Gary Conkling Life Notes

Mostly whimsical reflections on life

The Wingman Cometh

In the movie Hitch, Will Smith plays a date doctor, helping smitten men get out of their own way in the pursuit of love.

Anthony-Recenello3Anthony Recenello is a real life New York  “social development coach,” who offers a course called Meditative Mingling for men who want to trade in loneliness for love.

Featured in a recent article in the New York Times, Recenello stresses he doesn’t train pick-up artists. He is the badly needed wingman for men who are socially clumsy, lack confidence and step on the toes of the ladies they want to woo. Or have spent their entire life texting women on their cell phone.

He advises clients “to be as naked as possible” with their emotions, so they exude vulnerability. Women like that, he says.

“When the layers are stripped off,” Recenello told the Times, “both people can be their real selves, and that’s when they see if they really like each other.”

For a $1,000 a month, Recenello teaches men practical aspects of interaction, such as making eye contact with the woman across the table. You would think this is something men already would have learned or sensed, but public education isn’t what it used to be.

Recenello discourages men in his tutelage from skulking around bars and employing stale pickup lines. It is too obvious. It suggests a desire to conquer, not cuddle. It also is what you would expect, he adds, from a high school kid who never bothered to learn any new courtship tricks.

Hitch wisely kept his date doctor consultancy under the social radar until he fell for a woman (Eva Mendes) who is a gossip columnist committed to unmask him. It all works out in the end, but the movie most likely dampened interest in setting up data doctor consultancies. Except for Recenello.

According to Times reporter John Leland, Recenello comes across as confident. He has nothing to hide. Recenello says he doesn’t drink, take drugs, use a cell phone or eat meat. Men at all stations of life need his services, and women should be thankful there may, as a result, be fewer klutzes to fend off.

HitchLike Hitch, Recenello offers advice from the safe confines of being single. He has had romantic relationships, but says none worked out. He doesn’t seem too sad about it.

Recenello professionally trained for his current role as wingman by babysitting, teaching gymnastics and serving as life coach for children. He wrote a guide for parents called Charismastic Kid: The New Breed of Superhero. Now he is guiding adult males on how not to be a putz.

He concedes he has read books about how to win women, including The Game: Penetrating the Secrets of Pickup Artists, which gave fame to “the neg,” a slight insult that disquiets a woman and opens the door for a pickup audition. Recenello implied this how-to manual is what convinced him to provide more authentic counseling to hapless males.

One of Recenello’s current clients expressed satisfaction. After describing him as “like a therapist,” the client named John said, “You spend money on a lot of stuff and it doesn’t make you happy. This is the best investment, because it’s an investment in the self.”

Those are words any wingman consultant can live by.



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