I think we can all agree that any network television dating competition would be better with an expletive in its title, but there's only so much we could expect from the FCC. Thankfully, though, we've got Serena Fucking Kerrigan.
The NYC born and based video producer and digital creator has been providing us with some much-needed entertainment in quarantine since the post-lockdown launch of her Instagram dating show, Let's Fucking Date. Uncensored (obviously), hilarious, and honestly, more gripping than The Bachelor, the weekly series goes down on IG Live every Friday at 8:30 EST when viewers from around the world catch Serena's virtual blind dates with a new pair of suitors. It's become such a social media sensation that it's even spawned its own drinking game (though we do advise you play along with caution).
We caught up with SFK, Queen of Confidence, to learn all about the conception of Let's Fucking Date, the benefits of going digital, and her tips for upgrading a first date via FaceTime.
We live for your entire persona. How was SFK, Queen of Confidence born?
I changed my middle name to “F*cking” when I was a freshman at Duke University as a way to project a confidence that I didn’t have. I created a persona, SFK, who was everything I wanted to be. Extra, larger than life and unwaveringly herself.
After years of presenting SFK to the world instead of Serena, the line between the two became so blurred that it faded away entirely and I found that SFK wasn’t just an outward facing version of myself, but the self I had grown to be.
When I realized that my metamorphosis and journey to self-confidence could be useful to others, “SFK, the Queen of Confidence” was born. It’s not just a brand, but a symbol of writing your own story and falling in love with yourself. Life is too short not to.
What sparked the idea of an IG dating show?
At the start of the quarantine, the world that we all once knew started to crumble. In my case, I had just quit my stable job, was quarantined entirely alone in my New York apartment, and faced the challenge of needing to adapt as a creator. Not only did I have to address the changing needs of my audience, but I also had to generate all of my content without the help of a production team. Like many, I was ridden with anxiety and unsure of my next move.
After a call with my therapist, it became clear that I had a choice. I could either let the fear of the unknown paralyze me or define me. I decided on the latter. Looking back, I realized that those limitations forced me to think outside the box and work with what I had. The idea for Let’s Fucking Date idea came as a combination of missing that basic human interaction and wanting to put something fresh and exciting into the world at a time when it was greatly needed. Plus...nothing can stop me from getting dressed up on a Friday night and talking to hot guys. Duh.
How does virtual dating in quar compare to dating IRL?
I firmly believe virtual dating removes the hurdles that make dating IRL a big f*cking headache. Sex, money, logisitics and planning are no longer factored into the experience. It distills the interaction down to the most important part of meeting someone: the conversation. Without all the clutter, there’s less pressure for the date to go “well” by normal standards and you can focus on whether or not you’re actually compatible.
It’s definitely incited a change in how I evaluate potential partners, too. I’ve learned that the 10s can’t always hold a real conversation and the guys I would have swiped left on before this experience, have me bent over laughing and wishing we had more time. I hope others have the same takeaway and we all carry something new into dating after this ends.
What have been some of your favorite/most memorable moments so far?
Above all else, my favorite thing about Let’s Fucking Date is the community it has built - for me and my viewers. I record LFD alone in my living room, but when I see that thousands of people are watching me as it happens in real time, I’m overwhelmed by a sense of togetherness and purpose.
And apparently, I’m not alone. I’ve been told by fans and friends that LFD has made people feel more connected than anything else during this pandemic and given them something to look forward to each week. The live format of the show and the comments feature on Instagram has created a new kind of social hour with people around the world tuning in to participate. My fans are setting alarms, organizing Zoom watch parties, air-playing the show on their TVs, and sitting around the dinner table together to join in. It’s a recurring party, and everyone's invited.
What are your tips for hyping yourself up before a virtual date?
The show is unique in that one second I’m alone on my couch, and the next I am facing an auditorium of thousands—and I can’t even see them. There’s no backstage, no buzzing crowd on the other side of the curtain. It’s just me and my ability to zero in on the task at hand.
A strategy that has always fueled me is the same message I deliver to my audience: “Let’s Fucking Go.” If SFK can go on a blind first date in front of thousands of strangers and rock it… my followers can jump on a FaceTime and try something new from the comfort of their home, in private. And yeah, of course I feel those pre-date jitters minutes before I go live… but it’s a first date after all! It’s exciting to have those emotions that resemble how I’d feel before heading out to meet up with someone new. I really try to practice what I preach, and I know that greatness comes from pushing past what’s comfortable.
Some of the guys sent you over some cute goodies before your dates, like a paint set. What are some ways digital daters can make the experience more personal?
I recommend centering the conversation around what you two have in common and finding what you could both get excited about doing together. A few ideas are picking a recipe to cook together, watching an episode of a TV show and recapping, or playing a card game… (more to come from LFD on that soon!)
Has anyone made the cut to "pivot to real life" once we can hang out with people again?
You’ll have to wait and see…
What's next for Let's Fucking Date? Will we be seeing you on Netflix soon?!
I try to live one day at a time. The pandemic has taught us all that life is unpredictable and we simply cannot think of anything as guaranteed. But the show has momentum, a growing fan base, and an enormous amount of potential… so buckle up, because we’re just getting started.
[Photos courtesy Serena Kerrigan]