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Judith Prays, the 25-year-old filmmaker and rapper who launched the first pheromone party in New York City, conceived of the event as a new twist on speed dating, with pop science thrown in. And maybe when you meet them, you’ll find you were horribly mistaken; their shirt smelled heavenly, but in person they remind you of Strong Bad’s alter ego.The idea is that if a T-shirt’s odor arouses you, you’ll be sexually (and maybe emotionally? It’s been described as half underwear fetish party, half “It’s Just Lunch!
I’d bought it four days earlier at Fashion for Eva on Sunset Boulevard, slept in it for three nights in a row, and stored it in a Ziploc bag in my freezer during the day.
Those were the instructions for attending the pheromone party at the Silent Movie Theatre in Hollywood — part singles soirée, part science experiment, part hipster cornucopia.
Here’s how it works: Participants imprint their odor on cotton T-shirts and then bring them to the party.
Upon registering and shelling out $30, they place their shirts in plastic bags with numbered Post-its – pink for women, blue for men.
The bags are placed on a table in the party area in the courtyard out back, where guests can leisurely (or voraciously, as was sometimes the case) sniff shirts in between trips to the bar for an absinthe cocktail.
When you find a shirt you like, you stand in line to get your picture taken with the prized numbered shirt.
The photographs are projected on a slideshow throughout the night at the bar and on the big screen inside the movie theater.
When you spot the man or woman of your dreams holding up your T-shirt and smiling for the camera, you can find them in the crowd and strike up a conversation.
The law of numbers says I should have had better luck with all those dudes milling around. My flirt mechanism only has one setting: Forward.“Don’t encourage me! Could I clear away all the flotsam in my heart – the fetishes for big noses and curly hair that I’ve had since high school, or my habit of falling for cocky artists and writers? 630.”“Hi, I’m Lauren,” I said, offering my hand.“You’re No. ”“Well, it means, on some level, I want to have sex with you.”Best pickup line ever? “Your pheromones are attracted to mine because we have compatible immunities.
But it was certainly validating to look at the slide show and see those guys holding up my T-shirt in a bag and smiling. What if I could reset and recalibrate my attraction patterns and strip them down to pure physical science? Without being preconditioned for brand recognition, I’d be able to go only on what my senses were telling me. For instance, maybe my ancestors were immune to the black plague. To be fair, the guy hadn’t followed the rules at all.
Maybe I’d find that my animal instincts really wanted a broomstick-thin MGMT fan with a pedo mustache. And yours were immune to malaria.”“So our children will be super-immune! Having just learned about the party an hour before it started, he’d flipped a U-turn on Fairfax, whipped off his undershirt, and stuffed it in a bag upon arriving at the Silent Movie Theatre.