Sure, other writers have gone to seduction classes undercover. But how many were female? And how many told their male classmates they'll always be "schlubby" beta males?

Jessica Wakeman's New York Press feature on Charm School is, for the most part, more polite than all that. She likes the guys trying to learn how to meet women in bars. They're kind of adorable. Including the one with Asperger's syndrome. And the one who looks like the King of Queens and awkwardly twirls her on a subway platform. The one with three minimum wage jobs. Even the one who implies he'd like Wakeman's tongue piercing all over his... fantasies.

They're nice guys; most have a natural, friendly charisma, and they're not afraid to make an ernest effort and self-improvement. Wakeman can relate: "I spent three and a half hours with men who were awkward, who said strange things and tried way too hard, but I'd had a great time with them."

And yet... they're spending $3,500 per weeklong class, and they still have nothing on natural charmers like "Nick," a "very attractive," "smooth-talking New Yorker who could take home any girl he likes."

When a sweet but schlubby guy like Brian is up against an old pro on the pickup scene like Nick, it's apparent how charming he already is.


Here's the thing, though: a guy like Nick has to start somewhere. This particular Nick worked with Wakeman at magazine a few years ago (so either New York or Radar). And he went on to write an undercover article about pick-up artist classes. If this guy is anything like writer Neel Shah, and we're guessing he's exactly like Neel Shah, he wasn't always so smooth:

At one point, Big Business invited me to open a set with him using the mustache routine.., "It'll be easy!" he promised. Sure, for him. I barely lasted five minutes before feebly excusing myself to go get a drink; he had his girl in stitches.

Have some faith, Wakeman. The "Nicks" of the world are made, not born. (Though not at $3,500 per week. That's ridiculous.)

(Photo by jakeliefer on Flickr)