.
It not only helps with inner-game, it helps with relating with anyone, including… hot chicks. The idea: every human person has six basic human needs.
The Six Human Needs: Certainty-Uncertainty; Importance-Connection; Giving-Growing
Now, before I dig into these, I’ve gotta share the story how Tony came up with the idea with you. ‘Cause it’s kinda cool.
How Tony Discovered This Idea
Tony had everything: riches, beautiful wife, world-leaders and world-class athletes seeking his help.
Tony was on top of the world but still felt despair.
But one day, before he was to board a plane to help another millionaire through some issues he was having, Tony felt like complete shit. He was like, “how am I gonna help another when I’m having issues of my own?”
Oh, you’re asking why he was feeling like shit? Just discovered he had a tumor in his brain. Yeah, that’ll dampen your mood. All of a sudden, all the success in the world meant nothing. Because he wasn’t certain he was even going to live.
So, before he left for the airport, he went into the shower trying to figure out how he could shake off this funk he was in. He thought about what was really going on that was paralyzing him. Then he started thinking about what made all the people he met and helped who felt sad across the world from diverse cultures. A pattern emerged.
And he had an aha moment.
Then he had an aha moment.
He realized everyone, no matter who they are, have six basic needs in common. And if these needs aren’t met, a person won’t feel happy. He could have everything in the world. If one of these are missing, he still won’t feel fulfilled.
Not all the needs were created equally, though. The last two needs are the most important. The first four have to do with ego-needs. The last two have to do with spiritual-needs.
Different people prefer the first four in different orders and in different combinations. They make the ego happy. But it’s the last two we need to be fulfilled (according to this idea at least).
Here they are:
First Two Needs: Certainty and Uncertainty
First, we need security…
The symbol of security. We all need it.
…and we also need insecurity.
Chaos. We all need a little unpredictability, too.
Security has to do with knowing you have shelter, food on the table, health. You need basic, survival needs to be met. It’s almost like the first level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The need for security/insecurity seem to correspond to Maslow’s “Basic Needs.”
At the same time, if we have too much security or certainty or predictability, things get boring. So, we also need insecurity as well.
We need variety and surprise to keep us awake, alert, adventurous.
We need both. We need both uncertainty and certainty.
Second Two Needs: Significance and Connection
Second, we need to feel important
The Anchor Man feeling pretty damn significant. But it’s a need we all have: to feel important.
…and we also need to feel a sense of connection.
But there’s so much significance and individuation we can take. We also need a sense of connection, too.
The way philosopher William James put it: the deepest principle in human nature is to feel important.
The needs for importance/connection (or love) seems to correspond to something philosopher William James once observed about human nature: all of us have a need to be appreciated.
Some examples: Look at us puas. A lot of us who got into pickup wanted to feel important. Tell me if you can relate. Part of us wanted to learn how to attract any woman we want because really we want to feel loved, or even important or appreciated.
Other examples: People who want to be famous want to feel important. People who want to win and get awards want to feel important. Achilles in Homer’s Illiad who chose a short life over a long life wanting glory over an anonymous life as a farmer wanted to be important. Celebrities, millionaires, people with high status, politicians and so forth who have distinguished themselves in some way were probably driven by this need for esteem.
Still more examples: Guys who get into gangs and threaten some poor victim at gun point. Gives them a rush of power. And importance.
Here’re some others: People who brag. People who put down others.
And even people who say please and thank-you and show kindness to each other. They’re all ways to make others or one’s self feel important.
We all need appreciation, acknowledgment, respect, praise, to feel important. Without it, we feel insignificant, like we don’t matter, like we have no value.
However, if we feel TOO important and feel TOO distinguished and TOO individuated, problems also arise.
For example, you’ll hear celebrities talk about how lonely they feel. They can’t even go out into a grocery store without being adulated. They lose a sense of connection.
Michael Jackson in disguise. He had so much significance and individuation he felt separated from the world. He’d express feeling loneliness and a longing for connection.
Or a person might be so filled with self-importance, he acts like a prick and treats everyone like garbage. Again, those who murder another for attention and power take this need too far.
Basically, when we feel the distinctiveness of our individual self too much, we lose connection with other human beings. We become separate selves, and that takes us away from love and empathy.
So, that’s the fourth human need. We need love, that feeling of human connection, of empathy, of relationship. This balances out our need to feel important.
Conversely, if we’ve lost too much of ourselves in a relationship and we feel like we have no voice or identity, we need to feel important or a sense of individuation or identity to balance this fourth need out, too.
Again, the first four needs are more like ego or personality needs. They feel good. Different people prefer one of these four needs more than others. One might want to feel important the most. Another might want security the most.
Either way, let’s say we get everything our ego wishes for. Well, according to Tony, we still won’t feel a deeper fulfillment. We could still feel a darkness. And that’s where the last two needs come in.
They’re primary essential. They’re needs of the spirit. They’re what bring fulfillment. Even if we fill the first four needs and have accomplished a shit load, if we don’t meet these last two needs, we’ll still feel lost, unfulfilled, even depressed.
Third Two Needs: Giving and Growing
The last two needs is the need to give…
Giving: we all have a need to contribute. Here Robin Williams is giving to a community by building homes with Habitat For Humanity.
and the need to grow.
And we have a need to grow.
Growing means: learning, improving, becoming more and more aware. Aware of yourself as in the old Socratic saying “know thyself,” sifting away the clouds of ignorance. Awareness is probably the real goal of all spiritualities, religions, sciences, philosophies. If these don’t help us to grow in awareness, they’re useless.
Giving means: showing love, kindness, respect to all life, to your friends, to your enemies. Contributing. Helping others. Serving a greater good than yourself.
There’s an old story about Michael J. Fox. Before he learned he had Parkinsons, he had the fanciest car, the nicest house, money, status, fame. But he said he was unhappy. It wasn’t until he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and began contributing to a cause larger than himself that he snapped out of his unhappiness, and felt like his life had meaning.
Michael J. Fox once said he didn’t feel a sense of fulfillment until he was making a contribution to society. He said he didn’t get that sense of fulfillment from fame and fortune alone.
There’s something about contributing and loving that breaks us out of the shell of the ego. The shell that the Buddha once said causes all of suffering. Serving a purpose higher than ourselves breaks us from these shackles. That’s one reason why as a pua it’s so important to give back and to always leave a woman better off than your found her, you know treat everyone you come across with love and respect.
But Tony doesn’t stop there. He takes all this a step further. He says you can divide all human experience into four classes…
The Four Classes of Experience: Despair To Happiness
The first class, fulfillment and happiness, is when you meet all six needs. The second class isn’t bad. It’s when you’re feeling pain, but you’re about to make a breakthrough in life, or a transformation. It’s kind of like growing pains. Being in a cocoon before bursting free. But the third and fourth classes is where unhappiness lie.
Here they are:
First Class Experience: you do things that feel good, that are good for you, serves others, and serves the greater good.
The First Class of Experience: feeling good and serving a greater good. Robin Williams’s character from “Dead Poets” society loved teaching and it also served a greater good.
Second Class Experience: you do things that feel bad, but are good for you, serves others, and serves the greater good.
Second Class Experience: painful lessons, growing pains, and doing the right thing even though you don’t want to. Here, Abu from Disney’s Aladdin didn’t want to give his bread away, but he did anyway.
Third Class Experience: you do things that feel good, but they’re not good for you, they don’t serve others, and they don’t serve the greater good.
Third Class Experience: doing what feels good, but not serving a greater good.
Fourth Class Experience: you do things that feel bad, and they’re not good for you, don’t serve others, and don’t serve the greater good.
Fourth Class Experience: Doing stuff that doesn’t really feel good and doesn’t serve a greater good either.
Okay, okay, you’re saying. What the hell does this have to do with attracting and succeeding with women? Like I said at the beginning of this, this not only helps with inner-game but also in how to have kick-ass relations with anyone, including women.
How This All Relates To Attracting Women
‘Cause the ultimate attractive man doesn’t sit on the couch munching Doritos and playing video games all day. He makes giving and and growing his priority. He does things that put him into the first and second class of experience.
Yes, this is here for eye candy. But the words are relevant, too. Right?
And here’s the cool thing. If you feel good from within, you naturally emit good feeling, and you can give “feeling good” to others. When she feels “feeling good” around you, she feels pleasure and links pleasurable feelings with you. And we’re all attracted to pleasure, right? You might even say attracting women really starts from within, from getting your inner-game together.
The other four needs teaches us about outer-game. That is, if you were to consciously meet her first four “ego” needs, you’d draw her to the pleasurable feelings she’s feeling around you.
For example, make her feel important (appreciate her) AND honestly connect with her. Give her a sense of safety, security, protection AND unpredictability, like surprising her, sweeping her off her feet, making her laugh.
What about meeting her two “spiritual” needs?
Well, she can only walk through that door herself. That’s something only we ourselves can do.
Anyway, those are the six human needs. Again, the last two needs can strengthen our inner game. The first four human needs can help us look beyond a women’s physical beauty, and connect to the human being inside her.
If you want to learn more about the spiritual (or “inner-game”) needs of growing and giving I’d recommend these two phenomenal books: “Awareness & The Way To Love,” by Jesuit priest Anthony DeMello, and “How To Want What You Have,” by psychologist Timothy Miller.
As for how to meet a woman’s first four needs, that’s what game is all about.
And let me ask you with these last three questions:
What’s something you love to do that helps your growth and serves a greater good?
How can you start giving and showing more love to others, rather than just serving the ego?
What’s something you hate to do but helps your growth and serves a greater good?
What’s something you love to do that doesn’t help your growth or serve a greater good?
Together, you and I, if we can weed out what’s not serving our growth and what’s not serving others… and if we can do more of what serves the greater good… we’ll be on the path towards that first-class kind of experience Tony was talking about.
Then maybe we can share the light we feel inside with any beautiful women we meet might along our way.
Here’s a Ted Talk where Tony talks about these needs. Check it out (about 22 min):
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?
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: I guess, but 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?
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Apparently, Elliot Rodger (that 22-year-old who went on the killing spree) was a failed pickup artist. He posted on PUAHate. In fact, I’ve heard PUAHate has been shut down because he was posting about taking revenge on women, and guys were cheering him on.
To a certain extent, I can empathize with Elliot. I’ve gotten rejected by women a lot. I’ve felt like an outsider and alone. It feels rotten.
But here’s the big question. What would prevent you and I from becoming an Elliot?
I think it has to do with a huge lesson I learned from Mystery and Neil Strauss. If something goes wrong in an interaction with a woman, it’s never the woman’s fault. It’s always our fault. It’s not that the girl is a bitch or a snob or a slut. She just responds to our skill level. Improve your skill level, watch your success rate improve.
Isn’t that what Jesus taught? Everyone was about to stone that woman for cheating on her husband. He asked them to look at themselves and see their own sin before condemning the sin in others.
Ultimately, that’s what pickup is about. It’s less about “getting” women (although attracting women is awesome). It’s more about looking at yourself in the process to become a better man.
Well, how do you improve your skill level, you ask? Lemme share this quote:
Elliot may have given up, then blamed the outside world for his failures, rather than looking to himself. I can understand his hurt. But blaming seems to blind us, while looking to ourselves wakes us. That’s the big lesson I’m taking from this terrible tragedy.