One of my career highlights to date was being asked to speak at this year’s Women of the World Festival at the Southbank. I remember when I took the call inviting me to speak at this incredible worldwide event, I was seriously dancing round the room as I accepted. I was invited to talk and share experiences about love, relationships and dating in the time of Tinder with a room full of women at a session called All the Single Ladies. Men were able to come but only women did in the end.
I kickstarted things with tales of my own online dating journey and how I came to start a business from it and then we went round the room sharing experiences that covered, at one end of the spectrum, revenge porn, nasty sexist rejection messages and the sadly ubiquitous dick pictures (what used to be ‘flashing’ in the 80s) to the other end of the spectrum where some women still feel the need to play down their achievements online, lie about their age or refrain from making the first move. We also touched on the fact that some women still follow The Rules (*shudder) and we wondered if Pick Up Artistry developed as a response to all the confusing behaviour and messages women were sending out via The Rules. We also chatted about how lesbian and bisexual experiences compared with straight ones,with one bisexual woman saying there is definitely a lesbian equivalent of dick pics.
It was fascinating to hear all these women’s experiences, good, bad and indifferent and what I enjoyed most was seeing women doing what they do really well: supporting each other as they shared their stories.
A couple of the women who came made it known that they were on a mission to gather material for an upcoming show at the Edinburgh Festival called Tinder Tales – stories from the frontline of dating. That’s one show I’m definitely going to be watching. If you have any stories you’d like to share with them about any of your Tinder dating stories, then let me know and I’ll put you in touch.
After the event, I was told that an ‘angry’ mob of 40 people had been trying to listen in to our session but had been moved on by security – apparently it was very over subscribed and lots of people were dying to get in so fingers crossed I get asked back next year.