Being Single

6 Ways I’d Rather Meet My Soulmate Than By Sniffing Their Dirty Laundry at a Pheromone Party

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Always dreamed of selecting a potential partner based only on the scent/stench of one of his or her dirty t-shirts? The wait is finally over! Welcome to the wild world of pheromone parties, an olfactory twist on the traditional speed-dating model. The premise goes something like this:

A) Wear a t-shirt to bed for a few consecutive nights, such that said t-shirt acquires your stink.

B) Take your now personalized dirty laundry to a pheromone party (which you can sign up for here).

C) At the party, everyone puts his/her shirt in an anonymously numbered bag. Then participants rummage through the opposite gender’s bags (or same gender, depending on what type of pheromone party you attend). If you like what you sniff, take a picture of yourself with that bag’s number displayed next to your face. The photo of you alongside stinky shirt is then projected in a slideshow on the wall of the venue. If the source of your favored fragrance feels inclined, he or she is invited to then accost you and out him/herself as the owner of the shirt in question, probably with some hilariously cheesy pick-up line. Something like, “You smelled mine … Can I smell yours?” or “Was it the Old Spice or the chloroform that caught your attention?” or “You think that was nice, wait till you smell my underwear!”

Charming stuff, I know. But I do like the model. It got me thinking: what other kinds of arbitrary personal objects could we exchange as an impetus for out-of-the-box speed-dating sessions (because speed-dating is SUCH an archaic practice that it begs wholesale changes). I propose these:

Playlist-a-Palooza: Everyone is assigned an iPod dock from which to broadcast the best playlist they can muster. If you see someone across the room rocking out at your station, you can meander over and strike up a dialogue. This one is especially conducive to fluid conversation, because you have at least ten minutes of taste-based fodder to work with before names even have to be exchanged.

The Joke Jamboree: Everybody writes a joke on an anonymously numbered page. Should a fellow speed-dater like your joke, you are made aware of their admiration and invited to strike up a conversation. Good luck living up to the lofty sense of humor that will probably be expected of you.

The Shoe Shindig: Barefoot daters gather in some room with an immaculately clean floor (so not a communal shower at the YMCA). They arrange their shoes in piles. Should someone openly express a liking for your taste in footwear, you will likely hit it off and get married and have babies and all that. (Disclaimer: not to be confused with the hybrid pheromone party/shoe shindig, which is only for the most extreme of speed-daters.)

The Gallery Gala: People who fancy themselves creative gather and open their souls to one another by displaying a piece of artwork they have fashioned. For the sake of the whole anonymity thing, performance art is discouraged.

Passion’s Potluck: Bring a dish, any dish! Hold the roofies. At this collectively catered soiree, invitees sample one another’s recipes, and perhaps find true love in the process. Or at least swap seasoning secrets. Pickup lines involving the words “dessert,” “my place” and “afterward” abound.