A few months ago, an infamous want-ad appeared on Craigslist. The request for a "$30/hour" "wingwoman" was just the beginning.
You remember: an ideal applicant "had to be 18, usually 21," not for you "if you are uptight, frumpy, grumpy, shy, a man-hater, a debbie downer, a critic, a control freak, a pouter, a therapist, researching, writing an article, with the press, a prostitute, an escort, a relationship counselor, or a feminist with a bone to pick." Despite the fact that we are, to a woman, "easygoing, classy, dress extremely well, and enjoy many, varied, and sometimes challenging social situations," the nit-picky journalist/prostitute/therapist/pouty feminist thing got in the way of our application. But not others! It was not long before the original poster was declaring that their agency was now fully staffed, and copycat ads started popping up on craigslist boards across the nation, with titles like "Attractive early 30's male looking for a wing woman!" (Toronto) "I Need a Good Wing Woman," (San Francisco) "Wingwomen Required" (Chicago) and "Seeking New Wingwoman, $50 per number" (Orange County.)
Of course, the notion of an unthreatening - but suitably hot! - commercial wingwoman is nothing new. The ads have popped up from time to time on Craigslist since its inception. We've all heard of the "agencies" - "Bar Buddies" in San Diego, or NYC's Wingwomen. And like so many modern scourges, the phenomenon's recent ascendence can perhaps be laid at the door of the Casanova of our age, Mystery. You will, perhaps, recall that in The Pick-Up Artist, Mystery offered the use of his wingwoman, Tara, as the prize in some challenge, and explained that a guy with a female friend is disarming, but "demonstrates value." This gospel was then espoused by Mystery's acolytes all over the web. As Mystery puts it, incomprehensibly, on his web site, when working with a wing, "Work your A2 material, get into A3, lock in and have your wing ONLY come in once you are locked in. And if he doesn't come around, use this as a reason to find him with two women on your arms (heating all sets witness to this display)."
Of course, any of us with male friends have probably ended up in this role a time or two, naturally. And I know I've met men when they were with female friends; it does change the dynamic. But "Naturally" is the operative word. What's particularly creepy about these services is that they're paying for a fake friend, and more to the point, paying for one woman to help trick another into bed by lowering her guard. He's paying someone to make him appear less creepy, and in the process, making himself as creepy as is humanly possible. It also manages to use women in about ten different ways at once; as both bait and prey, decoy and target (to mix metaphors.) A guy doing this is pretending to value someone's personality, proving he's capable of platonic friendship - while at the same time actually doing just the opposite.
At its most harmless, one could argue, a ruse like this just helps a shy guy meet a few people and gain confidence. Okay. But if he's looking for a deeper relationship, isn't his girlfriend going to wonder what happened to that hot friend who was with him when they met, seemingly interested in nothing but getting him laid? Of course, when you realize someone else wrote his online dating profile, that'll be the least of your worries!
$30/hour: Personal Introduction Assistant/"wingwoman" [Craigslist]
Wing Rules [Seduction Tuition]
World Renown Pick Up Artist Seeks Wingman And/Or Wingwoman! - M4MW (Toronto) [Craigslist]
Wingwomen [San Diego Reader]
Done For You Dating [Official Site]