Speed dating eye contact
‘I’m not really sure what to expect,’ I overhear a man say nervously to the woman sitting next to him.
I can’t see him – he’s sitting behind a bookcase stacked with yoga mats – and I daren’t lean forward to peek – but I’m with him.
While I ponder on what they’ve done during the lifetime of this poor chap, his body is heating up like a roaring furnace and I’m glad when I can finally let go before all moisture evaporates from my body. At the end of each rendezvous, lasting anywhere between a minute and three minutes, Guy invites us to pop one of our beads in the man’s pouch, if we are interested in talking more, while they stand with their eyes closed. It allows us to laugh at the awkwardness of it all and, perhaps, cunningly, let down our defensive walls, allowing people in and deepening the connection.
We should then place our hand on the man’s heart to bring the meeting to an end. What I’m acutely aware of is how used to or how comfortable the women in the room are with all of this.
Unlike that man, who manages to break the almost tangible tension in the air with those few words that ultimately lead to conversation, I remain silent.
To my left, on the other side of the curtain, I hear another man and women saying they had read about Tantric speed dating and figured that it was ‘better than online dating’, even if it does push them out of their comfort zone and they don’t quite understand what it is.
I don’t know if I missed the memo or it just wasn’t given, but I haven’t come prepared.
Since the first event took place in New York in May, it has spread to San Francisco and Boston — and it’ll be coming to London later this year.
As does the late 40-something man that she towers over next to her. Despite the palpable nerves in the room, everyone seems to give an honest and straight answer. Am I meant to keep repeating the same thing over and over, or keep imagining up other lovely things to say about this complete unknown before me? You can opt out of any of the exercises but I don’t want to be ‘that’ person.
All silliness – apart from the Cheshire Cat grin I wear to hide my awkwardness – is left at the door. Ladies form an inner circle facing the men on the outside. The guy is kind and holds my hand — metaphorically speaking — through this confusing and new experience, and he laughs with me as I bumble my way through the task. And so I find myself embracing a 7ft tall man who feels as resistant to this exercise as I do. This time by a man about my height who tells me he’s sorry for all the hurt his brothers have caused me.
So, he set about creating an event that was about making meaningful connections – where you have the time, space and right environment to give each other your 100% undivided attention and tap into each other’s ‘energy’ during the first encounter instead of it being something fleeting and disposable.
That is what Tantra is about and it forms the backbone of the philosophy around Tantric dating too.