I’ve got a Crush, TO

It was probably in the late summer or fall that I first heard of #CrushTO events being produced by the girls at the sex-positive group, I’d Tap That. Up to my eyeballs in planning for both my work festival and Playground sexuality conference, it was only something that my brain could give a passing glance to, though I was intrigued.

In their own words:

#CrushTO is a flirty event series for hot, nerdy people who want to make sex-positive like-minded friends. An invitation for any and all: hetero, homo, queer, trans, kinky, lesbian, gay, vanilla, bi, flexible, monogamous, poly, and open minded young people (or young at heart.) Events are for everyone, regardless of gender, race, relationship status or sexual preferences.

Maybe it was a combo of me being sick last summer or feeling slightly romantically defeated, but the idea of going to an event where a bunch of hot, young people were flirting with each other using numbered tags and twitter was a bit much for me at the time. I was intrigued by the idea but too intimidated, thinking that it would feel like a repeat of high school where everyone was connecting and hooking up and I’d be left on the sidelines again, unwanted.

I may have some baggage to deal with.

Eventually the timing worked out and a bunch of the family wanted to check out #CrushTO‘s Halloween event. The old venue at the Central was pretty intimate, with separate spaces for dancing, chilling out, grabbing a drink, playing spin the bottle, yes, I said spin the bottle, upstairs and hanging out on the heated patio. I hadn’t done too much research ahead of time so I didn’t realize how diverse and relaxed and SEXY the crowd was going to be. People of all genders, sizes, races, and presumably sexualities filled the place with smiles on their faces. That usual atmosphere that goes along with the dance clubs of my youth – *look your best so that you can make out with a meathead by last call* – was nowhere to be found. Instead I felt no pressure to be anything but myself, whatever I wanted to be at the time (which was this weird doll thing).

Photo credit: Becca Lemire. www.beccalemire.com

If seeing people making out and being a little nekkid makes you uncomfortable, #CrushTO has designated safety people to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. You can never guarantee that there’s not jerks at parties, but I have yet to encounter one though I did have a friend who didn’t have a completely great experience, but perhaps a one time fluke. Plus, not only do you get a great night of dancing and drink specials, there’s burlesque shows, often/usually featuring the sexy Johnny B. Goode and Belle Jumelles, two of my fantasy favorites. Wait, did I type that out loud?

Recently, #CrushTO switched venues to Club 120, or Goodhandy’s as you may know it. The venue change is definitely a step up, there’s more room for dancing, and three floors to get your flirt on. It’s a bit unfortunate that there isn’t the quiet area that the last venue had, and that with only one exit they hit capacity long before the place actually fills up, but just get there early and you won’t have to worry about it.

The tags and twitter flirting don’t seem to work like they used to as the twitter screen stayed pretty static at the recent January event, but maybe it’s just a matter of adjusting the system. Maybe writing numbers on people triathalon style would work. Maybe people are simply over it, who knows. I hope not, because I want to get my flirt on via social media.

What I realized at the last #CrushTO event was that, while it’s promoted as a sexy, fun party night, I don’t go with the plan of making out and flirting with anyone new, though I’m totally not opposed to it. I go because it’s filled with beautiful people being nice to one another. I can dance like a total idiot and I don’t feel judged or embarrassed, (though I do hope that the DJ gets better and starts to play some more booty popping songs). It’s just a simple, great time without any expectations or pressures.

You should join us at the next party “Cosmic Love” on Saturday, February 23rd, starting at 10 pm at Club 120, 120 Church Street. I’ll be the one dancing like a weirdo, waiting for your flirty tweet. For more info, check out the Facebook event page. To learn more about the great gals behind these events and other sex-positive projects, visit I’d Tap That.