“You need to go to a munch.”
That’s almost always the first piece of advice given to someone when they begin exploring BDSM. Munches are a great way to meet people, ask questions, and be yourself without worrying about keeping your desires a secret any longer. Munches are also a great way to get your foot in the door of the kinky community. Many party hosts use munches as an opportunity to vet people for their parties,
But if you are already feeling nervous about joining the lifestyle, sometimes a munch may seem intimidating. You’re not sure exactly what happens at a munch, how you should behave, what you should wear, or even what to expect. You may be shy or hesitant about going to a kink event in public.
As a host of two munches, I can understand your nerves but let me reassure you that munches are not something to be afraid of. I promise we won’t bite (well at least not without consent). It’s helpful to remember that everyone there is kinky, just like you. And we all were new to munches and the lifestyle at one point.
There are definitely some tricks to make your munch experience more successful.
Have realistic expectations about your munch experience
Munches are not designed to be a dating service so if your only reason for attending is to find a partner, you will likely be disappointed. The best reason to attend a munch is to find people who have similar interests as you, people with whom you can talk to and learn from, whether you are a novice or an experienced player. The more people you know, the more likely it is that you will find people to play with or even a future romantic partner.
A munch is really not much different than what might happen at any vanilla party. All others will see is a group of people being social. You’ll see people talking and laughing. You may hear conversations about floggers or corsets. But you also may hear conversations about a child’s graduation, car problems, or the newest movie. We are a regular group of people. We have regular lives, and we have jobs and houses and families.
Now that you have worked up the courage to actually attend the event, what should you do?
DO RSVP. Munches are often held in restaurants or bars which makes it necessary to know about how many people to expect. Therefore, your RSVP is very important. It’s especially a good idea to reach out to the hosts if this is your first time at a munch. I always appreciate when someone reaches out to me to let me know that it will be their first time attending my munch.
DO dress appropriately. Because a munch is in a public location, fetish wear isn’t appropriate. As to what to wear, dress as you would dress for dinner and a movie on the weekend, wear what you would to go out on a date. If on the other hand you want to wear a sweatshirt and jeans, feel free.
DO put forth the effort to socialize. At many munches you will find yourself greeted by the host or people specifically set up for that purpose. It’s actually my favorite part of hosting. I am able to meet a variety of folks and welcome them. As host, we will often steer you toward a group of folks who regularly attend the munch.
Once seated, it’s important that you strike up conversations with others at the table and try to get to know them. You won’t form a connection with everyone you interact with, but if you chat to enough people you’ll find you like and get along pretty well with some of them.
DO follow proper BDSM etiquette. Don’t touch someone without their consent. Be mindful of people’s relationships and potential protocols.
DO tip your wait staff. It’s important to keep your restaurant servers happy. Munches are typically held at the same location. Hosts wish to maintain a good relationship with management and the servers. Having a large group to serve may slow down service, so please be patient and understanding.
There are also things that you should not do.
DON’T judge other people. A munch is a mix of men and women, tops and bottoms. A wide variety of kinks are represented and all are welcomed. Discrimination or kink shaming of any kind is not allowed so leave your prejudices at home.
DON’T be creepy. While everyone at a munch is kinky, you shouldn’t talk only about your kinks. Bring up other subjects and get to know people. Don’t ask out everyone you meet. Don’t stare at, ogle, perv, stalk or otherwise make someone uncomfortable.
Treat people with dignity. This includes after the munch has ended. Don’t send a creepy note to someone you met at a munch. A follow up note letting them know how much you enjoyed talking with them is a great idea as long as the note is polite and respectful.
DON’T get drunk. While you may be tempted to imbibe to help offset your nerves, be very careful with how much you drink. This is your opportunity to make a good impression and that will be nearly impossible to do if you are drunk.
Munches are truly are valuable resource for the community. If you attend munches with an open mind and a good attitude, you should have a fun time and make new friends.
Rara is a kink party and event planner in the Washington, DC area. She has her own personal dungeon where she holds BDSM play parties. She also hosts munches, facilitates a discussion group on Poly and Power Exchange Relationships and organizes educational classes. Rara is an active member of her local BDSM community enjoying life as a poly masochistic bottom. Her kinks include impact, rope suspension, needles and more.
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