This is a continuing discussion about Munches. If you'd like to read the first post, Attending a Munch now.
Once you find a munch in your area, you may want to contact the hosts in advance and let them know you are coming. This way they can keep an eye out for you at the door, and seat you next to interesting and/ or non threatening people. Not that the other people are really scary, but they may seem so depending on your experience in real life BDSM. Believe me, some of the small, quiet people can be scarier in a scene than the big dark-clothed scary looking Doms! Everyone is welcome to attend a munch, and generally you do not need references from someone else in the community.
It may seem confusing at first, but everyone in this community seems to have different protocols. You will soon get to know whom you can hug, shake hands with, or just nod hello to. If the munch allows them, watch for collars. Collared subs are ‘owned’ and often have more restrictive protocols than ones without a collar. Some subs are not allowed to talk to people without their Dom/me’s permission, and few collared subs are allowed to hug without asking their Dom/me first. (Usually it’s the person who wants to give the hug who asks permission from the Dom/me). If you are unsure, just introduce yourself, say you are new, and generally someone will be happy to fill you in on their protocol.
You might want to be prepared with a pseudonym when you go to the munch. If you recognize a person from outside the lifestyle, please use the name they wish to use and don’t use personal references. For some, this is the only place they feel safe to interact with the community. At one recent munch, one of the attendees recognized someone from their work. It was a little bit tense for both of them until they got together and realized they both were interested in privacy. Still, even though both people would be there for the same reason, it is always tense when ‘outing’ is a possibility. Outing might affect one party seriously, and the other party not at all, so please remember - what happens at a munch should stay at a munch!
You may meet such interesting people at the munch that you want to get together with them afterwards. Ask for information about the person from other members of the munch if you can. Always use a safe call. Set up a time with a friend who will call you during the meeting. Have some code words ready to let them know if everything is ok, or if you need help. Use regular sentences that won’t alert the “date” if there’s a problem. For example, if you want to say everything is ok, you might ask a simple question like ‘How’s the weather’? Have sentences ready for problem situations. ‘I wonder if my neighbour fed my dog’ could mean ‘Get me out of here’! Make sure you keep the sentences simple and easy to remember. Only meet at a pre-arranged location and don’t wander from it without letting your safe call know. Most of the members of the community are wonderful loving people, but there are still predators out there.
Some of my guests were talking to a newbie the other night at the munch, and there was one bit of advice they were all very keen on. Be accepting! No matter what the other person is into, even if it ‘squicks’ you, just accept it. The munch exists to provide a safe environment for people in the lifestyle to meet. You want to be accepted and so do others, no matter if it’s power exchange, crossdressing, puppy play, age play, crucifixion or any of the other myriad methods of play. If you don’t like it, change the subject or talk to someone else. You will eventually find someone who is interested in the same activity. If not, you will at least have fun talking to lots of other people!
Finally, remember that the wait staff is generally made up of vanilla people. Be especially discrete talking when they appear, even if they seem to know WIITWD. We want to encourage them to serve us, and squicking them won’t help! Our pub owners seem to put the new staff in to serve us. I think the feeling is that if they survive us, they can survive anything! Remember to tip! It helps a lot with future bookings if the staff is happy after serving us.
Have you had any great or awful experiences at a munch? Have any questions? Please comment below.