Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is it lunch or munch? or both?

Two years ago as I was immersing myself in BDSM research I discovered a neat social activity–a munch. What, you might say, is a munch? I have since discovered that a lot of people (including one final line editor) thought I meant lunch. Nope. Uh uh./ This is a great social activity, an informal gathering of people who have a common interest in BDSM. They are usually held in restaurants, in a special or private room so privacy is protected. They are usually informal affairs, with a loose structure, and are publicized online so people can find them.

Want to dip your toes into the BDSM waters? This might be a good place to start.

Munches were started in the early 1990s by people interested in the life who were online (this was before the Internet went viral). As the Internet grew in popularity the idea caught on and gatherings began to be organized at cities all across the country. And they continue to expand.

People who attend munches are usually intelligent, imaginative and very individualistic. It’s their interest in BDSM that draws them together. Some munches are arranged for people with specific interests or fetishes. Others can be for specific age groups. Or they can be just an all-out gathering. There is always a designated host who controls and arranges the event. If this is your first time and there are specific protocols to follow, someone will greet you as a newbie and make sure you understand.

What should you wear? Not something highly informal if you want to make a good first impression, but nice casual clothing works. Also all black. Dressing in fetish clothing may not be appropriate unless you’ve been told otherwise. On the other hand, don't be too surprised if you see people wearing items of black leather clothing or footwear, and please try to not look too shocked if you see someone happily eating and chatting away while wearing a collar of leather or steel locked around their neck.

Some people use special names for when they are in the scene. Many use scene-related jargon to let others now what their special interests are.

One last ting to remember. Be aware that the privacy of attendees is always protected. People who come to munches are interacting in a highly personal aspect of their lives. Because protecting the privacy of attendees is so important, it can be discourteous to ask someone direct, specific questions about what they do for a living, what company they work for, details about where they live, if they're in a committed relationship, and so forth. It's fine if they volunteer such information. The rule: when in doubt keep your mouth shut!!!! Violating the confidentiality rule can get you shunned and banned.

So, if you’ve had a craving to check out the scene and want a social environment in which to do it, just Google munches in your area and enjoy!

Be sure to check out all the 1-800-DOMHelp stories, and come visit me at


  1. I'd never heard of munches, what an intriguing concept. I can see how they'd have to be held in a private room. Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

  2. Great educational topic! I don't think all munches are held in private rooms. There's pretty big one near me that's held in the food court of a mall. In general people are dressed vanilla. The idea is its a low key non-play way to hang out with folks like oneself.

  3. Except ... what do the do if it's an introduction. Is there a scene played out or invitations to play?

  4. I have never heard of this either but is very interesting. It would great for someone that is interested in the lifestyle but afraid to ask. Great post.

  5. I've always wanted to attend a munch, but so far I've been too chicken. Maybe I'll get brave enough now. I think it would be fun. Thanks for a great post, Desiree!