When you’re a sex and dating writer and a thirsty AF lesbian, you go on a lot of dating apps. I spend a pretty good portion of my life on them. I ask a lot of girls out while I’m lowkey swiping on the toilet. And while I do love the weird & wonderful world of dating apps, I must tell you, dear lez, that I’ve gotten a little bored. You can only say “hey, what’s up” or match with the girl of your dreams only for both of you to refuse to message first so many times. The worst is when you match with a gorgeous girl, only to have her message you immediately. Just as your confidence is soaring and you’re basically jizzing your pants while aggressively swiping through her pics (you’re foaming at the mouth at this point)—bam, there it is: the last pic is with her ugly AF boyfriend. They’re looking for a unicorn. And that ain’t me, honey.
It seems like it’s getting harder and harder to actually connect on dating apps, so you can imagine my delight when I heard about Perchance, an event designed to put the magic back in dating with curated gatherings designed to spark real-life connections. Purrrrr.
I discovered Pechance while I was delicately sipping Pinot Grigio—not slugging back a vodka soda—because I was at the very classy Women’s Pride In The Pines event for work. After bidding money I don’t have on a lavish dinner at Manhatta, a super cute and stylish babe approached me and they told me about Perchance. Their name was Luca, and they were working to put together the first ever queer and non-binary Perchance event. My heart skipped a beat.
The next day, I got an invite.
Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect. I go to a lot of events for work (#blessed) and sometimes I don’t always get blown away. So, although excited about Perchance, I couldn’t help but be skeptical. I filled out a short questionnaire that included questions like, “What is the most magical place in NYC?” and “What are your pronouns and how do you identify?,” as well as having to upload a picture. The application elaborated on the goal of these events: “Perchance gatherings bring together groups of passionate, accomplished, fun and currently single people to meet and enjoy an evening of conversation, drinks, and activities designed to build deeper connection. We host gatherings at secret venues throughout the city. No two events are ever the same. Our events are referral-based and we accept recommendations. We invite all gender identities and sexual orientations to apply.”
Sounded pretty damn good to me. This clearly wasn’t your average speed dating event in a bar; this was carefully curated and sounded way hotter. I began to get insanely nervous!
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Since Perchance is a carefully curated group of exceptional singles, applying doesn’t guarantee your entry (icons only.) I love an exclusive environment, but it can also make for a lot of nerves. Luckily, Perchance is also incredibly inclusive and welcoming. There is nothing better than an exclusive gathering that is not snobby or stuck up, but open and kind.
After a week of Pride events and buying way too many outfits, it was time for Perchance. I am a relatively extroverted person considering I write about my vagina for a living, but throw me in a room where I’m being judged on if I’m hot and interesting enough to have sex with, I start to panic a little.
I arrived at the private location, a ridiculously chic Soho loft, and immediately ran into an old friend. A chic and gorgeous photographer, she sauntered into the room with her pink pixie haircut and our eyes lit up as we saw one another. I was starting to feel better already (queer world is so small!). Lyndsey, the amazing hostess and organizer, was there to greet and make me instantly comfortable. She explained how the night would go and made sure we put our phones away. The rules? No phones, no talking about work, and to be as open to experience as possible! And you can’t order a drink for yourself, only for another person. Gulp.
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There was already a gaggle of gorgeous queer women and non-binary babes mingling and sipping signature Gem + Bolt mezcal cocktails. “Can you please get me a drink?” I squeaked to my friend. The second I took a sip, a friendly and gorgeous woman in a leather jacket asked me how I heard about Perchance. The next thing I knew, I was working the room and talking to everyone without fear.
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Luca then made the announcement that the official speed dating section of the evening was about to begin. Everyone found a seat, received a penny, and scratched off the conversation topic cards (on tarot cards nonetheless—v queer). Each couple had five minutes to discuss the topic and then it was time to switch and repeat. The questions ranged from “If you could do one thing differently in your early 20s, what would it be?” to “What are you an expert on?” to “Submissive or dominant?” Amazingly, no one struggled for conversation. Between the well-thought-out questions, the sexy background music, the flowing drinks, and the gorgeous environment, it felt like perfect date after perfect date.
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“Perchance was so much fun! I went in without many expectations—all I was hoping for was great company in a great space, and it definitely exceeded what I had hoped for,” Isabelle, GO’s Associate Editor who tagged along with me, says. “The space was gorgeous and felt like I had stepped into a millennial social media manager’s Bushwick apartment. The company was fantastic, and, after the initial awkwardness of saying hi to strangers, it felt very natural and fun to chat about everything but work. I’d definitely do it again, and I’m certainly bringing friends next time!”
Most of the daters seemed friendly and eager to connect, so I can see how a very shy person might not feel like Perchance is the ideal environment for them. But I beg to differ! Unlike dating apps, it forces you to get out of your head and connect with people, which is exactly what us shy babes need.
“I’m really introverted so I’m typically pretty skeptical when it comes to events like these, and assume only serial killers go,” says Jill, a girl at the event I couldn’t help but drool over. “I’m happy to say I was dead wrong. Everyone was so approachable, openminded and down to genuinely connect. We were all sitting in a circle after and I was talking about Bethany Frankel and my affinity for gay man porn — so overall it was a great night.”
And for my confident babes, Perchance has you covered too.
“I’m a pretty extroverted person, but sometimes when you see someone cute at the bar it’s hard to start a conversation,” says Lexi, a swaggy extrovert. “Perchance was a cool way to meet people without having to over think how I’m going to start a conversation.”
I threw my arms around Luca at the end of the evening, high from the vibes, conversation, and tequila. I was truly and utterly in awe of how perfectly curated Perchance was and felt lucky to have experienced it. Luca organized a hot, dynamic, and diverse crowd, and the venue and DJ only made things hotter.
“Last night’s event couldn’t have gone better,” Luca tells GO. “Sarah Von H provided great music Gem + Bolt provided great cocktails, and the attendees provided a great vibe. As a queer non-binary person who has always been determined to create opportunities and growth in the community, last night was extremely important to me. We need more safe spaces to create genuine connections, and to have been able to provide that is something I am very proud of and will cherish always. I’m thankful for everyone that helped make this happen and look forward to future events!”
If you are a single queer person in this city, I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend that you check out Perchance. Stop swiping on dating apps and start connecting! I promise it will be worth the anxiety.
“I was pretty nervous going into the event because it was not my original plan for the night and the premise of ‘speed dating’ is something I try to avoid,” Maria, an attendee, tells GO. “However, I realized pretty quickly that in order to have a good time I would have to buy into the open and welcoming culture of the room. Once that happened, I had a great time, met some amazing people, and had a great experience that I will remember for a long time.”
Life is about taking chances and having a sexy time, in my personal lez opinion. So the next time you’re absent-mindedly swiping on dating apps on your morning commute, try channeling that energy into applying for Perchance. You will no doubt meet beautiful and interesting people, new friends, a casual fling, or, maybe, the love of your life. I’ll be at the next event, so if you’re shy and want a buddy, message me! I got you, babe.