Genuine self improvement, or pickup lines?

Whistle back to 2008. The pickup community in London was in its early days, but it was a happening scene. There were so many of us. Every weekend in the bars and clubs of the west end we’d see it going down. Pick up, glorious game. The same 50 faces week in week out, surveying the room from the sidelines in cliques, mingling in with the crowds, grifting, working sets. It was a magic time. There was no such thing as daygame, direct opens were considered ‘AFC’. It was all about Mystery Method bar game. That was it. We knew each other by sight and by reputation we heard through the grapevine. We met off Gumtree or Craigslist. There was no Twitter and Facebook was as yet unpopular. There was Friendster, then MySpace and MySpace was for bands.

And we all got into this underground scene via the same route. Neil Strauss. His book ‘The Game’ found its way into all our lives’ in some way or another and we all ended up googling ‘PUA London’ and took it from there. We all came from the same core learning, which was basically the Mystery Method. 

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Core attractive characteristics

And the Mystery Method is largely simply an explanation of evolutionary biology and how it impacts dating dynamics. It’s not Mystery Method at the core, it’s just evolutionary theory. Attraction is as primal a driver as hunger, it can’t be denied and we’re hard wired to respond to it. There are core attractive characteristics that trigger desire for logical and explainable reasons. It wasn’t just luck or just two people magically attracting. 

Because we all learned game from the same school, good theory was our cornerstone. We all understood that ‘leader of men’ was an ingrained value that skirt liked to see in a potential mate. That’s why we all said ‘you have to be a leader’, be the boss and don’t supplicate because supplicating triggers a biological repulsion.

Fast forward 11 years and how things have changed. The lads of today know each other not by sight, but by Twitter handle. In different countries. We have had the age of infield videos, we have endless blogs and YouTube channels. We have ‘Euro Jaunts’ and the proof of concept thereof. Hordes of lads are now perfectly willing to spend the time and money to accompany each other on a jaunt. They prioritise their summers around it. Back in 2008 the common response to a trip to Europe was something like ‘it’s a lot of expense and a trek to fly to Europe just to chase girls, let’s just go down the West End, they’re just as hot there’. I remember we did go to Nottingham once, which was really good as it turned out. 

But today, do we find pickup via Neil Strauss (and by default the Mystery Method and by default, evolutionary biology)? Not as far as I can see. By now there’s a whole range of coaches and schools that are second and third generations of the ideas that spawned the whole thing. YouTubers talk about ‘being alpha’ and ‘having abundance’, but by now it’s third or fourth hand advice. They can drive the car but they don’t know how the engine works. They don’t have that link back to the reasons.

You’d be surprised, or not, the number of times I’ve had this conversation:

Him: ‘I try my best to show dominance’

Me: ‘Why?’

Him: ‘Girls like it’

Me: ‘I know. Why?’

Him: ‘Well because it’s alpha’

Me: ‘Why do they like alpha?’

Him: ‘Well the alphas are the ones the girls want’

Me: ‘Yes I know. But why?’

Him: ‘Well… You have to be alpha’

And so on. 

People don’t seem to really understand that certain behaviours strike to the core of a woman’s psyche, that these behaviours create an irresistible biological urge in the same way wafting a sizzling sausage under my nose long enough will create an irresistible urge of my own.

It’s a very happy coincidence that the attraction switches, as defined by Mystery, happen to be positive characteristics that can make you a better person. You should learn them and start being them. 

It’s very hard to do and not many do it. They want the words to say in set, not the work of personal growth that they have to do in the background. It’s this work that gets you the gains, not learning another stack to recite. It’s everything away from set where you work to become more of a living example of positive masculinity. The hours you spend teaching yourself to be indifferent and accepting of disappointment so that you can learn to respond to it with a shrug. Building a life of options so that you don’t need, doing comedy classes to become more affable and emotive, climbing the career ladder or just the joining of the works football team so that you can be a captain and therefore a genuine leader of men. Being a rock to your friends and family (even if it means personal sacrifice) to the point where you get asked to be best man three times in one year.

All these things go into your personality, into your psyche and then come out both naturally in set, and also in endless fodder for DHV stories.

I have tonnes of them. They flow out of me like rivers. Endless reels of stories that are all about me being good. Because 10 years ago I chose to start being good. If I had the choice of going to a party or my niece’s birthday, I started to choose my niece. Because that’s what men do, they are there for their loved ones. As a result of the work I began 10 years ago, when I pick her up from school today I get this:

‘Is Mary Jambone here, I’m her uncle’ 

‘She’s in class. Wait… are you her Uncle James?’


‘Oh! We’ve all heard so much about you. For a long time we thought she was making you up’.

10 years of relationship building went into that moment.

It’s not just about learning new stacks or what words you need to say to suggest you have value. That’s some of it, it’s important, stacks are key functional tools, but your real value is built away from the field over months and years, in the real world, doing the things that good men do to become the attraction switches. What’s your automatic response to choices, dilemmas and situations? What words do you say and what choices do you make without thinking about it?

One comment

  1. And now after that bbc documentary all the PUAs and bloggers etc are running scared. Accounts shut down or private only guy getting sentenced to jail for trying to chat up a bird at uni. Bad times ahead…feminists got what they wanted though

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