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The 5 Best Places to Make (Creepy) Friends

#2. Loo Tours

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Loo Tours (that's British for "Bathroom Tours") are walking tours through London that show you the finest toilets the Empire has to offer while discussing "the history and politics of public toilets," the latter of which I assume refers to the long war between the Lancastrians and the Yorkists over toilet paper orientation. They're perfect for members of a very specific branch of academia, alcoholics who know they're going to be stopping at every loo they come across anyway and figure they might as well learn something while they're at it.

londonist.com
"Here you can see a man cleanse his hands in the water dispenser, or 'sink.'"

"But what will us lonely single people get out of Loo Tours?" someone asked, apparently, which is how date nights were born. This pub crawl/group date/loo tour puts an emphasis on socializing, drinking, and presumably the most educational urinal conversations since a hobo taught me that 9/11 was the first battle of World War II until the Illuminati rewrote time history.

News articles about Loo Tours are eager to make terrible bathroom puns (They're looking to wipe out the competition! They've brought a new meaning to crap dates! If they make enough money, they'll be taking golden showers!) but skimp on actual details. Do all the boys and girls cram into one gender's bathroom for a lecture on the fascinating history of hand sanitizer? What about people who aren't part of the tour who just want to poop without a crowd of people listening in and studying the toilet? Because most people are like that.

now-here-this.timeout.com
Most people are not like this.

You just know that sooner or later the combination of alcohol, toilet talk, and lonely strangers will get awkward. You're even encouraged to share your own anecdotes, because we all know that the best way to bond with the cute guy or gal you just met is to drunkenly recount the time you got so sick in a public bathroom that you made it look like Jackson Pollock's studio.

London is currently the only city hosting toilet date nights, unless you count the informal ones held by impulsive people in dirty clubs around the world. But there's nothing stopping you from bringing them to your hometown, assuming you can't talk to new people without mentioning bodily functions and live in a city with a sufficiently rich history of public defecation. Hell, combine it with the pheromone party concept and meet some coprophiliacs.

Anton Starikov/Hemera/Getty Images
They don't make for the greatest friends in the world, but you can always count on them to spot you a stick of gum.

#1. Cuddle Parties

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One of the worst parts of meeting new people is that you have to hang out at least three times before it's acceptable to change into your pajamas and snuggle up to them. I've scared off many a potential friend by trying to cuddle after just two outings. Sure, they try to be polite about it, but words like "You're making me uncomfortable" and "Why did you wear pajamas to my pool party, and also please remove your hand from my genitals" make it clear that my advances are unwelcome. This world just isn't built for the Unemployed and Aggressively Cuddle-Friendly Male demographic (which I've said many times).

Or so I thought! Then I heard about cuddle parties, the hippest place to be for people who are in desperate need of human contact, any sort of contact, oh God please touch me just brush my elbow even I just want to stop feeling so fucking dead inside!

A cuddle party is a "playful social event designed for adults to explore communication, boundaries, and affection." What that means is you put on your PJs and hug a bunch of strangers. After sitting in a "Welcome Circle" where the guidelines are laid out (they basically just filter out anyone who thought they were attending an orgy), the "freestyle cuddling" begins. You start touching anyone and everyone, providing they give you explicit verbal permission and you're OK with nuzzling a sobbing man in SpongeBob pajamas who looks like he buries people in construction sites for a living.

cuddleparty.com
Why are those two keeping their eyes open? I don't like that. I don't like them.

Cuddle parties are based on the premise that non-sexual touching is healthy and relaxing, society discourages people from acknowledging this, and the easiest way to change that is to spoon a couple dozen strangers like you're in the world's filthiest cutlery drawer. I have no objection to the first two points, but I in no way want to form a "puppy pile" with people I'm still struggling to remember the names of.

couriermail.com.au
"You have a really comfortable groin, Melissa."
"It's Susan."
"Shit. Sorry ... You have a really comfortable Susan, Melissa."

There's nothing wrong with the message of cuddle parties, and they claim to teach communication skills and confidence while helping you make new friends. But imagine the sort of people who would attend these events and ask yourself if you'd want to be friends with them. You'd spend every night out playing "help me deal with my crippling emotional issues" or hiking into the wilderness to ceremonially thank the Moon Goddess for the gift of emotions. Plus, us guys would be having 'Nam-intensity flashbacks to our awkward boner years. Just stay at home and cuddle a pet. That's literally why kittens were invented.

Anna Utekhina/iStock/Getty Images
"Just to be clear, this is strictly platonic meow."

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