26 Nov 2017
Wednesday was a lot of fun. I went with new friend G to an event organised by dating network Inner Circle. If you look at IC online, it appears to exclusively attract entrepreneurs, CEOs and yacht owners. So I was initially a bit sceptical of meeting anyone who didn’t want a slim blond as a girlfriend and who wasn’t a massive knobhead. I’d also been to a match.com dating event before with a friend which was full of guys we didn’t fancy and spent the night pretending to be a Virgin air stewardess to spice things up. So I was a bit wary.
The first time I went to one of these IC events didn’t end so well as I ended up launching myself head first down some metal stairs. Note to self: must learn to effortlessly glide down stairs in heels in posh places without face planting. Trying to chat up a guy while looking like I might need a lift to A&E doesn’t work.
The second event was at the Box. When I had recovered my jaw from the floor after learning that the jaeger bombs were £20 each (wtf?!) I then had my prude-o-meter tested when I discovered a stripper’s pole in the upstairs bar next to a bed big enough for 5 people. The prude-o-meter then went off the scale as a performer appeared in her underwear, climbed a column of silk suspended from the ceiling, then proceeded to remove her smalls with her toes under my nose, before performing the rest of the routine naked. I was lost for words mid-chat with a guy at the bar, with my view entirely obscured by flying tits. It certainly made for a different kind of small talk.
So I approached my latest mid-week excursion with a degree of curiosity. It was at a private members club called Tramp which wasn’t the most auspicious of names. It didn’t help that I kept calling it Thrash by mistake, so mates probably thought I was experimenting with spanking and was going all 50 shades of Grey.
Thankfully on arrival there was no sign of a sex dungeon and we were immediately given free cocktails by a rather flirty waiter. There was also a live band. Things were looking up.
There were plenty of hot guys there but G had other ideas. While everyone else was making polite small talk, G and I made friends with the band and in no time I was teaching them sign language for the most juvenile things I could think of.
I remember drinking a lot, talking to a stoned Italian called Marco in an overly tight shirt, getting a salsa lesson from one of the waiters, getting into an argument with a hypnotherapist and smoking a roll up in a room upstairs for the sheer naughty novelty of being able to smoke indoors, despite ditching fags in my 20s.
I didn’t actually speak to any eligible hot men. The nearest I came was when I got warned for standing too near a sexy Mark Strong lookalike by his secretary (yes I know. I was confused about why she was there too. I think perhaps she was part of his advance vetting process). I thought Oo I could do with one of those. Just imagine. Your own private vetter. About me, she’d say: don’t even think about speaking to her until you’ve brushed your teeth, prepared a party trick and bought her a cocktail.
Anyway, at the end of the night I talked to a forlorn looking Chinese guy who said he was going to hang around ‘for the scraps’. It was 1am and I realised I was deteriorating faster than I could lower my standards. I didn’t fancy being a scrap. It was time to leave.
So are dating events worth the trouble? Are they just a collection of undateble singletons trying to get a shag? Well, I’ve had memorable evenings every time I’ve been to one of the IC events and not necessarily because they’ve led to anything. (Although I did end up dating that guy I was speaking to at the bar at The Box for 3 months). Hell I’d take my mates to one of these events even if they’re not single. Who doesn’t like dancing waiters, live bands and flying tits?