In my article about attending a munch in my new city, I gave some advice about how to find a munch, what a munch is, what kind of people you might expect to find, and why you might want to go. Some seasoned kinksters gave me some feedback, and suggested a second helping. I try to be pleasing, but the Kink Community can be a harsh mistress.
We can all see the storm building on the horizon. See, there’s this kinky book that got super popular recently, and its creating a situation in which our safe little kink havens are becoming tourist attractions. People are coming to kink events with all kinds of misconceptions, unrealistic expectations, and no real grasp of the etiquette expected at kink events.
Let me speak to those kink-babies now. We know you don’t mean any harm; you've been misled by that awful book. Please allow me to ease your transition into this sometimes complicated subculture of Kink.
Keep the freak flag at half mast.
Munches are held at vanilla venues. There are often completely vanilla folks sitting a table or two away. Like I mentioned before, you aren’t going to be in a group of kinksters without sexual innuendo bouncing around the table like a pinball machine. However, we try - try! - to tone the kink conversation down so as not to scare the vanillas. It’s often difficult to get managers to allow kinksters space to gather because they are afraid we are going to make people uncomfortable, so we try really hard not to. Keep the corsets and coarse talk in the closet at the munch, and later you’ll have plenty of opportunity to let it all hang out.
Don’t be “that guy.”
Recently there was a guy making his way around Fetlife, messaging one submissive after another in our city. I suppose he didn’t realize that all these girls are all friends and talk to each other. They all, like good hosts, invited him to munches, but he always declined, saying that just “wasn’t his thing.” Fair enough. But then don’t keep hitting on everyone. Because now you look like your thing is getting laid indiscriminately. And that’s not our thing.
I’ve seen the same thing at events and munches. There’s “that guy” who roams around the room indiscriminately seeking out unattached submissives. They don’t necessarily mean to be predatory, but that is how it is perceived. There is a lot of overlap between the swinger community - those people who just want to have sex with random people - and the kink community, but they are not one in the same.
You won’t find much if any judgement from kinksters about swinging, but you might get pointed in the direction of a different venue.
In fact, don't go looking for kink at all.
Look for kindred spirits instead. "Go looking for connections, not for the Dom/sub what-have-you of your dreams. Meet people first, and see them as kinksters second. Eventually things will fall into place," says "Miss A," the leader and co-owner of the Dallas-Ft.Worth chapter of Diverse Interest Kinksters (DIK), a monthly munching group of kinksters that boasts 75-150 regular attendees to munches and over 3,000 online members.
Eat, drink, and be merry.
That’s pretty much what it's all about. Kinksters are like anyone else with diverse interests, and we love sharing all of ourselves with those we love, not just the kinky bits. Don't be afraid to ask questions. You can't ask too many, and its not likely that you are going to say anything they haven't heard before. Get to know people as people. Share yourself. This is your first step into a community that will uplift you, and a culture that will expand you.
Originally published Wednesday, October 08, 2014 @TheDialogueChronicle.com (now offline)