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The Purpose of Poly Speed Dating

The Purpose of Poly Speed Dating

When I tell people in this community that I organize Poly Speed Dating, the response overwhelmingly has been, “That’s important work,” or “That is so needed” or “When is the next one I want to sign up now!” However, when it comes to ticket sales, that thing that allows me to actually pay for the event, and today I had to cancel.


Events don’t just happen

Something as simple as a munch takes time, effort, communication, and integrity. Time and effort come from finding a time and place that works for you, and you predict will work for others. Weeknights tend to have munches and classes already, not to mention people’s work lives. Then the weekends are always “up in the air” or “crazy busy” for people. Communication and integrity are required to let people know the event is even happening, which means posting and sharing in more than one place, hoping the people you’re posting to don’t get annoyed at double posts, or that they’re the right people at all.


That’s a basic event, and it’s already a hurdle, keep thanking the hosts of events folks, it makes a difference! The people that volunteer to create events keep our community alive, vibrant, and safe(r). What about bigger events?


Poly Speed Dating is a nuanced event, I carefully vet people to make sure the right people show up. That means they understand consent, are respectful of inclusive spaces, and are aware of their personal responsibility for themselves and others. I also need information for matching, such that a bisexual person sees people of both genders, and non-binary people talk to those that are attracted to them, and couples can date together. People over 40 want to ensure that they’ll get dates in their age range, and vice-versa. I enter this data into software to do it successfully, with a need for 20 people minimum to make the event great.


The audacity of asking people to pay

This is all time, but what about money? Venues for events are not free. We can all show up to a restaurant and take over a section for free, but if someone reserved it the group is SOL. Speed Dating requires a reserved space and those got for $500 - $2000 at a restaurant. Restaurants want corporate events, and weddings that serve food, that’s how they make their money. It doesn’t work well for little events. There are other options, but on average I pay $200 to reserve spaces large enough for speed dating.


Also, these events require a person like me to carry insurance. We live in a culture where people get sued, and not having insurance is not an option. There’s always risk involved with bringing people together, and it’s simply the world we live in now.


So, I charge a ticket price, and I have received a lot of flak, the feedback tends to be gendered. Men tend to get angry when I do not immediately answer their questions on whatever social media they decided to publicly post to, I also get accusations of being “unprofessional”. They’re right, very little about my marketing is professional because I am a newb. They’re very understanding when I explain (so far) but it’s a process. Women tend to want a discount, or to go for free, and it comes in a coy way. They wait until the last minute to ask me if I need volunteers, or gawk at the ticket price and explain how broke they are because everything else took their money.


It’s a lot to take on emotionally, I’m also trying to pay my bills and create a great experience. Instead I’m made to feel like someone making big bucks on this event, just taking from the community one dollar at a time. That’s not why I do this.


The purpose

Poly Speed Dating is intended to connect polyamorous people; let’s face it, we are the outliers. There is a lot going on in media that is giving polyamorous people a more friendly public face, but it’s still considered “dirty” in the facebook and Instagram marketing areas, we are forced onto private websites, or private groups. It’s a continuation of the shame cycle, and I see people staying closeted out of cultural taboo. I want to live in a world where people can talk about their lifestyle without shame, introduce their partners, and have others use their pronouns correctly.


The second reason is to give people a space for dating! I’ve noticed that most of the events in our area are a class, munch, or play party; with little in between. This is why I think people light up at this event idea, a chance to flirt but not get stuck talking to someone all night. We are by and large socially awkward/social anxiety types in this group, and the structure alleviates some of that.


I truly light up when I see someone exploring dating with their partner, or opening up their bisexual interest and feeling good about their connection. It’s why I do this, to build the community and help others feed their desires in a safe(r) environment. I believe that meeting in person creates community, we’re visible, and we’re the new normal.


What’s next

There’s another poly speed dating scheduled for December 18th, and it’s at a restaurant, I’ve already paid for the venue. If you want to go, then sign up, put your name on the list! If someone sees 3 people attending on FB they assume that only 3 people are going, and it will be lame. Share the event and invite people that might be interested!


Buy your ticket in advance! Attendance keeps these events alive, I understand that life is busy and it’s money, but it lets me know that it’s worth it to keep hosting. If you need help, PM me! Don’t be coy, or tell me all your financial woes, I’m happy to work with you, but I’ll also have no money, or lose money if I let everyone in for free and it’ll be the end of these events.


I want to keep it going, you are all important to me.


Love You More

Jamie

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