Tag Archives: singles

EditrixAbby’s Valentine’s Party Picks

Ack. I hate Valentine’s Day. Over the years even when I’ve had a valentine – and there have been plenty – I’ve felt uncomfortably smug. It’s a manufactured holiday, created to sell cards and chocolate. While it can be a romantic time, it is more often the cause of anxiety. If you’re finding yourself in that latter emotional realm, you certainly aren’t alone. But if being proactive, as the optimists love to say, is your way of dealing with your “dreaded singledom,” here are a few of my suggestions for “staying in the game.”

ImprovDates
If you fall between the somewhat arbitrary ages of 38-48 and you’re comfortable laughing at yourself (and others) you might enjoy Monday night’s ImprovDates, an entertaining cross between improvisational comedy and speed dating. Participants call it “fun and tension-breaking” and it certainly beats sitting across the table from a stranger, attempting small talk.

Event Details:
Date: Monday, February 7th
Event: ImprovDates for ages 38-48
Time: 7-9:30pm
Venue: Turtle Bay NYC, 987 2nd Ave between 52nd & 53rd
Price: $40 – includes one complimentary cocktail
Special Deal: Two-for-$60. Sign up with a friend of the opposite sex to each save $10, AND both get a free drink!
More info: www.improvdates.com

Sex Worker’s Literati’s ‘Ho’s Valentine Party’
For those looking to thumb their noses at romance and celebrate people who feign love for a living, join Zoe Hansen and David Henry Sterry for their Sex Workers Literati’s Ho’s Valentine Party. They’ll be serving up a night of “booze, burlesque, and a bevy of seamy, steamy stories” featuring readings by author, multimedia personality, love, sex and relationships writer Abiola Adams; Sex Workers’ Art Show participants and Literary Death Match Champion Lorleei Lee; exotic dancer and Mr. Choade’s Upstairs/Downstairs regular Rosabelle Selavy; the hosts Sterry and Hansen as well as yours truly.

Event Details:
Date: Wednesday, February 9th
Time: 8pm
Venue: Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery
Price: Free!
More info: www.bowerypoetry.com

Endless Night’s ‘Vampire Ball: Anti Valentine’s Masque’
If you are inexplicably drawn to Dracula, red wine and those Twilight films, you will definitely enjoy Endless Night’s Vampire Ball: Anti Valentine’s Masque. The immortal coterie behind this event celebrates their 16th annual Ball with two floors of goth/industrial music, performances by Mystical Hips and Libertina Dance Company, emcee Empress Chi Chi Valenti and more.

Event Details:
Date: Saturday, February 12
Time: 11pm-4am
Venue: Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette Street
Price: $18 in advance, $20 at the door and $30 for couples
More info: vampireballnyc2011-efbevent.eventbrite.com/

Rubulad’s ‘Super Fantastic Love Explosion! A Valentine’s Dance’
If fangs and frock coats aren’t your thing, perhaps you’d prefer to trek to Brooklyn and hobnob with the hipsters at Rubulad’s ‘Super Fantastic Love Explosion! A Valentine’s Dance.’ Brooklyn’s “longest running art party” has been transforming boring nightcrawlers into actual artists for years now, so even if you don’t find a valentine, you may find your inner muse! The line-up is, as always, jam-packed with entertainment, including Lily & The Parlour Tricks, Viva’s Rock & Roll Burlesque, Modern Dance Awareness Society and The Dreams and Aspirations Vending Machine by Yung O., with DJs Shakey, $mall¢hange and The Vintage DJ spinning your super-creative soundtrack.

Event Details:
Date: Saturday, February 12
Time: 10pm-4am
Venue: 41 Varick Avenue, Brooklyn
Price: $10-$20
More info: 347-469-1553

Gemini & Scorpio’s ‘Steamy Valentine’s Night at the Russian Baths’
The sexy sprites of Gemini & Scorpio aren’t letting the celebration of Eros go by without a soiree! If you’re feeling especially daring, you may consider shedding your clothes for their ‘Steamy Valentine’s Night at the Russian Baths.’ I’ve written about their ‘Lip Service’ event in Soho but this tantalizing night out will require a trip to Kensington, Brooklyn. However, once there, you’ll be in paradise! Enjoy Russian, Turkish and Swedish steam rooms, jacuzzi, poolside dance floor, hookah lounge, delicious food and lots of steamy, sexy people! Add in entertainment by Hungry March Band and Mehanata (Bulgarian Bar) DJ Joro Boro and you won’t believe you’re in America!

Event Details:
Date: Monday, February 14
Time: 7pm-2am
Venue: Brooklyn Banya, 602 Coney Island Ave bet Beverley Rd & Ave C, Kensington, Brooklyn
Price: $35-$85
More info: www.geminiandscorpio.com

And if, after one (or all!) of these events you find yourself with a new paramour, you can join the kinksters at Chemistry for another one of their new nights, ‘SpellBound,’ “a lighthearted foray in BDSM, with sexy upbeat music, playful spankings, masters who adore their pets and lots of toys to lovingly tease the senses.” This fresh foray takes place on February 18. Check their web site for more info.

Whether you’re single or some interesting configuration of coupledom, there’s never a shortage of sexy things to do in New York City!

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Going Negative?

Dating isn’t as easy once you hit 40. Or 50. Hell, nothing’s as easy. Accepting that you’re less than thrilled about being single — which is why we put ourselves through the dating process and subject ourselves to singles’ events — can feel like admitting a deficiency, something we should all be used to by now but that never gets any easier.

Chances are pretty good that anyone who is, let’s say, over 45 has been through the ringer. A few times. Whether that ringer is a failed marriage or just a failed relationship (or two…or three), it has probably hardened them in some way. We are a sum of our experiences and if there have been disappointments, it can be tough to separate our identities from those disappointments, to talk ourselves into feeling like winners when we feel more like losers. Eventually our failures can overwhelm us. Life, in general, may be weighing us down, of accumulating on us.

In addition to all the other crap that comes along with getting older, consider laying your ass on the line with a stranger — or a whole sequence of strangers — in search of elusive true love. It’s enough to make someone become a hermit. Or at least throw in the towel. But if you’re desperately resisting slipping into pessimism, if you’re one of the people bucking hermit-tude, and you’re dabbling in dating in your fourth or fifth decade, you’ve probably dragged along a good deal of baggage with you. I know it’s difficult to check that baggage. But if you don’t, you might be better off on your couch.

Many of the men I’ve met lately, either as potential dates or merely fellow singletons, have struck me as being somewhat sad sack. It isn’t a good look. I can’t say I blame them for being unable to put on a positive face. I’ve been finding it difficult to be positive myself.

One gentleman was an OkCupid date and we met for a beer. Somehow we started talking about his divorce and the conversation sort of spiraled downward. It’s tough to keep things happy and positive when you’re discussing custody battles or who’s to blame for the end of the relationship. I wound up wallowing a bit myself. Even when I attempted to lighten things up, the pall had already been cast. I eventually wrote to the guy and apologized for a not-so-great date and gently suggested that perhaps he wasn’t quite ready to enter the shark tank of dating quite yet. He never responded.

Another instance, another OkCupid dude: After chatting on the phone a while, he suggested that we meet at a wine bar. Never mind that it says right on my profile that I hate wine. I was willing to overlook his disregard as an indication of nervousness. But when we met, he hardly said a word. I do believe one of his utterances was along the lines of “I’m probably not exciting enough for you.” Even though that was, in fact, totally true and incredibly obvious, it didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy his company, there, in that moment. Why did he need to sabotage himself?

And then there’s the sad sack who just can’t seem to crack a smile. A recent acquaintance at a recent event seemed like a totally cool guy. For a few moments I managed to engage him in something that excited him. But he spent most of the evening with a long face. I don’t think he was miserable; he could’ve left at any point. He just looked…beaten down by life. It’s tough to explain. I think maybe he could’ve used a pep talk…or some sort of ego boost!

At least these men are putting themselves out there. They haven’t given up or abandoned their sense of optimism. They haven’t completely succumbed to staying at home…alone. However, sometimes they aren’t necessarily doing themselves a service. They certainly didn’t get a second date.

So what to do to avoid coming across like a sad sack? If you aren’t feeling particularly social, it might be a good idea to stay home, because the you you’ll be putting out there won’t be the best. If there’s something you aren’t comfortable with — your weight, your employment status, even your wardrobe — fix it before you enter the fray. Sharing your insecurities once you’ve established a relationship can be endearing; sounding less than confident on that initial encounter, not so much. Keep whatever conversations you start as upbeat as you’re capable of. Don’t discuss your divorce, your dreaded ex or your crappy day at the office — if you still have an office. No need to keep all the ugly stuff a secret; just do your best not to dwell on it.

Well those are a few gentle suggestions. I have plenty more to say about how to show up for a date or at an event, so stay tuned!

Alchemy, Algorithms and Leather Pants

I hosted my second singles’ mixer last night and thought it went pretty well! There was an almost even balance between men and women, new and familiar faces, and a pleasant blend of ages. In my introduction, I assured them all that by merely being in the room they were already being proactive in manifesting their desires. Yeah, new agey blah-blah-blah….but true!

I invited Shanti and Arjuna, The Transformational Warriors, to be my special surprise guests. It was nice to offer an activity and give everyone something to think about other then their next drink. They led the group in a number of eye-opening interactive games and I was sincerely impressed by how willing people were to communicate.

As my soirees grow — and I hope they do! — I may need to “segment” people out into different areas of interest. I spoke with a few of last night’s guests about a vague “leather pants vs. never-leather pants” sort of thing, meaning inviting people who would leather pants to one event and people who never would to another. I realize it seems arbitrary, but there does need to be a certain amount of “curating.” Perhaps separating the sober folks from the tipplers might be advisable as well. There are as many things that make people unsuitable for one another as there are that make them suitable, I suppose!

I hope I am able to eventually create my own palate of “algorithms.” I’m sure every profitable matchmaker uses some sort of magical alchemy to determine who might vibe with whom…Just gathering an interesting group together with the intention of meeting new people is a good start!

A Different Take on Dating

Last night I threw a party. It was a “singles mixer.” Yes, that sounds very swingin’ sixties but the inspiration behind my event was definitely 21st Century.

Over the past month I’ve been spending a lot of time on OkCupid and gone on a few dozen dates. Each time I made contact with a man — or he made contact with me and I responded — I did my best to be realistic about romance. Love at first sight is a lot to expect. At the very least an in-person encounter would be interesting; I love meeting new people. I wanted to be open to the possibilities but the blind date dynamic isn’t consistently a recipe for relationship success.

The truth is, not one romance in my past would’ve happened if I had relied on the internet. None of my eventual boyfriends would’ve looked good “on paper” and I don’t think I would have been attracted to any of them if they’d been just snapshots on a web site. You simply cannot replicate the chemistry that happens between two people in person.

Resulting from many of my events in years past, people have fallen in love, met a new roommate, found a job. As clichéd as it sounds, it really is all about who you know. Our over-scheduled day-to-day lives often confine us to socializing with the same folks, rarely stepping beyond our circle of friends and acquaintances, whether that circle is 30 people or 300. Chances are, if you haven’t already found romance within your circle, you probably won’t.

So how to expand our social horizons? There are hundreds of activities to engage in and clubs you can join. Dating advice and relationship gurus tells us to do volunteer work, take a ballroom dance class, join the church choir. Not to sound like a snob, but I feel I’m a little too cosmopolitan for all that. Those suggestions sound like clues for a loser. Pas moi!

I prefer the idea of combining the optimism of a matchmaker with the pragmatism of a headhunter and, rather than “fixing up” one person with another, curate a world of intersecting lives, mix and match the personalities, try new combinations of singles. And don’t leave any of it to an algorithm. Because even with tools like OkCupid or Facebook, the internet isn’t the most efficient way to meet new people. If I see you’re “friends” with someone who interests me, am I really going to ask you to introduce me to them? If I “friend” that intriguing contact of yours, will we ever meet in person? Again, you can’t replace the face to face. I believe it’s necessary to shift the impetus from the ether to the here and now.

My vision for this “service,” if that’s what I wind up calling it, is to put a select group of interesting people into a room together and hope for that magical alchemy. Best case scenario, someone finds true love. Even if no one goes home with a phone number, they’ll most certainly enjoy an entertaining evening. Most importantly, everyone meets a few new folks. And, voila!, social circles expanded!

Last night’s party was the first step and, I have to say, I do believe it was a success. My initial goal was to have everyone meet someone new. Out of the 20 guests, I’ve only known four of them for more than a month. So the goal of “new” was achieved — for me, at least! Male or female, people found new friends.

Going forward, I’m hoping to hold one of these cocktail mixers each month and expand into organizing “field trips” as well, taking my select singles shooting at the Westside Pistol & Rifle Range, ice skating in Central Park or to arc welding lessons at the Madagascar Institute.

If you’re interested in joining us, email me! And if you have suggestions — about a field trip destination, other ways of incorporating new faces, whatever — let me know!