We had our local munch last night. We started the munch 5 years ago after I first moved to the UK. We both said we would be happy if a dozen people turned up, we had nearly 25. We now average between 35 and 75.
Now really the munch is all Molly, she does all the organizing and messaging. But it is a fair amount of work for both us on the night. We arrive an hour and a half early to have dinner at the pub and to meet new people who might be a little nervous (that is if we haven’t already arranged meet at a coffee shop earlier in the week). We then do our best to identify and corral the first time attendees and introduce them to as many or as few people as they want to meet. So for us, while the munch is fun, it is a very busy, very tiring evening.
Some of you might be wondering what a munch is. Well, it is a group of people with a common interest gathering in a bar or pub or wherever suits to socialize. Sounds pretty tame doesn’t it? Well it is pretty tame, the dress code is “Vanilla Friendly” and while the conversation might not be what you usually hear on a night out (I suppose your local watering hole might be different) it is really no different than friends getting together and talking about (shudder) sports. Yet many of the people we encounter are extremely nervous about attending. The most common concern we hear is “What if I see someone from my job/school/church? Our answer is always the same “If they are at the munch they have just as much to lose by telling as you do”.
This is the one tough parts about kink. The “what if people find out” We know we are lucky. That we don’t ever have to hide who we are and we certainly know that not everyone has that same freedom and the repercussions of being outed can be devastating. It is a terrible shame, that because of what we like to do we can be persecuted and fired and have our children taken away.
We organize our munch on Fetlife, it is just handy for that kind of thing. It helps people find events, friends and most importantly can help you learn that you are not alone in your kink and that is a very powerful and freeing thing. But if you never venture outside the bounds of that insulated online world how can you really learn from your peers? A munch can (should) give you a safe place to meet people with a shared interest, a new viewpoint, a skill you would like to learn and if nothing else gives you friends that know you for who you are, and like you just for who you are.
So come on
Be a Munch-ster
P.S. The link on my name is to my fetlife profile, I know none of you want to friend me there, but you can find a link to Molly on my profile 😉