Bright sides, and dark, of tech's emerging culture of polyamory, intimacy and social exploration
Vice has published the latest article about the culture of polyamory, sex-positivism, and mind expansion that is emerging en masse in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Add to this a big dash of new wealth and power, and it's not always a happy thing.
Ignore the tabloid-style headline; the article is worth reading. Excerpts:
Silicon Valley's Latest Bizarre Craze Is 'Organized Intimacy'
By Andrew Chamings
Much has been written about how the culture and fun has been sucked out of [San Francisco] since the second tech boom. ... Threesomes are tricky on a murphy bed.
In actuality, they’ve just gotten weirder, more organized, more frequent, and sometimes don't exactly involve sex ... from lunch-break tantric speed dates, to lakeside eye contact parties....
...San Francisco sex and intimacy parties in 2019 have been forever altered by the world of tech and money.
...The current popularity of living polyamorously is just as much about having more people to share the rent. Nevertheless, the new San Francisco transplants of the second tech boom are craving intimacy, and local event organizers are more than happy to help. A look on Eventbrite or Facebook on any given weeknight will present various new ways to get cozy with strangers — from lectures on tantra, workshops on “rope play,” sold out cuddle parties, something called "the Heart Fuck!," and another promising “Somantic Exploration” — a “very special evening of dance, connection and PLAY!”
...Nick Meador [organizer of the Cacao, Consent and Conscious Dance Party]... tells me he believes the Bay Area “is a good sandbox to experiment with new social structures and community constellations.... I've traveled a lot and I've never seen this unique mix of practical self-development opportunities, social justice initiatives, and a willingness to explore the taboo and the unusual.”
Elsewhere, those wishing to make connections can simply look into one another’s eyes. That’s the thrust of the world’s biggest [eye gazing] experiment on the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland, where the high is delivered not from cacao, but from the release of oxytocin....
Allyson Darling, a writer in San Francisco, attended the mass gazing event, which she described as “more intimate than an orgy” for The Bold Italic. ... “The overall vibe of the event was...weird,” she tells me. “Some people were social and talking and joking around people sitting on the ground and staring into each other's eyes. People’s goals for attending the event were rooted in intimacy."
“There are few things more intimate than looking into someone’s eyes for an uncapped amount of time, whether they’re strangers or not," she says.
...Walking around a city where everyone thinks they are changing the world can be exhausting. You can smell hubris on the streets, alongside a lot of other undesirable scents. But in an industry where even at the biggest firms, team-building cuddle puddles and micro-dosing mushrooms at work are encouraged, the idea of finding new unchartered ways to love each other seems very normal. ...
Most of this New Era of Intimacy is clean (albeit out there), consensual fun. But just as the Summer of Love was eventually hijacked by pimps and bad dudes looking to use “Free Love” as an excuse to bang anything walking along Haight Street, the more drug-fueled orgiastic “cuddle puddles” of today have been exposed as toxic and sometimes dangerous events that revert back to a very unprogressive and misogynistic dynamic, in which entrepreneurial tech 2.0 entitlement and hubris is leveraged to excuse treating women, usually lower on the career ladder, as little more than sex toys. ...
The whole article (March 7, 2019).
● See also the many other posts here about poly in the tech world.