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What is a Date Auction? Understand the Unwritten Date Auction Rules and How to Win Your Highest Bids for Charity.

Updated on September 23, 2012
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One Wednesday night not-so-long ago, I was invited to my very first charity date auction. It was a charity fundraiser for young Democrats, and though I don't really qualify as "young" and barely make the cut for Democratic, I was determined to show support for my friend (hereinafter known as Jess), so willing and eager to sell herself in the name of politics and charity.

This hub is part of a series on understanding what is a date auction, making the most of date auction rules and preparing to rock the stage so you feel like a million bucks, even if your going rate was $35.

Date Auction FAQ

  • Q: So what is a date auction anyway?
  • A: It's exactly what it sounds like. Men, women and of-age sapiens in between volunteer to auction themselves to the highest bidder, usually for charity.
  • Q: Isn't that called human trafficking or prostitution?
  • A: Yes, when there's sex (prostitution) or some other forcible service (human trafficking). But these auctionees are VOLUNTEERS, not indentured servants. And the charity bit gives buyers and sellers pretty good shield against prostitution. Auctionees aren't trying to have intercourse with random buyers, especially when there's no money in it for them. Buyers can't expect intercourse - they get a tax deduction instead. The best they can hope for is a civil companion and a Dutch dinner date.
  • Q: I'm getting auctioned. What am I supposed to do?
  • A: They'll tell you to do things like fill out your date auction bio, and wear something red. But here's some real advice:
  1. Don't just show up.
  2. Don't trust the recruiters/organizers/snake oil salesmen to look out for your best interests.
  3. Don't trust the auctioneer to get you the best bids.

This is war - you can only trust yourself and the people you bring with you. Keep this fact in the forefront on your brain. The rest is small potatoes and we'll walk you through the process.

2011 - Beyond Bizarre Writer Charity Auction
2011 - Beyond Bizarre Writer Charity Auction | Source

~~Not all Date Auctions are Made Alike~~

The Other Kind of Date Auction (not the one I attended)

These are civilized functions with fully-clothed respectable sorts of people enjoying the novelty of a charitable donation and a free dinner.

The bids are not terribly exciting. Husbands buying wives. Wives buying husbands. Husbands buying husbands. Wives buying wives. (For the chronically PC, just keep switching the terms with boyfriend, girlfriend, handfast, life-partner, poly-partner and friend until you reach relationship-factorial or run out of objections).

The standard sort of relationships cemented with cash, a local gift certificate, the obligatory tax certificate and a feeling of goodwill for participating in community events.

These date auctions sound like fun.

'Friends with Benefits' Date Auction. The name says it all...

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is why you should not let your friends post pictures of you on Flickr and then license them for commercial use.  Tell your friends to change their settings or better yet, get a private pageRed dresses are a date auction staple.Not a date auction, but it might as well be.  Young and scruffy in strange poses.
This is why you should not let your friends post pictures of you on Flickr and then license them for commercial use.  Tell your friends to change their settings or better yet, get a private page
This is why you should not let your friends post pictures of you on Flickr and then license them for commercial use. Tell your friends to change their settings or better yet, get a private page | Source
Red dresses are a date auction staple.
Red dresses are a date auction staple. | Source
Not a date auction, but it might as well be.  Young and scruffy in strange poses.
Not a date auction, but it might as well be. Young and scruffy in strange poses. | Source
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The Young [Anythings] Date Auction held in a Bar with Drink Tickets

It's nothing more than a Meat Market legitimized and flaunted in the name of charity. You know that thing 20-something's do, where they drink themselves courageous then fling themselves at each other like elk during mating season? Take a look at Animal Planet, then visit your local watering hole on a Thursday night.

The same guys flirt with the same girls in the same scandalous, low-cut, tight-fitting clothing with pretty much the same end-of-night match-ups. Credit cards are the great equalizer, so even the scruffiest guy with more charisma than cash can afford the girl of his dreams.

Cat calls and wolf howls are standard behavior.

These date auctions are like train wrecks - the kind where the mountain curves and you can see the cars in front crash, but you hope-to-God the destruction stops before it reaches your carriage.

Who Needs to Read these Hubs?

** If you're preparing for the first type of auction, keep reading for entertainment purposes only. You don't need to armor yourself against catty competitors or show some leg to metaphorically entice bills into your garter. You just need to smile, enjoy the crowd's attention, and start planning your outfit for a nice dinner on the town.

** If you're headed for the second type of auction, but you wish you were headed for the first, KEEP READING. This is for you.

** If you're headed to the second type of auction, but you're well-versed in showing leg and enticing bills, STOP READING. You are the competition we're trying to thwart. Your bids are consistently high, year after year. You work the stage to perfection and we hate you. Stop trying to learn the secrets we're trying to steal from you. Please and thank you.

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