Savoy is the author of Magic Bullets, a comprehensive E-Book manual for anybody aspiring to be a great seducer of women or even for men wanting to pair up with the type of woman they really fancy. He's one of the Master Pickup Artists mentioned in Neil Strauss's book The Game*. Savoy has studied under and worked with many of the other 'masters' Strauss mentions and he seems to have demystified the whole process of attracting women. We tracked him down in LA and managed to squeeze this comprehensive interview out of him.
BRINK: How long have you been in the community of pickup artists? Could you briefly describe the main 'schools' of pickup?
SAVOY: I started studying Dating Science in 2002, and became more involved in 2004. I don't know if the field is big enough to have "schools". I think Love Systems2 is different because it is based on a ground-up approach, based on what actually works in the real world. It's not some guy's cult of personality, least of all mine. We don't teach anything unless it's been proven to work, and when I say proven, I mean that our 20+ instructors of varying ages, looks, cultures and locations around the world have tested it out and found value in it. There's no sense in flowing someone's advice if it's something that only works for him - or, worse still, if it's just a theory. That brings me to another unique thing about Love Systems: we put on workshops pretty much every weekend, somewhere around the world, and we put our name on the line every night of every program. During the daytime, our instructors teach our students what to do to succeed with women. At night we go to the bars, clubs, restaurants, and lounges and do exactly what we've just taught to students. They can see it live, and they can see it work. Not every approach is going to go perfectly, but after a few of them, even the most skeptical students say "woah, I need to learn this". And that's when we coach them - approach after approach - until they get it right.
BRINK: How drastically did being in the 'community' of PUAs change your degree of success with women?
SAVOY: Like virtually every Love Systems instructor, I was a student before I became a master. Before I discovered Dating Science, I was about the same as most of our students are when we meet them for the first time. I generally had my life together, I had friends, I'd had girlfriends, but I wasn't consistently attracting the type of women I wanted. Once in a while I would end up dating an amazing woman, but when that happened it always felt like luck or a fluke. I also settled sometimes, and I didn't always feel that I had many options. Today, it's 180 degrees different. I'm not going to attract any woman I want - no one does - but when I meet a woman I really like, my odds are good.
BRINK: How many men have you taught personally and how long does your introductory workshop take?
SAVOY: I've taught in front of…wow, I don't know. I haven't kept track. In the low thousands, but not sure exactly. Our comprehensive bootcamp goes three days and two nights. It doesn't end until 2 am on both of the nights, and the days are pretty packed with information, live exercises, examples etc. It's pretty intense. We call it a bootcamp for a reason!
BRINK: What percentage of guys are successfully bedding really attractive (defined as 8+ on a scale of 10) women by the end of the workshop?
SAVOY: That's not the point of the workshop itself. I'll regularly pull guys away from beautiful women, even if they have good chances of taking them home, if it's early in the night or if there's something more advanced we're trying to teach them. After the workshop, you can go out whenever you want and do whatever you want. When you're in the workshop, we're going to make use of every moment we have to train you to be the best. Of course, it's definitely happened (occasionally) that a student has told me he wants to leave early and take some woman home, regardless whether he'll miss part of the workshop or not. In those cases, we can't follow him home, but we can watch him and the woman until they leave and do his feedback/debrief the next day. As an instructor you have to remember that, while taking a beautiful woman home from a restaurant or a bar isn't a big deal for you, it can be for some of your students.
BRINK: So how much post-workshop time does it usually take a guy of average looks to get to the point where he's seducing one really attractive 8+ woman per week?
SAVOY: It's a skill-set. It's like learning mixed martial arts. You can make it the centerpiece of your life and become one of the guys in the Ultimate Fighting Championships, or you can develop your techniques just enough to protect yourself from getting mugged in a back alley. You can use what you learn from Love Systems to hook up with a different woman every night or you can use it to find an amazing wife or girlfriend; that's up to you. To answer the question "how long does it take the average student to become proficient with the material they learned at the bootcamp?" - usually about six months. Then they're usually hungry for some of our more advanced material, like the Interview Series.
BRINK: Could you tell me about your greatest success in teaching pickup skills - in other words the most physically ugly guy that you have turned into a successful pickup artist? How long did it take him to really get up to speed after the workshop?
SAVOY: One piece of good news for men is that being good looking is more about how you dress that it is about how you look with your clothes off. There's a whole chapter on how to do this in my new book, Magic Bullets. There are very few men who we can't make good looking after a simple fashion consultation. Now we're not talking GQ here. This isn't high fashion or pop culture; this is fashion that attracts women and makes men interesting to them. Young, old, tall, short, fat, thin - we've done it. When you see our instructors - virtually all of whom are former students - you'll still see a range of body types, but they all have made changes to allow them to come across as good looking enough that a beautiful woman wouldn't rule them out. As an example, one of our instructors (previously a student) is 5'3. Several (myself included) could do with spending more time at the gym and less time eating. So, looks aren't a barrier for the vast majority of our students, since we can get them to the point where their looks won't be a barrier to attracting desirable women. We usually fix that pretty quickly and then move onto the harder stuff. All things being equal, the better-looking you are the better you'll do, of course, but all that's really important is that you get your looks to a level where a woman won't rule you out. Do that, and then you can use all the psychology and techniques we teach and allow them to work their magic. Most of our instructors weren't very good-looking when we first met them. Every once in a while we circulate before and after photos, and those are good for a few pranks.
BRINK: Tell me about the most socially awkward guy you have ever taught?
SAVOY: the vast majority of our students aren't particularly awkward. Some are a little bit awkward at times, particularly around beautiful women, but almost all of them are good guys you'd be happy to have a beer with. Being shy or not knowing what to do around beautiful women who you don't know is just part of the game. That's fixable at the bootcamp, so we don't worry too much about it. And some of the guys who come to us are already excellent - they just want to get even better. Some aren't. That's why we bring several instructors to our bootcamps, and so, can customize it for individual students. This allows us to address different needs and different skill levels.
Love Systems isn't where you come if you are a mess. To protect the learning environment of our students and avoid wasting time, we've had to turn away a couple of guys we thought needed a different kind of help then we were set up to provide. The bootcamps are a lot of fun, but we also take them very seriously. Our mission is to change peoples' lives, and you can't do that if the environment isn't productive.
BRINK: What about the shortest guy you've ever taught to be a successful pick up artist and how long did that take?
SAVOY: I don't know if he's the shortest, but I taught one student back in 2004 who was 5'3. About a year later his game had reached instructor-level. He'd also become a good friend of mine. There are a few things you do differently when you're that height, but it's not a dramatic change. If you're approaching a woman who is significantly taller then you, there are a couple of things you can say that will diffuse that. Other than that, it's no different. What we do is based on female psychology, and that doesn't change whether she tilts her head up or down to talk to you. If you're short, there are a couple of things you should know, but other than that, we just do the things we teach in bootcamps or in Magic Bullets and take it from there.
BRINK: Can a 50-year-old guy with a beer belly and only average wealth still operate as a successful pickup artist?
SAVOY: Absolutely. No question. We've trained several. Remember, women are primarily emotional, not logical. I don't mean emotions in terms of being all deep and serious with a woman when you meet her, but I do mean focusing on triggering specific emotional responses from a woman in the right order. It's usually not that hard once you get the hang of it.
BRINK: Suppose I'm well below average in looks and I wanted just one 8+ (i.e. beautiful) woman per week and I've just finished your workshop. How many hours of study and time online would I have to put in and how many hours per week would I have to spend in the field to achieve that aim in say six months?
SAVOY: As a guideline, it takes about six months of consistent practice to really internalize what you learn at the bootcamp. With some men it's longer and with some it's shorter, if you're taking time a couple of hours a week to meet women and practice your skills (e.g. going to a bar, a mall or coffee shops) you should improve significantly. There's no real need for "online" time unless it's to ask questions about situations you've run into, although we do recommend that people keep a journal of their experiences, so they can monitor their progress, and because the process of writing down what happens in different interactions with different women will lead them to make mental breakthroughs on their own. There's a great resource for this called The Attraction Forums and it's free. Usually men like to read or re-read Magic Bullets and listen to the 1-hour interview series CD4 when it arrives every month because these are great guides to improving your game and helping you through different sticking points, but you'll get all of the core teaching you'll need from a bootcamp; after that, it's mostly about getting out there and using what you've learned!
BRINK: Once I've arrived at that level, how many hours would I have to put in to maintain it?
SAVOY: That's the good news. Once you internalize the behaviours and reactions that make you successful with women, they become a part of you. You'll be one of those people who seems to naturally attract women without even doing anything to make it happen. This also benefits a lot of our guys in other aspects of their life - at work, with friends and so on. Now if you take a month off from meeting women, you might find that your first few approaches are "rusty", but you should be back up to speed in a day or two.
BRINK: Your seminars are not yet available in Hong Kong. Is one absolutely essential? How far can guys on below-average looks and average social skills get just by studying your book and practicing the skills therein? Let's suppose a guy studies the book half an hour every day and practices twice a week?
SAVOY: Bootcamps shave a ton of time off your learning curve, but it is possible to learn this stuff through your own efforts. Using the curriculum you suggest - which is a pretty good one - you should see significant improvement within a couple of months. I'd also suggest keeping a journal, subscribing to our interview series and doing 20 minutes extra study every time you update your journal.
You won't learn as fast or as much as the people who take a bootcamp, but I've seen literally hundreds of testimonials and reviews from people who have read Magic Bullets and talked about how it's changed their life. But if you're doing this on your own, a lot depends on you: how quickly you learn, how disciplined you are, etc. It's also a lot easier to give up if you haven't taken a bootcamp. Seeing what "good" really looks like at a bootcamp and what an average guy can do with these skills is unbelievably inspirational to most men. The good news is, since you and I started talking about this interview, one of our instructors based in Sydney has offered to run a bootcamp in Hong Kong in early February. We'd be more than happy to have one of your journalists there so they can see that what we're doing really works- of course they'd have to maintain the anonymity of our clients.
BRINK: the concept of a 'wingman' appears to be very important. Could you explain to our readers what a 'wingman' does?
SAVOY: A 'wingman' is a term in popular culture that means a male friend who you're with when you're meeting women. It's not necessary to have one, but it sure helps. You and your wingman can do lots of little things to help each other. We can't really get into them all here, but I'll give you one really simple example. Say that you are in a restaurant or bar, having an intense conversation with a woman sometime late at night. Your wingman can come over, apologize to you that "something's come up" and he has to go, and then ask the woman you're talking to if she'd mind giving you a ride home instead. Assuming she says yes, your wingman has just helped you cross one of the major hurdles - getting her home from where you met her - without any awkwardness and in a way that makes her feel comfortable.
BRINK: What about a 'wingwoman' or 'pivot' as they are also called?
SAVOY: If you have female friends who want to help you meet women, you can use them to make you look good. Men always look more attractive if there are women around; this relates to the concept of pre-selection6 which is one of the eight major female attraction triggers. It's been proven in test after test that most women find a man more attractive if she knows that he is attractive to other women. So, one of the thing we teach men how to make it appear that other women are interested in them, in a subtle yet powerful way. A wingwoman can also help tactically. For example, she can start conversations with other women in a much less threatening way then most men. After she's approached someone, you can "find" her a minute later and have her introduce you to the woman you wanted to meet. There are lots of little things like this that wingmen and wingwomen can do to help one another.
BRINK: Have you had nasty experiences with women who felt guilty after being seduced so quickly or with women who felt that they had been 'played'?
SAVOY: Not really. I probably had more of that in college because back then I didn't really know how to communicate with women, so I ended up sending the wrong signals. Part of what I teach in Relationship Management is how to communicate to a woman where you want something to go in a way that makes her feel comfortable. So now, if it's a situation where I am attracted but there isn't any long-term potential, I'm able to give a woman those signals beforehand, without having a direct and logical conversation that spoils the mood.
BRINK: Do you often have to deal with outraged feminists? I imagine they would feel very threatened by ordinary men learning how to have extraordinary success with large numbers of women.
SAVOY: I suppose it depends on your definition of feminist. If you mean someone who feels that men and women should be treated equally and that there are sources of gender inequality in the world that should be addressed, I don't think you'll find anyone in Love Systems who disagrees with that. There are more women who work for the company than men. All my female friends and family know what I do and are supportive.
BRINK: In The Game, Strauss talks about the problem of guys getting addicted to the PUA community and neglecting work and study. Is this really as much of a problem as he makes out?
SAVOY: I can't speak to Neil's experience, but that doesn't resonate with me at all. Theoretically you could get addicted to going out and meeting women just like you could get addicted to anything pleasurable, but I've never seen it. I think success with women inspires men to achieve greater social heights in other areas of their life - social, professional, and so on. I know that I am happier, more confident, more ambitious and have greater success in other areas of my own life because I have the dating side of things handled - i.e. completely different from when I was single, lonely and trying to figure out what I needed to do.
BRINK: Aside from the obvious aspect of selling your skills to make money and being able to get most of the women you want, has learning the 'skill set' of a Master Pick Up Artist improved your life?
SAVOY: Great Question. When people are emotionally and sexually fulfilled, it affects other areas of their lives. Have you ever seen the 'glow' on someone's face when they've fallen in love or shared a moment with someone to whom they're very attracted? That happens all the time. Your mental and physical health improves, and you become more ambitious and successful in other areas of your life when you don't have missing elements in your emotional and sexual life that are dragging you down. It's absolutely improved my life on that score, as it has for most people who have taken our programs. The specific skills are also very translatable. It's helped me understand how other people think and communicate a lot better, since you realize that people's psychology tends to work in a series of patterns. I'm much better at making fun, social conversation at parties and other events.
BRINK: what, if any downside has there been for you?
SAVOY: There's some miss-perception of what we do. It's not about manipulation, it's not about cheesy pickup lines, and it's not about doing anything weird. It's about learning what specific things have a nearly-universal effect on women based on applied psychology and real-world testing. I do understand how what we do can appear threatening. For men, it can be disheartening to realize that other men no better-looking or more successful than themselves are living a lifestyle full of beautiful women. A natural reaction is to try to convince oneself that this is not true (i.e. it's not possible) or that it is somehow immoral. I experienced both of these reactions at a coffee shop recently, where I stopped by for a drink, and noticed an attractive woman reading a book. I approached her, talked for a while, made plans to see her in a couple of days, got her number, and went to read a magazine while I drank my coffee. Some guy sitting near me asked me if I knew her and I said no. He went on to give me trouble for "bothering" her. Clearly he'd been staring at her and wishing he could meet her or had been trying to work up the courage to talk to her. I decided to be nice, and try to explain a couple of basic things about how I'd approached her but he wasn't having it. He insisted that it couldn't work, despite the visual evidence he'd just witnessed!
Believing that Love Systems doesn't work or is wrong can let a man sleep better, because he's not threatened by the unknown possibilities; thus, he can still believe he is making the most of what he has. A lot of us have gone through that stage. Just like when you see a man approach a woman and she rejects him; he will often say things like "she's a bitch" or "I didn't want her anyway". That protects his ego and self-image, but it's not usually true; he did want to get to know her, but he didn't have the right tools to make it happen. That's where we come in.
Our existence is also threatening to some women because they somehow get the idea that this is "cheating" or doesn't let a man "be himself". Neither of these are true. What we offer isn't that different from what we offer in women's magazines about how to meet a guy, how to keep a guy, how to be at your best for a guy, and so on. As for "cheating" - well, it sure makes things a lot easier, but to imply that this gives men some unfair advantage over women makes sense if you believe that women don't have the capability for independent thought. Most women I know WANT men to be attracted to them, and want men to flirt with them in a way that makes them feel comfortable, engaged and feminine. If we weren't giving women what they wanted, then the whole system wouldn't work!
BRINK: Finally what are the three greatest mistakes that men make in trying to attract and seduce a woman?
They don't approach right away. A lot of guys will see an attractive woman and let her disappear or they will stare at her trying to work up the courage to talk to her. This is partly because they don't know what to say when they meet her - (i.e. if you knew some sure-fire ways to start a conversation, you'd be less scared to start). That's why we made the Magic Bullets chapter on 'approaching women' free on our website. A second reason for this relates to social anxiety. It's not normal to just walk up to strangers (even beautiful women) and start a conversation with them. Fixing that is something we cover on the first day of our bootcamps.
They don't have a plan. Most men just talk to a woman, hope that they have things in common (which is why most guys ask boring questions that women have heard thousands of times like "what do you do?" and "where are you from?") and hope that sex or a relationship just eventually happens.
It's much more effective to know what you're trying to do. For example, after you approach a woman, your first goal is to turn the conversation from whatever you started talking about (which won't be interesting to her forever, and will make things awkward once you've exhausted the topic) to a more general conversation. You then have to create attraction through the eight attraction switches we talked about earlier. Then you need to qualify her - make her feel she's earned your interest in her. You'll need a specific plan for that, along with every other mini-goal I'm talking about here. Then you need to find a way for you and her to be alone. From there, you build comfort. There are a bunch of things you need to do and they need to be roughly in the right order. Get good at them all, and meeting and attracting women becomes much easier. Knowing all the steps you need to accomplish and how to accomplish each one is at the crux of what we do.
They appear indecisive or weak. This is a giant turnoff for women. The man is expected to lead the woman. Don't make a woman participate in her own seduction; that's not exciting for most women. Don't tell a woman you don't really care what you do on a date and, in turn, ask what she wants to do. Have goals in your life. Stand up for yourself. Have opinions. Be strong. Make her feel feminine.
When we discovered Magic Bullets we thought we'd put it to the test. So we got four of our mates to go out twice a week and try their luck before reading the book. Then after studying the book for a few days we got them to go out for a couple more weeks. Here are the results:
Steve, 50, British: It definitely made a huge difference, especially in my second week after reading the book. I think I was a bit nervous during the first week, trying to hold so many ideas in my head.
Chen, 33, Local Chinese: It took me a while to work out how to phrase this stuff in Chinese, but after that the improvement was dramatic. I found stuff in there which I had been doing unconsciously before; once it became conscious it took a lot of fluke out of things.
Franco, 29, Italian: Stunning! My success in meeting new girls went up dramatically the first night.
Ed, 44, American: I was frankly skeptical at first, but after a week I found myself taking home girls who normally I would have been admiring from a distance. Also the seduction tips improved my effectiveness after I got them back to my place.
I really can't approve of this. I think it's manipulation of women but I have to admit that it would probably work well. However the section of relationships was very good, though as an orthodox therapist I don't believe in open relationships.
The main site for Savoy's organization: www.lovesystems.com.
Here you'll find a set of online discussion forums where users of the system can discuss their approaches both successful and otherwise and get advice on how to improve their skills: www.theattractionforums.com.
The following site comprises a set of interviews which cover common problems: www.lovesystems.com/audio.
This is a brief record of every approach, its results, any difficulties encountered and any interesting things observed.
Pre-selection is the concept that a man is already attractive to women other than the one he is trying to pick up. The mere presence of other females around the man can imply this even if the other women don't specifically state their sexual interest in the man.