Mystery Method

Mystery Method is a method of seduction, developed by Erik Von Markovik a.k.a "Mystery". The system was initially outlined in posts on the newsgroup, and later codified in the form of live-action seminars and an e-book which von Markovik sells from his website.

Mystery is billed as "the World's Greatest Pickup Artist," (Elle Magazine, Saturday Night Magazine, et. al), and is responsible for coining a lot of terminology now used in the world of seduction: such as "3 second rule", "set", "peacocking", "indicator of interest", "indicator of disinterest", "last minute resistance", "routine", "neg hits", etc. The Mystery Method is now marketed online, via books, DVD sets, and most notably, live seminars and coaching with various instructors, including Markovik himself.

Mystery Method uses the term 'value' to describe a person's Survival and Replication value to those around them - that is, the degree to which interaction with this person could affect the chances of their genes being passed on. A big, alpha male poses a large possible threat to other male's S&R value, where a very attractive woman poses a large possible benefit to the S&R value of any male who can mate with her.

Mystery Method teaches that people have a strong emotional reaction to people with significantly higher value. Men will have an emotional reaction to very attractive women. This emotional reaction causes them to feel an adrenalin rush, and to act in a 'weird' way around the target female. An exceptionally attractive woman causes this reaction in the majority of men, so the method teaches that she will subconsciously believe that any male who appears emotionally unreactive to her is of higher value than she, and she will become attracted to him.

Many of the techniques taught as part of the method are ways for the user to demonstrate high 'value'. Examples include story-telling with embedded (but well-concealed) bragging, appearing emotionally unreactive to 'targets' and other men, and showing that the user is 'pre-selected' by other women. These techniques, along with many others, are taught as part of the 'M3 Model'.

The Mystery Method M3 Model is divided into three steps: Attraction, Comfort and Seduction, each of which is divided into 3 phases (that are each in turn divided up into another 3 sub-phases). The Method teaches a set of strategies and tactics for each phase to successfully move the interaction forward toward the end goal, which is the creation of an intimate sexual relationship.

Step 1: Attraction

The goals of the 'Attraction' phase are: to start a conversation with the target ('Opening'); demonstrate high 'value' to the 'target' in order to build her attraction to the player ('Female to Male interest'); and to appear to become increasingly attracted to her, for reasons other than her looks, while making her increasingly invested in the interaction ('Male to Female interest').

Step 2: Comfort

In the 'Comfort' phase, one should attempt to establish rapport, trust, connection and a sense that the interaction is real and genuine. According to the Mystery Method, "the game is played in comfort". It is the longest and most crucial step and generally takes several hours, possibly over the course of several days, to complete. Mystery writes that of the average 4 to 10 hours (cumulatively) it takes to build a connection sufficient for the initiation of a sexual relationship, as much as 90% will be spent in the comfort-building phase.

Step 3: Seduction

The 'Seduction' phase is the physical escalation towards sex and dealing with a woman's natural apprehension towards sex with a new partner.


Media attention directed towards the Mystery Method often mentions the concept of 'negs' as a controversial example of what the method teaches. The oft-quoted example is the comment:

* "Nice nails, are they real? No? Oh, well they're nice anyway."

Negs are intended to be false-disqualifiers and are intended to lower the target's comparative value to the seducer. Specifically, they are not meant to sound like insults - instead they're meant to resemble the comments of a person who does not view the target as having high value. In his television interview with The View, Neil Strauss explains that some men will demonstrate disinterest by passively ignoring a woman; but since she doesn't notice him, she won't know that he is disinterested. Therefore the purpose of the neg is to actively demonstrate disinterest by disqualifying one's self as a suitor ("It's too bad I'm gay or you'd be so my type"), or by falsely disqualifying the target ("Do you know why you and I will never get along...?").

According to the method, a proper neg never makes the target feel insulted or degraded, but rather questions whether the man approaching her has fallen under her spell. Women of particular beauty often tend to assume males approaching them are interested in them solely as a result of their looks, and negs attempt to neutralize that assumption by demonstrating that the man is not (yet) interested in her, despite her beauty. A successful neg will make the target feel self-conscious and attempt to regain control of the situation by qualifying herself.

Indicator of interest

An indicator of interest is seduction community jargon for either verbal and nonverbal communications between two people that conveys (usually sexual) interest. The term was coined by Mystery, and is often abbreviated "IOI."

Indicators of interest are part of flirting. Examples of nonverbal indicators of interest can involve touching (kino), fidgeting, eye contact, and body language cues, such as Proteans. Verbal indicators of interest can range in subtlety from statements such as "Did that hurt?" (referring to a piercing), to "Wow, you're amazing." Generally, after three indicators of interest, one has built enough attraction to kiss a woman, be it within 5 minutes or 20 minutes.

Criticism and controversy

Iain Sharp, writer for The Sunday-Star Times, suggests that Mystery Method's reliance on prerehearsed routines and lines may become problematic as the lines become overused and known to women. He writes:

'Mystery also suggests that rather than outright flattery, males on the prowl should approach beautiful women with vaguely negative comments, which he terms "negging". Sample: "Nice nails. Are they real?" Surely, though, once this line becomes known, women will show the authenticity of their nails with a quick swipe to the face.'

Anderson Hephzibah, writer for the Daily Mail, also criticized Neil Strauss and Mystery’s use of memorized routines in their seduction methods. Hephzibah writes that, “Enlightenment came when [Strauss] chanced upon the How To Lay Girls Guide. It led him to an online community of self declared-sack artists, with pseudonyms such as Herbal and Mystery… Just as women dress largely for other women, so PUAs seem to score those bedpost notches to impress other men. Fortunately, their emphasis on conversational 'routines' and quasimilitaristic tactics make them easy to spot.”

In the PR Newswire US, a writer describes Mystery as “a suicidal PUA that uses magic and various attention-getting techniques to seduce girls.”

Frances Whiting, writing for The Sunday Mail, also criticized Mystery Method tactics used by Mystery. She writes: “Mystery advises would-be wooers to: ‘Take the victim down from their friends, family and home. Once isolated they have no outside support and in their confusion are easily led astray.’ Oh, I'm sorry, clearly I'm reading from that other well-known book about male/female relationships, Dating: A Stalker's Guide…and why any man would follow Mystery's advice I do not know.”

A Japanese member of the seduction community, Satoshi Fujita, argues that Mystery's tactic of delivering negs "only works for the Westerners who already have advantages like good looks or are used to frank conversations with strangers of the opposite sex. But for the below-average Japanese guy, offending someone you've just met only turns the woman off and blows the guy's chance forever."Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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