So, he set about creating an event that was about making meaningful connections – where you have the time, space and right environment to give each other your 100% undivided attention and tap into each other’s ‘energy’ during the first encounter instead of it being something fleeting and disposable.
That is what Tantra is about and it forms the backbone of the philosophy around Tantric dating too.
As does the late 40-something man that she towers over next to her. Despite the palpable nerves in the room, everyone seems to give an honest and straight answer. Am I meant to keep repeating the same thing over and over, or keep imagining up other lovely things to say about this complete unknown before me? You can opt out of any of the exercises but I don’t want to be ‘that’ person.
All silliness – apart from the Cheshire Cat grin I wear to hide my awkwardness – is left at the door. Ladies form an inner circle facing the men on the outside. The guy is kind and holds my hand — metaphorically speaking — through this confusing and new experience, and he laughs with me as I bumble my way through the task. And so I find myself embracing a 7ft tall man who feels as resistant to this exercise as I do. This time by a man about my height who tells me he’s sorry for all the hurt his brothers have caused me.
One woman in her 50s, perhaps the most confident in the room, wears an interesting combination of cycling shorts, a crushed velvet top, trainers and blue eyeshadow and she stands, wide-stanced, hands on hip, in the middle of the space, eyeing up her prey. In general though, I see far more heels and way less Lycra than you’d expect in a yoga studio.
There are a lot of tops and trousers with kitten heels and one women, who signs us in when we arrive, wears a sweeping floor-length red dress with white polka dots.
In the centre, he explains, sits a ‘temple’ – a colourful cloth laid out on which we can place anything we like to bring us good luck and energy.It looks as if we’re about to kick off a round of country dancing (I wouldn’t have entirely minded; Morris Dancing is not considered a novelty in my native Dorset). For another exercise we simply talk — à la normal speed date — but the deafening volume of the room as excited words bounce off the walls makes it hard for me to hear the young Russian man standing in front of me. It feels like I’m being forced to static dance with my mum’s friend’s (much older) son at a wedding. ‘Thanks very much,’ I think, but I wish they were bloody capable of apologising for themselves.Each ‘couple’ forms a ‘station’ and at each station we do an exercise together that Guy talks us through from his prompt cards, like a gameshow host. For the first one – as I sit opposite a total stranger – we’re asked to list all the things we find beautiful about the person in front of us. Another exercise has us sitting down, mirroring each other’s movements, which ends up feeling like a contemporary dance. With the next gentleman, I must now hug him and apologise on behalf of all my sisters, which he feels sincerely grateful for. Though Guy is pretty chill, approaching life talking about personal energies and meaningful connections, he’s also thankfully a New Yorker and can crack a joke.But, if Tantra is really about connection and being present in the moment – giving your partner your full attention – I’m not surprised they have such a great time between the sheets.Back in the entrance of the yoga studio (which, incidentally, is fragranced like a 5-star spa), I’ve been handed a black pouch, full of cubes imprinted with the same letter ‘B’, which hangs from a leather thong so I can place it around my neck.