Before I start this review, I want to lay all my cards out on the table.  I have a book that officially debuted on Valentine’s Day entitled God is a Woman: Dating Disasters (unofficially a few months before).  I don’t know what that means.  (Being an author is a lot like being a kid.  “Go here, do this, dress nice—” “Okay, can I–” “No, don’t ask questions, just do it!”  People boss you around, and you just go with it.)

I have been giving advice to both men and women on dating and sex for years.  My tips come from years on the road as a comedian.  When I heard about The Game and the whole underground pickup artist society, I was intrigued.  I’ve been waiting to read this book and see Mystery’s thoughts.  So, I didn’t get this book to learn how to meet women but rather for a professional comparison.  I feel it’s important to mention that.

The first thing I learned was that Mystery and I had a similar problem early on with women.  We were clueless.  While Mystery set out to analyze and calculate how to be successful with beautiful women, I took a more laid back approach, letting my personality develop toward success as I met and observed women traveling throughout North America as a standup.  The most intriguing part of The Mystery Method is the foreword by Neil Strauss.  He recalls as Mystery and he lethargically get digits (phone numbers) from a pair of women they didn’t even want to meet.  They are motoring on instincts, simply reacting to their surroundings.  It touches upon the dangers of becoming too wrapped up in picking up women, which Neil covers astutely in The Game.  It is the only picture we get of Mystery and it’s not one of a happy guy but rather of a guy who appears to have become a victim of his own system.  I found that intriguing and would have liked to have read more.

This book has no entertainment value at all, which is fine because it doesn’t claim to have any.  It always cracks me up when reviews dock points for aspects a book never claimed to have, as opposed to rating it on the merits it claims.  It claims to be a pickup guide to get beautiful women and that’s how it should be rated, almost like a technical manual.  I claim my book is funny and entertaining, so those aspects of it need to be reviewed.  I do think that Mystery will lose some readers because the book is so bland, but I suspect that most will push through it, as their incentive—to land gorgeous women—is great.  Mystery and I agree on a lot of things.  We simply use different terminology.  For example, I state that women don’t want to be accountable early in a relationship or in a one-night stand.  Mystery calls it “plausible deniability.”  They mean the same thing; that early on a guy needs to give a woman an excuse to take things further than society deems acceptable.  Mystery gets caught up in a lot of definitions, charts, and diagrams.  I could see why one would need a class to grasp his method; it’s trickier than quantum physics in places.  He even goes as far as to define “kiss.”  Yeah, “kiss.”  If you don’t know what a kiss is, this book is not going to help you; no book is going to help you.

Cutting to the chase, the advice is good and will deliver on its promise, for the most part, that following it will land a guy beautiful women.  Mystery makes it more complicated than it needs to be, though.  Most of the methods break down into two tactics.  First, be evasive.  If you meet a woman and she asks you what you do, ask her what she thinks you do.  And so forth.  Be indirect with every answer.  Second, challenge the treatment she’s used to receiving.  Many beautiful women are used to guys buying them drinks, treating them like princesses, and so forth.  If you challenge the validity of this, she will often feel an overwhelming need to prove she IS worthy of all the special treatment she gets.  It’s surprising how far many women will go to prove this point.

The problems I have with the Mystery system are few but they are big.  One, he sugarcoats it and misuses terminology.  He writes of “love” throughout the book.  This book has nothing to do with love.  He calls himself and his followers names like “venusian artists.”  They’re skirt chasers.  Period.  There’s nothing wrong with that but the inability to acknowledge it speaks volumes.  In an “Elle” magazine article ( Mystery gets a girl to leave her fiancé for a week to fly out to his place.  If you can get any woman, any time, why go after another guy’s fiancée?  Why use aliases like “Style” and “Mystery?”  My name is Ian, I like who I am, when I go out I’m still Ian, not “Rumpelstiltskin” or “Apollo” or “Buttercup.”  I once worked with a comedian who slept with three women in one day on our tour.  I’ve slept with guys’ fiancées and once with a married woman.  They’re not things I’m proud of; neither of us denies that we were being skirt chasers.  My book is graphic in places and details some of the mistreatment I’ve given women; yet, thus far, women rate it high, and not just because it has advice for them.  It’s the sincerity that women appreciate.  Lack of sincerity is what women don’t like about pickup artists’ methods.  It is for this reason that we reach the second flaw with the Mystery system: it’s not good advice to meet and get all women.  Women who don’t have low self-esteem and aren’t beguiled by shiny objects, who don’t spend hours worrying about makeup or fashion, who own less than thirty pairs of shoes, will rarely be gotten by these methods.  In fact, most will be completely turned-off by it.

Finally, Mystery himself states that women are emotional creatures.  Yet he fails to convey any emotion in his book.  It’s all very rigid and stiff.  Emotion is laughter, confidence, flirtation, animation, passion, want, need, fulfillment.  The object is to appear confident to women.  Unfortunately, it’s a false confidence.  The cockiest guy in the room is not the most confident; in fact, he’s probably the least confident.  Again, many women will pick up on this and be unavailable.  There are no tips to build real confidence, sense of humor, and flirting skills, all of which are very important to meeting women and which, when used effectively, work on every woman.

In all, I rank The Mystery Method four-out-of-five stars.  The techniques will work, just not on all beautiful women, as the title depicts, accounting for the taking away of one star.  Please realize, though, for your own emotional protection, the women it works on are the ones that will leave their fiancées.  Such women are fine to sleep with but I would discourage you from dating them.  If you do, you are in for a lot of headaches and if she cheated on him, she’ll cheat on you.  No empathy here, brother; you knew what you were getting into.


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