What the heck is a munch, anyway?
Most simply, a munch is a gathering of kinky folks who are gathering for social time and just to hang out over food and drink. Just like any other group of enthusiasts, many kinksters like to gather in community to talk about their favorite kinds of play.
Munches are generally low-key events -- expect to see more jeans and T-shirts than fetish wear. Depending on the munch and the style of the munch leaders, the conversation may be topic-based or free form, and might be BDSM focused or just a chance to catch up. Typically, you'll see munches focused on a particular type of BDSM play (such as the Stampede! munch for pony players at Wicked Grounds), or as a gathering for a particular BDSM or leather organization (such as the Society of Janus munch at the Thirsty Bear).
Still nervous about attending your first munch? Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams offer some great tips in their field guide to the kink, leather and BDSM communities, Playing Well with Others. Here are just a few of them, excerpted from the book:
- If you are shy or anxious about attending, consider going with a friend or 'munch buddy'
- Don't understand the slang being used? Politely ask what a term means, and most folks will help provide definitions.
- Bring those questions about the kink community with you -- this is a great place to ask quietly and discretely, or it may start a great conversation if the munch has a private room. (Or, we'd add, if you meet in a kink cafe! - WG)
- Be yourself. It is just dandy to be shy, giggly or uncertain. In fact, it is often preferred to showing up with a fake attitude and pretending to know it all when you don't (or even when you do).
A few other guidelines:
- Newcomers are almost always welcome. One of the best reasons to hold a munch is to help new people find your group or learn about your topic.
- What happens in the munch stays in the munch. Honor confidentiality of everyone who speaks with you.
- This isn't a cruising zone. Munches are a great place to meet new friends and get to know people who share your interests. But unless they're explicitly listed as such, they are not a place to try to get dates.
- Be open minded.
- Have fun!