Home > Ideas, Local > Idea: Kinky Speeding/Speedfriending

Idea: Kinky Speeding/Speedfriending

Alright I have an idea.

I think it would be a fun event to do something like “kinky speed dating/friending.”

What is speed dating?

I have never been to speed-dating so I had to look it up.  Basically, in vanilla hetro speed dating, you get all the men to sit on one side of a long table, and all the women on the other.  You get a card with the names of people you will talk to.  You get 2-8 minutes to chat with them and size them up.  Then a bell rings and one gender gets up and moves down the line.  Afterwards, you indicate your interest in the other person: “yes” or “no” on your card.  At the end of the night, the organizers collect the cards and where mutual “yes” matches are achieved forward people’s contact details to each other.  The idea is based on a person’s ability to determine compatibility very quickly based on body language and other cues.

Speed dating and speed friending

I think to make the situation more comfortable “friending” should be emphasized as much as “dating,” to make it feel like less of a meat market.  Also for folks who don’t necessarily want to jump right into playing right away.

Proposal

So my idea is basically to get a function room in a downtown bar that has decent food and drink (my vote is for the Clocktower) have people sign up in advance, and set up in the tables in such a way that half the people stay seated and half move around, but who you talk to is pretty much randomly-determined.  I think promotion could be done through word of mouth, facebook, and online advertising, so as not to be too time-consuming.  A few volunteers present to keep things running smoothly.

I think would be important to have one or two people who are good at reading people watching the vibes, to make sure no one is being made uncomfortable.  And to intervene if this does happen.

Then at the end there would be a bunch of work to send people their match info.

The event could be free (since I do not anticipate any costs associated with it) or else have a minimal cover charge to either as a fundraiser for friendly organization (ACO comes to mind?) or to fund some future event.

Kinky challenges

I think it would be very difficult to match people up with others who are a potential play match with them.  In hetro dating you have basically just two groups: men and women, and they are interested in each other.  In this case we have men, women, genderqueer as well as various flavours of tops and bottoms, individuals, couples, people interested only in another of a certain age, people interested in specific kink such as rubber or furries, monogamists and poly folk.  This article about organizing poly speed dating speaks of a computer program they wrote to match people up:

The computer program would do a first pass where it checked each particular dating unit (single, couple, group) versus every other dating unit to see if they were compatible. Then, it would run the search algorithm and generate a schedule, assigning each date to a particular location.

I wonder if it would be worth even trying to match people up like this.  Thoughts?

Another issue is gender.  I think to make an event like this comfortable for women, particularly women who are new to engaging in kink in a public way, it would be important to have a good gender balance.  What I mean is: not be dominated by straight men.  I am not sure if this would be an issue.  Thoughts?

I am not sure also if most people would be comfortable talking about their kinks so quickly with a stranger.  It could be too scary and awkward.  This is the main issue that stands in the way of me committing to making this happen.  How to make the space comfortable enough?

Background

I know a good few kinky folks, especially 20-somethings, who either do not participate in kinky community events or else have gone once or twice never to return. If my friends are any indication there are tonnes and tonnes of kinky folk locally who for one reason or another do not engage publicly.

I count myself in this group.  However I do want to meet other kinky folks.  I have been watching events listings locally for a few years now and the truth is that I rarely see anything that appeals to me.  Once in a while I do see something I’d like to attend but the scheduling doesn’t tend to work out for me as I work Friday evenings and often Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The truth is that play parties or public scenes/play of any sort do not appeal to me.  To me D/s is very intimate, I can understand why someone else would want to share it but that’s not my bag.  And since I think it’s rude of people to make out at parties, watching strangers play is unappealing to me.  Maybe I would watch my close friends play as a bonding experience, but strangers is another matter.

I have also seen that there are discussion groups, but the description seems to be something like a support group, with an emphasis on “coming to terms” with being kinky. Myself I have been kinky for about 20 years now, I have come to terms with it.  I don’t need to deal with it in a group, I don’t need affirmation.

I’m not saying this as criticism of what others enjoy, more by way of explaining how I think there is something missing and why I am wondering of this idea of mine would be a good one.

And I have asked a few of my privately-kinky friends if they would attend an event like this and have recieved positive feedback.

Well that’s the gist of the idea.  Tell me what you think please!

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  1. March 4, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Hello! It’s Pepper, one of the people who has been running poly speed dating. (I backtracked here based on your link.)

    Are you in the San Francisco area? We’ve been thinking of holding a kinky speed dating but we haven’t really gotten it together yet.

    If you end up running it on your own, whether or not you do speed dating style, I would recommend:

    1) Formalize the propositions somehow. Maybe borrow some stuff from speed dating – have people write down who they were interested in and then do matches afterwards, and ban in-person propositions.

    2) Find some way to prevent people from being monopolized by one person they don’t like. Maybe have a “breakup bell”, that whenever it goes off, people have to break up the social chat they’re in and move on. Ring the bell every 10 min. This gives people an excuse to walk away from folks they don’t like. (If they do like them, they’ll stay despite the bell.)

    3) Or alternatively, make it a friends-only speed dating. No propositions at all, it’s just a way to meet people. This way putting together mismatched people is fine.

    All of these are ways to help women feel more comfortable and less like meat.

    Pepper

  2. spokewench
    March 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Hey pepper,

    I am very much not in San Francisco, I am in fact in Eastern Canada. The closest I have ever been to SF is Philadelphia. 😉

    I am not sure but my understanding is that your first 2 ideas are addressed by the basic concept of speed dating? You have a limited time to talk to each person, and a tick card to indicate interest?

    I like the idea of specifically banning propositions. While I was biking today I was thinking it would be best to include some sort of “rules of conduct” which all participants would have to agree to at the time of registration so that everyone would be clear on what sort of thing was going on.

    Friends-only is an interesting idea, but realistically I wonder if that would be an accurate description of what was going on. I mean a lot of people would be trying to score, ultimately if not immediately.

    I was really interested to find your account of poly speed dating because it seemed like you were attempting to address the same issues as I was, namely a majority of poly/kinky folks not being engaged in the public “community”.

    I would be interested to find out how your kinky speed dating goes if/when you try it out. My town is a lot smaller than SF so presents even more challenges.

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