Whether you’re new to the BDSM and kink scene or you’ve been around for years, it’s always an exciting prospect to meet up with others that share the same interests as you. At the same time, it can be a nerve-wracking experience putting yourself out there, especially if you don’t know anyone else attending. So, I thought I’d put together a quick guide that I’ve generated by reflecting on the vast array of different faux-pas’ I made when I was starting out. So here it is, a quick guide for those of you who want to attend a munch – but are a bit intimidated by the whole thing.
Straight off the bat, I’m going to start with a munch ‘don’t’ – just to get it out of the way… Don’t get pissed before you show up. Yeah, it might give you a confidence boost, but it doesn’t necessarily improve your ability to socialise. Yes, a munch is generally a social and informal affair where we all kind of hang loose, but maybe wait ‘til you arrive to have your first drinks. Though intimidating at first, such gatherings are pretty much entirely populated by supportive and welcoming people, who share a mutual interest. As such, there’s really nothing to be afraid of.
What am I supposed to wear?
I had to Google this before my first munch as I was a bag of nerves, like a teenager meeting up with someone at a teen disco – cold sweats. Luckily, the answer was really simple. Just look at the event page for the meet-up. Some pages will specify some vague sort of dress code that’s always pretty simple to sort out without having to buy anything. Others will just say ‘vanilla appropriate clothing’. So, basically, don’t overthink it and just dress as if you were headed for an evening out with friends. You don’t need to make a strong statement with your clothes. Instead, do it by merely being yourself.
ALWAYS consult the event listing!
Ok, picture this scene, you walk into the pub where there’s a few different groups chatting among themselves. You’re not entirely sure which one is which and so, paralysed with the anxiety of accidentally engaging with the wrong group, you stand around awkwardly for a while before deciding the best option is to leave. Yeah, not great, is it? But hey, I make these mistakes so that you don’t have to! Consult the listing where you’ll usually find solid information on codes of behaviour and, more importantly, what the mascot looks like – so you know 100% who you’re meant to be meeting!
How do I engage people in conversation?
The answer to this is amazingly simple again; just talk to people as you normally would. Yes, they might be an incredibly kinky bunch of people you’re meeting, but these events are very vanilla in nature. They don’t generally lead to play, and as such it’s not really the done thing to stroll in there and immediately start using honorifics. So yeah, don’t refer to anyone as Sir, Mistress, or anything else of that nature unless you’ve been given the go-ahead. The same goes for how you wish to be addressed – don’t expect anything other than casual conversation. Only when a conversation is established can you lead it into the more BDSM-orientated zones. Try a question like, ‘what kind of play do you enjoy?’ Overall though, a munch is a low-key event in a public space. Use the opportunity to meet new friends and to make connections, rather than instantly expecting ‘one thing to lead to another’.
The most important thing to remember before going to a munch – and this is really central to the whole thing, is to just enjoy yourself. Do have a laugh, do have a few drinks, maybe take a number or two – be yourself, no one else.