In every area of my life, I try to build things from principles up. I try to not form stances on individual habits, actions, or issues, but to have a set of principles that will inform my stance on each of those things as they come up.
In practical matters, this means that I start with a value, virtue, principle from a list I cultivate frequently. Examples include (community) service, self improvement, curiosity and learning, creativity and innovation, as well as reflection and insight. From these virtues, I build areas of priority (such as volunteering, reading, exercise, journaling, attending courses, writing, and teaching). From these, specific actionable goals (volunteer fifty hours with this organization, teach twenty-one classes this year, keep this blog/write this book, attend butler school, keep a journal, have a two mile walking distance, and read thirty-six books this year). And from these, habits (go on a 1.75 mile walk every morning, volunteer three hours a week, teach about two classes a month, write every day, work on butler school homework every day, journal every day with weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reviews, and read three books a month).
How you spend your day is how you spend your life, as they say, so I like to know that my habits all come back to what matters to me most.
I intend to do the same thing with Las Vegas TNG. To start with the principles that I want the group to be built on, and go from there.
What are those principles?
Las Vegas TNG should be:
- An accessible, inclusive, welcoming place and a good home base, but ultimately a pathway to the rest of the community, as a newbie friendly space that will help them find where else in the community they feel they belong, and where they want to go after 35. It should not be a place to hide from the rest of the community, or a place you hang out in until you age out, and then exit the community. While a newbie friendly environment, it should welcome advanced education for those who are ready, the wisdom of older community members at appropriate times, and more intense play and relationship styles that make people happy. Non newbies under 35 and people who don’t consider TNG their “home” should feel just as welcome, and we don’t want to just kick you to the curb when you age out.
- A place for education and growth. A place to learn hard and soft skills, be exposed to resources, practice what you’re learning, and share what you know. Just because someone is TNG aged doesn’t mean they always have to be the student; everyone has something to share, if they wish. Presenters and educators aged out of TNG should still be welcome so that education is not limited, especially from more experienced community members, though there should be plenty of TNG aged only resources as well. TNG should be a space to share your progress, seek accountability, reflect on your growth, and get things done.
- A fun place to hang out and play. This means kinky and more vanilla activities. A place to make friends (maybe more, for those who are seeking), have fun, socialize, and get out of the house. Times to hang out in a kink centered environment, show off play and dynamics; opportunities to exhibit protocol, service, roleplay, and scenes. A place to be yourself.
What does this mean for priorities?
- “TNG Meets” events to expose TNG members to other local groups and aged out members.
- Promoting other local groups.
- Sharing of resources.
- A book club to keep TNG reading.
- Classes, demos, and practice spaces.
- Productivity space to work on projects.
- Places to share your progress, reflect, and seek accountability.
- Play parties, service/protocol events, theme events.
- Fun social events.
- Making sure we work with people and don’t turn anyone away for lack of funds or resources.
- Making sure we include diversity in our resources and education and enforcing non discrimation.
- Keeping accessibility in mind where we can for people with physical and mental disabilities, especially sensory processing issues at large events.
- Keeping the group growing and active.
So, goals, here being mostly keeping habits:
(Note: a lot of these will be affected by the state of the pandemic, and some may be waited on as this group is very new, but I intend to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.)
- Arrange regular opportunities for TNG to meet with other groups and find out what they’re all about.
- Have a regular event to get back together with local TNG “retirees”.
- Promote other local groups’ events by regularly sharing them online.
- Have an online place for TNG members to share when they will be going to other events if someone wants to go with a TNG buddy.
- Regularly share resources online and in person, and have a regular book club event reading kink nonfiction. Be sure to include resources by authors and educators from the LGBTQ+, polyamorous, disabled, and BIPOC+ communities, among others. Have books and resources available for members to borrow or obtain.
- Regularly schedule classes, demos, productivity spaces, and practice spaces.
- Have a place for TNG members to post about their personal progress and seek accountability, at least online.
- Regularly host play parties, service/protocol events, theme events, and fun social events. This includes munches, discussions, protocol/service events, tea parties, pool parties, game nights, theme events/holiday parties, and movie nights.
- Regularly host contests and challenges online and in person to keep people growing.
So, there you have it. Please feel free to add what you want to see in this group in the comments!