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-   -   Starting a Group (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37163)

riftara 01-12-2013 07:06 PM

Starting a Group
 
Anyone here run a group locally, either one for awareness or one for fellowship?

I will be starting a UUPA group here in the next few weeks/months and I wanted to see if anyone had some insight

SchrodingersCat 01-12-2013 09:13 PM

I briefly ran a meet-up group for poly people in my city. There's one for my province, but it's mostly out of the other city.

It had a really good turnout for the first couple meetings, then it started to die off. Eventually I abandoned it too and I don't know where it ended up after that.

Local groups depend a lot on the size of your city and the amount of interest. You can always try it and see where it goes, but make sure you understand that you might spend a lot of time sitting alone waiting for people to show up. Bring a book.

nycindie 01-13-2013 02:19 AM

Riftara, what sort of things are you planning for your group? Just discussions or activities/outings or...??? And SC, what was yours about? I ask because I have thought about starting a group in NYC but only because the big, popular, existing poly group that meets here is too kink-focused for me. And I know that others have felt that way but I'm not sure what sort of things to organize for a non-kink or non-sex-focused group. And I am wondering if there would be enough interest if I started one with a specific focus or activity to it. Not sure if my post is making sense.

NovemberRain 01-13-2013 06:25 AM

I don't organize our local group, but I participate. :)

It's organized through meetup, but originally it was a mailing list. I found it through the poly events all over link that redpepper has in her sig line. It's also a huge, secret facebook group. The meetup is a once a month meeting a local coffeehouse, they have a room off the main place. We all get a drink and some get a snack, and the room is free. The first hour is a discussion. Sometime they pick a topic; the last time they had cards so peeps could write questions, and the questions get read and anyone with input can speak. Then they break for drink refresh, potty breaks, and coming back is just informal discussion amongst anyone in the room. It's nice for those who are shy, they can just be in the room and hear discussion without being put on the spot; then if they like, they can talk one-on-one to folks in the social time. Those who dislike formal discussions can come late, or politely wait for social time. Frequently there are lots of kids on laps or underfoot. This last time there were no kids, but that was the first meet I'd been to with no kids.

There are some passionate gamers, and they've organized a once a month poly game night, which is just like any other game night, but poly peeps show up for that.

There's a core group, but every meet always has noobs. Sometimes they keep showing up (like me).

NovemberRain 01-13-2013 06:26 AM

nycindie, it made sense to me.... :)

riftara 01-13-2013 06:52 AM

since this will be a awareness group and a support group, I want to have monthly discussions and q and a time, plus socializing after (potlucks likely).

My first meeting will be about what is poly, to get hte church members involved,then I want to talk about things like communication and things like that, or whatever else the group wants to discuss.

I plan to repeat the what is poly discussion every 6 months or so for new people.

riftara 01-13-2013 06:55 AM

Oh and if the group wants, I'd love to do outings and the like!

SchrodingersCat 01-13-2013 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 177495)
And SC, what was yours about? I ask because I have thought about starting a group in NYC but only because the big, popular, existing poly group that meets here is too kink-focused for me. And I know that others have felt that way but I'm not sure what sort of things to organize for a non-kink or non-sex-focused group. And I am wondering if there would be enough interest if I started one with a specific focus or activity to it. Not sure if my post is making sense.

Our group was 100% about nothing. I think that was the problem. I always wanted a discussion group, but everyone else was there to talk about knitting and their cats. At least, that's why I lost interest. I had the same problem with the local kink group, actually, which is why I quit going to that. I can socialize with my friends any time, and these people weren't actually my friends. I'm extremely selective about whom I form friendships with. It always seems like the kinds of people I "should" be friends with (i.e. shared political views, shared activity interests) don't have that je ne sais quoi that makes me actually enjoy your company.

Sooo... long way to say, I recommend having a focus, whatever it is, and being comfortable and up to the task of keeping everyone on topic.

If you know of people who are poly and would like to be in a group that's not kink-based, I would approach them and ask what kinds of things they would like in a group. Start there and then publicize. Make sure you emphasize that the group is new and that you want it to grow with its members to be whatever they want from it.

I'm now part of our city's bi group, run through the local gender & sexuality equality centre. It meets every 2 weeks. At each meeting, the group decides what we'll do next week. It's also mirrored on a fb group, where people can find out about it, find out what the next meeting will be about, etc. Most times we do something social, like board games, movie, or bowling night. Once in a while someone will suggest a discussion night and then we think about a topic and announce it ahead of time on the fb group so people can think about it before they come.

I like the format of NovemberRain's group. It meets everyone's needs: discussion and social. Another option would be a bi-weekly meeting where you alternate between discussion and social meetings. It's times like this I wish I lived in a bigger city...

I'm sorry I missed it, but I was told there was a huge explosive argument about poly at the first bi group. They were doing an anonymous "question hat" type thing. One guy had just spent the last hour going on about how much he hates being judged for being bisexual. Then someone read a question, "what do you think about open relationships?" Apparently the same guy just lost it. On and on about how hurtful and wrong it is to want an open relationship, how people in open relationships are cheating on their partners, how open relationships are blasphemous... judge judge judge. Oh, the irony.

RfromRMC 01-13-2013 08:14 PM

I don't know much at all about UUPA, but I am assistant organizer with my local poly meetup.

It's a big group in a growing metro, so we try to fill the calendar with a hodgepodge of stuff and cover the whole region evenly.
Mostly social meetups---that brings out the most interest by far. Some "regular" gatherings at coffee shops & bars, and then some big special things (like a holiday party, etc).
But we do scatter some focused poly discussions & forums in, and if you spread them out over time and announce in advance, they will then have a good turn out as well.
Variety is key as well as keeping things fun. That helps.

We do it thru meetup--used to be a email list but that wasn't very functional for organizing, setting up locations, RSVPs & calendars, etc. Meetup makes that easier. (Also it's a go-to site for people when they move to a new city---they always look for meetups first.) Tends to help attract more young adults, too, especially if you duplicate some of the event info on facebook.

One person mentioned overlap with kink/bdsm meets. (I know groups in neighboring regions have done that.) So far, while I know folks into that scene are in our group, they haven't yet asked for any meetups oriented to that---they use fetlife mostly instead. Ours so far has been just-poly oriented, and that seems to get the widest interest, and definitely lots of diversity in types of poly styles (open poly to polyfidelity, vanilla to kinky, and all in between).



:cool:

riftara 01-14-2013 06:54 AM

Thanks so much for the input!


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