Many people would like to indulge their desire for leather, rubber and bondage, or to experience domination and submission, but are simply too scared to make the next leap.
This is not unusual, but in practice, people who are into BDSM and fetish are just like you. They have all sorts of jobs, hobbies and political views, and are as likely as you are to be a bit shy when meeting strangers for the first time.
Fortunately, experienced people on the BDSM scene have thought of a great social innovation to enable new, and more experienced, people to get together to drink, chat, and meet others who share similar interests. This is known as a “munch”.
You can find out where the nearest munch to you is through various fetish sites devoted to BDSM and fetish. You'll find that many of these have a list of where munches are with dates when they will take place. Here, on Fetish.com, you can find them in the munches and kinky events section.
Many of these sites will also include advice to tell you what to expect as a newcomer and even phone numbers, and email addresses, so that you can talk to the organisers beforehand.
You'll find that there are munches all over your country, but it's a good idea to pick a munch which is close to where you live. This means that you may meet people who will become friends of yours, not far from where you live, and also that you can find out where local events and clubs are.
Some people are embarrassed that they might run into someone that they know at a munch. This is unlikely, but possible. When it does happen, people usually laugh about the coincidence and realise that they already know someone who shares the same interests as they do.
Most munches normally take place in a pub, café or restaurant. Some munches are more discrete than others, so look at the information posted by the organisers carefully. The organisers of a munch will normally leave an item on a table, such as a small flag, to indicate that this is where the munch is being held.
Most munches take place in public spaces, like a bar.
Some munch organisers will meet you outside first, so that they can walk you in and introduce you to members of the group. Some munches are very informal and will simply involve people in the scene meeting to have a drink and to catch up.
If that's the case, then you'll need to engage with people as you would at any other social gathering. Other munches may be more structured, and can feature a talk or discussion on aspects of BDSM play. There may even be a demonstration of bondage or rope-work, or of some new piece of equipment.
Newcomers to munches sometimes expect more to happen in terms of BDSM play than usually occurs at the munch. Remember that most munches take place in public spaces, such as a public bar, where not everyone is into fetish (or so they claim!). Because of this, there is a tendency not to engage in public play in such spaces.
You may also see that people are dressed in ‘street clothes’ rather than in traditional fetish gear. However, every rule has an exception, and for every munch that looks similar to a meeting of the local chess club there are others where there is at least one full gimp, in latex, in attendance.
There are some things that it's best not to do at a munch, at least until you are better known in that particular scene. This is not a hard and fast set of rules but will give you some idea as to the protocols which are involved.
Firstly, it's a good idea not to get drunk. Although you may feel that you want to be less inhibited, it's not a good idea to get intoxicated. Have a drink, by all means, but do not become so drunk that you're bad company.
Secondly, respect people’s limits. It's unlikely that at your first munch you'll find your perfect Master or Mistress, or a fetish partner for life. Throwing yourself at the boots of the first female (or male) that you meet will not endear you to the members of the munch.
Thirdly, be willing to take part in further events. Even if you're just curious at this stage, it's a good idea to explore things in more detail. You may be invited to clubs, or other scenes, at the munch. And, if you've ventured this far into the world of BDSM, you really should consider taking the next step.
Enjoy going to munches? Or have any interesting stories or funny tales to share about them? Let us know in the comments below. If you're reading and not already a member of Fetish.com, sign up for free and find local munches near you, plus a whole lot more!
(Article photo: Out of ideas via Flickr under a CC BY 2.0 license.)
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