Marni Kinrys has been schooling men on how to up their pick-up game for more than a decade using her Wing Girl Method, an online curriculum she developed after spending years helping men pick up women in bars in L.A. as a professional “Wing Girl.” Now, the Toronto native is shifting gears, offering her straightforward approach to women in her new book, That’s Not How Men Work. The L.A.-based relationship guru tells FLARE why so many men are so bad at picking up women, why women let so many good guys pass them by and why the key to dating success might just be to chill the heck out.
Flannery Dean: What are men doing wrong when it comes to women?
Marni Kinrys: Oh, god: listening to other men and listening to male advice. I just wrote this newsletter recently about this guy who wrote me a letter and said ‘I’ve listened to a whole bunch of pickup artists who tell me that when a woman asks me a question I should sidestep the question and this will be seen as being mysterious and playful.’ He told the whole story about this woman he was trying to connect with and every time she would ask him what he did for a living he would have some cheeky comment and he wouldn’t answer the question. She finally said to him ‘You’re an arrogant man, I don’t enjoy talking to you, how the hell do you expect a woman to get to know you if you don’t answer her questions?’ And then she walked away.
I had to break it down and explain to him how it felt from her perspective and why she’s asking the questions and that it’s actually flattering if a woman is asking you questions because it means she’s trying to get to know you as opposed to just blowing you off. You can present yourself any way that you want to but at least give her something to work with. You can play around and say ‘I’m an astronaut. I’m going on a mission next week’ and then say, ‘I’m just kidding, I’m a lawyer.’ There’s a way to balance being mysterious and playful and also being a man of integrity who allows for connection to happen instead of putting up huge blockades.
FD: How do you build a better man using your method?
MK: I tell them that they have to turn themselves on first before they can turn on a woman. They have to know who they are, know what they want, ask for what they want and understand their values. It really stops them from putting women they don’t know on pedestals, so that they can actually show their true selves as opposed to tip-toeing around these women and trying to please them. I teach men about how to be strong, confident leaders who really own who they are. They’re honest with tact, they have integrity and they’re consistent in the behaviours that they display in their contact with women.
FD: What’s a behaviour you insist they adopt?
MK: Don’t tippy-toe around what you want. Ask for what you want and you have a better chance of getting it. That’s the basis of my method for both men and women. For men, it’s a huge issue for them, falling into the friend zone… I say, ‘Stop acting like a friend and you won’t fall into the friend zone.’ If you want to flirt with a woman, go flirt with her. Don’t pretend that you want her opinion on what colour shirt you should buy. Be very clear about what you want.
FD: You’ve started offering your services to women. What’s the difference working with women?
MK: It’s so different. Men ask me a question, I tell them what I think or what to do and they say ‘OK, I’ll try that.’ And women… Some of them are wonderful and gracious and they take the advice; others skip over it and [instead] want to hold on to that one little thing that gives them that glimmer of hope that the situation that they’re in is still potentially going to work out. I wrote my program with those women in mind. To say, as much as you’d love for everything to be a Disney movie, men don’t work the same way you do…
FD: How do they work? What’s a bombshell you drop about men to help women?
MK: One bombshell is that men are insecure and uncomfortable as well. They are scared to approach you because they are afraid to misread the subtle signs… because of how women are putting barriers up, which they should because they have to protect themselves, but sometimes how they’re carrying themselves when they’re out in public—standing with their arms crossed, or with a scowl on their face, or not being as open to somebody being a little bit nervous in the first 30 seconds of interacting with them—it’s intimidating. It’s saying ‘Don’t bother me.’ And a nicer guy is not going to bother you. A guy who is afraid of rejection is not going to bother you. The more aggressive guy is going to see a challenge and say ‘I’m going to break her down.’
FD: What’s a bombshell about women you drop for men?
MK: Just because a woman is talking to you doesn’t mean she likes you. She could just be being polite. We see men on different scales and that is really hard for men to swallow. The friend zone is a real place. But I say to men, You’re the only one that sticks you in the friend zone.
FD: What’s your quick-hit dating rule for men?
MK: Just be yourself.
FD: What about for women?
MK: Same thing.
FD: So, basically, everybody should just chill out, relax and be himself or herself?
MK: Yeah, and it’s really hard to do that but it’s a skill set.
FD: What’s your best advice for men who want to pick up women?
MK: The best way to pick up women is by not going out with the goal of picking up women, but by actually having fun, enjoying yourself and bringing them into your fun experience. I have this method called OSA, which is Observe, Share and Ask a Question, and I think that’s a great way to break into a conversation. Instead of going up to a woman and asking her question after question after question to try and figure out Ooh, what do you want to open up about, and once I see what you want to open up about we’ll talk about it, what they do is they say I’m going to open up and see what you want to jump on board with and see if I like you. It puts the guy back in the driver’s seat instead of putting women on pedestals and trying to pussyfoot around what they can and can’t talk about.
FD: For women?
MK: Be open. And help a brother out. Instead of giving one-word answers and having a scowl on your face, be open.