Anyone who peeks at my phone contacts can easily see that I’m no stranger to online dating. At this point I’ve gone on more than fifty, maybe even a hundred online dates in multiple states and countries. I’ve lost count. I’ve met good friends, boyfriends, and business contacts via online dating. And often when I do date, I go on a blitz of 5 dates in a week. Sometimes I’ve had more than one date in a day. I realize not everyone can do this; it’s exhausting, and can be difficult to put yourself out there. Most of my (super hot and amazing) friends struggle with having just one date every month. But apparently I’ve got a heart of steel, so I figured maybe I could really rock speed dating.
This past Sunday, St. Vitus, a metal bar in my neighborhood was hosting the first ever Speed Metal Dating. I’ve dated a couple metal dudes in the past, and though they all had a tough tattooed exterior, by far they were the sweetest dudes ever with the biggest hearts. I don’t listen to metal myself, but have fun going to metal shows on occasion. So I decided Speed Metal Dating might be a fun way to meet some nice people.
“Yes,” deadpanned Trish Nelson, one of the event organizers.
Overall the guys seemed nice, if a little desperate to connect with some hot metal babes (or just whoever) in the scene. Many had traveled far to get to Greenpoint—Staten Island, The Bronx, Jersey, Harlem, Connecticut, Long Island, and a town in the boonies I’d never heard of. “Just drive and keep driving until you’re in the middle of nothing and that’s where I live,” this one mustachioed dude told me. Another guy insisted that driving over an hour each way to see me wouldn’t be a problem. One of the guys from Jersey said that every girl he’d talked to lived in Brooklyn. Guess maybe it’s time for him to move?
After two hours of answering and asking mostly the same questions I started to realize I should have been asking weirder questions all along. What’s your favorite pinball game, or Do you get a boner for Elvira would have been better than the standard “Where do you live/work/etc.”. I certainly was not killing it at speed metal dating.
My favorite person was one of the last I met, an older, grey-bearded (and drunk) Scottish photographer, who was totally crass. Most of the other guys were blending together in my mind at that point, so I found him hilarious. He’d offended some other girl earlier and she’d thrown a drink in his face. He was just in town visiting, so he obviously was taking the piss out of the whole thing. But maybe that’s why I found him the most interesting.
By the end my throat was sore from shouting over the metal music and breathing in the fake fog. Even though I’m used to back-to-back dating, this was extreme. So I left and found a chilled out bar down the street making hot toddies.
I happened to chat up the guy sitting next to me, and it turned out he runs a record label that releases, among other genres, drone metal. When we exchanged numbers at the end of the night I called his phone with him sitting in front of me. While locking eyes, he answered the phone with, “Who the fuck is this?”
“Who the fuck do you think it is?” I said.
“Fuck off,” he said. Then we hung up our phones and kissed. It was the most metal thing to happen to me all night.
Dating in New York has been a challenge—texting is not for me, and neither are apps. Have you ever LOOKED at Bumble? The guys are all 24 but look like they’re 37 and are dressed like Michael J. Fox in The Secret of My Success. White collars (and bow ties on anyone under 60) are a turnoff and this is a finance city.
Speed metal dating—why the hell not? Metal’s not my thing, but I like tattoos, long hair, music and unconventional guys, and hate frustrating Tinder conversations that never go anywhere.
Before the event began, while we were waiting for the men to come in, I chatted with a few women. “How did you find out about the event?” “I saw it was on Facebook and that friends were going,” Christin said. “I’m just hoping to meet good people.”
“What are you expecting?” I asked Lisa. “I hope there aren’t too many gross dudes,” she said. “Not physically,” she clarified, “but personality-wise.”
“I think it’ll be exactly like the new Korn album,” Jackie said. “It’s probably going to be terrible, but it might be funny. The Crypt Keeper is basically my dream man—I’d love to meet a guy like that.”
Metal girls are awesome.
For one fast-paced three- to four-minute song each, a couple dozen women and I went on date after date after date without moving farther than a foot, and the pace became so dizzying that guys (and black leather jackets) started to blend. Was it Jamie or John who had the Slayer shirt and the love for Icelandic hot dogs and arcade games?
I did think it was superfun, because I’m an extrovert and I love interviewing people. These were nice guys, and my first six “dates” were so fun that I was lulled into complacency. I saw good tattoos. I saw bad tattoos. I saw ugly tattoos. You may disagree with me, but like pizza, I believe all tattoos are good, even the bad ones.
And then Datemageddon began its doomed descent into the fiery depths of metal hell. The next five dates were disasters. One guy couldn’t get a question out of his mouth, he was so nervous. “Um, I don’t know what I’m trying to ask you,” he said. Neither do I, I thought. The next date was sweating so profusely I had to tell him to take off his jacket. He did so, gratefully. Number three wouldn’t stop bragging about his Manhattan penthouse (clearly not a metal dude). Number four had crazy eyes, ridiculous jokes, and no questions for me. Date five got mad when I told him I was heading to the bar for a drink. “If you don’t want to talk to me, you can just say that,” he said. “I really need a second drink, and that’s all,” I replied. Several other people around the room seemed to hit it off, and I saw numbers being exchanged.
Afterwards, I chatted with the two guys who were the most interesting. While I was in the bathroom line, another guy asked me for my number. At the bar, a guy who hadn’t been able to get into the event approached me. “You might have seen me standing by the bar,” he said. (I hadn’t). “I didn’t get into the event, but I’ve been watching you all night long.” Cue the Twin Peaks music!
The smartest, most attractive women I know have just given up, many frustrated by these kinds of Tinder dudes, ghosting and even worse, zombieing. They’re focusing on their careers, hanging with their besties, and planning on moving to other cities. So maybe because of our lack of communication across the gender divide, our generation is screwed (but unfortunately, not literally). Are we moving toward a sexless society like Japan?
Remember that scene in Clueless where Cher gazes into the stratosphere and muses, “Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Paulie Shore movie,” right before dreamlover Christian walks in? That’s New York. My closest male relationship is also with a beautiful gay man who has better hair and better quips and better dance moves than me.
I do think the event was a success, because speed dating gives you the opportunity to sort through who you’re not attracted to right away, and start chatting with who you’re into. The metal part kept away super mainstream guys, for the most part (I’m looking at you, Manhattan penthouse with a fetish for metal girls), and it was at the very least entertaining. I’m still chatting with both guys, if you can call texting chatting. Neither has asked me out on a date yet. We’ve regressed from the real world, back to the virtual realm.
We’d love to hear how you all thought the event went. Send us a Tweet @Greenpointers or comment here.