As Time Goes By

Yes, Peitho is the goddess of persuasion and also the handmaiden of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. You could say that Peitho was the first Wing Woman/Man/Person/Deity/Entity. See Peitho today.

Hoping to meet some prospects at a holiday party in December, Mr. Johnson enlisted Thomas Edwards, who runs a service called “The Professional Wingman.” For a fee of $125, Mr. Edwards accompanied Mr. Johnson to the event and posed as his good pal. As they negotiated the crowd, the wingman alerted his charge to flirtatious types and helped make seamless introductions.

Enterprising mavens are selling their persuasion services to contemporary lonely hearts and wall flowers showing that the fundamental things still apply. First, the mavens observe the Local.

Josh Mitchell, 27, started his Indianapolis wingwoman service, “Miss Pivot,” last year after attending an event for young entrepreneurs. Romance aside, there was something else that convinced him he had a winning concept. No one, he says, seems to know how to have a face-to-face conversation anymore. “A lot of social skills you used to pick up watching your parents, but now everyone is busy watching stuff online or playing videogames online,” he says.

And you thought Facebook was harmless! They also want mavens who know how to count because if you cannot count it, you cannot change it.

Not everyone is cut out for the matchmaking work . . . Another no-no: overly emotional types. “They tend to think love is very magical while we think there is a science behind it,” he says.

These maven Wingsters follow standard persuasion practice. They meet the client and make plans. In the Local, the maven then circulates the room identifying the Other Guys most suited to the client. The maven will make a preliminary recon of those Other Guys and qualify Them in a friendly way, of course, never letting on that They are setting up a Box and Play for their client. The Other Guy thinks it’s all about the maven when, of course, it isn’t. Later, the maven will bring the client over to the Other Guy and perform that most valuable pickup function: Make the introduction!

A kiss is just a kiss and a sigh is just a sigh, but as time goes by the fundamental things like persuasion always apply.