Okay, so I’ve written a bunch about how you don’t have to go to a munch and how to meet people if you don’t want to go to one, but what do you do if you do want to go to a munch but you’re scared?
Well, you’ve got to break down what exactly is scaring you so you can fix it!
Are you worried about being outed? Most munches have a strict normal-street-clothes-only dress code and expect attendees not to go out of their way to draw attention to themselves (ie, thou shalt not stand up and tell a very loud story about your needle scene the other day) and don’t allow any sort of play, but not all munches are the same and it’s definitely worth messaging an organizer and asking how that particular munch works. While you’re at it, ask how to find the group 🙂 If they look like any other group of people at the pub, which they most likely will, how will you know which group is the one you’re looking for?
Are you freaked out by large groups of strangers and worried you’ll spend the whole time sitting in a corner wishing the ground would swallow you up? That is totally normal! Honestly I’m not sure who *does* enjoy meeting a big group of strangers by themselves. There are a couple of potential solutions here: 1) message the organizer and ask if they can introduce you to people/find you somebody to sit with. That’s totally normal, you will definitely not be the first person to ask for that. Hell, you might not be the only person at that particular munch who is new and needs somebody to sit with. 2) ask in a local group if anyone is going to the munch and is willing to bring a newbie with them. Again, totally not weird, everybody who has gone to a munch remembers being nervous about meeting that big group of strangers.
Are you worried you won’t immediately hit it off with a hot <d/s orientation of your choice> <gender of your choice>? Fucking chill, munches are for making friends. Assume that you won’t go home with plans to fuck anyone and you’ll be a lot happier. A more reasonable goal for going to a munch is talking to a couple of people you didn’t already know.
Are you worried some dumbinant will try to order you around? That’s extremely rude and also unusual and the organizers should definitely put a stop to that immediately. There should be a list of rules posted about how to behave at the munch, if you’re not sure about anything (like how to handle it if some douchebag tries to order you around), ask the organizers!
Are you worried you’ll accidentally commit some kind of terrible faux pas and be blacklisted from the community forever? Like I said for the previous issue, there should be a list of rules posted where it’s easy to find them, and even organizers of any sort are reliably happy to hear from people who want to make sure they don’t cause problems. In general, regular vanilla politeness (please, thank you, excuse me) is all you need. If it even occurs to you to worry that you might offend someone, you will almost certainly be fine. I say almost because people get some fucking weird ideas about the “right” way to address dominant women and then insist they just want to be polite, but in general if you’re thoughtful enough to realize it’s possible to offend people by accident, you’re going to be fine.
Are you worried you’ll be the only male sub/female dom/switch of any gender/trans person/non-binary person? Ask the organizers about that! Or ask in the local group! It’s not weird to worry that you won’t fit in if you’re not a male dom or female sub.
Are you worried that going to a munch means you’re a filthy pervert who will never have a normal life or that everyone else at the munch will be a total fucking weirdo? Okay, this is not super helpful but going to a munch is a great way to see how normal kinky people actually are. Talking about kink is fun and all but no small amount of the conversations at munches are about totally mundane stuff like what everyone has been up to since they last saw each other. What might be more helpful is talking with kinky people online. That one fetlife group I really like has pretty regular chat sessions, and just because it’s a kinky group doesn’t mean the chat is all about kink. People are just as likely to talk about their hobbies, how work is going, how <local sports team> is doing, interesting news, or about a thousand other things that have nothing to do with kink. Full disclosure: I haven’t actually showed up for one of those particular chat sessions yet but because kinky people are, you know, people, I can comfortably assume the chat is not all kink all the time.
Readers, did I miss anything?