Attending a munch or other BDSM event for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you’re shy. Being active in my local scene never used to interest me, but I’ve started getting involved a bit. Here are some tips that helped me.
Join Fetlife to find events in your location (either under the ‘events’ tab or advertised in groups specific to your region).
- Consider going to a workshop first. Some consider munches to be the best introduction to the local scene, but I found it easier to attend one after having first gone to a workshop (even now, I go to many more education based events than social ones). Since workshops are focused on teaching skills/concepts, there isn’t as much pressure to socialize. You’ll likely still meet people, but it’s less intimidating and it may mean there are some familiar faces at any future munches you attend. This is easiest if there are workshops on topics that interest you in your area. Some workshops require that you bring a partner to help you practice what is being taught, which might make this less practical for singles – read the event description or ask if this is a requirement. Workshops that are based on concepts and/or have no practical component are likely suitable for everyone, however.
- Contact the organizer. Event organizers are usually willing and able to either meet you before the event or at least keep an eye out for you and make sure you feel welcome. Contact them, let them know it will be your first event and bring up any concerns or questions you have. You might like to ask them what the atmosphere of the event is like, how many people usually attend etc.
- Choose smaller events over larger ones. It’ll probably be less intimidating. You can usually get an idea of the number of people that attend each munch by looking at how many mark their attendance on Fetlife. Be aware that not everyone does this and some do and then don’t show up. Don’t be intimidated by a lot of ‘maybes’ – in my experience, few that mark ‘maybe’ actually attend.
- Go to an event in another city/country. While obviously not practical for everyone, I found that I was a lot more comfortable attending events back at home after I had attended events during a summer school course overseas. If you can accomplish going to an event in an unfamiliar country alone (at home I normally attend events with Bride), surely anything is possible? In case I’ve made this sound too scary, remember that after the holiday is up you’re much less likely to see these people or the munch location again than if you were to attend an event in your city of residence (if it goes badly/is completely awkward, it’s easier to pretend it never happened!).
- Don’t be discouraged if the first one isn’t great. You might find that you are able to have more satisfying conversations at future events as you become more comfortable and get to know people better. If the munch was just horrible and you have no desire to go back, there may be more than one munch group in your city. It might take some time/exploring to find a group that you gel with. It’s also ok if you find that events aren’t for you. Being kinky does not mean that you have to attend munches or any other type of BDSM event.