First impressions may not be everything, but advocates of speed dating claim that when it comes to romance, potential new partners can be given the thumbs up -- or more often, thumbs down -- within a matter of minutes. For speed daters, physical chemistry and learning a few raw basics are all that's needed for a snap judgment about another's suitability, and anything beyond that is just a waste of time.
For gay people, New York City offers many speed dating options, with more (and more compartmentalized) choices arriving all the time. In September 2010, Los Angeles group LA Lords sold out both sessions of its first foray into the New York gay speed dating market, and in November, the LGBT Community Center hosted its first Lesbians of Color Speed Dating night.
To make the chance for a match as likely as possible, this popular gay men's speed dating option breaks things downs by age and type for each session. Themes include Jewish Men, Professional Men, HIV+ Men, Athletes, Gay Travel Lovers, Gay Geeks, and there's even a Millionaire Matchmaker Edition. Dates last six to eight minutes apiece, and daters get to try out eight potential suitors.
When: Once or twice a month, usually Wednesdays or Thursdays
Where: Most often at Gossip Bar & Restaurant, 733 Ninth Avenue, between 49th and 50th Streets
True to its name, dates here are very quick -- just three minutes with each of your assigned dates -- but there's then a free mingling period during which you can meet anyone else in the room. You then tell the organizers who you'd like to go out with again, and if the feeling is mutual, you and your new sweetie can be off on your next (and presumably more intimate) date.
Qwik Dates nights are generally themed (like the recent Boyfriend Material: Arts-Oriented Men) or broken down by age.
When: Once or twice a month, usually Saturdays
Where: The LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, just west of Seventh Avenue
Admission: $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Femme for Femme Speed Dating
Hosted by onspeeddating.com, this power mixer hooks up feminine lesbian attendees with 10 to 25 others for quick-fire meet-ups. "If Portia De Rossi, Lindsay Lohan, Kristanna Loken, Drew Barrymore and Megan Fox do it for you," say they, "then this is the speed dating event for you." The group also sporadically puts on other LGBT speed date events like Lesbian Hot or Not, Mr. Right Now Gay, Asian Persuasion Gay, Hung Gay, and Who's Your Daddy.
When: Periodically (next event Sunday, December 19, 2010)
Where: Murphy & Gonzalez Pub & Cocina, 21 Waverly Place at Greene Street
Single Mingle – Boys Night Out
Presented by Chicago-based nationwide service Date and Dash, this gay speed dating night at the East Village's Urge promises 10 to 25 "dates" per night. Drink specials help lubricate the interaction.
When: Monthly, Thursdays, check in 8pm, speed dating begins at 8:30
Where: Urge, 33 Second Avenue, between 1st & 2nd Streets