Speed Dating: The Making of ‘Three-Minute Masculinities’

  • Chris Haywood


Drawing upon the semi-structured interviews with 15 men aged 30–54, this chapter explores men’s experiences of speed dating. Beginning with theories of partner choice, the chapter engages with the ways that men navigate speed dating events by focusing on their anxiety and vulnerability. This provides a pretext for the articulation and demonstration of particular speed dating masculinities. On the one hand, there are men who take up a predatory heterosexual script. On the other, there are men who use speed dating events as a means to find a long-term partner. Interestingly, men looking for partners make up the majority of those who attending speed dating. Such men had a number of strategies that they would draw upon to choose a potential partner, or in their words, ‘the right kind of woman’. These strategies involved reviewing and evaluating women’s appearance and manner and establishing whether the women that they were meeting were ‘telling the truth’. Thus, men would use such strategies to evaluate the quality of the date. The chapter concludes by suggesting that although men in this sample tended to hold onto traditional gendered attitudes, it was clear that the speed dating event exacerbated men’s insecurities and anxieties.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Haywood
    • 1
  1. 1.Media, Culture and HeritageNewcastle UniversityNewcastle-upon-TyneUK

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