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"Challenging Ideas and Mindsets from 20 Years Exploring Sexuality and Relationships"

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The Good
Mature advice based on experience, simple and effective inner game advice based around lifestyle choices, healthy relationship advice, some entertainment value.
The Bad
A few unhelpful and distracting chapters, slow at beginning, harder for for men with less successful experiences with women to learn from.
The Bottom Line
I recommend that men who are interested in expanding their ideas of sexuality and relationships beyond the societal norms or those pushed by other communities (e.g. the PUA community) read this book.

Hypnotica has a wealth of experience behind him and relates it authentically and maturely so that you can take your own learnings from his experiences.

This is not a "How To" book full of tactics, it is a "Food for thought" biography that will give you ideas about what you should be looking for in terms of your own sexuality and your relationships with women - possibly also your life.


Similarly to Neil Strauss' "The Game", this book follows the journey of a man as he explores his sexuality and learns to improve his skills with women.

The man in this case is Erik von Sydow, known as Hypnotica to many (see his profile here) who was also featured in "The Game" as one of the men who taught Neil Strauss his inner game skills.

The similarities with Strauss' "The Game", stop there. The journey Hypnotica takes is very different, his lifestyle is more extreme (working as a male stripper for both sexes, a stripper bodyguard, and managing stripper clubs), and the conclusions and revelations he communicates to us at each step of the way are different.

This book contains some good "food for thought" to help experienced men refine their approach to women and relationships. But as you'll see in this review, I don't think this book is for everybody.

95% Autobiography - Learn from 'Hypnoticas' Life Experience

This book is not a "How to" advice book, it is Hypnotica's life story to date. He takes you from his earliest years through to his life today in his 40s. Having said that, throughout the book he relates his 'inner game mindsets' and how they evolve over time and also includes some pages of pure advice or how to from time to time.

This probably makes up 5% of the book. To learn from the other 95% you can take your own ideas away from his experiences, what happens along the way and his explanation of his own state of mind at each step of the way.

At first look, the book is Erik's story of his exploration of extreme lifestyles in sexuality (sleeping with hundreds of women) and self-development (pushing the boundaries of his mind, including dabbling in psychedelics) to find his way to a fulfilling and happy life.

Some parts of this journey are 'entertaining' and will be surprising for men not experienced in polyamory or dating multiple women.

Are You Ready to Question Yourself?
The vast majority of the advice you will find on Dating Skills Review is about the "HOW" of improving your dating skills and getting better results with women. Very few products discuss the "WHAT" or more specifically the "WHAT FOR".

Questions like "Why date women?", "What place do they take in your life?" and "what types of relationships will benefit your life?" are rarely addressed.

These are questions that Hypnotica constantly asks himself throughout this journey and to which he finally brings his own answers.

In this book you follow the evolution of Hypnotica's "what for" through its highs and lows as he finds his way, loses his way and refinds it again, ultimately arriving at a place of satisfaction for himself. He talks spirituality, philosophy, sexuality and examines questions about life itself to arrive there.

If you have already asked yourself these questions, you will relate to him and learn something from his journey. Otherwise, if you are interested in pushing the boundaries of your dating journey, or exploring new ideas of happiness, there will be something to take from this book.

However, if you are not interested in these types of questions - you will find it hard to extract learning from it, and it probably isn't a book for you.

Lessons Delivered through Authenticity
What I particularly valued in this book was its authenticity. Erik tells you the bad with the good.

What most would consider embarrassing and regrettable lows (naked wrestling with a ladyboy, getting a blow job from a guy against his wishes) along with the highs (pushing sexual boundaries, building a loving environment around him and leading a sexual life beyond most men's dreams).

By revealing the not-so-nice details as well as the good, he reveals his journey more clearly.

As a result, the reader realizes that Erik really is just a guy going about making his life in the world. Making his errors along the way like all others.

Also, and more importantly, having read the gory details you are far more likely to understand why he looks at the world the way he does today. In other words, what better way to understand his mindset (what people call 'inner game') and the source of his confidence than by walking through the true details of his life experience (rather than only the sugar coated parts).

The details he reveals tell his story all that much more clearly because you can connect the dots better. "Why did he reach a point of despair as a male stripper bedding different attractive women every night of the week?", "Why does he continue to work at a stripper bar today?"

Slow Beginning and Some Distracting Content
The first few chapters are a bit long winded, delving into his childhood and details of his background. Some readers may decide to drop the book before they get past this, lacking something engaging to keep them there.

Eric is a pretty unique character. At times you may feel he gets too woo woo with his spirituality or experiments and even wonder why he's bringing them up at all. This also goes for a couple of chapters where he relates his opinion on topics that aren't overly useful.

One particular example of this is the chapter on "women hygiene". I've never encountered the experiences in vaginal gunge he talks about, so I asked some of our editors, them neither. Perhaps those experiences are due to his bias towards women working in the stripper world? In any case, these chapters come across more as 'rants' than thoughtful exploration or useful anecdotes as with the rest of the book.

Simple & Repetitive Lessons on Inner Game & Confidence

For those interested in inner game Hypnotica teaches some solid yet very simple lessons in Metawhore. The same concepts and principles are related many times either through discussion of his mindsets, through his experiences, or through the illustration of results he gets when they're applied.

There is nothing to jump up and down about in terms of innovative ideas or exciting new techniques here. But that's not the point. It's solid and sound advice and kept simple.

The fact that it is repeated throughout the book in a variety of ways will help the reader to better understand their importance and apply them.

The reality is that men studying dating advice typically apply 5% of what they read and have the rest just distract them and hold them back.

A book that drums home the same (simple but effective) points, in many different ways and from many angles, so that readers really understand them and 'see them' is far more valuable than a book with hundreds of tips - most wouldn't get applied. That's what this book is - and it's better for it, especially where it comes to the topic of 'inner game' that is more abstract and harder for people to learn.
The Bottom Line
Anyone who is open-minded and committed to explore their sexuality and how to have fulfilling relationships with women should read this book "at some point".

Just remember it's a book that you have to read between the lines to get the real value, and if you are not actively questioning yourself at this moment, you may miss the point of a lot of it. Then again, the book might be the kick-in-the-pants you need to start asking yourself those critical life questions. And from that point of view, it could be more life-changing than most "how to" manuals out there.

It's a good idea for you to check this out:

  • If you are looking to expand your boundaries on how you should relate to women in your life.
  • If you are uncertain of why you are chasing women
  • If you have taken part in and became 'disappointed' with the PUA community and are searching for a new way of thinking.
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