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updated 2/4/2013 6:32:59 PM ET 2013-02-04T23:32:59

Renowned for helping men sharpen their skills, master pickup artist Nick Savoy turns the tables in "It's Your Move," and provides women the intellectual ammunition they need to get what they want. Here's an excerpt.

Five Secrets of 100,000 Pickups

Love Systems has been around in one form or another since 2004. In that time, our instructors have witnessed and/or participated in more than a hundred thousand dating interactions between men and women of almost every social class, race, culture, and type of physical appearance within a wide range of ages. We have paid very careful attention to every one of these pickups and attempted pickups. As a result, we have accumulated a tremendous amount of research into what women actually respond to in a man, via the most reliable method: observing and testing out in the field. This large sample size allows for some strong conclusions that go far beyond the anecdotal. We’ve been sharing these conclusions with our male clients for years to help them attract and date the women they want; now I’m going to share some of them with you.

I should probably warn you that you may not like or want to believe everything you read here. That’s okay. I’ll even acknowledge that not everything in this chapter will necessarily apply perfectly to you—any model that treats three billion women as a single group will inevitably have exceptions. But there are also good reasons, which we’ll cover in the next chapter, why what people respond to is often very different from what they think they respond to. One hundred thousand approaches don’t lie, and the observations and conclusions I’m going to present in this chapter all represent very strong tendencies—strong enough that we’ve used this information to build the methods that we teach our clients, and our clients are very successful at employing what we teach them.


Phil—a doctor and former bootcamp client—was and is a bright and affable guy. Popular and well respected at work, he had limited time and energy for a social life, usually preferring to relax with a book or a trip to the gym. When we first met, he definitely came across as highly intellectual and intelligent, but not as someone who anyone would think of as being cool.

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At the beginning of his bootcamp, Phil was able to approach and introduce himself to women, but couldn’t get much of a dialogue going. These women politely answered Phil’s questions, but tended to return quickly to their original conversation and even forget that he was there. A few minutes later, Phil would slink back to our group, having generated zero interest. He was confused; most of the women he’d met in his life had been friendly. But the women he was meeting tonight were making no effort to talk to him or get to know him after he introduced himself. That just seemed rude.

One of the instructors took Phil aside and explained to him that he was displaying a lack of Social Intelligence. Phil’s behavior was more appropriate for a cocktail party or a work social event, where people wouldn’t be more than a degree or two of separation from each other. In such environments, people are generally inviting and sociable; you probably have mutual friends or interests in common (which is how you both ended up at the same event to begin with), and, at the very least, you wouldn’t want to offend whomever invited you by being rude to other guests. But on the bootcamp, the women he was approaching were complete strangers, and Phil did not have any value to them simply by being at the same nightclub. As such, these women felt no obligation to draw him into their conversation. They already had people to talk to, and having Phil standing nearby awkwardly alternating between silence and get-to-know-you questions was not adding anything to their night. Further, he was ignoring social conventions around dating and attraction. If a man approaches a woman, she usually expects him to have something interesting to say and to be able to carry most of the conversation at first. By treating a nightclub as if it were a friendly cocktail party, Phil was projecting a lack of Social Intelligence. The women he met weren’t being rude; they were just reacting to this awkwardness.

Phil understood. He got up from our table and approached a group of three women chatting casually near the dance floor. He made a funny comment about the DJ and then started telling them about a dating dilemma he’d just helped a male friend navigate through. He asked the women their opinions and joked with them about some of their advice, even lightly teasing one who particularly caught his eye. Another man who’d had too much to drink started interrupting them and hitting on one of the women; Phil was polite and friendly, but maintained control over the conversation and eventually the other man slunk away. One of the women was impressed by his presence and energy, and invited him back to their table; after making a good impression on everyone in the group, Phil soon found himself in an intimate conversation with the woman he was most attracted to. If not for our strong suggestion that bootcamp attendees avoid spending the entire night with one woman, Phil might have left the club with her that evening. As it was, Phil made an excuse about why he had to get back to his friends, but not before making plans to see her again.

What turned Phil from a nonstarter to a very attractive catch? His ability to display Social Intelligence. A man with Social Intelligence is someone who can smoothly operate in a variety of situations. He never looks awkward or uncomfortable and never makes anyone else feel that way, either—unless the situation genuinely calls for such measures, in which case he would do so effortlessly. He’s the kind of man who always knows the right thing to say and would never embarrass you in front of anyone else. His social skills and understanding of social dynamics let him achieve his goal, whether it’s charming the maitre d’ into giving him a desired table, smoothly shutting down an annoying interloper, or… meeting you. Women often want to be picked up but don’t want to feel like they are being picked up. A man who can use his Social Intelligence to break the ice, defuse any awkwardness, and make her and her friends comfortable has a huge advantage over men who can’t. Even outside the context of first meeting you, Socially Intelligent men tend to be attractive to women; these men tend to be connected to more people, have access to more interesting events, and simply tend to live more outsized lives than socially awkward men.

Some anthropologists think women’s attraction toward men with high levels of Social Intelligence dates back to the earliest days of civilization. In ancient times, the people with the best social skills gained widespread trust and established a place of importance in the community. Those with poor social skills found themselves ostracized and left out of the loop. The former got ahead and provided for their families in a big way. The latter wound up in situations where they couldn’t provide for anyone. Generations of natural selection and cultural reinforcement have taught women that men with high levels of Social Intelligence are likely to offer a good, safe, and affluent life for them and their children, while those with low levels of Social Intelligence will not. The geeks may inherit the earth some day, but they’re still probably going to go home alone at night.

Unless you’re a rare exception, you are probably attracted to men with strong social skills. In contrast, you probably don’t feel butterflies in your stomach the first time you talk to shy and awkward men—as much as Hollywood tries to convince you otherwise with an endless diet of movies in which the lovable loser gets the girl at the end. In the next chapter we’ll talk about why dating and attraction is depicted so oddly in popular culture; it’s not solely due to postadolescent wish fulfillment on the part of screenwriters who themselves usually resemble a Steve Carell character more than they do Brad Pitt.

Excerpted from the book "It's Your Move: How to Play the Game and with the Man you Want." Copyright © 2013 by Nick Savoy. Published by Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of the Hachette Book Group.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive


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