How to Start a Sex Geekdom Meetup
If that sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, read on!
A friend of mine I know from my early peer education days recently asked me about starting a Sex Geekdom branch in New York City and asked if I could help her. I said, “Of course I’d love to help!” I’ve been meaning to write a guide for “How to Start a Sex Geekdom Meetup” for some time, so I took her request as a good opportunity to get on it.
So here are some steps to take when setting up a Sex Geekdom branch:
1. Find a few other sex geeks you know to form a solid base. This doesn’t have to be more than one or two other people, it’s just useful to have at least one other person with whom to bounce ideas and pool your resources. Also, if nobody comes to your first meetup for whatever reason, at least you’ll have someone cool to hang with! If you don’t know any local sex geeks, try reaching out on Twitter.
2. Establish what type of meetup you want to have. Do you want it to be after-work drinks or Sunday brunch? Will there be dinner involved? There are no rules about what type of event you have, just think about what sort of thing people would be interested in attending and what would suit the schedules of people in your area.
3. Pick a good location. Think about the work culture and commute situation in your city. Do most people work in a downtown area, but live in scattered suburbs? In that case, after-work drinks on a Friday might be ideal. Do most people have cars or take public transport? Parking or proximity to the train station might be important. These are all good things to keep in mind when you’re setting up an event.
4. Choose the right venue. Ideally, your meetup should be at an establishment that is conducive to conversation. Noisy bars aren’t very good for quality sex geek connection. There should be seating that’s comfortable and where people can sit around a table and see each other.
Here’s what the Sex Geekdom community can do for you:
- Help you publicize your Sex Geekdom event through the @sexgeekdom Twitter account
- Publish a blog post you write introducing yourself and announcing the new Sex Geekdom location
- Include your bio, photo (optional), and links to your work on the Sex Geekdom “Emissaries” page
- Personally message any sex geeks we know in your area know about your new group
- Give you suggestions and support for establishing and promoting meetups
As it’s important for any community to have some guidelines, and it’s important to me to keep the spirit of Sex Geekdom consistent across its locations. In addition to the Essential Values, here are the some things to keep in mind:
1. Make your Sex Geekdom meetup a safe space. While sexual liaisons are certainly not forbidden, Sex Geekdom isn’t intended to be a space to meet sexual partners. Part of why I created the community is to have a space where sex can be talked about honestly and frankly without others thinking you’re weird or, conversely, assuming you want to have sex with them because of the conversation’s topic. This is rule #1 for a reason.
2. Be attentive to people’s preferences around anonymity. Don’t publish photos online, or tweet something personal they’ve said at a meetup without getting their consent. Generally, I’ve found people are happy to be identified, but some of our community members blog anonymously or have friends or family who might not be so sex-positive.
3. Having explicit boundaries is A-OK. As a leader of the Sex Geekdom group in your area, it’s totally appropriate for you to make the rules known. You can foster a fun environment while still keeping it clear that certain behaviors aren’t appropriate. For smaller transgressions, you can steer the conversation in a different direction, but for larger ones, feel free to express what is not OK.
4. Be sensitive to the diversity of experience. Part of my vision for Sex Geekdom is that it’s a welcoming place for all adults who fall under the sex geek umbrella. I want the most experienced sex researchers, seasoned kink practitioners, and university students taking their first human sexuality class to feel safe and included.
5. Be mindful of the greater community. Make sure your meetup takes place in an adult space and be conscious of how much of your conversations your fellow patrons can hear. Not everyone wants to hear about the sociocultural implications of anal fisting practices, however fascinating they may be. On a more serious note, make sure you know the local laws around sex stuff in your area. In many parts of the world, there are substantial laws around people’s sexual behavior and it’s important to keep yourself and your community safe from unwanted attention.
If you have any more questions or comments, or are keen to go ahead with starting a Sex Geekdom group in your area, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to meeting you!