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A sailor kisses a woman.
Photograph: Courtesy of Intellectual Blonde Events

Channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw at this Fleet Week singles mixer

"Snag Yourself a Sailor" is coming to Midtown later this month.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan

In the iconic Sex and the City episode titled "Anchors Away," Carrie Bradshaw describes Fleet Week like this: "Fleet Week is that one week a year when the U.S. Naval ships dock, and our fair city is made even fairer with cute, sweet American sailors looking for fun." Her friend Samantha Jones adds that it's "her favorite holiday." 

Luckily for Carrie and the gals, Fleet Week is back again this month, running from May 24–30. If you're looking for a little fun, head to this singles event called "Fleet Week Mixer: Snag Yourself A Sailor," held on Friday, May 26 at The Dean in Midtown. Tickets for servicemembers cost $18; tickets for the general public cost $28. (Time Out readers can get $5 off with the code TIMEOUTNY.)

RECOMMENDED: NYC Fleet Week and Parade of Ships guide

At the mixer, expect servicemen and women in uniform, complimentary appetizers, professional photos, a fun icebreaker to get everybody mingling, DJ music and dancing. Servicemembers in uniform get access to an open bar for the first hour.

A sailor in uniform dances with a woman.
Photograph: Courtesy of Intellectual Blonde Events

"The benefits of a sailor fling? They tend to be young, super fit, neat, well-mannered and most importantly...shipping out in a few days," as Amber Soletti, a dating expert whose company Intellectual Blonde is hosting the event, puts it. "[Find] your 'Mr./Ms. Right Now' knight in 'Tide-white' shining armor."

Soletti started hosting the Fleet Week mixer several years ago, adding it to her roster of other singles events, like "Rescue Me First Responders Singles Party: Snag Yourself A Hero," "Have Passport, Will Travel: Speed Dating for singles 30-45" and "Saturday Night Hip-Hop & Reggae Yacht Dance Parties." (Those events are all coming up, by the way. Details here.)  

I think why it’s so popular with women is they love the guys in the uniform.

"The guys love it, and the photos we got from it are amazing, so it's a good time," Soletti tells Time Out New York. "I think why it’s so popular with women is they love the guys in the uniform.

Plus, she explains, "there's no pressure or expectations." At a typical singles event, people might feel set on meeting someone or securing a first date. 

Three sailors in uniform pose for a photo with a group of women.
Photograph: Courtesy of Intellectual Blonde Events

"With this, these guys are sailing out in a couple of days," Soletti says. "So if someone didn't give them their number or they didn't hook up with someone, in their mind, they say, 'they were leaving anyway, so I'm sure they didn't want get involved with someone.' Or if they do hook up, which happens a lot, they have no expectation because these guys are getting back on the ship in a couple of days and sailing off. So I think it takes a lot of pressure off." 

More than 150 people usually attend the 21+ Fleet Week mixer. While the majority of attendees are women looking for men, Soletti said the dating scene is becoming more diverse. 

It's fun to attend because it takes a lot of the pressure off.

New Yorker Melissa Lopez, who calls Fleet Week her "favorite week in New York," has attended the mixer in past years and will do so again this year. 

"It's fun to attend because it takes a lot of the pressure off," Lopez says. "Everyone knows what they're there for. It's not awkward."

A sailor and a woman kiss at an event.
Photograph: Courtesy of Intellectual Blonde Events

In bars, Lopez notices that men may feel hesitant to approach women, but at events like these, "it kind of gives them the permission to be a little more flirty, a little more open. So it's just a good environment to socialize and meet people." Though people may be hesitant about a singles mixer, she says this isn't a typical sit-down event. Instead, Lopez says, it's like a fun house party where everybody's socializing. 

While there's no specific dress code, she recommends a "sexy classy" look. 

We have to show them a good time. It’s our patriotic duty as women of New York.

A pro tip from Soletti: Avoid the sloppy drunk sailors. "They're heading out the next day. You're not going to get a re-do."

If you're looking for more than a fling, it's possible. Soletti herself met her husband at one of the events she hosted. As she says, "Love is a numbers game."

Finally, we'll leave you with the words of the wise Samantha Jones from Sex and the City: "We have to show them a good time. It’s our patriotic duty as women of New York." 

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