Let’s talk Munches!
Not long ago I have published a review for a Social run by The Fox Den (Edit** since writing this post, I have also written some review of London-based munches). That Social’s format was pretty simple: an evening gathering in a park with flexible arrival/leave timings, open to everyone, so long as you registered, with about 30-40 attendees.
But not all the munches and kinky social gatherings have the same format. In fact, munches can vary massively, both in size, location, type, evening’s focus, etc.
One thing they have in common, you can often find them listed on FetLife, and they are generally labelled as Munches (aside of course of the ones run by Fox Den, that are called skulks, since a gathering of wild foxes is called just that.. also did you know what a gathering of domesticated foxes is called? A leash. Gotta love that!).
Right. Let’s start with a couple of basic things: What is a Munch? and What is FetLife?
What is a munch?
A munch is a casual social gathering for people involved in or interested in BDSM. Generally it takes place in a public place; think pubs, bars, coffee shops, etc. The organiser usually reserves a table / area / private room, and guests are free to arrive and leave within the specified hours.
The purpose of these ‘munches’ is to socialise in an informal and low-pressure setting, where fetish attire and BDSM play are strongly discouraged. At munches you *don’t have to* talk about kink if you don’t want to, but you are welcome to share whatever you feel comfortable with.
Since these are attended by newbies and veterans alike, you can come and go whenever you want (you don’t need to buy a ticket, just RSVP). Munches are a perfect combo of variety and flexibility, allowing you to feel part of the crowd without the social pressure one might feel at parties.
I find munches are the best way to meet people and learn more about the local kink scene and upcoming events. You can find out what works for you and learn what to expect, or even find other kinksters to attend events with, if you don’t feel like going on your own.
Edit ** Munch organisers are also often happy to welcome you and introduce you other attendees if you are a newbie to the scene or struggle to socialise (I personally do that, since covid made me a lot less sociable). They also can offer advice on which events are more newbie friendly, and some even organise munch outings to specific events as a group. They are often knowledgeable and know about ongoing workshops and other social events outside parties. Of course, the responsibility of learning and exploring is yours, but it helps to have some guidance 🙂 Remember, you get out what you put in.
What is FetLife?
FetLife.com (FL) is a social network dedicated to kink, BDSM, and fetish. It’s been around for about twelve years or so, and it’s free to use although you can financially support or make a one off donation if you like.
FL allows you can create a profile, meet like-minded kinksters, join forums, register to events, write posts, and more. You can search for people you know by their social media handle and message them, friend them, follow them.
You can join groups or discussions about specific topics, find munches or other events in your area, and meet other kinksters. Basically, there is lots to do, however please remember one thing: FL is not a dating app, it’s a community app. See it this way… would you send a message to someone on fb and ask them for a shag? No, because that would make you a sociopath and a massive creep.
Do you want to meet kinksters? My advice is to join munches, meet people, friend them, and build real life connections.
Personally (and I know am not the only one to see it this way), I don’t accept random friends requests from strangers. Even if we know each other, I still expect an intro message so I know who you are; this is because many people don’t have a profile picture or an obvious handle, it can be really hard to recognise someone from a picture of *insert random body part*.
If, for example, you like a profile and want to reach out, remember not everyone wants to be messaged by strangers or is looking for the same things you are. Also no one likes a copy/paste message, remember there’s a human being on the other side, not a bot, so threat them as such.
If you like that profile, read it. Read it thoroughly. You’d be surprised how many people add their contact preferences there, what they are looking for, and even some conversation starters.
You can also see what events they are going to (if they have RSVP’ed) and you could maybe ask them about it, which might be a nicer way to approach someone instead of the usual ‘hi, how are you’.
Munches dos and don’ts!
I hope that’s helpful… now you know what is a munch and where to find out your local crowd. Let’s re-cap: Munches are informal gathering where kinksters (newbies and non) meet and catch up.
Munches don’t have a lot of rules, but I wanted to highlight a few; in short, remember one thing: don’t be a dick.
General rules (applicable to most munches):
- Munches are not places where you pick up kinksters – these events are for socialising
- No fancy dress, kinky, or fetish clothing – just wear whatever you would normally wear.
- Read the rules for each event, you will find them on the FL group – these might have tips to help you recognise the group (whether it’s a mascot, or a badge, or an armband, or a poster, or all the above, etc.).
- Confirm your attendance on FL, it’s a courtesy to the organisers who make the booking.
- When you arrive, don’t ask things like: ‘is this the kinky people gathering?’ – don’t be a creep.
- If you are not sure of where to go, ask at the bar for the monthly meeting/social or the booking under the organisers’ names.
- Stay safe! Like you would do with any other place, be aware of your surrounding – previously I wrote ‘I feel safer in a fetish club than a bar’, and that’s absolutely 100% true, but there are still weirdos out there, so take care of yourself.
If you are in doubt, or worried about anything at all, reach out to the organisers or attending kinksters to find out more. if the first organiser you message doesn’t respond, try the second etc; please bear in mind not everyone logs onto FL daily.
Now you are ready for your first much! Take care and keep it kinky 🙂
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