Sexy Typewriter

How a sexy typewriter makes dating in Toronto easier

They say love is a battlefield, but dating in Toronto can sometimes feel like navigating through a sea of emotional landmines. Toronto blogger Sexy Typewriter has a popular website on the theme, where she chronicles her experiences with online dating in the city. Her bittersweet writing describes the frustration and hope of trying to meet the one through her laptop screen with a lot of honest hilarity.

(Among her posts are a bevy of misspelled sexual come-ons/inappropriate penis shots, premature rejections before the date has even occurred and the awkward recognition that comes from running into an acquaintance online.) Now the blogger is putting action into words. This Wednesday (October 26th) singles can comingle at No One Writes To The Colonel at Sexy Typewriter's Ugly Sweater Singles Bar, an alternative to the brutality of speed dating events and Toronto's club scene.

I spoke to Sexy Typewriter over email about why Toronto men shouldn't be afraid to talk to women, responsible dating etiquette and what exactly constitutes an ugly sweater.

You've been coordinating alterna-dating events for awhile now. Have you ever attended a typical speed dating event in Toronto? What makes your events vastly superior?

Sexy Typewriter: This is the third dating event I've done. The very first once was a singles party that I threw in my apartment in order to help a recently divorced writer friend of mine meet my single friends in a non-threatening and efficient way.

I have attended three or four speed dating events in Toronto and only ever gotten one date out of it. The problem with speed dating is that the pool of men tends to be way too broad. That can be a good thing, but I'm personally more likely to click with a friendly and creative man who lives downtown and works in an arts or media-related field than a sweet but socially inept 39-year-old who lives in Mississauga and does IT for Royal Bank or something.

Since my events are so few and far between and advertised quietly and strategically, they gather together more funny, interesting, sociable and creative people than I've seen at any other singles event in Toronto.

You're now dating (semi-exclusively?) online. Why do you think it's difficult to meet potential dating partners in Toronto IRL?

I think there are also a lot of great guys in Toronto. But the problem is that there is nowhere to meet them, aside from maybe work and school. The kind of guys I'm interested in are not the kinds of guys who would frequent the club district or who would confidently hit on me at a pub. It's difficult to meet potential dating partners in Toronto because, like many big cities, people don't generally feel comfortable making any kind of contact, verbal, visual, etc., with strangers, even intriguing or attractive strangers.

And when you are actually chatted up by a stranger, it is such an infrequent occurrence that people, generally women, tend to get their guard up. We worry about being in danger or the possibility that the chatter-upper is actually insane. People complain that Toronto women are cold. I think that would melt away if men - all men - looked at us less and talked to us more. It's mostly just because we're not used to being talked to by anyone who isn't drunk and/or homeless.

You write very candidly about being disappointed by your potential dating partners on your blog. What do you think men and women in Toronto need to be doing to be dating ethically, especially online where communication is hard to read?

Be open and honest with the people you go out with. If you just want to have casual sex with someone, let them know. (You may get water tossed in your face, but at least you're upfront and no one's feelings will get hurt.) And if you don't feel a spark, say so immediately, not necessarily while on the date or at the end of the date, but definitely the very next day.

Don't leave people hanging by their telephones, wondering and waiting if they'll ever hear from you again. Think of it as a job interview, they gave you your time, they showered and wore nicer clothes for you than normal. They deserve to know that you are going with another candidate

Where are the best places in Toronto to meet potential hotties?

Dude, if I knew that...

Okay, understood. What constitutes an "ugly sweater" then?

Any sweater that contains one or all of the following elements: 1) gems, 2) angora, 3) reindeer, 4) sparkles or sparkly thread, 4) some form of sporting or musical equipment embroidered into the garment, 5) holes, 6) ribbons and bows, 7) Christmas anything, 8) Cosby-like patterns, 9) velvet 10), the colour purple, 11) cats.

What can people expect from the Ugly Sweater Singles Mixer if they attend?

Ugly sweaters, fascinating people, icebreaker games and awkward-but-hilarious conversation. Also: mini chocolate bars.

The Ugly Sweater Singles Bar runs from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at No One Writes To The Colonel (460 College Street) Wednesday, Oct 26th. There will be games, snacks, free cover and hideously-dressed dating prospects! God speed everyone.

Photo by Kristin Ritter

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