Unlocking Potential (Kink)

Experimental Dater Kink is back with a slightly more mainstream experience – this month she’s been trying out her first every singles event!  And you’ll be taken aback by one particularly charming gent attending …

Miss Twenty-Nine xxx


Right, I’ve finally found myself with five minutes without a glass of wine in my hand and have jumped at the chance to sit down and write about my first experience at a singles’ event last week.

Firstly though, as I was thinking about my liver and whether I’m verging on alcoholism in the run up to Christmas, I realised that this is the first December I’ve ever spent as a single adult.  In previous years I’ve always been so wrapped up with December being my anniversary month with the ex, that I’ve always missed out on many of the festivities. We always celebrated with a trip away – starting with a budget student trip to Paris for our first year, and graduating to three weeks touring Malaysia and Thailand for our seventh this time last year.

Whilst it was lovely being loved up in December, and whilst I definitely spent a quiet moment on the 10th (our first date) thinking how sad it was that we hadn’t made it to year eight – December and Christmas in general is proving lots of fun.  I’m thoroughly enjoying the copious nights out and the merriment as I count down with friends, family and work colleagues.

One thing I’m not doing very well though is thinking about dating – I’m not sure where all you festive daters are finding the time! On Christmas Eve I’m leaving London to spend a month away, and trying to fit in friends, family and work functions before I head off has left me with very little time! So when a group of friends tried to talk me into a Friday night Singles’ Event I thought, oh what the hell – two birds, one stone and if the worst happens at least it will provide me with a blog! So here goes…..

Firstly I should say that my friends have tried to get me to attend this sort of thing before and I’ve always politely declined.  I’m not sure why, perhaps because as I mentioned in my previous post on ‘FEAR’ – I’m terrible at the chat and in a room full of single people, it’s not really something I can avoid.  I’m ashamed to say that in this case I also declined and actually not so politely but then I remembered that I’m supposed to be an experimental dater and I’m not going to find men for #WednesdayDatingClub sitting at home!

So the six of us signed up online.  I wish someone else had bought the ticket for me because the company’s website did not fill me with joy, and I was horrified to see ‘no upper age limit’ on the event description!  As per many of these events there were only two female tickets left when I purchased mine – I was late to the party but there didn’t seem to be any shortage of male tickets left! I texted my friend to advise that my expectations were low!

Now, I think that there are singles events with potential – Miss Twenty-Nine and the other EDs have covered a few that look great fun on the blog and I’m definitely up for trying some of the more wacky ideas. I feared even before arrival however that this was not one of these events!

Set in a faceless bar in the City and named a ‘Christmas Lock and Key Party’ – I think I started at the low end of the singles event scale!

Now, being a little bit kinky – I’ve got to say that I found the title of the event distracting – I had visions of heavy locks, and ornate keys, and shackles and chains and……(I digress), but after discussing the ‘theme’ with my one of the friends who knows of my after dark persuasions she advised that this was just an icebreaker and I should be expecting much less.

photo-15 copy 2

In fact, what we actually got were pathetic locks and plastic keys that wouldn’t have even kept a 9 year-old out of your locker at school! On entering the establishment,  we were each presented with a lock on a lanyard, a sticky name tag and told by a guy in a Santa hat that if a man were interested in chatting to you, he would approach you.  ‘Try his key in your lock’ and if successful at unlocking you – bring you back to the front to collect a raffle ticket and a new lock.

What a faff!!

I grabbed my lock, nervously glanced around the room, made eye contact with a man and did what any self- respecting girl at her first singles event would do…legged it to the loo!

When we finally made it out of the toilets, found the bar and headed back to the party things were in full swing (we’d already strategically had a drink in a nearby bar so that we wouldn’t be the first to arrive!). I’ve got to say I found the whole lock and key thing cringe-worthily awkward – there were men and women who seemed so obsessed with collecting raffle tickets (goodness knows what the prizes were) that they didn’t even attempt conversation and made a beeline straight to the lock!

One guy grabbed my lock from around my neck without even a ‘hello’ and proceed to try and jam his key in it! (You can make your own jokes!) I gave him a sharp look and asked him what he was doing, he said ‘I’ve paid for my ticket, I can try it if I like’ – what a charmer!!

I asked my friend if we could leave yet but she told me I had to give it at least an hour!! I have to say I grudgingly enjoyed the rest of my evening – I met a couple of nice people to talk too – my two favourites being an army officer older than my Dad, who told me I would be perfect for his son, and a paediatric surgeon who was charming and polite and told me women wouldn’t date him because of his height (I’m 5ft, so I couldn’t really see the problem!).

Whilst I didn’t meet Prince Charming, it did give me the perfect opportunity to practise ‘the chat’ – surprisingly I wasn’t that terrible and it enabled me to get over a little of my fear! It was also a really good confidence boost – not only were men telling me how attractive I was (lies!) more importantly, some of them were genuinely amazed at how rounded I was as a person – intelligent, witty, ‘knows her own mind’, competent, worldly wise! Or just like every other women in my circle of friends?! Seriously, it was like revisiting my UCAS personal statement – maybe men at these events are looking for a wife and are considering my total potential – next time I’ll take my CV!

Whilst I wouldn’t attend a singles event of this nature, or by this company, again it definitely didn’t put me off the concept of meeting other singletons in one place and I took my newfound confidence with me as we escaped to Shoreditch for the rest of the night.  I actually managed to have conversations with men that I would normally have run away from.

I think I might have finally overcome my fear of ‘the chat’ (it’s only taken me a year!) next I need to work out how to close the deal and attempt the number exchange – at this rate I’ll have a date by Christmas 2014!!!


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