Review: Models (Mark Manson)


Models is an impressive book that lets you see the dating world with different eyes. Due to the many technical and contentwise errors unfortunately not suitable for beginners.

The central message of Manson is that your success with women is determined by the degree of your honesty. Manson uses a rather broad concept of honesty, which defines any actions that deny your actual desires as dishonest. For example, if you don’t wear a thumb ring because you’ve never thought about thumb rings before, or because you think thumb rings seem gay, it’s dishonest because you put your own needs behind your laziness or social desirability.

Other key concepts are needyness and vulnerability. While these have similar meanings in general language, in Manson’s lingo they refer to opposing concepts. Needy is he, according to Manson, who invests more in the opinion of others than in his own opinion of himself.* It is a maximum deterrent to women. Vulnerable is he, who can show his personal preferences without fear and shame.

According to Manson, there are three central aspects of honesty to which he dedicates a separate chapter each:

  • Honest Living
    Live an exciting life and look for women who match your lifestyle. Put on something fancy, do weight lifting and work on your communication skills.
  • Honest Action
    Overcome your fear of response by starting with relatively simple exercises (e. g. asking for the time of day), repeating very often and increasing the difficulty level in small steps. Increase your motivation by not using pornography.
  • Honest Communication
    A colourful bouquet of advice on communication. Here is a selection of the most important ones: When flirting, it doesn’t matter what you say. All that matters is what it means. Build an emotional connection. Create confidence by showing her your vulnerability. Talk about your passions and your dreams. Talk to women without scaring them. Do not use any “uh” or similar filler words. Avoid asking questions. Instead, talk about yourself or make assumptions about her. (cold reading, for example: “Where are you from?” translates to: “You look like a California girl.”) He continues with storytelling (set-up, conflict, resolution), role playing, games, dating activities, IOIs, cinema, kissing, escalating to sex, erectile dysfunction.

Manson never tires of praising his wisdom as groundbreaking innovations in stark contrast to the classic pick-up. But when you take a look at the concrete instructions that follow from his theory, you can see that they hardly differ from those of other PUAs. For example, when Mystery teases women, he does so to operate “attrachtion switches”. Manson does it in order to polarize and find out more quickly whether the woman belongs to the group of women who want to have sex with him (without, however, believing it would make him more attractive). He calls this efficient, honest communication. The thumb ring mentioned at the beginning falls under Peacocking for Mystery and serves to signalize higher value (DHV) and thus generate attraction, for Manson it is an expression of an honest lifestyle. Manson’s thinking offers an interesting, new perspective that has also decisively influenced my world view. But from a technical point of view, it’s just old wine in new bottles. Or as a PUA would say: A reframing of the well-known theory. (probably with the aim of appearing somewhat more socially desirable.)

However, the greatest practical benefit of Manson’s advice is not so much in the theoretical part as in the sheer amount of concrete tips on all areas of life. Whether fashion, fitness, nutrition, body language, voice, conversation techniques, overcoming fears, humour or charm – Manson has some really helpful advice for everything.

Unfortunately, the author does not succeed himself in meeting the demands he places on the reader. “Models” is one of the most misspelled books I’ve ever read. This may be okay in a freely accessible blog, but not in a book that people pay money for. And it is not “honest” in the author’s sense.

But also in terms of content, the book is not always straightforward. Manson keeps getting caught up in contradictions. One example of this is the issue of women’s attractiveness scales.

On the one hand, there seems to be a clear difference in attractiveness for him:

Being the Top 1% in physical appearance means that more or less 99% of the male population is going to be sexually interested and/or pursuing them in some way. (p. 164)

The Top 1% rarely ever settle for a man with a major flaw. (p. 165)

(The title of the book seems to convey classical ideals of attractiveness. Or why else did he not name his book “Weight Lifters”, “Sumo Wrestlers” or “Obese Single Moms”?)

on the other hand, he tries to fight this very view:

The ratings scale is toxic in so many ways, the worst of which is that it subtly stereotypes behavior based upon appearance. (p. 166)

The rating scale is a pedestal. The concept of “high value” is a pedestal. Coming up with special openers is a pedestal. Most PUA Theory is a pedestal. Believing you have to treat her differently in any way because of how she looks is a pedestal. (p. 168)

I recommend guys switch to a binary system of 1 or 0. A “1” is a woman you’d like to be with. A “0” is a woman you wouldn’t. (p. 169)

Or as popular saying goes:
There are only two types of women - bangable and unbangable

But you can also put it a little nicer! Picasso, you do it!
There are only two types of women - goddesses and doormats.

The saying is available in many other variations – by the way also for men:

(Note that the left guy is an alpha and the right one is a beta, who has to be satisfied with a woman of slightly above average attractivity, although he could easily have gotten more out of it as the future king of England.)

This 0-1 system is not directly wrong, but it is also not sufficiently granular to allow for an honest and realistic classification of attractiveness. Between the hateful, unaesthetic 600 lbs woman and the loving, sexually adventurous girl with the perfect model body, there are a lot of intermediate stages.
But even if someone rejects the scale of 10 for himself and only uses the scale of 0-1 on an individual level, he is still confronted with the problem that not all women are equally in demand on a global scale and therefore cannot be seduced in the same way. (For the more attractive women, there is no other choice than to reject the majority of interested guys.) This means that he also benefits from the use of the scale of 10. Of course, you can’t shout out the attractiveness of women with whom you still want to have sex** – and violate the author’s honesty mantra. But nevertheless you can at least be honest with yourself and admit to yourself what you are really keen on.

What is Manson’s most important piece of advice for a prospective seducer?

  • If there were a cure-all [for your problems with attracting and seducing women], it’d be physicality. (p. 298)
  • The single best advice I can give you if you wish to improve at anything is to take full responsibility and accountability of your results and your actions. (p. 227)
  • Overcoming your fear and anxiety probably has the greatest correlation with a man’s overall results with women. If he’s willing to approach 500 women in a week with no fear of rejection, eventually at least one of them is going to stick. (p. 130)
  • Fitness and fashion will do more [to] attract women in a shorter amount of time than anything else. (p. 173)

Here too, Manson is not communicating in a straightforward way. Somehow everything seems to be the most important thing. It would have been more honest to write that partnerlessness is a multifactorial problem and that it is very difficult to choose one of the many similarly important factors.

In addition to the contradictions, there are also statements that are consistent in themselves but factually incorrect. One example of this is the dogma “Men desire attractive women in order to fulfil social expectations”. What a load of bullshit! Sexual preferences are genetically/hormonally fixed. And why on earth do most men still use attractive women as jerk-off material? Which of the zero attendants do they want to impress?

If you like big girls or curvy girls, go for it. If you prefer black girls with dreadlocks, more power to you. If you like older women or younger women, cool. Don’t pressure yourself to live up to someone else’s standard. (p. 98)

Stop approaching her to prove something to yourself. (p. 169)

Men tend to be all about the sexual stat-sheet and the high-fiving that comes along with it. (p. 266)

“I approach these women so that I can feel important. I want to have sex with hot girls to know that I’m valuable.” (p. 122)
(alleged mindset of all men who are always rejected)

And what is the author’s relationship with his girls? Does he tell us how happy he is with his overweight girlfriend with crooked teeth? And that he doesn’t mind the stupid comments he hears every day? Not quite …

I’ve been with several models (two runway), a professional dancer, a cheerleader and a successful stage actress. I’ve been on dates with girls who have been approached 3-5 times while on the date with me. I’ve dated a girl who dated an NBA basketball player before me. I’ve dated girls who guys I didn’t know came up and gave me high fives while she was looking looking away. (p. 167)

What a self-righteous braggart! (And by the way, a real alpha would’ve laid the girl before the NBA cock fucked her sore.)

Back to you. If your biggest wish is to scoop cream cakes into an immobilized land whale, then of course you are welcome to do so. (However, I don’t know why you need a guide for this obvious insight.) However, if you don’t like “big curvy girls” like most men, the following applies to you:

  • You’ll have a much harder time at dating than someone who likes chubby women. My sincere condolences and welcome to the club!
  • If you like slim women, that’s the way it is. Neither you nor the media or society can change that. You can’t change your mind about fat girls any more than a gay guy can change his mind about women.

* Again such a definition is not quite correct in my opinion. The typical nerd invests only in himself, has uncool hobbies, clothes, etc. although he knows that this is not well received by women, wheras the typical chav buys a lowered vehicle with under car ilumination very well in awareness of making a big impression on the ladies. And yet the nerd appears needy and the chav doesn’t. Why? For me, needy is anyone who has a great desire, but who, despite all his efforts, does not succeed in turning it into reality. According to this definition, the partnerless nerd is needy and the chav is not.
** Neither does this work for her IQ, BMI or cup size. (Except you manage to package it in a kind of humorous way.)

Models: Attract Women Through Honesty, Mark Manson

External links:
A Book in Review: Models by Mark Manson, Seddit
Learnings from Models: Attract Women Through Honest by Mark Manson, The Red Pill, Reddit
How successful have you guys been after applying Mark Manson’s Models teachings in the real world?, Seddit
What is your opinion about Mark Manson’s book models?, Quora
Models: Attract Women Through Honesty Review, Alpha Male Mentality
Models – Attract Women Through Honesty (book review), The Changing Ways


1 thought on “Review: Models (Mark Manson)

  1. Pingback: Rezension: Models (Mark Manson) – Der lange Weg zum ersten Mal

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