Dating IRL During the Corona Summer

By Maile

As someone obsessed with dating, connecting, and meeting new people, I hit a slump over the past few weeks.

The novelty of cyber dating wore down as I struggled to maintain chemistry and balance wonky schedules. For a while, dating felt like another ball that I was trying to juggle in my new COVID routine; so I paused for a bit.

As things continue to open up and I watch the latest COVID numbers in my state, I’m starting to slowly and carefully navigate limited IRL dating. What this looks like is lots of open communication — both with my dates and my primary partner.

Boldly asking potential dates what their recent exposure looks like, if they’ve been wearing masks and whether they’ve taken appropriate distancing considerations when in public has become my new standard.

My experience with and education around ethical non-monogamy and kink have given me the communication skills that make discussing these concerns pretty straightforward. Paying attention to how a potential date reacts to these frank discussions says a lot and really helps me determine if I want to proceed.

Once safety and health concerns are navigated, though, that’s when the creative side can come out. With options more limited right now, I find thinking outside of the box for date ideas can be part of the fun.

If you’re struggling to come up with some socially safer date options, check the list below! PLUS! We’ve added a kinky twist to each date AND the hashtags you’ll need to find your perfect matches in-app.

7 IRL Date Options with a Kinky Twist

  1. Outdoor Nature Center- Pack a picnic with your date(s) and find a nature center where you can get outside, walk around and enjoy the outdoors.
From my recent date to the SM&NC. I was SO excited to do something other than the standard meet for a drink date option. We walked around, checked out all the animals & when the rain got too heavy, we popped the back of my SUV and cozied up for a picnic.
  • Kinky Twist: Into erotica? Plan ahead and bookmark a fav erotic story to share with your date as you picnic, see if you can stay cool & collected as you get hot & bothered!

2. Mini Golf- Enjoy a friendly and competitive round with your date, grab treat and test your golf skills.

  • Kinky Twist: Keep score and whoever loses will have to perform a sexual favor for the winner. Up the stakes by making a special wager on a hole-in-one. Have fun coming up with the terms of the deal and what kind of favors you’ll perform. Use the #open Preferences sheet if you need inspiration!

3. Brewery with patio seating- As taprooms are starting to open up, I’m a big fan of the modified outdoor options that many are offering. My local brewery has upped their patio game with astroturf, picnics tables with shady umbrellas and table service. Patrons are even closer to great eats as the food truck of the day serves goodies right alongside the outdoor patio.

Pro-Tip: Find a brewery that allows pups so you can meet that cute doggo your match has in their profile pic (photo credit: @labyrinthbrewing)
  • Kinky Twist: Have a hands-free bluetooth toy? Go out with the toy in-place and give your date the control. Can you finish your beer while mid-tease?

4. Backyard Wine/Beer tasting group date- Not quite ready to head to a bar or winery for boozy dates, but want to socialize? Find a small group of couples and singles & invite them to your yard. Have everyone bring a beer or wine selection so you can create your own tasting party. Pro tip: get everyone to bring a dish too & save yourself the headache of hosting.

  • Kinky Twist: Socially distant play party. Get creative on how to play, while 6 feet away!

5. Drive-In Movie-Lots of places are offering drive-in movie options in lieu of the regular movie date. Whether you’re hopping in the same car as your honey or being distant while watching alongside your date from your own cars; pack snacks, blankets and whatever else you need for a cozy movie night.

  • Kinky Twist: Talk dirty on the phone or text with your date if they’re in a separate car — or enjoy some below-the-dashboard fun if you’re in the same vehicle!

6. Beach or Lake Date- If you have access to local beaches or lakes where you can set up in the sand, go for it! Pack up snacks, sunscreen and swimsuits and take advantage of those summer vibes.

  • Kinky Twist: Find a nude beach in the area for some stripped down sunbathing

7. Hiking- Invite your date(s) to meet at a hiking spot and do some socialization while you get exercise and enjoy time outside.

  • Kinky Twist: Can you sneak a few scandalous pics when no one is around? Make it a challenge to see who can get the best naughty-in-nature inspired nudes

Ready to try some of the ideas above? Download #open to create your profile (or profiles if you’re swiping with a partner!) and start matching with other ethically non-monogamous couples & singles, membership is free! While you’re there, make sure to add hashtags to your profile so others can easily find you based on shared interests, or search for some of the hashtags listed above!

For those of you already members & responsibly dating, we’d love to hear about it! Add us on social media to share your date photos for a chance to be featured and to hear more about upcoming events!

✦ Instagram: @hashtagopen

✦ Twitter: @hashtagopen

✦ Facebook: @hashtagopenapp

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