fleshmeet
n. A meeting in the flesh, especially one composed of people who usually or only converse online.

Example Citation:
"The Opera Forum is a closely knit group. With 40 or so active participants scattered across at least a dozen states and three continents, and many more lurkers, members have organized two official group 'fleshmeets,' and several members have attended the opera together in various cities."
—Amy Harmon, "In an Online Colloquy, an Absent Voice," The New York Times, October 4, 2001

Earliest Citation:
"In the story she constructed, five characters sit at computer terminals, and the words they type (flashing on screens so that the audience can see them) gradually coalesce to form humanlike 'clones' who tempt their human counterparts to join with them. ... Eventually, the five characters get together in a climactic 'fleshmeet' that leads to the Cyborg and Honoria falling in love in a moment of 'color, truth and beauty.'"
—Harley Jebens, "Web Browser," The Los Angeles Times, October 17, 1996

Notes:
The world's geeks and technophiles have a reputation for being, oh, let's be nice and say "socially challenged." According to the stereotype, they'd rather code than converse, and if they must do the latter, they'd rather do it online than in person. That this is true is borne out by their willful tendency to coin mildly repulsive words for things like the real world — see meatspace — and getting together with people in the real world — today's fleshmeet. Of course, another stereotypical geek trait is a lack of personal hygiene, so perhaps their face-to-face meetings result in an olfactory ambiance ripe enough to inspire only nauseating neologisms.

A virtual press of the flesh to subscriber Sheree Goldstein for letting me know about today's word.

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