The Basics of Winging

Yo. I get a lot of questions about good winging techniques. In teaching workshops, I have experienced everything from excellent winging to the worst ever. Most excellent PUAs naturally wing well because their attitude is perfectly tuned: abundance.

For guys that are still learning — sometimes even advanced — some instructions on the basics can be really helpful, so I’ve decided to share some of those guidelines with you. By the way, I do mean “guidelines” as nothing is written in stone in PU, or any social interaction where you have to be ready to adapt to a situation constantly in flux.

Each guideline is followed by a scenario where it is NOT followed, to illustrate the typical pitfalls.

The Basics of Winging

  1. Stay out of your wing’s way.

    You open a girl. She is starting to get attracted. Your wing sees it happen and thinks “Oh my god, a GIRL!! I need to help my friend GET LAID man!!!” Then he comes into your set and starts running game, too, just to show how cool your friends are. Suddenly the dynamic is different. The girl’s attention is divided. She’s overwhelmed by two guys going full bore at her. You and your wing are cutting each other off, all your attention on her. Soon enough, she runs away from the weird awkwardness.

    All too often, I see guys overwinging and ruining set after set. I hope you understood the sarcasm implied by the thoughts of the wing above; in fact, this behavior will do anything but increase your value. Sadly, misguided overwinging is often caused by scarcity mentality. So remember, there are plenty of women for everyone.

    I learned a lot about winging from my wingman in London. One morning after doing street game all night, I opened a cute girl sitting on a bench in a bus stop. She was enjoying it, and so was my wing. In fact, he stood there with a big, friendly, warm, relaxed smile on his face, enjoying my game and her reactions, laughing at the funny things I said and letting me lead the set. He didn’t even utter a word until we did introductions, where he only respectfully shook her hand and said his name with a smile. Especially with one girl, all that is required is to kick back and enjoy your wing’s game.

    Whoever opens the set runs the show. Always defer to your wing’s leading when he opens, unless it is a large set and there is a lot of leeway for you both to do your thing.

    In a more busy environment like a bar or club, you and your wings might be opening multiple sets, separately. One of the great things about being a guy is good logisitics. Try to keep your logistics as clean as possible even when out with a wing, so you can just bail and pull your girl to the bathroom if you need to, etc. That said, if you rode together or whatever, girls are very understanding of the necessity of working out social contracts during the logistics phase and it can even build comfort since it shows you to be the normal person you are.

    If you see your wing in a set and you’re not sure if he would like your direct help, walk by in his direct line of sight, and he’ll grab you and introduce you to the set. Those things should be worked out ahead of time, which brings us to the next topic.

  2. Keep the channels of communication open.

    Your wing has pulled you into a 2-set. Both girls look cute to you, so you start talking to the blonde nearest you, that your wing didn’t seem to be talking to. She is into it, of course. Two minutes later your wing walks away from his brunette with a pissed-off look on his face. Since he’s more important than some random girls, you go and check in with him. “What the hell man, I liked the blonde!” he says.

    Make sure you and your wing keep communicating while out. It doesn’t have to be constant. Just be on the same page. Unless you’ve winged a lot together already and have it down, you’ll need to communicate more than girls do when they’re out — often they can communicate everything they need to with just a glance. Winging sometimes takes more logistic discussion than that. Don’t overdo it though. Usually a few sentences will suffice.

    Some guys work out an elaborate system of signals in set. Everything has to be under the radar. It’s like watching a pro baseball staff in the dugout to see them out. If that’s what works best, cool. I can’t flirt and remember that stuff, can’t be the player and the manager.

    I use a much simpler method: simply talking to my wing. Naturally I’ll tend to do it when the girls can’t hear, or whisper in his ear. Many students we get are afraid that the girls will find out that they are picking them up, as if they don’t already know you’re flirting and they’re turned on. I’m not too concerned that the girls find out what we’re talking about — they like it when they can tell they’re with guys who are on top of the situation.

    So, when I pull a friend into 2set, I just whisper in his ear the one I like. Girls love to say things like “no secrets!!!” but they love it. Treat it like any other test by ignoring, absurdifying, or anything else. Sometimes, if you don’t like your girl, you need to take one for the team — see #4 below.

  3. Perfect your warm approach.

    Your wing is talking to 2 cute girls. You walk by in his line of sight, and he pulls you into set, speaking quietly in an intimate corner of the lounge. The first thing you blurt out super loud to everyone is “Do you think Oprah Winfrey is HOT?!” The girls crinkle their noses, eye-code each other, and eject, while your wing covers his face in his hand.

    Some guys forget that at its core, winging is just a structured form of socializing. Perhaps that’s all PU is. Nothing could be more normal than a couple guys going out for some drinks and having a good time. In the field, wings are just friends, and it’s not weird to hang out with them. In fact, your actions should reflect the fact that your wing is more important to you than the random girls you chat up.

    What is a warm approach? When the set includes someone you know, it’s a warm set. Opening a warm set is different, and usually much much easier, than a cold one. After the opener, the game evens out to something more similar to what you may be used to from a cold approach.

    How do you open a warm set? Basically, fall back on your normal social skills. For guys still learning those, it may be challenging. It involves being normal and friendly. Introduce yourself like you would with anyone. Try to match the energy level of the set. No canned openers here, guys. However, after coming into the set, feel free to jump into whatever routines you use after openers normally.

    In the example above, I might have said something simple, along the lines of “Hey guys, great to meet you, I’m Phil. How’s your night going?” If the energy in the set is already high, I might go with something a bit more high impact like, “Hey! Woah you guys seem feisty, I might have to protect my friend from you!” then immediately focus on the girl my wing has indicated is not his target. It all depends on the environment and personality of my wing. If I’m with Jake, I’ll kick back more because I know he can lead and is extroverted. With an introverted friend, I might lead a little more strongly after the warm approach.

  4. Occupy the cockblock.

    You open a hot 3-set. One girl immediately starts touching you and asking you rapport-seeking questions with wide-eyed interest. The other two stand there watching with skeptical looks on their faces. You see your wing through the corner of your eye and wave him over with your head. Things are heating up with your girl and it’s only been about 2 minutes. You wave him over with your hand but he just stands there! Finally, as you and your girl’s faces are slowly moving toward each other, eyes locked, the other 2 girls grab their friend and say “Let’s go to the BATHROOM.”

    Occupying the cockblock is the classic defensive move of the wingman. The actual occupying is the easy part, usually. The main focus is the awareness of its necessity. In other words, pay attention to when a girl tries to block your wing when he is in set, and act to cut it off as soon as you can.

    How can you recognize a cockblock? Usually cockblocks only interrupt a set in which a guy is talking to one girl. So if your wing is talking to one girl in a set, and the other(s) are not involved in the conversation, watch out for cockblocks. Sometimes I will simply jump into a set that is like this, and talk to the other girls even if they are not cockblocking, just to preempt it.

    What is cockblocking? When anyone interrupts a set where a guy is running game, that is cockblocking. In a perfect world, we would always create so much value in our approach that no one would dare cockblock. This is the real world though, so be prepared.

    People talk about AMOGging, which is when another guy tries to steal your girl(s) — that could be considered a form of cockblocking. Oftentimes a cockblock is an ugly or fat girl that never gets hit on and cockblocks out of jealousy. Sometimes it’s a hot girl who has just been ignored for too long (and is also jealous). The cockblock can interrupt the set in any number of ways. Classics include:

    • pulling the target away physically
    • physically inserting self between PUA and target
    • telling off PUA
    • attempting to dominate the conversation verbally / attention-grabbing
    • outgaming (AMOGging)
    • distracting with logistics or anything else

    How do you occupy a cockblock? My favorite way, and always the first technique I use, is to befriend the cockblock. This works especially well with ugly and/or fat girls. It’s similar to a warm approach, but much more exaggerated. I will be super friendly and warm, and give a ton of approval, complimenting her on whatever I can glean from her. Often I’ll start with her outfit, then move to her personality as she reveals little bits of it. I’ll call her my new BFF, etc. Anything to get her distracted from my wing shoving his tongue down her friend’s throat.

    That’s an exaggerated example. Often all it takes is simple normal conversation, aka fluff talk, but be engaging enough to keep their attention. Don’t overgame here — determine from their behavior how much energy you need to put in in order to keep them from cockblocking, not more. Too little, and they’ll still cockblock, too much and they’ll blow you out and cockblock anyways. In case that makes it sound hard, I want to be clear that distracting with conversation is usually easier than gaming.

    Another way, especially with hot cockblocks, is to jump in and run some high energy, high value game. Distract them by getting them attracted, and simply game them like you would any other target. Which leads us to the next topic . . .

  5. Collaborate on 2-sets.

    Your wing opens a 2-set. Both look cute, but you are in set with 7 girls. Your set is going okay, then fizzles out. You walk away in search of greener pastures. 10 minutes later, your wing finds you. “Where’d you go man?! Apparently the friend wanted to meet some guy at an afterparty, and dragged my girl off. I couldn’t keep both their attention!”

    2-sets are the perfect opportunity for you and one wing to excel. In a 2-set, a single PUA doesn’t have the luxury of running game on his girl and hoping things turn out for the best, since there is always the friend to deal with. When a single PUA has a 3-set, the 2 other girls can keep each other occupied, so you can leave them on auto-pilot while you do your thing. Not so with 2.

    Again, awareness is the most important part here. Keep a special eye out for when your wing is in a 2-set. Even if you are not into the friend, recognize her as a possible cockblock and roll by so your wingman can pull you in. He probably could use your help either way.

    As far as gaming 2-sets, quickly you’ll want to switch to 1on1 interactions with each of your girls. One classic technique here is to slowly position yourselves so that the girls are facing subtly (or obviously) away from each other, to minimize their communication and allow them to get caught up in the moment better. This has the added benefit of increasing you and your wing’s communication.

    Make sure to communicate with your wing, especially about logistics. 2sets can be moved very quickly. This situation is great because no one is left out. So feel free to bounce them quickly, and move to isolation quickly. They feel safe because they have each other, and are more open to adventure.

    Most of these rules also apply to larger sets, though there is the added job of making sure the friend(s) are neutralized.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this primer. Of course, there is a more to winging than just these guidelines. Feel free to share your tips in the comments.

Remember: the foundation of good winging is always abundance mentality. There are MORE than enough girls for us all!

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2 Responses to “The Basics of Winging”


  1. 1 Will September 3, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    “Stay out of your wing’s way”

    I totally agree with this, I was out with a guy I met on the road while traveling, he was pretty good at talking with girl, make them laugh and stuff.

    When bars started to close, we hapened to meet again 2 girls we’ve seen before, he openned them again, made them laugh and was leading the interaction.

    I was wondering what I could do to help him but my game is really bad, and I didn’t want to f*ck up things. So I just stood there the way you said, enjoying the funny things being said, smiling, etc. Only talking to them when they were talking to me, or when my mate was with one of them and I was behind him with the other one.

    We finally ended up in their room, so it learned me a great lesson about winging.

    • 2 laphil March 23, 2011 at 9:38 am

      right on man. good game gets you far. but a good wing can do the same in a situation like that, where you let him make it happen. the reverse is cool too. it’s a great feeling to get your friends laid!


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