Hour of knead: Blind daters bare (almost) everything

It’s not often two sober singles strip down within minutes of meeting each other, but that’s exactly what’s happening tonight as blind daters Danielle and Ian introduce themselves inside an EPIC Limo destined for a couple’s massage at downtown’s AquaVie Fitness + Wellness Club.

If either of these daters’ faces look familiar, you might recognize them from your Insta feed. With more than 245,000 followers, Ian’s accumulated an online audience the size of Scottsdale. And with upward of 10,000 ardent admirers, Danielle’s digital reach is certainly nothing to sneeze at. So, what'll happen when these two social-media mavens disrobe moments after meeting? Find out after their pre-date interviews.

Where are you from, and where do you live now?
DANIELLE: I’m from Sacramento. I moved to San Diego in 2014 for college, and I’ve never looked back.
IAN: I’m originally from Palm Desert and currently live in San Diego.

What do you do for a living?
DANIELLE: Currently, I work at a few different nightlife venues in the Gaslamp, and I am a full-time student at San Diego State University.
IAN: I am a full-time med school student. 

Why are you going on a blind date for PACIFIC magazine?
DANIELLE: I just got out of a relationship and was referred by a friend. I’m definitely open to meeting new people and experiences. Blind dates aren’t so common anymore, and I love the anticipation.
IAN: A friend told me about it, and I thought it would be a fun experience.

What do you do for fun? 

DANIELLE: When I’m not working or in school, I love going to the beach or gym, brunching with friends, and, of course, the occasional Sunday Funday in P.B.
IAN: I like to work out and ride my motorcycle.

What are you best at?
DANIELLE: I’m best at making people laugh — whether it’s at myself or just in general. I’d like to think I’m a good time.
IAN: Not much.

What do you suck at?
DANIELLE: I really suck at first dates, so wish me luck!
IAN: Playing pool.

What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise? 
DANIELLE: I love someone who can make me laugh. Also, I love a great smile.
IAN: Personality is big for me.

Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.
DANIELLE: Fun and flirty.
IAN: (Laughs) What does that even mean?

What do you like least about yourself?
DANIELLE: I am very indecisive.
IAN: Probably communication skills. Not very good. 

Rate yourself on a scale from one to ten for looks.
DANIELLE: Twenty fun (like my age).
IAN: (Laughs) Hmmm, maybe like a two out of 10.

Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for personality.
DANIELLE: I’ve been told I’m a lot of fun.
IAN: I want my date to rate that for me.

What’s your biggest fear?
DANIELLE: I love the ocean, so anything that could potentially harm me in the water: sharks, jellyfish, stingrays. You name it.
IAN: Not becoming successful.

What traits might your date exhibit that would be complete deal-breakers?
DANIELLE: Being rude to servers is a total turn-off, so are bad teeth and breathe.
IAN: Smoking cigarettes.

How many people have you slept with?
DANIELLE: That’s so personal. Let’s just say I’m more of a long-term-relationship type of person.
IAN: (Laughs) Not that many ...

Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be “blank” and “blank.”
DANIELLE: I want my blind date to be handsome and have a good sense of humor.
IAN: I want my date to be funny and cute.

Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
DANIELLE: If we really connect, I am open to a kiss goodnight. That’s about it for a first date, though.
IAN: If we’re feeling each other, then a kiss could possibly happen.

What’s the most important thing in the world?
DANIELLE: The relationships you maintain with friends and family. Without the love and support from those around you, I don’t know what else you have.
IAN: Happiness.

Danielle and Ian arrive at AquaVie Fitness + Wellness Club in downtown San Diego having bared their souls in their pre-date interviews. Now it’s time for them to lay down before each other and a pair of exceptional therapists who will simultaneously work their magic during a couple’s massage.

READY OR KNOT

Danielle unwinds while Ian enjoys his first-ever massage

The couple are whisked away to an undressing room immediately upon arrival at AquaVie, and one at a time, they shed their evening attire in favor of the fitness clubs’s plush robes. "They let me in before him, so I really had my privacy,” Danielle says. “But it was so funny. Ian was like, ‘Are you naked under this? Because I am.’ I was like, ‘I kept my underwear on, just in case.’” When asked if she would have stripped down to her birthday suit knowing that Ian had bared it all, Danielle reveals the naked truth: “Umm, yeah.”

For one full hour, the expert massage technicians tenderize every inch of the daters’ bodies. And while Danielle is no stranger to this type of pampering, for Ian, this marks his very first massage. When the hour is up, they change back into their evening attire in anticipation the next stop: Little Italy’s new Japanese tapas bar, Cloak & Petal. 

As they return to the limo for the short drive to India Street, Danielle and Ian enjoy a quick shot of Patron chased by a chilled Modelo. A buzz starts to set in by the time they arrive at Cloak & Petal, where a pair of striking cherry blossom trees define the subterranean social lounge.

The daters cozy up to one another at a secluded table and order some apps and drinks before their mid-date debriefings. 

How’s it going so far?
DANIELLE: It’s going great. I think for both. He said that afterwards, we should keep the night going, so… we will.
IAN: It’s going very well. I feel like we’re feeling each other; we’re having a good connection. We’re talking, getting to know each other and just having a good time.

What were you first impressions of your date?
DANIELLE: He was really attractive. He dressed really well. And he has a cute dog, so that always makes things better.
IAN: She’s gorgeous!

Is this the type of person you’d normally date?
DANIELLE: Yeah, definitely.
IAN: Yeah, she’s my type. I don’t really have a type when it comes to brunettes or blondes or anything like that. My type is a good personality, funny and charming. Stuff like that.

How was your experience at the AquaVie Fitness + Wellness Club?
DANIELLE: It was good. I liked the massage, but for a first date, it was a little … I mean, I had to put my face in a pillow and I was worried about my makeup, but at the end, it was very refreshing.
IAN: Impeccable. It was a massage, she went in first. She got undressed, went under the blanket. She started her massage, and then I came in. And then I undressed and we did our hour massage. And it was very well. That was my first time — my first professional massage.

How is Cloak & Petal so far?
DANIELLE: It’s been great. The food is really good. I got the barbecue lettuce wraps. The High Kick (drink) is really good. I’m not really into ginger, so they substituted for me and it was great.
IAN: It’s good. The food is good. The drinks are good. Overall, it's just very pleasing.

What’s the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
DANIELLE: He holds doors for me. I like that.
IAN: Something she’s done? That’s a good question. She touched my leg.

What’s the least attractive thing your date has done so far?
DANIELLE: Sometimes, there’s like silence, but I mean, I think that comes with any first date.
IAN: (Laughs) Nothing.

Rate your date on a scale from 1 to 10 for looks.
DANIELLE: Like a 10, he’s hot.
IAN: For looks? I would say, she’s gorgeous, so I would say like, 9?

And for personality?
DANIELLE: He’s a 10, I would say.
IAN: I would say, like an 8.

What’s your date’s most attractive quality?
DANIELLE: I think just, like, I see his arms and they look really nice. I took a peek at his Instagram, it’s also pretty fire, so …
IAN: Her smile.

What’s your date’s least attractive quality?
DANIELLE: That he likes country (music). I told him, that’s like a definite ‘no’ for me. As long as he doesn’t play it near me, it’s fine.
IAN: (Laughs) I don’t know. I have no idea. That’s a good question. I’m too nice.

Do you want to kiss your date right now?
DANIELLE: Maybe at the end of the night, I think I would be okay with that.
IAN: Yeah.

Does your date want to kiss you?
DANIELLE: I would say yes.
IAN: I’m just kind of letting it go with the flow.

How and when will the date end?
DANIELLE: He suggested that we keep it going, so I’m down for it. I mean, I guess we’ll see where he wants to take us.
IAN: I have no idea. Ideally, where? At each other’s house. When? The morning.

Anything you’d like to add?
DANIELLE: I’m pretty happy with the date overall. (The matchmaker) definitely picked a good one for me.
IAN: No. I’m excited to see where it goes and how it unfolds.

CLOAK & STAGGER

Too many shots cut the night short

After several drinks and a flurry of small plates arrive on the daters’ table, we leave these lovebirds alone and follow up the next day to find out how the night ended.

How was your experience and dinner at Cloak & Petal? 
DANIELLE: Cloak & Petal was really good. I’m not usually a fish person, especially raw fish. But we had a couple drinks. We both got chicken plates.
IAN: It was excellent. We had great service, good food and even better drinks.

What did you eat and drink there?
DANIELLE: For drinks, we both had the High Kick. I had mine without ginger and he had his with ginger. And then he got a chicken plate with mushrooms and I got barbecue lettuce wraps.
IAN: For the food, I don’t remember what the name was, but we got some lettuce cups and then a chicken plate. And as far as drinks, we had a cocktail called High Kick that had tequila and Tajin in it.

Where did you go and what did you do for the rest of the evening after dinner?
DANIELLE: He suggested that we should keep the night going, but it’s actually kind of funny. We had been taking shots of tequila and he had told me that he wasn’t really drunk yet. And I was pretty drunk, so I asked the waitress, “Hey, can you get him another shot of tequila?” And she brought back two more and I was like, I think I’ll be okay if I just do it. So, he took one and I just had had one too many drinks, and then I ended up going home.
IAN: We just stayed at the restaurant for a little longer and ordered more drinks. We had a little too much to drink, so we went home.

When did you get home?
DANIELLE: Probably 10:30, 11.
IAN: I would say, um, good question. I wasn’t paying attention to the time. I would say 10.

Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
DANIELLE: There was a brief kiss, before the night ended.
IAN: No, there wasn’t.

How and when did the date end exactly?
DANIELLE: I just got driven home after we finished our dinner at Cloak & Petal. Then we just took one last shot and we were going to go maybe explore, and then I just decided it would probably be best if I went home at that point. I was just too drunk. I wanted to stay out, but it just didn’t work out that way.
IAN: We ordered our last drink and we both said to each other that we were both pretty drunk and that we should go home.

Fill in the blanks. I wish my date had a bigger “blank” and a smaller “blank.”
DANIELLE: (Laughs) I have no idea.
IAN: I don’t think anything. Yeah, nothing.

What’s the funniest thing that happened during the date?
DANIELLE: I think the funniest thing that happened was we both kind of admitted to stalking (the matchmaker’s) Instagram to find out who the other person was. I was unsuccessful, and he said that he actually found out who I was like a couple minutes before. He said his driver told him my name and he found my Instagram. And then also, what was kind of funny, is he’s Insta-famous. That was a little weird. He’s Insta-famous, he has like over 250,000 followers. I was like, “wow.”
IAN: The funniest thing? I would say arriving at the restaurant and looking at the menu and realizing most of it was raw fish. And she didn’t eat any raw fish. So, we had to figure out what to get.

What was the best part of the date and why?
DANIELLE: I think the best part of the date was the food. It was actually really good. I know I don’t like anything fishy, but it was delicious and same with the drinks.
IAN: Best part of the date was her company and getting a couple’s massage.

What was the worst part of the date and why?
DANIELLE: The worst part of the date was maybe the spa treatment? I liked it, but I don’t know, for a first date, I guess it was a little bit awkward.
IAN: I can’t really say there was a worst part. Overall, it was pretty good. I had a lot of fun.

Will there be a second date? Why or why not?
DANIELLE: Yes, I think so. I think that we both wanted to spend more time with each other, which didn’t really happen.
IAN: Second date? Yeah, I can see there being a second date in the future. Only time will tell, though.

What’s one thing your date really should know before going on another date?
DANIELLE: Maybe he should drink a little bit more than I do?
IAN: What’s one thing she should know? That’s a good question. I don’t know. I’m not a very good texter.

What could have made this date better?
DANIELLE: Maybe having dinner and drinks before the massage? The massage itself was awesome, it was just an awkward first date. (Laughs) And then, trying to make sure my makeup wasn’t smeared because I had my face in the pillow the whole time.
IAN: Not having so much to drink and ending the night early.

Anything else you’d like to add?
DANIELLE: No, it was awesome.
IAN: No, that’s about it.

AFTERMATCH: While Danielle admits they locked lips, Ian denies anything happened. Is he just being coy, or might the booze have lulled him into a blackout? In any case, a second date seems like an eventuality. We’re just wondering how long it’ll take them to get undressed next time.

Editor’s note: Daters’ answers may have been edited for length and clarity.

Special thanks and promotional consideration to:

Epic Limo: 858.270.LIMO (5466), epiclimo.com

Cloak & Petal: 1953 India St., Little Italy, 619.501.5505, cloakandpetal.com

AquaVie Fitness + Wellness Club: 234 Broadway, downtown, 619.557.3663, aquaviewellness.com

Copyright © 2018, Pacific San Diego
60°