samuraizergling: (Serenity FireFly t-shirt mizarchivist)
[personal profile] samuraizergling
Edit: Turns out the email was confusingly written; See Comments.

Here is an excerpt from an email I received today in relation to the upcoming Poly Speed Dating event that (I think!) I am attending next week. Please note the "Demographic Limits" section.

Hello awesome speed daters!
Poly Speed Dating is less than a week away so sign up now if you haven't.  We already have quorum, but more people equals better quality dates for everyone.  So please help yourselves and help others by spreading the word!  Forward this email as appropriate!  Take to the streets!
This round introduces our new and crazy text free-form matching.  It turns out people are looking for and are identifying as all sorts of things.  People are entering what you might expect (e.g., top, artist, bdsm, honest, horny, friends-with-benefits, free-spirit, tattoos, vegetarian, science-nerd) and some other things too (dreamer, robot, sailor, whiskey).  But this is only a slice.  See for even more examples.
* Getting There. *
There is good public transportation, with parking spaces besides.  Cuisine en Locale, on Highland Ave in Somerville, is a quick bus ride or 20 minute walk from Davis or Porter Square.
* About the food and drink. *
Cuisine en Locale will provide a full restaurant and bar on the upper level while speed dating happens on the main level.  Restaurant doors open at 6pm.  You can come, register, and then enjoy a meal with friends while you wait for the activities to start.  Based on responses from the last event, we have expanded the menu of food options.
* Demographic Limits *
To maintain balance in the dating pool, we had to restrict demographics, and so if you are in effect a "straight man" you need to bring a companion who is not a straight man* to help balance everything out.  If you do so, we will get you a drink to compensate.

*Emphasis Mine

Wait, wait, wait. Wait.

So, I'm now required to bring a Date to the Speed Dating event? Ooo, but I get a Free Drink! ::Snark::

Am I being overly sensitive about this, or is this a little tone-deaf on their part.

It is not "tone deaf"

Date: 2015-05-23 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But it is a reality that the predominant demographic is straight male.

So let's say you went to this event without the balancing and 75% of the attendees were straight male and not everyone actually got to get set up with a speed date. How would you feel?

And no, you don't have to bring "date" but you can bring a friend. It's not you being required to bring someone who you would have as part of your speed dating, or even someone you would ever date.

Date: 2015-05-23 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ok so it is me then.

Date: 2015-05-23 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No, sorry, I take it back. I still don't believe I am wrong here. Also I am not picking on [ profile] sweetmmeblue, but hers are the arguments I have available to respond to.

1) It was implemented after I had already bought my tickets. It's one thing to have Terms and Conditions. I have no issue with people having fun that I am not invited to. The problem is, I *was* invited. Both generally and specifically. The offer to attend this event for a fee was made and accepted. Money changed (virtual) hands. I've had my tickets for the event for weeks and today is the first time this new condition has been mentioned. Which leads to...

2) It was announced six days before the event. People, ESPECIALLY Poly people, plan their lives a little further out than all that. Waiting until now to spring this on us makes it difficult for even the most socially connected Straight Male Poly person to comply, let alone the ones of us who come to these events specifically to widen our malnourished social circles.

3) It makes me responsible for their business model. "But it is a reality that the predominant demographic is straight male." I agree. This is something that the people holding the event need to account for. Since Speed Dating is an established thing in the world that seems to be working, presumably there are matching systems that can account for this, or targeted advertising, or something else that I cannot think of because I haven't spent more than five minutes trying to set up a system like this. But clearly there ARE solutions that don't transfer the balancing burden to a specific portion of the paying customers.

4) If "75% of the attendees were straight male and not everyone actually got to get set up with a speed date. How would you feel?" About the same as I do currently. With the conditions I set for my profile, I historically end up with 4-5 matches in a 15 round event. This is perfectly acceptable to me as I know I am extra picky and unmatchable, being a CIS-Gendered Straight Male.

Also I believe the premise of this statement is flawed. With a 15 round event each "Unicorn", be they a Straight Female or what have you, can be matched with 15 others. The extreme example of this is a 16 member event, with 1 female and 15 males (a 93.75% male attendence.) In this case each female would get 15 dates, and each male would get 1. At 75% (4 females to 12 males) each female gets 12 dates, and each male gets 4. (Which aligns with my own results.) Now if we increase the attendance values to a more reasonable level but leave the 75% value, say 64 attendees, then we can potentially match each female to 15 males and each male to 15 (Edit: 4 - I can't math) females with the females having the advantage of a larger pool for selection. Since the number of rounds is fixed, the percentages aren't the most important factor - attendance is. To quote the email "...more people equals better quality dates for everyone."

Obviously there are many complicating factors that can be argued. There are Females who only wish to be matched with other Females, there are kinks and preferences and a rainbow of other factors to consider. But I don't believe that any of those details undermines the point that attendance, not percentages, are the greatest factor in making successful matches until or unless we begin maxing out the event size and people who are NOT Straight Males are unable to attend because a Straight Male has taken the slot they could have had, which clearly hasn't happened yet since the solution the planners are looking for couldn't work either as it would tremendously boost attendance. If you were to magically remove ALL the Straight Males from the event, the remaining people would see either no difference, or fewer matches, or lower quality matches, depending on their selection preferences.
Edited Date: 2015-05-23 11:13 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-05-23 11:24 pm (UTC)
mizarchivist: (ExecutiveEddie)
From: [personal profile] mizarchivist
Ah! They did this after you signed up. That does change the landscape.

Also, QE said ... "Poly speed dating??"

Date: 2015-05-23 11:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh wait. I figured everyone knew about this...

It's here.

Date: 2015-05-23 11:29 pm (UTC)
mizarchivist: (Locutus)
From: [personal profile] mizarchivist
One should not assume all people consume all same social media ;)
We're already out of town for this round. Maybe next time.

Date: 2015-05-23 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So it turns out that the email was very misleading. The cap only goes into effect for people who weren't already signed up. I still feel that my objections have merit, however.

Date: 2015-05-23 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also, as [ profile] mizarchivist said, the fact that they said it AFTER accepting your reservation changes things. You did not say that in the main post so that would have changed my answer.

Glad it was for future attendees, not changing the rules on you. If this is irksome enough, you could see what it would take to become involved in the organizing of said event in the future?

Date: 2015-05-23 11:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If I were passionate enough about this I believe it is a solvable problem, but I am not. I will wimp out and take the "easy" way out, which is to say that this has just become the "PAX" problem. (Need to buy tickets more quickly than the other people so as to not get shut out.) This is easily solved with technology already at my disposal.

I can admit when I am wrong and move forward without hanging onto the issue in a stubborn attempt at vindication. :)


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