Okay, so I went tonight to this poly event, my first ever, and it was fun. There were maybe 30-40 people there through most of it. Met lots of nice folks, had to avoid one or two weirdos, but that's nothing new in NYC wherever you go.
I was not the only newbie, either! There were about four of us who'd never been to a poly event were not yet "living poly" and everyone was thrilled that we were there and very welcoming to us. I had a very funny interaction with one of the other newbies. He said to me, "Well, now that we're all here and being polyamorous, and everyone's so relaxed and open about everything, how does this work? I like you but does that mean I take you home with me, ask you out, call you up? What?" I looked at him very seriously and said, "Well, I think it works pretty much the same as it would anywhere else. If you want to call me, you're gonna have to ask for my number." And then we both busted up laughing and had a great little talk about getting caught up in labels and ideas about protocol.
So, I had a good time, but there is a but...
There were a couple of poly guys there whom I could not tell whether they were just being nice to me or hitting on me. I mean there were some who were definitely on the prowl, there was no doubt with them. And there were people who were just being nice and conversational, no wondering there either. But two guys in particular that I first could not tell whether they were gay or straight or bi, and secondly could not tell if they were flirting with me. We had great conversation, they were funny, we laughed, they included me, their eyes sparkled, they both invited me to the next event, hugged me warmly, and both of them gave me those handshakes where they clasped my hand with both of theirs. For some reason I am very confused! With the other newbie, his attraction to me was obvious - it could just be me and feeling like I'm in unfamiliar territory but with those experienced poly guys who seemed to be old hands at this, and in that setting, I'm unsure of the signals! Am I being an idiot?
I guess I'll find out of I go to the next event. Not a problem, really, just had to share.