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Shhh Dating

  • Things to do, Quirky events
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Time Out says

It’s fair to say dating in London is a slog. But if you’re willing to ‘finger dance’ or stare into a stranger’s eyes, you could strike it lucky with Shhh Dating. It’s an unusual event where participants mingle without saying a word, in the hope they might meet ‘the one’. No cringey convos? Phew! But of course, there’s a catch. It’s more full-on than you’d think.

Founder Adam Taffler says it’s all about exploring intimacy and sexual boundaries – not exactly what I had in mind for a Wednesday night in a bar in Dalston. But he’s a brilliant host and makes the 40 singletons attending feel as comfortable as possible. He explains that rather than being paired-up with someone, we’ll be doing a series of ‘party’ games that eventually lead up to the mysterious ‘Level 9’.

We kick off with yoga-style breathing to relax, then shake everyone’s hand at arm’s length. This progresses to air kisses, staring at each other and, if we want, a ‘British hug’ where we stand at a distance and politely tap each other on the back.

The second round is more touchy-feely, with games including ‘kung fool’, where you gently try to poke someone in the arm or leg before they get you. Then there’s the finger-dancing: index fingers are stuck together, moving in sync. Believe me, it’s tricky. Inevitably, there are a few nervous giggles. And, as the guy-to-girl ratio is skewed towards the ladies, there’s a scramble to connect with someone you don’t mind bumping fingers with.

The final stage is where things, quite frankly, get weird. Between the massaging in a circle and being touched with feathers while blindfolded, it’s safe to say you’ve got to be pretty open-minded to get down with ‘Level 9’. Although Taffler makes it clear you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to – and I’m grateful for the get-out clause.

Still, there’s something quite liberating about testing my limits, even if, at times, it 
left me speechless.

Written by
Matilda Egere-Cooper

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