Sex & Relationships

In Lockdown, SFK Was Alone. Then She Started Dating On IG Live.

“I get real-time feedback. It’s f*cking crazy.”

Serena Kerrigan, otherwise known as Serena F*cking Kerrigan or SFK, hosts her own dating show on Instagram called "Let's F*cking Date," in which she goes on weekly live dates as her friends and fans watch and comment. The show just entered its second season after hitting 1.1 million views the first season. Here, Serena talks about why virtual dating is a total game-changer. As told to Carolyn Steber.

I used to be someone who was sitting around waiting to be chosen. If a guy didn’t text me back, then my day was ruined. If a guy ghosted me, I would hysterically cry, thinking, I’m not pretty enough. I'd tell myself that I needed to act a certain way to win him over. But then, I realized: Wait, I get to choose. I get to ask, "Is this guy on my level?"

I changed my name to Serena F*cking Kerrigan (SFK) when I was a freshman in college in 2012, and it was the best decision I ever made. It started as an alter ego — SFK is larger than life, she makes the sidewalk her red carpet, she’s f*cking fabulous, and she doesn’t give a f*ck. I'm naturally much more sensitive, but SFK and Serena have met and blended over the years. I've become my own best friend, and that frees me up from feeling like I have to rely on a man.

In February, I quit my job to work as a confidence coach and inspire women to be unapologetically in love with themselves in the same way. Then COVID-19 hit in March, and all of my friends and my roommate fled New York City. Suddenly, being single and alone was giving me crippling anxiety again, and then I felt anxious about having anxiety. I was like, “Wait, am I a fraud?” My whole brand is about empowering women to feel self-sufficient, and here I am not feeling self-sufficient. It was really scary.

My psychiatrist essentially said, "There are two types of people when there’s a crisis: the ones who wait it out and the ones who look it dead in the eye and say, ‘Let’s f*cking pivot, let’s f*cking go.’” So, I pivoted. I really want to impact the world, and I don’t have much time to do it. I think the pandemic highlighted that life is short. I realized this was such a unique moment. Everyone was going to be on their phones in a way they hadn’t been before.

A romantic relationship is just an additive.

In March, I started off by hosting "Quarantinis With SFK" every night on my Instagram Live. It was basically me on my couch, drinking wine and dancing. It was so fun, and I connected with my followers in a way I probably wouldn’t have before. I'd also just been a guest on a blind-dating show, before quarantine, and my fans had tuned in to see me. I decided to start my own show, and asked my fans, "What should we call it?"

That's how "Let's F*cking Date" began. It challenges this concept of "you’re not complete until you find someone" because that's f*cking garbage. You complete you. I want women to know that it's the best thing that can happen when someone ghosts you or rejects you. The moment you stop relying on others for your happiness, you realize a romantic relationship is just an additive — it takes the pressure off.

My show also challenges the idea that dating has to be time-consuming and difficult. I want women to know their time is valuable. It's why I love FaceTime and virtual dating. When you swipe with someone, you can just do a quick video call to see if you can hold a conversation, to see if you connect. I mean, why haven't we always been FaceTiming before meeting up in real life?

Since the show started, my confidence has taken off more than ever.

On FaceTime or Zoom, if a date isn't going well, you can always X out, and you'll never see each other again. No one's obliged to stay. As nurturers, women tend to make sure everyone’s happy before we’re happy. But there’s a polite way to say, "Hey, this isn’t for me." On my show, you get to see that virtual dates can be a great equalizer.

I go on two blind dates a week that last 30 minutes each. The guys are chosen for me by my producer because I don’t want to know a single thing or go in with any preconceived ideas. And then we just talk. It’s all about conversation. It’s all about that connection. My parents watch my dates, and my roommates, my friends. It’s kind of f*cking crazy that I get real-time feedback. That’s the beauty of the show: It’s as much mine as it is the audience’s. So many people have told me they’ve started dating — especially virtual dating — because of me, because of the show, because of how confident and fun I make it seem. I get inundated with DMs every day from women telling me I changed their life. I changed their perspective.

Since the show started, my confidence has taken off more than ever. It’s a different game. I feel so different. I feel so self-assured in who I am, and for that reason, I’m not going settle. I’m really proud of what I created. And now, I know my worth.