Sex Geek: n. 1. Someone who takes pride in learning, applying and spreading throughout their lives accurate sexual health information, effective communication skills, and pragmatic relationship knowhow regardless of sexual identity and practices.
During the process of opening up I found myself wanting to find more like-minded people. I really needed a community where I could speak freely, exchange ideas and gain support. In the sprawl that is Los Angeles I found that harder than expected. I started out trying to find swinger groups that were just meet and greets or simple social events. The online sites said they were happening but the current ones were all out of the area and the local ones seems to have died out recently. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to join a poly group so I didn’t look much in that direction. My only hope of finding community was OpenSF where I succeeded in finding like-minded people that came from everywhere but where I actually lived. I returned to LA after OpenSF determined to find some kind of local community.
The summer wasn’t easy. I had a wonderful support group of friends online that was continually growing but still lacked the live, in person, interaction I craved. I continued to search online and even tried to tackle a Meetup application for a group that came highly recommended. After several attempts of answering the Meetup questionnaire, I just gave up. I’m not very good at self promotion (although I’ve gotten a little better at it lately) so trying to sell myself in my answers was daunting. How do I convince someone that I’m worthy of joining their group? Have I really read the right books? Do I have the right gifts and talents? Can I really bring something special to the group?
I found it impossible to write something that I felt represented me to this group. I set the Meetup aside for later and decided to find something easier to attend, something more entry level. As luck would have it I came across a blog post on the site Joys of Sex Geekdom that fit the bill. It was an invitation by Kate McCombs, who I was familiar with both through this site and through the My Sex Professor site. I was also familiar with her Sex Geekdom meetups in Australia. It read: Announcing Sex Geekdom LA: Burritos and Balls Jokes
Sex Geekdom LA? Burritos and Ball Jokes? How could I resist?
A month later I found myself eager to attend but also facing the same old fears. I would not know a single soul at this event. What if I didn’t fit in? What if they didn’t like me? All those silly things I can’t seem to stop saying to myself started to hold me back. My online friends urged me on and off I went. A small handful of people sat around a table outside a Chipotle on Santa Monica Blvd. Being an avi without a face I knew no one would recognize me. I stepped up, introduced myself and was warmly greeted. There was at least one familiar face there as Sex Nerd Sandra Daugherty was among the group. We had never met but I was a fan of her podcast. I joined in the conversation and several hours passed quickly as we moved through different subjects, told personal stories and laughed… boy did we laugh.
Everyone agreed as our meetup came to an end that this should definitely happen again. Kate was going to return to Melbourne at the end of her trip but she encouraged us to keep in touch with each other and continue the group. We vowed to keep things going but life got busy for everyone. A month past without any word from anyone. As CatalystCon approached I sent an email out to check in since had talked about having our meetup around the time of the sexuality conference. Inspired to get things moving again, three of us managed to discover a good central location, make reservations and print up flyers to bring to CatalystCon, all in a weeks time.
Our second meetup, our first as an official group, took place at Barbarella Bar in Los Feliz the week after CatalystCon. A larger number than expected arrived. It was a mixed bag of bloggers and sex educators from all over the LA area. It was also a mix of monogamous and non-monogamous. There were familiar faces from OpenSF and CatalystCon plus a few of us from the original meetup. The comfortable and friendly vibe continued. I spent four hours trying to talk to everyone who attended. I missed a few people but they all were confident that we would see each other at the next Sex Geekdom LA get-together. When I left at midnight and started the long drive home, I felt like we were really on to something.
With newfound bravado, I decided to fill out that Meetup application I kept putting off. But to no avail. I agonized over the questionnaire yet was rejected two months later on a technicality that I’m trying to resolve. Luckily I had found that entry level, easy to join group, one that I was actively involved with helping to set up every month. I found wonderful friends in my fellow emissaries, Jenna and Debbie, plus a variety of new and exciting people.
Thus, Sex Geekdom LA was born and continues to thrive. We’re not looking to take anything away from other established groups, just to add to the community. I’m very proud to be part of it and having our meetup every month is such an amazing affirmation. I hope we continue to grow and evolve. And if you identify as a “sex geek” or “sex nerd” and live anywhere in the LA/Riverside/Ventura/Orange County area, please join us!