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Man charges $2,200 for his how-to-find-women course

Seattle [Seattle Times]- Here’s what I always figured:

Any guy who had a job, didn’t look like a mutant and refrained from wearing vests made of human skin could probably meet women without much trouble in Seattle.

But there’s more to it than that, says self-proclaimed seduction expert Ronald Lee, who’s holding an “Art of Attraction” workshop here Friday-Sunday (for details, see The press release from his Vancouver-based Man Meets Woman business humbly announces, “Meet the World’s Greatest Seducers in Seattle and Learn to Date Women!”

Hey, I liked Kierkegaard’s “Diary of a Seducer” as much as the next sensory-deprived philosophy student. But the fleeting glimpse of a woman’s ankle as she steps out of a coach just wasn’t doing it for me at this point. So maybe it was time for an update.

I met Lee at the open-air café in Pacific Place, where there’d be enough foot traffic for him to do plenty of pointing and pontificating. Although I hoped he wouldn’t bring a laser pointer.

He didn’t look like what I expected of a latter-day Don Juan: short, slightly nerdy-looking, glasses. Early 30s and not in tip-top shape. No pointer, though. Says my first name a lot. But maybe I’m superficial. I sat down for a short version of his lesson — which costs $2,200, but will be around $1,400 in subsequent months. This time he’s bringing in another heavy hitter for the Seattle workshop, and masters of seduction don’t work pro bono.

Lee’s students spend several hours in a classroom doing role-playing exercises and getting his feedback. Then he makes the men test-drive their new skills while he watches and evaluates in the real world. In Seattle, he’d bring them to a target-rich environment like Belltown.

I want to know his credentials. Is he in Wilt Chamberlain’s league?

“I don’t think I have thousands like he does. Let me first start by telling you what I do. … ” He’s ducking the question, but I let him talk.

“What I do as an attraction coach is teach a simple and effective way for men to improve their social skills, their communication skills. So this can be anything from teaching men that every man has value, that they can become attractive, and I teach them how to have women become interested in them, how to reverse the role of men chasing women. I also teach a process for meeting and approaching women, from getting dates to having great relationships with them.”

Credentials, though: wasn’t getting anywhere with women in his early 20s, took a home-study course based on something called Neuro-Linguistic Programming that involves language and persuasion, continued studying what he calls “advanced seduction” and combined it with his experience as a sports coach. But he came by his skills “the old-fashioned way,” through “hundreds of heartaches and failures, crashing and burning but learning from these experiences.”

For a whopping $2,200, I want his success rate.

“I’m between one and a million. Is that good enough for you?” Lee says.

“You’re not Tony Snow. I’m not letting you off that easy.”

Talking about scoring is demeaning and objectifying and hinders people from great relationships, he says. “But nonetheless, how shall I put this? I’m in the high double-digits, let’s just say that.”

I tell him I always hear that women like a sense of humor, and he agrees. How about some other traits? For instance, self-loathing.

“No,” he says emphatically. “Women hate that.”

“Then we’d have found something in common. We would both hate me.” Got him.

“Yes, that’s, um, true,” Lee admits. “Except that what you want to do when you approach a woman is display your identity and convey that you have the attitude of someone who is high-status, has high value. This doesn’t mean show off your money and show off your job. You don’t need any of this. You don’t even need looks to get with women.”

But, I ask, “Doesn’t wearing a huge clock on a chain around your neck help?”

“It does if you’re a rapper named Flavor Flav and have a history of winning awards for rap music.”

Sadly, I am not and do not.

Shopping-cart approach

The best places to meet women for relationships aren’t bars and clubs, Lee explains, because they’re in more of a selective screening mode there and usually with judgmental friends. He aims for places like supermarkets or malls, “where they can be more normal, basically.”

Ah-ha: The Fonzie Method. Ramming a woman’s cart with yours.

“It doesn’t matter how you approach, because nobody remembers,” Lee says. “You can ram your grocery cart into theirs and drop coffee into their lap and say something totally out of context and stupid, and as long as you make an emotional connection, that is what’s remembered.”

Let’s see how this works in the role-playing. Me first, and he’s the girl.

“So I walk up to you and say, ‘You know, I was wondering if there was a mirror in your pants, because I see myself in ’em.’ How’s that?”

He gives me very low marks for this. My turn to be the girl. He looks into my eyes earnestly.

“Mark, you have a really amazing energy, and I’m wondering why. Are you an artist? What is it about you? What’s your passion?”

My energy? I have to go to the bathroom. And how can he know my name when he’s just approaching me for the first time? This is creeping me out a little.

His technique: “I want to approach you in a way that’s very safe for you. I don’t want to get too close to you or crowd you. When I’m speaking to you, I want to engage your imagination. I want to find some way to connect with you emotionally.” Men, he says, must realize that women communicate differently and “need to be told things as stories, they need to be talked to on an emotional level.”

My idea: Hand out a baseball card with my photo and info, then leave promptly.

But confidence and attitude are 80 percent of being the alpha that women want, Lee asserts. Next is the ability to connect, and then being well-groomed and well-dressed. I tell him I have a John Tesh tour jacket. He seems unimpressed. Wearing jeans and a short-sleeved black shirt, I ask him what else would help. Maybe a gold chain, he says, showing me his, and his silver bracelet.

Well, women do love that Mr. T. But since I don’t seem to be the most apt pupil, I tell him it’s time to see the master in action. He’s game, and we stroll into the Barnes & Noble.

He takes his time scanning and circling, then approaches an attractive but plain-looking young woman. I pretend to read a book several yards away while he gestures with his hands, looking into her eyes while he speaks. When I look up from the book again, he’s got one of her hands in both of his, and for some reason it makes me cringe.

Lee walks back to me with the play-by-play: He told her she had “really amazing energy.” A student. “She wants to be swept off her feet, but it’s never happened for her.” As for the hand-holding: “A woman must get used to my touch within 10 minutes. It’s called ‘escalating physical contact.’ ” Then he told her he had to get back to his friend.

What? I want results. We walk around for a while and wind up someplace Lee agrees is more target-rich: Nordstrom. Women’s shoes. As we scan the place, he counsels me: “Structure an opportunity to make it easy and natural to talk to her. Read body language. Don’t be in a hurry.” Also, he says, look for women who aren’t with parents, who aren’t clearly on a mission and in a hurry, and are doing more milling around.

“And don’t approach women with Adam’s apples,” I volunteer.

“Most guys know that part.”

He zeroes in on a petite blonde, then returns after a minute or so. He told her she had great energy. She thanked him and said she did yoga. Nothing else.

Lee tells me to pick one. Anybody. I choose a dark-haired, buxom woman in a striped shirt who’s bigger than he is. He approaches as she sits to try on some shoes. The salesman interrupts, but if Lee’s a pro, this shouldn’t throw him off. He pulls his phone out.

Back to me for the debrief: He commented about her shoes. And again with an energy line. He gave her his number and called it quits.

“She brushed her hair, which is a sign of interest,” he says. “The connection was very good, but I may have been rushing in the end because I need to get back to Vancouver. I told her I’ll be around and we definitely have a lot to talk about.”

As we say goodbye, I tell him to let me know if she calls. His results were inconclusive. But he didn’t hesitate to throw down when others might have balked, and sheer nerve does go a long way. And then I realized something else: How long has my fly been open?


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