Have you ever been to a dating event and thought to yourself, you know what would make this better? If everyone here was NAKED!
OK me neither, but this is the premise of the latest initiative by top London speed dating company Date In A Dash. Based on Channel 4’s Naked Attraction, this is speed dating with a twist.
I’m more of a clothes-on kind of girl so it’s not the usual way I’d spend a Thursday night in Balham, but when I heard about this event, for blogging purposes at least I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
My Experience Naked Speed Dating
The event was held at The Exhibit in south London. There was a “clothes optional” policy, so you could either wear underwear or choose to bear all. Even with the option of wearing underwear though, most people I invited weren’t keen on the idea, but I managed to drag fellow bloggers E and Sasha along with me. I toyed with the idea of going naked; it’s not my usual thing, but I felt like perhaps I should give it a go so I got the full experience for the sake of the review. But in the end I didn’t like the idea of being that exposed in front of a room full of people, so I decided to compromise and wear cream underwear so it kind-of-looked-like I was naked, but I got to cover up a little.
As we arrived, the girls went into the main room while the guys waited outside, and we changed into dressing gowns. There were 9 girls and 24 guys so the guys had to come in two rounds. Usually with dating events, the girls tickets sell out and the organisers end up having to give out most of the guys tickets for free, but this event proved much more popular with the male population- can’t think why that would be. On the description of the event, it said that to begin with, we would all line up in front of each other and disrobe, then get dressed again and commence the speed dating. But in practice we were sent to our tables, the guys came in, everyone disrobed and the dating began- so rather than a Naked Attraction-style format is was more like normal speed dating- but without clothes.
When the dressing gowns came off I wasn’t quite sure where it was best practice to look, but I couldn’t resist a quick glance around the room to see what everyone else was wearing. All the guys were naked (of course), but I was surprised to see a few of the girls were too- I imagined they’d all take the soft option like us and wear underwear.
As for the dates themselves, I wasn’t sure who to expect at a naked speed dating event. Will the novelty attract all the hot guys? Or will it just be packed with weirdos? Overall though I’d say it was a mixed bag, not dissimilar from other speed dating events. Met a journalist who was covering the event for The Sun; we bonded over having difficult dealings with the same freelancer. One guy seemed a bit odd; other women mentioned they’d seen a man touching himself and it turned out to be the same guy. One guy mentioned that some of the women had asked him if he had any fetishes, so I presume the event is quite popular with that scene. The nudity thing made for a decent icebreaker- I’d usually ask guys what made them choose this event and the conversation would lead from there. We were sat at tables too so I didn’t actually see too much flesh during the dates themselves, although I did catch the odd glimpse of flaccid cock when everyone switched around.
After the speed dating had finished, we all got dressed, had a quick debrief in the girls toilets, then headed downstairs for a drink at the main bar. Quite a few people had decided to stay for a bit and there was a friendly atmosphere. It was strange seeing everyone in clothes after the event, but a rather nice change as it was starting to get cold in my underwear.
Overall, I think the event was a success- good venue, friendly crowd, and the organisers managed the gender imbalance pretty well. Due to the nature of the event, it could have easily turned into not a nice experience for some, but the host Rob made it clear at the beginning that there was to be no touching, and no-one was under any pressure to do anything they didn’t want to do- even if you lost your nerve and wanted to keep your dressing gown on that would have been totally fine.
Would I do it again? Probably not. For me, the lack of clothing didn’t particularly add anything to the experience, and I think if I’d gone the whole hog I’d have found that really uncomfortable. However, I heard others say that they found the experience liberating and enjoyed it, so I guess it depends on what floats your boat. Whether or not it’s your cup of tea though, in my opinion the event is bound to gain traction, and I think it will attract plenty of participants.