This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "The Game" by Neil Strauss. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.
Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here .
What is Mystery’s Lounge? How did Neil Strauss use Mystery’s Lounge to learn and discuss the PUA lifestyle?
Mystery’s Lounge was an online forum where PUAs gathered and discussed their techniques, successes, and failures. Mystery’s Lounge was an important platform for PUAs, and was where many new PUAs were introduced to the community.
Learn more about Mystery’s Lounge.
Learning From The PUAs in Mystery’s Lounge
After returning home from Belgrade, Style posted a call for advice on how to kiss-close on Mystery’s Lounge, an invite-only online seduction message board. Top pickup artists (PUAs) logged onto Mystery’s Lounge to exchange stories, strategies, and sometimes photos and videos.
Style got a range of responses:
- Follow the three-second rule: Let the conversation stall and look her in the eyes. If she holds your gaze for three seconds, she wants to kiss.
- Have her pick you up for the date and invite her into the house for a few minutes to establish some comfort there. At the end of the night, invite her back to your house, offer a drink, and entertain her for a while. Have her sit on your lap as you show her something on your computer. Kiss her on the cheek, and usually she’ll turn around and kiss you—if she doesn’t, wait a few minutes and try again.
- Invite the woman into your house at the end of the date, and ask for a massage for your sore muscles. As she massages, critique her and insist on showing her how to do it. Start by massaging her back, then tell her that you feel tension in her legs and that you give your friends great leg massages. Massage her legs, and then tell her that her pants are in the way. After she takes her pants off, continue massaging as you gradually work your way up her legs. Presumably, she’ll then consent to having sex.
- Get rid of your fear of rejection by convincing yourself that you don’t care about the woman. Think of her as practice so that the stakes are low if you fail. Do something brazen, like telling her to stick her tongue out and then sucking on it. If she gets upset, you both come away with a story to tell at parties.
Style took pieces of advice from the various posts and developed his own, fool-proof routine:
- Compliment how she smells. Explain that animals smell each other before they mate, and that humans are wired to become aroused when someone else smells them.
- Slide your hand up the back of her neck, grab her hair, and pull it. Explain that when lions mate, they bite each other’s mane.
- Take her arm and bite the inside of her elbow in an erotic way. Explain that this is one of the most sensitive areas of the body.
- Tell her to bite your neck. If she hesitates, turn away for a few seconds (cat-string theory). Then turn back and tell her again; most likely, she’ll do it.
- Critique her bite, then pull her hair to the side and bite her neck. Afterward, tell her to try again.
- Tell her that the second bite was better. Then, kiss her.
- Invite her back to your house at the end of the date. Show her something on your computer, and have her sit on your lap. Kiss the back of her neck until she turns around and kisses you.
Just one successful night with his new kiss-close routine pushed Style past his mental block.
Meanwhile, Mystery was struggling.
Despite his pickup career, he’d had a longtime girlfriend, named Patricia. Initially, Patricia had accepted Mystery’s lifestyle, but now she was ready to settle down. She told Mystery that if they didn’t start moving toward marriage and kids, their relationship was over—so they broke up.
Mystery referred to love as “pairbonding,” which he viewed as an evolutionary mechanism that was meant solely to motivate people to survive and procreate. Still, he was reeling from his breakup. Mystery was now falling victim to his own cat string theory: He’d taken Patricia for granted until they broke up, and, once she was inaccessible, he could think of nothing else.
The breakup was keeping Mystery up at night. One night, he took several Tylenol pills with codeine. However, they weren’t strong enough to knock him out, and he spent the whole night posting on Mystery’s Lounge.
On his codeine high, Mystery gushed about how much he loved the seduction community and the friends he’d made there. Mystery wrote about how he wanted the community to be a place where the men could share more than just seduction tips—he wanted them to help each other achieve their life goals.
Mystery put out a request for help in achieving his goal of becoming a professional magician (which he talked about constantly). He wanted to convince a broadcast network to give him a one-hour magic special, which he planned to parlay into an ongoing show in Las Vegas.
In his codeine ramblings, Mystery wrote that doing daily performances would feed his need for constant attention. This acknowledgment offered some insight into why Mystery loved the pickup game—because he fed off the attention from women.
Style Posts a Warning in Mystery’s Lounge
One day, Style put up a post on Mystery’s Lounge, warning the community of the dangers of becoming a pickup robot.
Style wrote that a social robot:
- Never had relationships, despite successful pickups
- Was at a loss if he ran out of scripted lines when talking to a woman
- Couldn’t talk about a woman without rating her attractiveness
- Assumed that any time a woman wasn’t receptive to his lines, that she was testing him
- Saw any other man who was talking to a woman as competition
- Felt a compulsion to sarge women in inappropriate settings, such as the workplace
- Lost interest in things outside the community, including friends, family, work, and hobbies
- Based his self-esteem on his pickup success
Young sargers—those who found the community while in high school or college—were most at risk of becoming a robot, because they were still developing their identities. For these men, the rules of the game that dictated how they interacted with women became interwoven with their overall social development, which had negative effects:
- Their social interactions were so driven by strategy that they assumed everyone else operated the same way, which led them to overanalyze other people’s words and actions.
- They developed no real interests or hobbies outside the community, so there was no real substance beneath the rote pickup lines and routines. The irony was that the purpose of the lines was to make men appear interesting, but the social robots’ obsession with the game prevented them from being interesting, which was the most effective way of attracting women.
Mystery’s Lounge was formed as a place for PUAs to gather and learn from each other. Style used Mystery’s Lounge to learn and later to inform other PUAs.
———End of Preview———
Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best summary of Neil Strauss's "The Game" at Shortform .
Here's what you'll find in our full The Game summary :
- The secrets of the Pickup Artist community in seducing women
- How key Pickup Artist leaders fought with each other and split the group apart
- What author Neil Strauss took away about women from his years of training