Question of the Week: July 28th, 2015

What does your ideal local ace meetup look like?

Different people seem to want different things from their ace meetup groups, with some wanting to talk about ace-related troubles, some wanting to just talk about whatever, and other people wanting more activities.

Personally, I appreciate talking about whatever.  I have my own very narrow interests, and it’s fun to get out of that box and hear about the completely random things that other people are interested in.  I also like to talk about ace stuff but I inevitably talk about internet and organizational politics which even at an ace meetup not everyone is interested in.

About Siggy

Siggy is a physics grad student in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and makes amateur attempts at asexual activism. His interests include godlessness, scientific skepticism, and math. While not working or blogging, he plays video and board games with his boyfriend, and folds colored squares.
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10 Responses to Question of the Week: July 28th, 2015

  1. Silvermoon says:

    I like ones that talk about ace-related stuff- it’s a safe space where you can vent or let someone else vent about ace-related problems that you just can’t really /do/ with allo friends. We do a lot of bonding over it as a result!

    It’s mostly personal stuff, at this stage at least- and when we get into discussing deeper stuff, a lot of my input is talking about what kind of commentary I see on here haha- because the others aren’t really involved/don’t follow the Ace Agenda or other blogs like this.
    Although a few of us will be looking at awareness stuff for the rest of the year, which is cool. I’ll be using the group for feedback on what we’re working on.

    • Silvermoon says:

      (I should probably add that I’m friends with most of them, plus a bunch of other Queer* people, outside of the meets so I do my socialising there)

  2. Kasey Weird says:

    I definitely lean toward talking about whatever (which includes ace-related stuff!) I just prefer it not to be only about that, because I’d like to form deeper, more well-rounded relationships with more fellow aces in general, and that’s my main goal in seeking out in-person meetups, whereas the internets kind of cover my venting needs 🙂

  3. Sennkestra says:

    I actually like both, but maybe at different times.

    I really like having casual social meetups where people are ace, but don’t talk only about being ace (because covering the same basic ace community discussions over and over can sometimes get boring). Ace meetups are important to me as one of my most reliable sources of meeting new people/socializing now that I’m not a student, especially since I am bad at making new friends. I’ve tried other types of meetup groups, but I tend to run into the problem that many meetups are either 1. Hobby groups where nearly everyone else is the age of my parents, which, while fun, are also really awkward and make it hard to find common ground. or 2. Full of young people who are all looking for dates, which leads to a lot of trying to avoid being hit on instead of having fun. Ace groups usually have much better age spreads and (mostly) avoid the hook-up scene problems.

    Also, I have lots of places where I can hash out ace discussions online (like this blog), but I can’t casually socialize and just hang out well online, so in that way local social meetups meet a niche that’s hard to fill elsewhere.

    I think ace-topic based groups were helpful when I was a newbie ace with lots of questions, but after that I became more interested in just general socializing. I also tend to prefer having in-depth ace conversations in smaller groups than most meetups tend to be, so it’s easier to just have side conversations at meetups or contact people I met there via other ways, rather than make it the main goal.

    (General socilizing meetups are also way easier to run/plan because we always go off topic anyway….)

    In general I’d like to have both available, but I put social groups first in my personal priorities (but I swear, I will start an ace discussion night series eventually…)

    As for specific activities, I think they are fun, but they are also often less accessible (more likely to include lots of walking or driving, or have high entry costs, etc.). So they work well as occasional supplements, but not core meetup activities.

    In general, though, I’d like to get more to the point where we don’t have only one option for structured regular meetups but where we can build a large enough and well connected enough network that ace people can organize the ace community things they want on their own to suit their differing needs.

  4. I think it can depend a lot on how much experience you have with ace meet-up groups. I’ve never attended one so I think at first I’d want to talk about ace stuff because OMG meeting other aces in person!!!1!

    But I can see how that would get old after awhile so then it would be good to have groups that do activities or talk about life stuff.

  5. Sennkestra says:

    The other thing that makes an ideal ace meetup for me is the availability of food. Whether it’s meeting in a cafe or bringing cake or packaged snacks, I like my snacking 🙂

  6. Sciatrix says:

    Having founded one… ha! Mine really does do the more informal conversation thing–I think mostly discussions center around nerd stuff or cool things someone found out about. After that, conversations about work/what’s going on in people’s lives are pretty common. Actual ace-specific conversation tends to happen unpredictably at intervals, especially if newer people are attending.

    Discussions of internet ace politics happen, but they’re pretty uncommon because there are only two meetup regulars who read them with any regularity and one person who comes occasionally, and both regulars (counting me) are on something of a hiatus at the moment. We do schedule activity-based meetups sometimes–last week, for example, we attended a drag event benefiting a local activist org.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Preferences? Ha. Ideally for me, it would exist. I tried to start one once, but only two people came. There wasn’t enough interest to have a second meeting, and the other aces moved away not long after. The biggest hurdle around here is that everyone is SO spread out, so at least half of the people who might potentially be interested would have to drive at least 50 miles, one way or the other… if not a lot more than that! The population also tends to be unstable, so people tend to move away pretty quickly.

  8. Carmilla DeWinter says:

    My group usually does the talking about whatever comes to mind. Work, politics, travel, extended family, etc. Ace stuff does get dicussed if either there’s a newbie who needs to cover the basics, or if it’s only people who have had the 101 lessons and are willing to discuss the 201 bits, visibility efforts, and intersectionality. We are a few hard core members all 30+, so if there’s newbies, we really have to remind outselves not to get too far ahead with the convo. Unfortunately, we also can be a bit off-putting to people who are still going to school.

  9. I’ve really enjoyed my local group this year! We mostly just chat about whatever (television, politics, philosophy, jobs/school, etc.), but we have some good ace-related discussions on occasion, especially when there’s a newbie there with questions. Also we wind up talking a lot about gender-related stuff, since a lot of us are trans. I do sometimes think it would be nice to have a dedicated space for talking about ace-related stuff specifically–I was a little intimidated by the purely-social format when I started attending. But it’s really nice now to have a relaxed social atmosphere where I know that people *get* me and aren’t going to be hitting on me.

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