Sunday, September 21, 2014

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NY1 examines the risks and rewards of love in modern times with its week-long series, "21st Century Matchmakers."

21st Century Matchmakers: Niche Speed Dating Offers Singles Chance to Meet Their Type

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In part two of NY1's "21st Century Matchmakers" series, Jeanine Ramirez looks at speed dating events as a way for singles to find love based simply on what attracts them.

At the sound of the bell, potential suitors move on the the next. It's speed dating with a twist.

"We have 'Skinny Minny' for women size 0 to 8. 'Size Matters' for women who like tall men," says event host Lisa Treyman.

For "Size Matters," the men need to be at least six foot one inch, and are measured at the door.

"It was very interesting. The men were very tall, like they said they were," said one participant.

"Skinny Minnies" are sized up too, by their clothing labels.

Amber Soletti started her dating events "Single In The City" and "OnSpeed Dating" in 2008 around themes. Some are grouped for ages like these 20 somethings.

"It's not necessarily shallow. We all have our preferences on what we're attracted to," says Soletti.

"I think this is a good way of meeting people," says another participant.

Some are organized by physical appearance. "Afro-desiac," "Inked," the "Bald and the Beautiful."

"It's all bald men in a room. I love bald men so I love that event," one participant says.

Some are by profession for if you want to date a comedian, flight attendant, doctor or teacher. Among the most popular—firefighter night. A firefighter at one party soon came to Claire Owen's rescue.

"He swung by the block on the truck in his uniform checked out the hydrant frozen on our block in the winter," says Owen.

Then there are sexual preferences.

"There's M.I.L.F. night. We do a Cougar/Boy Toy hunt that's very popular with men. We also do a Hung night, and that's always sold out," Soletti says.

There's no yard stick for that one, though; just the honor system. Speed dating rounds are three minutes.

So does that seem like a long time or a short time?

"Depends on who you're with..." one participant says.

There are also less structured events like Trivia Night in which teams are randomly shuffled.

"You can tell if your partner is very competitive, easy going," says one trivia participant.

"You have to get on your A-game," another says.

Thankfully, you don't have to score someone's phone number.

Contact information becomes available online after the event, but only if someone checked off your name after they've checked you out.

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