Speed Metal Dating. Yep, it’s a thing! In fact, dozens of New York City metalheads ventured to Brooklyn’s metal Mecca, Saint Vitus, last night (April 10) hoping to find their Iron Maidens and King Diamonds.

The event received its fair share of criticism beforehand by local media, caricaturing those who planned to attend as “woe-is-me” dark-hearts looking to carve ’SLAYER’ into each other’s arms. Predictions of an outright sausage fest were also rampant on Facebook, and to be honest, I half-expected this to be the inconvenient truth. When’s the last time you came out of a metal concert unbaptized by the sweat of a thousand dudes? Despite this norm, the planners did a great job enticing women to take part and split the gender pool straight down the middle between 37 guys and 37 gals.

Us metalheads tend to be awkward in social situations. “Never heard of Angel Witch? Why am I wasting my face muscles on you?” There was no way I was infiltrating this thing alone, so I invited a female metalhead friend, Marisa, to join me. It turned out to be my best decision of the night. Not only did I get a female perspective on Speed Metal Dating, but when Marisa and I eventually had our own speed date, we got to exchange stories.

At the discretion of metalhead comic Dave Hill, each Speed Metal Date lasted for roughly one metal song. To the beefy tunes of legends like Slayer and High on Fire, ladies stayed put as dudes moved down the line one seat at a time. Remember your middle school dances where guys and girls would split a room down the middle for fear of mingling with the opposite sex? This actually didn’t happen at Speed Metal Dating! The room practically exploded with conversation instantly. I can’t remember the last time I was comfortable talking to alien women, yet I found it easier than an Emmure breakdown to unwind and expose my deeply flawed self!

Surprise No. 1 came on my first “date.” A whole group of non metal-loving girls showed up to find romance within the pitch-black confines of Saint Vitus. Do “normal” chicks secretly swoon over metalheads?! Nope! Turns out they were dragged to Vitus by a friend. So after explaining why an Iron Maiden show is better than sex to a gaggle of confused faces, I finally found myself in the presence of metal and horror movie-loving ladies! And they were pretty! Be still my blackened heart.

One by one I was conversing with legitimately interesting people. I traded lighthearted insults with one lovely creature with more facial piercings than Al Jourgensen before moving on to her dreadfully charming British friend. About 10 dates in I was running low on Trooper Ale, so I absconded to the bar with my next date; a female comic who had been hitting the sauce since noon. (It was about 9pm at this point) After outwardly declaring her affinity for male genitalia and penchant for banging random dudes, we met a male acquaintance of hers sulking at the bar.

“He got kicked out after some girl threw a drink in his face,” the lady comic revealed. By his account, he had made a joke that didn’t go over too well. Was it sexually charged or racially insensitive? Apparently not. He informed me that he had lightheartedly mentioned how jealous he was that some kids got free breakfast at school growing up. Taking his comment as a classist and insensitive statement on societal hierarchies, she countered his words with a face full of booze.

Back in the dating pool I eventually matched up with Marisa, whose eyes told me tales of unimaginable horror before her mouth got the chance:

Luckily, my first mini-date was with a guy who was nice, normal, and even funny which definitely caused me to misjudge how the night would go. Bachelor No. 1 was a DJ by profession, who liked punk more than metal but still came out to the event after his roommates managed to convince him it’d be a good idea. We joked, we talked, it was pleasant! Sure, there were no sparks, but that can’t be expected with everyone. I had now gotten my hopes up that there was a chance I’d soon be meeting my dog-loving, metal-listening, hockey-watching soulmate.

Throughout my next few Speed Metal mini-dates, I came across an eclectic group of guys, unfortunately most of whom weren’t exactly my “type.” This included the older guys (mid-to-late forties), the guys who were there as a “social experiment” and the guy who wanted to have sex with my dog.

Bachelor No. 2: Covered almost entirely in spikes and studs (nothing wrong with that, but he looked dangerous to stand next to on a train), could barely catch his breath from talking about himself, politely gave me a few seconds to look at each page of his sketchbook of female wolverines and told me he wanted a “fiercely loyal woman who likes comic books and Amon Amarth.”

Bachelor No. 3: Physically attractive, hyper guy, clearly into metal, sat down, promptly told me he had his eye on me the whole night and wanted my number... aaaaand it worked.

Bachelor No. 4: Mid-forties, skateboarder, professional drug dealer.

Bachelor No. 5: Had no interest in dating, just wanted to find someone who could recommend a good orthodontist since he was new to the country.

Bachelor No. 6: Had a disdain for metal as it all “sounds the same” and found metal and those who listen to it to be pedantic and shallow. Only went to the event as a social experiment.

Bachelor No. 7: Late forties, new to the USA, proposed marriage upon hearing that I listen to Tool and Mastodon.

Bachelor No. 8: Refreshingly normal guy who just wanted to go to the bar with me to get a drink (a break for which I was glad).

Bachelor No. 9: Was heading home to Scotland the next morning, was hoping to meet someone to marry, stated he loved animals, I told him I had a pitbull, he told me he wanted to f--- my pitbull, I told him I had a cat, he told me he wanted to f--- my cat, then said my dog and cat could watch while we f---.

Bachelor No. 10: Cliché hipster, failed Freddie Mercury mustache, moved from Portland to Brooklyn to be a comedy writer, a job which he described as “tedious, but ya know, someone has to do it.”

I was relieved when it was brought to an end. At that point, all I wanted to do was get a glass of whiskey and thank god that Bachelor No. 9 didn’t know where my pets and I live. Despite spending an hour and a half having guys get way too close for comfort and sandwiching my thighs with theirs, I’m glad for the whole experience. Speed Metal Dating was definitely a success for some people (including lucky Bachelor No. 5 licking the tonsils of his newfound companion.) Whether or not things work out with the one guy with whom I exchanged numbers, I had fun and I’m glad I went, even if it was just for the stories.

As you can tell, the male and female experiences of Speed Metal Dating turned out to be drastically different.

I went on a few more dates, including one where a girl outright shunned me due to my lack of Metallica worship, before calling it a night. It had been legitimately exhausting striking up over two dozen conversations in a two-hour span, but I stood at the bar feeling more connected to my fellow humans. Hell, the experience even boosted my self-confidence to an all-time high of “subpar!”

I had no expectations or desire to find my metal maiden at Speed Metal Dating, but for some, it totally worked! New potential couples were deep in conversation, exchanging numbers left and right, and making out furiously under the dim lights of Saint Vitus. My female comic friend got three numbers herself and vowed to bang at least one of the guys before night’s end. Sadly, unluckier individuals did bail halfway through Speed Metal Dating or ended up dead-eyed and romantically destitute at the bar. Remember in March of the Penguins when select males hiked 62 miles through the hellish cold only to find themselves without a mate? This scene was equally depressing.

So how was Speed Metal Dating? Not too bad! Even Marisa admitted she would go again despite her encounter with the Scottish pet-lover. How’s that for your seal of approval?

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