I need to make a confession:
I absolutely suck as a wingman and probably always have.
After developing some much needed experience with the opposite sex, I felt like I should have improved as a wingman, but no, I didn’t.
So I sucked at being one back in the day, and I suck now.
Yes, friends, this is one of those articles where I am learning just as much writing it as you are reading it.
I discovered a GQ article about how to be a good wingman. I’ll respond to that, then I’ll come up with my own conclusion about what a wingman’s role is and how to be an effective one.
Like with other “response” articles, I’ll quote certain phrases then respond to them.
Let’s do this.
Let’s see if I can learn about how to be a decent wingman instead of being a crappy one.
By the way, pretty much all of this will be from a heterosexual male’s perspective. It’s just going to be way easier for me.
My responses to GQ’s “How to be a Good Wingman” article
Unsurprisingly, movies get it wrong. The characters are often too aggressive, too persistent, or they fundamentally misunderstand the task at hand.
And yours truly is indeed one of these characters.
One of the most common, and certainly the most insulting, tropes of mediocre buddy comedies is the idea that the wingman is meant to “take one for the team” by flirting with or sleeping with a less attractive woman so that his friend can get a chance with the hotter one.
This is half-true. I believe most wingmen do need to sacrifice certain things so that the “main hunter” (person who wants to progress with the woman who they approached) can progress with the woman he wants to progress with, but the sacrifice does not need to be so decisive.
But yes, I have learned that if you are going to play the role of wingman, you will need to sacrifice some kind of progression so that their main hunter can progress. This is especially true if you are more experienced and are a wingman.
As a wingman, you don’t need to attempt to manufacture chemistry by listing off your friend’s random allergies in case a hot woman has one in common.
I agree. And chemistry can never be “manufactured.”
The real arena of wingmen is the bar. (Most other places it’s vaguely creepy to hit on women, especially if you’re in a group and she’s alone). Getting approached at a bar, even if it’s not always welcome, is somewhat expected. However, as a reminder, women are not there solely for you to pick up. They’re there because they want to have fun at a bar.
I have mixed opinions about this. Bars and clubs are not as effective as hunting grounds as they are stereotyped, but that’s a different article for a different time.
Being a wingman is all about knowing when to walk over and talk to someone, when to stay, and when to leave. Basically, it’s about vigilantly reading (and re-reading) the room.
I agree with this a lot.
Something I do wrong when picking up chicks with my buddies is be more of a hype man than a wingman.
I always think that this is a good idea, but it seems like it always backfires and bites me in the ass.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen shitfaced drunk guys try to wingman for a friend, but I can tell you how many times I’ve seen that pan out for them: zero.
This happened to me a few days ago at a small get-together I went to with a few buddies a couple of days ago.
I put most of my love life on hold since the summer and if alcohol is free at a place I go to, I tend to get a little crazy.
And when I’m under the influence of alcohol, I develop massive tunnel vision, and it is like this with women as well.
When I develop tunnel vision, I block a lot of stuff out, and while this can work when I am doing something alone, it is not a good thing when someone is counting on me to improve his love life.
The guy I went to the party with really wanted to meet some quality women and about a dozen of them were there; and was counting on me to at least get him to meet a couple of these women.
But because I drank a lot, I was hell bent in seducing the very first woman I approached.
What resulted was that I practically had a date with this woman while her friend and my friend watched.
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Consider this commandment if you are hunting live:
“Thou shalt not drinketh too much alcohol, even if it is easily and cheaply procured.”
I broke this commandment and it did not end well.
The most critical role of the wingman is to be the introducer.
This I know about. And to my credit, I am very good at doing this.
However, I do it too well.
Again, I accidentally act as a hype man more than a wingman.
I need to work on this.
Again, this should all happen quasi-organically…Just talk to people. Even (and especially) if you’re not trying to have sex with them.
I agree with this 1000%.
There’s nothing more cringe-inducing than what I used to do.
Back when I was jumping down PUA (pickup artist) rabbit holes in my mid to late 20s, I would go out with my buddies and have them hang out while I walked around the venue trying to see which chicks were “approachable.”
Then I would either approach them and wave my buddies over to be my wingmen, or I would send my buddies to approach them and be theirs.
No, no, no.
A little secret that PUAs (from the mid to late 00s all the way until the current day) will never admit to is that the secret to “night” game is to make the total strangers you meet your group’s wingmen.
There’s other stuff as well, but again, different article for a different time.
But yes, socializing with people who you are not interested in having sex with is key to being a good wingman.
Know when to walk away…Despite what pick up artists and bad sitcoms have suggested, persistence is not attractive nor an effective way to get someone to sleep with your friend.
Remember when I said that I develop tunnel vision when I drink too much?
Well, what violates this more than tunnel vision?
Being persistent with others is stupid.
However, being persistent within yourself is almost necessary, especially when it comes to improving your love life, but again, this is a different article for a different time.
The best thing you can do as a wingman is come off like a cool guy yourself, so that your friend seems equally cool in return.
I agree, and this is especially true if the lead player who you are winging is inexperienced or does not think too highly of himself.
However, there is a line that exists between doing this and being a hype man, and again, I tend to cross this line a lot as a wingman, and I’m starting to understand this.
You don’t need to try lead the conversation anywhere, you just want to keep it fun, and keep everyone included.
I agree with the second point. Keeping everybody included is what “alpha” males do.
However, if you as a wingman are interested in having your main hunter “pull” a woman to a different location, you do need to lead the conversation somewhere and some isolation will need to take place.
This is why being a perfect wingman does entail a little bit of sacrifice.
If one of my buddies and I begin chatting with a group, I need to make sure that I can get my lead player and the woman he likes alone this way they can have a date of sorts while I chat with the rest of the group or whatever.
It all boils down to what your wingman or lead player want to do when going out hunting.
Do you want to take a woman home? Or just get a bunch of numbers so that one of those numbers can become a date later?
This needs to be established among you and the guys you are hunting with before hunting.
You and your buddy are having a good time and you’re inviting other people to join in; that’s all.
This is exactly what you need to be thinking when you and your buddies are going out to hunt.
Of course, back when PUAism invaded my life in my mid to late 20s, I did not think this: I saw it as a job: Which chicks were available to take home that night?
This is an awful approach that is not only chauvinistic in nature, but people can see right through it, women especially.
Make friends with their friends.
This is what I meant when I said “the groups you approach should be your wingmen” earlier.
If you and the people you go out befriend the groups that you approach, your chances of finding a single chick who wants to hang out goes way higher.
This is crucial if you are going out to hunt as a dude, since most chicks don’t go out to take guys home and many of them have their guards up constantly.
If you and the two other dudes you are hanging out with start chatting with a group of two couples and a couple of their friends, all of a sudden you are part of a large group and now you have much better chances of finding chicks who are single.
This is in sharp contrast to what PUAs teach, which is to see which chicks are not with dudes so that you can approach them.
This didn’t work 15 years ago, and it doesn’t work now.
Now that I’ve responded to the article proper, here is what I think a wingman’s role should be when hunting.
A wingman’s role when hunting
First of all, there is only one hunting ground where a wingman is necessary: Live cold approaching at night or at a venue (bar, club, show, party, social event, etc).
No other hunting ground in existence requires a wingman.
You do not need a wingman when “e-approaching” chicks online.
You do not need them when approaching them during the day.
And meeting women in social circles contains a ton of gray areas. Sometimes you may need a wingman, and sometimes you do not.
But the only hunting ground where they are decisively necessary is when cold approaching at a venue.
Why is this?
Because at a venue, you are around a lot more total strangers.
These people do not know who you are or what kind of threat you might present.
This is where a wingman is necessary.
When you are a wingman, you need to understand that you are there to help what I call the “main hunter” (the person you are winging) succeed.
You are there to isolate who your main hunter approached from the group that the woman they want is a part of this way the lead hunter can progress accordingly.
This means that you may need to sacrifice your own progression for a little bit.
You might need to deal with people who you may not enjoy the company of but you’ll need to make it work.
That, to me, is the role of the wingman.
Sure, you might want to hype up your lead hunter a little bit as a wingman, but then main purpose is to make sure that your lead hunter is alone with the woman who they approached.
This is going to lead into an article series that I will be writing about when it comes to venues as a hunting ground.
I have arrived at a handful of epiphanies when it comes to this particular hunting ground and while I am taking my time off hunting, I have a need to write about it.
Again, I want to help myself as well as others doing this.