I organized a munch for my NSW North Coast / Northern Rivers group on Fetlife last Sunday.
What's a munch, you ask.
You can read all about munches in my Going Real Time series, especially the post on how to find your local kinky community. But here's most of the munch bit:
SO WHAT'S A MUNCH WHEN
IT'S AT HOME?"Hello and welcome to the munch!
Perhaps this is your first munch.
Perhaps this is your first BDSM event of any kind.
Congratulations for contacting what many of us call
the BDSM community (or, more simply,“the scene”).
You are on the threshold of meeting many new people
, having many new experiences,
and both learning and growing a great deal"
A Beginner's Guide to BDSM Munches
I'm sure you are familiar with the word. Here's what Wiki says:
You can read more about munches, and other ways to meet kinksters in your local community in my how to find your local kinky community post. Interested in starting a munch group of your own? Read How to start a Munch by Mistress Ren and LesVoiles as well as other articles suggested at the bottom of this post."A munch (short for burger munch) is a low-pressure social gathering for people involved in or interested in BDSM, usually at a restaurant. When available, munches often use a private room. In the UK, the venue is usually a pub, and people are free to arrive and leave within the specified hours. The primary purpose is socializing, though some munches also have announcements from local organizations. Munches often help those who are curious about the lifestyle meet others who may be able to help them become more comfortable and better informed. Munches can also be a place to get advice about or pass on anecdotes about BDSM experiences.What a munch isn't:
"Unlike a play party, most munches are casual affairs that exclude fetish attire or BDSM play, though a rare few include covert Master/slave interactions or other play. Some munches may have a specific focus. Others may be restricted to a specific group, such as women or submissives""It's not a dating service. It's not a singles group. It's not a swinger's club. The purpose of a munch is not specifically to find you a date and/or a partner. If the only reason you come to a munch is for that reason, you are likely to be disappointed"Thank you, Ms Constance. You'll often see people online recommending attending munches as an entry point into your local scene. I mention it myself in an earlier section of this post. It's certainly a good way to start. Some groups even hold newbie munches, designed to be as unthreatening as possible:"The [TIES] Newbie Munch is a monthly no-play, streetwear gathering held on the second Saturday of every month at 1pm. The location varies from month to month, but it is always held in a public space such as a restaurant, mall, or park. Attendance varies but averages between 15 and 30 people.Isn't this exactly what you need? If you are still nervous ask organizers if they will meet you for a quick coffee before the event. This was something roo-roo experienced, prior to his first munch:
"It is designed for people who are completely new to BDSM, familiar with BDSM but new to a real life community, or even those familiar with BDSM communities, but new to this area. We also typically have several veterans of the local scene to help answer questions and with whom one can make contacts. We even invite those who have a limited familiarity with the local community and wish to expand their social circle""My biggest obstacle was making progress against my shyness (can’t say I’ve overcome it though.) Just walking into the first munch was a nerve-wracking experience but well worth it. (on the way to my first munch, I was screaming the Oscar Meyer Weiner song in my car, to try to calm my nerves.) Before going to the munch though, I looked at the munch's website and e-mailed with some basic questions, like what people normally wore to these things. The person I ended up talking with was very friendly and understanding, and even asked to meet for coffee before I went to a munch, so that I’d at least know one person there"
So what did we do at our munch?
A small group of us met in the garden of a local cafe. It was kink friendly, dog friendly and smoker friendly so suited the group. And if you find yourself organizing a munch you need to take these things into consideration when you choose a venue.
Some of us had met at kinky events before, but some had not. For sol and myself there was one especially looked forward to meeting. As I wrote on Twitter: "Great munch with good friends + new ones ... finally met an online playmate of 3 years standing ... as beautiful in real life as online :)".
We had a lot of fun at our munch. "It was truly wonderful and the company was really GREAT!", wrote BlackPrince later, while MistressTerra noted: "Had a hoot of an afternoon ... Most entertainment and giggles I have had for ages where there hasn't been blood, cries or an enema kit involved".
A two hour event stretched to four....
Was there anyone there, experiencing their very first munch? Yes there was. And for you new timers out there here are her thoughts about the day:
"Having spent the past four years hiding behind the security of my computer screen, seeing the email invitation in my inbox was daunting.Yay!! Thank you for coming, so to speak :). Our new friend did exactly the right thing by the way. Just being there is quite enough for your first event, you are processing waaay too much info ... you can do the talking next time. Now go on, readers, shoo ... go have a look at what's on in your own local area....
"I looked at the invitation from Mistress 160 to join a local "kink" community group at a real life get together on the following day. I had recieved invitations to events in the past, but always had a reason not to go. I kept reading "just a lunch . . . a get together . . . Vanilla environment . . . casual clothes . . . . "
"As I stared at the screen, reading the email over and over I realised that this was my chance to actually take the step, to attend a safe, no pressure, real life "kink" event. So, I replied to the invitation saying "Ok, I will be there".
"Driving to the destination my nerves increased. I think I stopped breathing when I first entered town and headed in the direction of the cafe we were meeting at. "What am I doing? What is this munch going to involve? What if I dont fit in? What? Why? OMG!" . . . . All these thoughts were running through my head.
"I pulled up at the location - crossed the road - and walked through the cafe to the area at which we were meeting. I must admit although I wasnt sure what to expect, I dont really think I was expecting to see "normal" people. Please excuse my ignorance, but I have been fighting my own demons regarding my kinks for the past 4 years (that is when I first acknowledged them) and really thought I may have been the only one in real life, who had such thoughts/desires.
"Everyone at the munch was warm and welcoming. Everyone had their own stories to tell, which made the get together rather interesting! I sat back, quietly listening to what everyone was saying. I hope I wasn't seen to be rude, and although afterwards I was upset with myself that I was in fact so quiet during discussions, I was also very proud of myself that I have taken the step to reach out and meet so many like minded people, right here in my own community.
"It was nice to know that there are REAL people in this world, and some even close to home, that are there to talk with and act as a support to me. I got home after the munch with a new outlook on things. I have joined an online community, and have done some more soul searching - perhaps I am ready to take the next step from online to "real life". It makes it so much easier knowing that there are other people out there who are happy to help me out and support me should I need it.
"Attending the munch was probably one of the biggest steps I have taken in this, my journey of self recognition. If I hadn't attended I would probably be sitting by the computer denying my ever growing urges to explore these desires burning deep within. Thank You, Ms 160 for the invitation"
REFERENCES + ONLINE RESOURCES:
Jay Wiseman's A Beginner's Guide to BDSM Munches
House of De Sade History of Munches
Mistress Ren and LesVoiles How to start a Munch
Ms Constance What to Expect at a Munch
Stu's Beginners Guide to Munches
A tribe thread about attending a first munch
first time person :)
Ms160 with permission