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|Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:11 pm Post subject: TERM DEFINITION: what is a "munch:?
|What's a "Munch"?
Copied from drkdesyre
A: A munch is a casual lunch or dinner with other local people who have an interest or experience in BDSM (Bondage & Discipline, Dominance and submission, sadomasochism) and/or Fetish. Munch groups have many different characters depending on locations of where they meet. Some are held in locations where a demonstration can be given on different techniques, but most are held in family restaurants or bars where 'play' or fetishwear is not permitted.
A munch is a great atmosphere to meet like minded locals, discuss a
variety of topics, and make friends and get validation without people
behaving 'in role'. Following are some frequently asked questions
Q: I don't have a partner.. Can I come alone? Will I be safe?
A: There are usually both submissives and dominants (and Tops and Bottoms and Switches and Fetishists) who come to munches without a partner. If you're not entirely comfortable doing this, contact the munch organizer and let them know your situation. Most will be very happy to save you a seat near them, make sure you're introduced to everyone and help make you feel comfortable and welcome. A munch is not a place to 'pick up' partners, and in almost all groups dominants and submissives treat each other with respect. While flirtatious comments may be made, "No" means no, and should you feel that someone is not respecting that, the munch organizer would appreciate knowing.
Q: I/We are not into all that heavy play.. Will I/we be uncomfortable?
A: Munches include people of the entire range of BDSM interests from
light Dominance and submission to those involved in heavy physical
aspects of S/M and everything in between. While you may not be
interested in everything discussed, you will most likely meet others
there with interests close to your own. Diversity is celebrated in the
BDSM community and any consensual and safe practices or ideas are
usually readily accepted. There's no pressure to have interests you
don't have in most groups. We get many people who are nervous before attending that they may not be 'BDSM enough' and find complete validation of their interests and 'level' by others who feel the same.
Q: I/We are not very experienced (or have no real life experience). Will
I/we feel out of place?
A: Not at all! Almost every munch has at least one other person there
with little or no real life experience and it's not neccessary to be
experienced to attend munches. Munches are a great place to see that
BDSMers are not perpetually dressed in leather and carrying whips and
chains. They are a great place to get information and insights from
those with experience, learn about the different aspects of BDSM, ask
questions, and just feel comfortable around others who feel the same.
For those of us who have to 'hide' that part of ourselves around
friends, family and co-workers, it's very liberating.
Q: How many people usually attend?
A: This depends entirely on the individual group. Attendance can range
from 3-4 people to a few dozen. It's a good question to ask the munch
organizer in advance if you are concerned. One thing to keep in mind..
a high percentage of people attending are somewhat shy in groups. It's completely acceptable to be quiet until you feel more comfortable.
Don't assume that everyone knows everyone else, because in most cases, there will be others there who are new.
Q: Am I in the right age group? Will I be uncomfortable?
A: Ages of those in attendance of course vary from group to group, but
usually there will be those from age 18-21 to in their 60's or 70's.
Within your first 2 or 3 munches you will probably meet others your
age. Even if most others seem older than you, or younger than you, you already have common interests so should feel comfortable.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Most people wear whatever they normally would for lunch/dinner with non-BDSM people. Feel free to contact the munch organizer to ask if there are any special dress requirements or rules (some specify no collars, etc)
Q: Do people use their real names ..or..??
A: This is entirely up to each individual. You can use either your real
name or a nickname that you're known by. Many of the munch groups provide name tags so that you can write both your first name and nickname (or either one you want).
Q: How should I address others?
A: Dominants and submissives are on equal footing. A submissive is not required to call anyone Sir or Ma'am or to do any sort of serving.
Just address people by the name or nickname they give the group.
Another thing to keep in mind is that in most cases you won't know
whether someone is dominant, submissive or switch. Please don't make any assumptions. Many times the shy ones are dominant and the more assertive ones are submissive.
Q: Are there questions I should NOT ask people? What CAN I ask them?
A: It's acceptable to ask people any non-intrusive question. Start out
getting to know them slowly. It's usually OK to ask where others live
or what kind of work they do. Their answers will be as vague or
precise as they are comfortable with sharing. Some people are very
comfortable sharing intimate sexual information, but the majority are
not.. at least not at first. Common sense will let you know how much
you can ask, and if you're in doubt, ask their feelings regarding
certain activities rather than if they engage in them, or share your
feelings on topics and invite their responses.
Conversations will also generally cover the internet and computers,
local clubs, stores and toys.
Q: I'm really nervous.. should I just forget this entire idea?
A: I don't think I've ever met anyone who wasn't nervous before their
first munch.. but here are a few comments I've heard:
* I remember before my first munch I was terrified.. dont know
what I expected.. lots of leather and stern faces I guess ..lol..
nothing could be further from the truth.
* Your first impression will likely be "Gosh! they're so-so-so
..normal!!! " *G*
* I was really REALLY nervous... for about the first 2 minutes..
then I felt completely welcome and part of the group and had a GREAT
* Some of the people I've met at the Munches are well on their way
to becoming very, very close friends of mine... they understand things
that my vanilla friends just "don't get".
* It was incredible to us that what we'd been talking about, and
guessing at, had already been identified and discussed by others
before us. Talk about serious validation! It was so great to see that
'our' ideas about a structured relationship and interaction between
two distinct personality types was not only upheld, but celebrated by
As an additional note, if a munch announcement asks you to RSVP,
please do so. Munch organizers usually need to inform the restaurant
how many to expect. If you RSVP and something comes up preventing yourattendance, PLEASE write the organizer to let them know you won't beable to attend.
(borrowed from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bdsm101/)
A politically correct holiday statement from the AVA:
Have a good whatever, whenever, however!
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