If you believe Darwin’s theory of evolution (and you should), life on Planet Earth circa 2019 has evolved for over 4 billion years. As life has evolved, the primal instinct to reproduce has driven us all – every creature from fish to birds and insects has developed often complex systems for finding and securing a mate. These mating rituals range from the shockingly barbarous – the male bed bug, par example, climbs atop ostensibly any female and punctures her abdomen with his sharply pointed ‘aedeagus’, injecting his sperm through the wound into her abdominal cavity (Way to go, Romeo) – to the enchanting courtship displays of birds like the red-crowned crane, whose dance moves put some pop stars to shame (Taylor Swift, ahem). Peacocks have developed huge plumage to shimmy at their prospectives; peacock spiders, named for the aforementioned avians, have brightly colored abdomen accoutrements they use similarly, and if you haven’t seen the clip from the BBC’s wildlife epic, Life Story (narrated by David Attenborough, naturally) in which a humble puffer fish flaps its way around the ocean floor creating a vast and intricately scalloped art work to attract a mate, google it immediately.

Humans, like all such animals, have developed techniques too. A far cry from our Neanderthal cousins’ conjectured fist-fights, we have developed finely tuned courtship systems. Sexual signaling in the form of conspicuous consumption, for example, has arguably kept Italian sports car companies in business. A study by scientists John Vongas and Gad Saad found that testosterone levels in men increased when given the chance to drive a new Porsche Carrera. Conversely, when tasked with driving a dilapidated old station wagon in public, testosterone levels decreased. Aww.

In nature, we see sexual selection often based on similar signaling – penguins present pebbles to prospective partners, bower birds compete for most decorative nest, and male humpback dolphins offer females sponges, the bigger, the better. But human displays of wealth – of “look how well I can provide for you and our family” – aren’t always attainable. You need the wherewithal to buy the Rolex and the ‘Rari’, or the Hummer and the Hublot, or the…you get the drift.

Standardized notions of beauty go a long way too – some may say sad – but true. And while it stands to evolutionary reason that the world’s humans must be getting increasingly attractive, there is still hope for those who aren’t.

My name is Mystery, and I am a pickup artist. In the early 2000s I developed ‘The Mystery Method’. Pickup art is performance art. The Pickup Artist captivates a group of people with his or her performance. For some people, that performance comes naturally, but for most, it doesn’t. However, the skillset can be developed. Are you skilled at cold approach pickup? Probably not. The first key to proficient cold approach pickup is ‘Structure’. A love story goes through phases. So too does a pleasing pickup. Courtship has a beginning (Mutual Attraction), a middle (Comfort Building), and an ending (Mutual Seduction). It happens in phases. That’s the ‘Structure’.

The second key is ‘Material’. I don’t mean like Madonna’s material things, I mean pickup material – personality-conveying stories you need to tell; the material that fills in each phase of the Structure, so you can meet the objective of each phase, phase by phase. (Three stories per phase is more than often enough to keep the conversation alive.)

The third key to proficient cold approach pickup is ‘Delivery’. It’s about how you say your material – your body language, your tonality, and your animation. It is through repeated use of your material that you can really calibrate how and when you say what you say.

If you learn the structure of a pleasing pickup, known as the ‘M3’ model, and fill in the structure with personality conveying material to meet the objectives of each phase in the pickup, and work on your delivery through repetition of approaches, your game will skyrocket and you’ll become proficient at all phases in the pickup.

If you don’t have naturally good chat, can’t partake in conspicuous consumption, and don’t align physically with society’s prescribed standards of beauty. This is your cheat sheet. Take that evolution.


To learn directly from Mystery, master Structure, work on your Material, and go live-infield with Mystery himself to work on your Delivery sticking points, sign up for his three day/night Mystery Academy Cold Approach Pickup Artist Bootcamp at www.askmystery.com/bootcamps