Affinity Groups–Slightly Naughty Post

July 12, 2008


Before I get into my story about trust and affinity groups, I will bore you with a little more introduction, some of it serious, some of it silly.One of the first places affinity groups prove useful is when someone moves into a new area (geographic, or social). When the Friendly Neighbors, who are serious Christians (though not evangelicals) decided to move to the island, the first place they chose for meeting people was a compatible church. Their church remains one of their main sources of social interaction.


When we (not church goers) were looking for land for our house to be, we visited lot #3 (out of four lots subdivided out of 20 acres) to mull on it. A big question in our mind was water. Each rural lot on the island depends on a well; if you buy a lot with no water source, it might as well be on a desert island, so to speak.

As we drove back to the road, we noticed a trailer parked on lot #1. My wife, even more introverted than I, hates to approach strangers (when we are lost, I am the one who will ask people for directions), but noticing that there were two people standing next to well-drilling equipment, she agreed we should stop and ask them if they were finding water.

As we began talking to the couple (who turned out to be the people I now refer to as The Friendly Neighbors), we learned that they were about our age (old as dirt, another affinity group), moving from the mainland to have five acres of their own for more privacy (another affinity group), and enthusiastic organic gardeners. Bingo! Introvert Mrs. Random and introvert Mrs. Friendly Neighbor were now instant buddies. When their well hit water a week or so later, we figured their good fortune a quarter mile from where we were thinking of buying, we were in lottery-winning territory.

Now I will use a couple of silly examples, though valid, I suspect. Suppose John and Mary (imaginary names) like to take off their clothes and have intimate relations with strangers in a group setting. (We don’t, and I suspect my readers don’t, but such people exist.) When such people move into a new city, the first thing they look for is the local “Swingers” group.

One of the funniest cartoons I ever saw in Playboy magazine (how I got a free subscription to Playboy and how my marriage survived is another episode of my memoir yet to be written) went like this:

An obviously very jaded and depraved middle-aged couple is sitting in their living room with a very dewy-eyed and innocent young couple (probably very recently married).

The young man is answering a question just posed by the older man. The innocent young man says, “Swing? Well, it’s kind of late, but sure. Where do you keep your swing set?”

The strangest part of this joke is that my wife and I had a similar experience (well, not an experience, per se, so you are not shocked), but an encounter that might have been on a road to such an experience, except the other couple was a little more observant and realistic than the cartoon couple, so the question was never posed to us. Or maybe I was just imagining things. We’ll never know. But even my wife got weird vibes. Another story to be told another time.

The other comment I have about affinity groups is that there are people who like to take their clothes off in the company of strangers but not necessarily engage in intimate relations. In America, such people in a new area ask where the nearest nudist colony is. In France (apparently-I’ve never been there), such people ask where the nearest beach is.

Whether swingers or nudists are extroverts or introverts, I’m not sure. In most cases, they probably get pretty good mileage. Or at least don’t show their mileage that much.





5 Responses to “Affinity Groups–Slightly Naughty Post”

  1. pandemonic Says:

    Interesting take on affinity groups.

    Why humans crave grouping is a thing to ponder. Lately, I’ve found most of my groups online. However, on occasion, I purposely gravitate toward a group of people I have nothing in common with, just to see what happens.

  2. modestypress Says:

    gravitate…nothing in common…

    Another trait we have in common. Affinity group–people who jump out of their affinty group?

  3. pandemonic Says:

    HEY! Don’t pigeonhole me… 🙂

    Actually, jumping out of my group was how I met my husband. It’s a long story. I think I’ll blog about it.

  4. […] Group Jumping as a Husband Snagging Option Posted on July 14, 2008 by pandemonic Mr. Vanity Press writes such thought provoking posts, it often causes me to fill up with ideas for my own. Such is the case with this one. […]

  5. Pete Says:

    Slight divigation here… So I have been reading Random’s blog for a good 6 years now, and I gather many of the others who read his blog are part of a common blog ring (?) I would be interested in reading other blogs if any of you would be willing to tolerate I mean share your blog names with me. The group jumping as a husband snagging option is what brought it to mind. As a younger, not very dedicated Christian man, I used to got o church because I thought it was a good place to find single women. What a mess I created…Good concept…bad idea!

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