News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, April 11, 2008

Meet Your Neighbors: Like Mystery, Only With HOA Covenants

When deciding to live in a tree-lined suburb instead of a vibrant city center, one has to make certain tradeoffs: more space vs. urban living, ample parking vs. things you'd actually want to park near, Macaroni Grill vs. hip, independent restaurants, and normal, approaching-middle-age neighbors instead of overgrown frat boys.

Not in Reston, though.

It is midway through a Saturday afternoon relationship seminar at Alexandria’s Cameron Perks Coffeehouse, and dating coach Jae Ellis is preparing to shatter a myth. “I’m going to shatter a myth right now,” he says. “Are you ready?” The crowd—nine men, five women—is ready. “Women,” says Ellis, “like to have sex.”

The students nod. Some take notes.
Sigh. Only in the DC area. We're surprised they weren't tapping this vital information into their Blackberries.
The revelation is one of many in Ellis’ crash course on hooking up, “Dating and Attraction 101,” offered through full-service dating help organization Ellis, who sports a maroon button-down, a little bit of heft, and a line of facial hair that traces his jaw and continues up the center of his chin, formed AskRomeo in 2006, along with friend Allen Bickoff. Bickoff is also a little hefty and also wears a maroon shirt—though his is slightly less buttoned. When it comes to attracting women, Ellis and Bickoff will tell you that their looks aren’t nearly as important as their male personae.

Through instructive courses, private pickup tutoring, and intensive dating boot camps, Ellis and Bickoff promise to teach how to best embody gender-specific roles.’s programming bills itself as co-gendered; while men will learn “how to project a refreshingly bold masculine presence that sweeps a woman off her feet,” women learn “how to project a wonderfully alluring feminine presence that catches the heart of Mr. Right.”
Yikes. So how much would something like this cost?
Though the group course runs just over a hundred bucks, a three-hour, one-on-one coaching session with an instructor goes for $397. A full three-month program, called the AskRomeo academy, runs $3,997 to $7,777. For only $2,996 per week, you can live with Ellis and Bickoff in the Reston apartment that doubles as their office.
Awesome! And worth each and every one of those 299,600 pennies, given the close proximity of their lothario office/lair to Reston's swinging singles scene.

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