Valentine’s Day is coming up and CIRKEL is having an intergenerational mentor event around the world’s oldest topic, Sex and Love, on Feb 6. It gave us the idea to check in with their superstar founder Charlotte Japp to see what is the latest.
Hi, Charlotte. How long have you been doing CIRKEL?
I’ve been leading CIRKEL since June 2018, so about a year and a half!
A Connector for Cool Kids of All Ages
What is it and how do people join?
CIRKEL is a connector for cool kids of all ages. We host intergenerational networking events, which feel like parties, and bring together people from different ages who are interested in the same professional areas like fashion or personal interests like climate change.
Curated Introductions Across Generations
We recently added a membership called CIRKEL Up, which gives members free access to all our events and provides a curated introduction on the 1st of every month to someone from a different generation. It’s been really powerful to see new friendships made and career moves happen through these intros.
The Best Hang Outs Are Age Diverse
Why are you doing CIRKEL?
I believe that the best parties, workplaces, friend circles, etc are the ones that are diverse in age. I’ve always loved hanging out with my parents, their friends, my mentors, and other people who are older than me. We compare our life experiences, we show each other new things, and we coach each other on things that require fresh perspective. Other people, like me, who are in their twenties are really eager to meet people with more life experience, but there’s nowhere to do that! People in their prime have so much perspective to share, but they also want to know what’s new. Older and younger people have so much to offer each other, so CIRKEL became the perfect way to allow those impactful connections to happen.
What sort of people come to CIRKEL events?
CIRKEL events focus on a professional field or a fun topic, so the audience represents people who either work in that industry or are just curious about the topic on a personal level. Our community is full of interesting, passionate, ambitious, and creative people who are lifelong learners and love expanding their network to get a refreshed perspective on life.
Intergenerational Exploration of Romance
What exactly is the love-sex event you are doing?
Some of the most compelling lessons we can share in life are personal ones, and when it comes to love, romance, and sex, there’s no guidebook. Based on CIRKEL’s past two events on the topic, we are bringing the intergenerational discussion on romance to Phoenix, AZ. We want to explore romance from different generations’ perspectives: What has changed over time? What hasn’t? Is “playing hard to get” real? Is monogamy going to survive our longer lives? These are all questions we think about, but rarely have a forum to discuss. This will be a special event to bring all the taboo topics around love to the light and get real!
Is it women only?
No, this event is for everyone; all genders!
Ghosting Is Not Just for Millennials
What are the commonalities and the differences you are seeing between the generations on the topic?
Since this is our 3rd event on love and romance (we’ve done it in SF and NYC), we’ve heard a lot of perspectives on what romance looks like at different life stages.
Across the board, it seems like the internal questions that come with “dating” actually look the same through time and age. We all question what we really want in a partner, we wonder what the “right” moments are for things like going to bed with someone or defining the relationship, and we want to have fun, regardless of whether it’s our first relationship or our third marriage. The funniest thing is that things like “ghosting” (which is when someone you’re seeing stops calling/texting without an explanation) is a modern technology thing rather than a millennial trope – it happens to people in their twenties and people over 70!
The biggest differences we’ve heard come down to priorities. Young people are more focused on their family goals and making sure they’re “on track” to meet someone who shares those priorities, whether it’s about adopting a goldfish or starting a family. People over 50 are thinking about things unrelated to their biological clock, and more about their personal needs. We heard from a widow in her 70s who is dating, that she finds men her age are looking for a woman who can care for them either financially or with their health. She calls it “the purse” and “the nurse,” and she doesn’t want to be either of those!
Who will you have speaking there?
The evening is hosted by an intergenerational Phoenix, AZ team featuring professionals of all ages:
Nancy Shenker, Founder and CEO of theONswitch; Mariah Maynard, Head of Executive Accounts at LocalFi; Betsy Fein, President of Clutterbusters!!, a company for professional organizing; and Emily Lockwood, a social media marketing specialist and recent grad from Arizona State University.