Everyone’s sitting on rugs and cushions on the floor in the back of a Brunswick yoga studio. They’ve got the same scorecards and name tags as regular speed dating. A shorter guy with smiley eyes arrives late. I hope I get paired with him.
I get paired up with everyone except Smiley Eyes Guy and we play a mix of non-physical tantra exercises (looking into each other’s eyes) and improvisation games, like in high school drama. After each game we get two minutes to talk, which thankfully is mostly about the exercises, so I don’t have to explain the whole not-working-thing when I’m asked what I do for a job 18 times.
I’m paired with a curly haired man who has a look in his eye which not only says “I’m listening to you” but also “You intrigue me” and by the time we’re done with the exercise “I’d like to see you naked.”
We have to stand 5 metres apart and look each other in the eye. Intriguing Eyes Guy had to maintain eye contact whilst gradually walking closer and closer until he could ‘feel’ that he was too close. Once he’d reached that spot, he had to say one word. He was one step away from me when he said “Close.” I had to do the same thing, walking slowly towards him maintaining eye contact. I got close enough that I could feel his breath on my forehead and it took all the restraint I had NOT to pash him right there. The sexual tension in the air was rather thick. Looking him square in the eye, I took a deep breath and said “Now.” Luckily we didn’t have to debrief after that one, but went straight into a group exercise called ‘The Forest.’
The men spread out around the room and stand still with their eyes closed. They’re trees. The women walk through the forest and to whoever they “feel drawn towards”. I stood near Intriguing Eyes Guy and Smiley Eyes Guy then realized the other women were TOUCHING the trees/men. I went and gently nuzzled my forehead into the back of Smiley Eyes Guy’s neck and we both breathed deeply together. Then I held Intriguing Eyes Guy’s hand for a while. I am historically not so good at restraint, so for me both of these little touches were totally hot.
Throughout the evening I had two simultaneous thoughts: 1) this is fucking weird and 2) this is fucking awesome.
Afterwards I got Intriguing Eyes Guy’s number and went out to dinner with Smiley Eyes Guy and some others. He’d been to lots of tantric workshops before and explained it wasn’t all about sex, it was a whole way of looking at the world. He was an engineer who was high on universal love. I drove him into the city afterwards and recited erotic poetry to him in the car. I’ve never seen him again but every now and again he comes up in my Facebook feed with memes like this:
I like that people like him exist in the world. I genuinely hope universal love is still working out for him.*
A couple of days later I met Intriguing Eyes Guy at the Fitzroy Gardens. We strolled and discussed work for a while then the conversation turned to tantra. Apparently I had lots of potential. Normally I get bored with the whole “Do you like stuff?” conversations on dates, but as he was explaining to me how everything is made up of energy so really everything is connected and how I just need to widen my perspective which he could help me with through guided meditation and how did I feel about some exploratory play at a more private location… I thought ‘Jeez dude, can’t we just talk about books we like a bit first?’ I was intrigued, but the following week I met The Author, so I never did find out what tantric exploratory play involved.
*When I contacted Smiley Eyes Guy about this story, his response was “Your words are clean and real, I like that! But lets get down to business, what’s your next step on the inner path to abundant unconditional love?” What a great human being!