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Mystery’s Peacocking Theory Gets Serious Scientific Cred

Tracy Clark-Flory, who seems to be holding down the fort at Salon’s Broadsheet almost singlehandedly these days, shared an interesting BBC study about the power of peacocking. It turns out that research now shows what Mystery knew all along – women like a guy who busts out the flamboyant dance moves. TCF gives Mystery his due, though as usual, I could do without the eye-rolling snarky touch:

Rufus Johnstone, an expert in the behavioral evolution at Cambridge University, told the Associated Press: “There are lots of cues females use when choosing a mate, like a peacock puffing out its tail.” Ah, the ol’ peacocking theory most recently promoted by the pickup artist Mystery.

From the Associated Press article:

Nick Neave, an evolutionary psychologist at Northumbria University and one of the study’s co-authors, said women may subconsciously judge how fit a man is by the fluidity of his dancing. He said their research was likely subjective and different cultures would have different measures for what constitutes good dancing.

Neave advised bad dancers to improve their core body moves.


  • Obsidian

    Ms. Walsh,
    Both you and Ms. Clark-Flory are incorrect. From the book “The Game”:

    “Peacock-verb: to dress in loud clothing or with flashy accoutrements in order to get attention from women. Peacocking items include bright shiny shirts, light-up jewelry, feather boas, colorful cowboy hats, or anything else that makes one stand out in a crowd. Origin: Mystery.”

    pp. 445, “Glossary”

    Please note that Peacocking, as defined by Neil “Style” Strauss and Mystery, does NOT entail dancing. Indeed, in the book I just quoted from, there are precious few instances where Style or anyone else is actually dancing.

    Having said that, yes, a Man who’s a good dancer can definitely up his chances of scoring with the ladies, no doubt about it. But that’s not what Mystery meant when he talked about Peacocking.

    Moreover, since most (White) guys have dance moves more akin to Rain Man, it’s better for them to focus on more aspects of their Game in order to score. I might have something to say about this, although in fairness a good while back Roissy addressed this and I must say, he did a good job.

    I hope that clears the air, since it’s been my experience that a ghastly number of Women who deign to discuss Game have rarely if if ever actually read it’s key source materials.

    Why is that?

    O.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Obs
    Ah, I stand corrected. Actually, the researcher I linked to described flamboyant dance moves as a form of peacocking:
    .
    Rufus Johnstone, a reader in the evolution of animal behavior at Cambridge University…said there were similarities between animal mating rituals and what happens in modern dance clubs.
    “There are lots of cues females use when choosing a mate, like a peacock puffing out its tail,” he said. “Dancing for humans could signal whether a male is fit because it requires the expenditure of a lot of energy.”

    My assumption was that Mystery had observed the same peacock tail fluffing referred to here.

    Moreover, since most (White) guys have dance moves more akin to Rain Man…

    Haha, no argument there. Spastic movements never did rank high on a list of sexy moves, i.e. not smooth.

  • http://www.atpworldtour.com/ Tennis Pro

    You know, Black men have known these things for – eons. Black men continue to be the only group of men who can make money off of their sexuality just like women can, much to the chagrin of other groups of men.
    Evidence here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtU3m2M1Ivs
    They invendted peacocking for humans. Nothing will change the temperature of a venue more than a smooth, sauntering Black man swashbuckling in!

  • dragnet

    First of all, I’ll say that my people have known this was true since forever.

    And secondly, I do think that dancing can be considering peacocking, in a way. Yes, Mystery defines peacocking as dressing to stand out, or possessing a clothing accessory that is likely to garner comments from women. But I think the operative part of this definition is the “stand out” part and not the clothing part. I think anything that makes you stand out in a crowd is at least done in the spirit of peacocking, even if it doesn’t match the letter of the definition. And this includes dancing.

  • http://www.marriedmansexlife.com Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life

    Agree with Obsidian above that it’s not really what Mystery meant by peacocking.

    However assuming you watched the video the KEY take away point is that good dancing is a display of good health and genetics. Also that is the same for actual peacocking – the female peacock is attracted to the number of eyes on the male peacocks tail – which is a measurement of the male peacocks immune system quality.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Athol
      I am definitely not going to argue with the guys on the Mystery concept. I may have gotten that wrong – but I do think your point is correct. Both approaches are meant to signal superior genes.

  • J

    the KEY take away point is that good dancing is a display of good health and genetics.

    Right! Also, an Israel study a few years ago, linked dancing ability to a gene for risk-taking, also a highly adaptive trait in a male.

    I personally associate dancing ability with being good in bed.