Saturday, September 26, 2009

#19: The Wingman Chronicles Begin

Just how important is a good wingman in social and urban dating culture?

Important enough that the word "wingman," as used outside the world of aeronautics, has its own Wikipedia page. 

Enough that socially awkward troglodytes now have their own to pair them with wingmen.  (PS: Dudes? Hate to the the bearer of bad news, but if you need this service just to find a guy to hang out with, the entire cast of Ocean's Eleven and a fresh bottle of roofies won't be able to get you laid.)

Enough that even these rejects from your high school prom can toss on some guyliner, recycled carpeting from The Moonlight Bunny Ranch crafted into an oversized asshat and some Chanel nailcolor in LookHowEdgyIAm and make bank with their own television series. 

And enough that, in using this Hitch List as a codependency cure/way to reprioritize my life, I had to come clean about being a shitty wingman and social participant in recent years. A recap from a post this past July :

Far worse is that I blow off friends as soon as the signing bonus on new relationship goes through. I’m nesting. I’m sexing. I’m entwined with my lover, happily absorbing their nuances like a sponge, purring and lolling about in togetherness like an overweight cat in a featherbed. I become defined by the relationship, which leads to monophobia outside of the relationship.

Think this all just a trite little blog subject from some former-fawning-girlfriend, something with no real social applications? Well, the Fulbe people of northern Cameroon don't (they appreciate me. So there.) To quote Marriage, a History again:

The Fulbe people do not see love as a legitimate emotion, especially within marriage. In many peasant and working-class communities, too much love between husband and wife is seen as disruptive, because it encourages the couple to withdraw from the wider web of dependence that makes the society work.

Now, I don't agree that love within marriage is an illegitimate emotion, but I do believe that living as broke twentysomethings in a recession world, plane flights away from most of our families and years away from reasonable salaries, our little social bubbles classify as "wide webs of dependence" where life is better when we're propping each other up as a group. (Go ahead. Call me a Socialist.)

And I don't know about the Fulbe, but one of the things that makes our little mini-societies work is getting laid. It keeps the women glowing, the men high-fiving, the gays fabulous and everyone from bitching about how horny, ugly and lonely they are.

With all that in mind, I've recently dedicated serious time to reconnecting with the social web and wingmanning, alternating the roles of Goose and Maverick with a select handful of seriously attractive, witty, formidable partners. I'll be spending the better part of the next few posts detailing the success of those missions, which include everything from an all expenses paid trip to the strip club to a doting Ivy Leaguer with a stable job(!) to a plate of midnight oysters.

As you go forth into this, the first wild weekend which feels and smells of Fall, I encourage you all to Goose and Maverick it up....and report back if any missions are accomplished.


inflammatory writ said...

I have never seen getting laid (casual sex is what I assume you are referring to) make my friends glowy, happy, or feel less ugly. If anything, I've seen it cause a massive amount of problems (short list: STD's, abortion, broken hearts, low self esteem, inability to go on a date that doesn't end in sex, inability to be intimate, etc. etc. etc.). While I wholeheartedly agree that there is too much focus on marriage and monogamy, I also think there's too much focus on casual sex and "playing the field" before you have a good enough sense of self to handle it. This is a very unpopular opinion, and definitely gets me into trouble.

All that said, I'm a pretty awesome wingman, and I do it as often as I can. Far be it for me to prevent my friends from having what they think will make them happy. I also go out with my friends without my husband as often as I can. Having a separate life from your significant other is absolutely essential.

Polly Syllabick said...

Good points, brilliant Writ. But I think it's all about mindset, or place in life, as a general rule.

Casual sex can be a minefield -- but more than a few close, personal friends of mine have found their lifemates by wading through that landmine. Some of those pairings have KIDS now (I know...I had to attend engagement parties, bachelorette parties, wedding AND baby showers...MERCY, I cry, MERCY!).

If I've got a friend who is emotionally and mentally not ready for the playing field, we sideline him or her appropriately. No animals were harmed in the experiencing or playing of the current field.

That I know of.

But yes. The Game can be dangerous. Proceed with caution.

inflammatory writ said...

Oh, I'm not saying it's all bad. I'm just wary of this "you HAVE to sleep around" attitude that a lot of people have. I'm a quality vs. quantity gal myself. And yes, I've seen some serious serious emotional damage occur as a result of people running around engaging in activities they had no business engaging in. I think that the line between healthy sexual expression and overcompensating for things missing in your life through sex is a very thin one.

I agree: proceed with caution, and friends don't let friends go home with scumbags (if it can be helped).

Ash said...

I've never been a very good wingman. In fact, I'm so bad that I may have inadvertently cock-blocked on a number of occasions.

But I'm very much unlike a "normal" 24-year old. I'm married and have been with my now-wife for 5 years. Before that I jumped from long-term relationship to long-term relationship. As a result, I've never really been single and able to play the field (serial monogamy, my friends called it). On the few times a wingman may have come in useful, my British accent in Canada worked just as well.

Additionally, my circle of friends consists of couples and a closeted gay man who does play the field, but rarely needs my help to do so.

Redhead said...

I think the Writ is right- those that are mentally stable enough to enjoy the freedom of choice (in bed) should be more than welcome to.

Also- FYI- heard a term recently for the female cock blockers:

Twat Swatters.

Not sure it gets more perfect than that.

Polly Syllabick said...

TWAT SWATTERS??? I love it. I'm stealing it. Can I steal it?