For my birthday I asked friends and family for feedback so I could know myself better, and one person said that they didn't really know why I started this business, and what my stake in it was.
This was an amazing prompt for connecting to myself and for communicating it to you guys so you know why this is my passion and my job.
aww look at that baby - only able to connect via crafts
1. I know first hand that this support is needed
I have been a single person tired of being single - not knowing how to reach out, wanting some connection, some affection, and yes being h0rny - and I know that it takes up an embarrassing amount of brain space
whether you're getting dressed, eye flirting with someone on the bus, talking to single friends, or to couples - it's on your mind
who might I run into
am I jealous of them?
how do I go from eye contact to getting their number?
why don't I know how to do this?
how can I happen upon a potential partner under the best circumstances?
When your identity is wrapped up in that - if you're bi/pan, or NB or trans, if you have some internalized queerphobia - all of this piles on top
am I dressed masc/femme/queer enough?
am I dressed how I want to dress?
is this what I want or what I am expected to want?
is this what I want or what is easy?
is this what I want or what is safe?
Is it me that is choosing this, or fear of being alone, or my sex drive?
Have I lowered my standards?
Am I being crazy about this?
Is this a friend vibe or not?
Do they fancy me? do I fancy them?
Do I just want to fancy them?
Do I only like the idea of them?
Why do I not know how to do this?
I know that I'm not alone in this - talking to lgbtq+ friends and consuming any queer content makes it clear that this confusion and distress and distraction is pretty universal for all of us looking for other humans to connect with - it doesn't have to be that way
2. Not everyone has a straightforward relationship with themselves
I have found that exploring your relationship with gender, sexuality, romance, and sex to be quite nervy at the start - and quite theoretical too.
The idea of explaining your brain to another person - how you relate to yourself and them, what you want to do to them, and what you want them to do to you - when you haven't necessarily explained it to yourself yet - it's a bit fucking much
(that's Fiona btw)
3. Not everyone has a Fiona
Fiona is my best friend - but also in this case represents all the people in my life that I have talked through my brain with - it has taken hundreds of chats with loves and friends, as well as many, many podcasts - for me to understand how my brain works, what my feelings tend to mean and who I am really.
We fumbled through ourselves together over daily coffee breaks, long video calls, and frantic messaging sessions - contradicting our own guidance and constantly reevaluating our thoughts about our thoughts.
It has made for some wonderfully deep and strong connections in my life - but imagine the shit we could have gotten done in the world if we had had a bit of help. Plus even meeting those people was incredibly lucky.
So I bring to the table a great deal of value - a hard-earned deep understanding of our brains, our community, and the process of dating - for everyone who doesn't have a Fiona, and for those who do - but want to discuss something else with her for a change.
4. It does not exist
We have dating apps, and everyone hates them
There is matchmaking - but it is very focused on the L and the G, focused on long term monogamy, and tends to be very pricy
I think there is room for something in the middle
With more freedom to identify and express within the full spectrum of gender and sexuality
With the possibility to pursue relationships outside of the monogamous
With some guided discussion to help you figure out and articulate what you want
And with matches that aren't just a generic algorithm
5. I think it should exist
I don't think spending years figuring it all out on your own is necessary.
We have help choosing careers, help to figure out our mental health - teachers to explain parts of life to us - why shouldn't we have support in this area.
There are far too many queer people in London that are looking for connection and are not favored by bar culture, hook up culture, and dating apps, and considering that these methods aren't actually great at creating healthy communicative relationships in the first place - I want to provide a thoughtful and inclusive alternative.
So that is why I started my business - that's my stake in it
A Whole Orange - Curating Queer Connection
I want to share my skills
To make dating easier, safer, and more fun
To free up some brain space for you <3