WHAT IS A MUNCH?
A munch is a casual gathering held for those interested in BDSM to socialise outside of a typical play environment. Munches might occur as pre-parties to a play parties or as wholly separate events entirely unto themselves.
The purpose of a munch is for those who identify as kinky to have a place to socialize outside of more formal play events. Usually a munch will have a 'vanilla' dress code (as they are usually held at 'vanilla' venues) and those hosting them will sometimes recommend against wearing other obvious identifiers of the lifestyle, such as collars, at the munch.
Along with stipulating vanilla dress code, munches usually also have a no-play code of conduct. Creating a play-free space is important in providing the safe and social setting that a munch does.
WHO CAN GO TO A MUNCH?
Anyone can attend a munch! A munch is a great place for newcomers to the lifestyle to meet and learn from other kinksters, and is indeed often one of the first ports of call into the scene that newbies make. A munch is great even for those merely curious or who want to find out more. No experience necessary!
Kinksters with interests of all different niches attend munches and so it can be a really great event to share ideas and thoughts about play and the local community.
Munches can vary in size/number of attendees - usually dependant on where it is located, and if there is any specific niche attributed that that specific meet up (ie. petplay munches or submissive munches). Larger cities and broader/no niche-specific munches (ie. anyone identifying as kinky can come) can attract attendees numbering into 100+, while smaller munches might only have a dozen or less attendees. The amount of people that attend is also relative to the venue where the munch is held. Smaller munches might reserve a space within the venue, like a large table at a restaurant, while larger munches might book function rooms etc.
Most munches are held by an individual or a small group of people and will usually state how they can be identified in their event listings.
Every munch is run a little differently, but most have the same core values. Being discreet or confidential about the event is necessary to respect those who attend. Don't poke into anyone's privacy without them being willing to open up. Some people might prefer to use an alias at the munch and that should be respected. Don't take pictures of anyone unless they provide consent and don't 'out' anyone for being at the munch. Being generally courteous to the space and those around you is pure etiquette. Respect and consent is paramount.
WHERE CAN I FIND A MUNCH?
While some munches are listed on place like Facebook, FetLife is probably your best bet for find out where your local munch is.
FetLife has an amazing Events feature where you can find events in any locale that you set your profile to be in, which is great for those travelling or who move.