Rain Morgan is a young journalism student, published journalist, and independent escort and fetish provider located in Melbourne. Part of the kink scene for over three years, she identifies as a mostly submissive poly switch and she can be found at many Melbourne events.
One discussion that remains topical in the BDSM community is munch etiquette. Munches, a social gathering of kinky people held at a bar/pub/cafe, are usually the first event that many newbies to the BDSM scene go to. Recently there has been some discussion about the structure of some of the big munches in Melbourne, including stricter rules and etiquette guidelines. Below I would like to guide you, a newbie to the scene, on the best ways to make sure your first munch is a hit!
MUNCHES ARE NOT PLACES TO 'PICK UP'
This one is really important. Munches are places you go to socialise, meet new people, and create friendships and connections in the scene. They aren't places to go with the idea of 'picking up'.
People can feel uncomfortable if your behaviour at a munch is explicitly just to hit on people. Be understanding that some people simply just want to socialise and talk to their friends.
Don’t go around asking every woman in the event what they identify as in the scene or asking to play - let these discussions evolve naturally. Of course, also do not touch people without their consent.
You also don’t know what each person’s dynamic is, as a munch is all vanilla clothing with usually a 'no collar' policy. That person you are flirting with might be collared by someone else, and their partner might take badly to you trying to flirt with them.
It's best to just see where the munch takes you, keeping respect, common courtesy and consent as a priority.
MUNCHES ARE USUALLY HELD IN VANILLA SPACES
It is important to remember that munches are usually held in vanilla venues. This mean that, commonly, a munch will have rules including no fetish clothing, no collars, and no playing.
Some people break these rules by bringing kink gear to munches and/or doing some small kink play in the venue. Absolutely no sex on premises is allowed at munches. These are things that are very likely to annoy the event organiser, who has gone to a lot of trouble and effort to secure the munch space.
Like any event you go to, respect the rules of the space. Do your research before attending and read the rules of each munch.
PRIVACY IS IMPORTANT
Let’s say you have just walked into your first munch. You have greeted the event runner and you are walking around nervously. Then you spot your old high school buddy, your coworker, your neighbor, a family friend, or someone you know in another capacity but had no idea was in the kink scene. What do you do?
The first rule here is to respect their privacy. Maybe go up and say hello and bond over your shared interests in the scene. But do not go and 'out' their kinky side to your mutual friends/family/coworkers. For many people, their interest in the kink lifestyle is personal and private and, for some, it could affect their careers if they were outed.
This, of course, also goes for people you do not already know. When talking to someone about someone else in the scene, do not gossip private information, like their real names, where they live or work, unless you know it is alright to do so. Privacy, especially in the kink world, is very important.
PEOPLE ARE FRIENDLY! SOCIALIZE!
Less an etiquette piece of advice and more a tip, as most people in the kink scene are very friendly and welcoming to newbies. Don’t be scared to go and start talking to random people at munches - once you get over your first set of nerves, it all gets easier! Go talk to people, make friends and munch memories!
Before you know it, you will forget why being a newbie was so scary!
Follow Rain’s exploits on Fetlife at RainMorgan and on Twitter at @rainmorgan33