Meetup, Gender Ratios, and The Other Option
I’ve been purging my podcast subscriptions lately. While The Art of Charm got the cut, the penultimate episode I listened to had some great advice:
If you want to meet compatible people, go out and do activities that you enjoy. You’ll probably find relevant people there. Paraphrased from “757: The New Rules to Dating”.
Where would you go to find those activities? Chances are you will first go to Meetup.com to see if there are any groups with the theme you’re interested in. After I recently became interested in game design, I went to Meetup and did an exhaustive search for any relevant groups. In the end, there were 8 game development Meetups, most of which were inactive. I joined them anyway, hoping that someone will come along and revive them. Altogether I’m in 69 groups: Many I’ve already been to, but some I’m planning to check out as soon as possible. My groups vary from general social events to professional user experience meetings.
The state of Meetups and &c events in Stockholm
Although I’ve only been to Meetups in a few other countries, specifically Japan and The UK, my impression is that there is something very different about Meetups in Stockholm: It’s the gender ratio. While I may or may not have been actively counting the number of guys and comparing it to the number of girls for my whole life, it was immediately obvious at my first Meetup in Stockholm. At a standard social event, there were disproportionately more men than women. My estimate is that each event will be at least 66% – 75% men 😭 This isn’t a phenomenon exclusive to Meetup either. Standard, non-technical events on Couchsurfing and Facebook will generally also have the same problem. When I asked around, no one seemed to know why the gender ratio was so unbalanced.
The traditional option
So how are STHLM men supposed to go about meeting compatible people organically? You’ll probably suggest taking dancing classes, right? That’s the approach most of the men I know have taken. The truth is I want to go dancing too. I want to learn electronic dancing. While I’m most interested in learning Tectonic dance, popularized by the Parisians, most electronic styles will benefit me if I ever get invited to the club.
I’m not new to dancing either. I’ve been playing Dance Dance Revolution for over 20 years. In fact, I’m an expert. I’ve even played Konami’s latest dancing game Dancerush Stardom, a much more freeform shuffling game. Sadly, these brilliant games just aren’t great dance instructors. I’ve tried watching a few shuffle dance tutorials on YouTube as well, but without much luck. What I really need are some classes.
Most of my friends are learning various latin or traditional dance styles. These dance techniques will certainly improve my general performance in a nightclub. More importantly, they’ll be invaluable when the King invites me to the castle for a formal occasion 🙊 Nevertheless, I’m exclusively interested in learning contemporary dance at the current time. You’ll be saddened to hear that there aren’t any classes like that. While every dance center in the US has hip-hop dance classes, I could only find one Swedish center for children that offers anything similar here. And I’ve heard that the gender ratios in dance classes aren’t what they used to be either.
Something you might not have thought of
So where are all the women? I was surprised to be one of the few men in the pottery studio I spent time in during the last two months. A lot like my spin classes in Fukuoka, Japan, 75% – 90% of the participants were women. And unlike the classes in Southern Japan, most of the women doing pottery probably spoke English.
Sound like fun? Here’s how to do it. There are 3 types of pottery or ceramic studios you’ll generally find in Stockholm. Two of them do course packages, both of which are extremely difficult to get into. The best option is to find an open studio, where it’s first come, first serve. I went to Drejeri Guldfasanen, close to Thorildsplan t-bana exit on Kungsholmen. The further out of the centre you go, the cheaper it will be. If you live in the Solna area, Hagalund might be a better bet (I haven’t checked it out just yet).
Studio time is about 170 SEK per night, if you get a repeat pass. If you have some experience with pottery, be careful of the clay cost. The clay costs 70 SEK per kilogram, which includes firing and glazing, so can quickly add up. Beginners can use the same clay repeatedly as they build up their technique.
Are all Stockholm’s women taking pottery classes? Probably not. Nevertheless, there is a distinct possibility that a lot of women are using their evenings for creative pursuits. Frankly, would you even want to date someone that didn’t have some creativity in them? Take some other art classes and let me know in the comments some mediums to try. If you meet someone from my advice (and stay together for longer than 6 months), consider giving me a finder’s fee and setting me up on a few dates.
Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I did not do a lot of socializing in the studio, due to the cost, and never dated anyone from that venue, just like Japan 😱