I recently read the most amazing trainwreck of a rant about how people who want to meet people in person at a munch are the absolute worst and are actively screwing over people who don’t want to go to munches, and it made me think, is there actually any advice out there about meeting other kinky people that doesn’t begin and end with “thou shalt go to a munch!”?
First of all, many people have very good reasons not to go to munches. I have some doubts that the author of that rant seriously can’t go to munches, but the thing is, they’re allowed to not want to. You are 100% allowed to to be physically/emotionally/financially able to go to a munch and still just not fucking want to.
That said, complaining about how hard it is to meet people when you’ve decided not to do something that’s really effective (turns out physically leaving your house and meeting people is a good way to, you know, meet people) is super fucking boring, so don’t do it. Actually, complaining about how you’ve been looking for ten whole minutes and still don’t have the perfect hot dominant girlfriend is boring in general, don’t do that even if you do go to in-person events.
On to the actual advice! I have a couple of posts about communicating with people on Fetlife in general, you should probably read those:
How to make friends on Fetlife for the hard of thinking
How to get responses on Fetlife
Those posts mostly cover how to not fuck it up once you’ve found someone you want to talk with, but they don’t go into much detail about how to find those people.
Something you’re going to need to figure out up front is whether you want to meet people in person or not. It’s totally okay to want an online only relationship, just be aware that a lot of kinky people aren’t interested in online-only and it may take longer to find someone. Then again, when physical location isn’t an issue you definitely have a larger pool of potential friends/play partners/partners. Online-only isn’t my thing, so I really have no idea how much of a hassle it is to find someone to be your online sub or dom.
If you want to meet someone in person, you’re (shockingly enough) going to want to focus on local groups. If there’s a personal ads group for your city, definitely join that. Even if you don’t want to post a personal ad right away or at all, you should keep an eye on that group in case somebody awesome posts an ad. Note: on Fetlife it’s really easy to mix up personals groups for cities or regions with the same name. We get poor confused Australians in the Victoria BC Personals group on the regular, so double check that you’re in the right group before posting or risk feeling very silly.
I also recommend joining local groups (see my post about how to Fetlife for exactly how to do that) to participate in or read discussions and see what’s going on in your community (if you’re potentially willing to go to an event that isn’t a munch, that is). My local groups don’t seem to have a ton of activity outside of reminders that an event is happening and post-event thank you threads, if yours are the same way that doesn’t mean you can’t try starting a discussion.
If you aren’t attached to meeting anyone in person or are actively looking for an online-only relationship, there are groups for that on Fetlife too. I also recommend joining interest based discussion groups, you can “meet” a lot of interesting people that way.
No matter what kind of relationship you’re looking for, if you’re looking online you need to have a good profile. If you’re a submissive man, Ferns happens to have written a whole book on the subject. Full disclosure: I haven’t read it myself but it’s Ferns, it’s obviously going to be good. There’s also a Profile Advice group on Fetlife if you’d like direct feedback on your profile, and there are undoubtedly tons of people offering profile advice on the internets. Google is your friend here.
You’re also going to want to be able to write coherently if you want to meet people online. Having something interesting to say is more important than having perfect spelling and grammar, but that’s not a free pass not to try. Sending someone a message full of misspellings and/or typos is like showing up to meet someone for coffee in raggedy old sweats with bedhead, it’s just not going to go well. You don’t have to be a great writer or anything, you just need to be able to express yourself. Participating in discussions is a great way to practice that, by the way 😉
Yet another reason to participate in discussions on Fetlife is that your latest activity shows up on your profile. If someone I don’t already know messages me, I practically always look at their profile just to see what’s there. If they’re a guy and their latest activity feed is nothing but “loves” on pictures of mostly-naked women or crass comments on those pictures about where they’d like to put their dicks, that makes me much more likely to decide they’re the kind of douchebag I want nothing to do with. It’s even worse if they haven’t filled in their profile either. Guys, if you have time to click “love” on fifty photos, you have time to fill in your fucking profile.
Something to be prepared for if you want to meet people in person is that it’s extremely common to want to meet at a munch both for safety and for convenience, so if you don’t want to go to the munch you’re likely to need to be able to explain that in a way that doesn’t make you sound like an abusive dirtbag who was kicked out of the local kink group for being an abusive dirtbag. Refusing to meet at a munch is often seen as a red flag, but you can mitigate it by suggesting an alternative public place to meet and explaining why munches aren’t for you. Be aware that some people will meet you at a munch or not at all. That’s their right, whining about it will only make you look like a douchebag who they were right not to stay in contact with.
Speaking of meeting up, do not ask people to meet you in private unless you want them to think you’re a serial killer. It’s totally fine to ask to meet in a park or public square or anywhere else you don’t have to directly interact with too many people if social anxiety is an issue for you, but nothing says “probably a serial killer!” like asking someone to come to a stranger’s house alone.
Readers, what did I miss? I bet there’s something 🙂
7 thoughts on “How do you meet people without going to a munch?”
Thanks for the post. 🙂
Yeah. That rant is a real trainwreck.
But it bothers me that people seem to take for granted that you live in the East or West coast of NA, where you can find very active local scenes. Europe is a completely different thing. Fetlife accounts/habitant tend to be lower and events even more so (with some exceptions). There are fairly large metro areas in Europe (even whole countries) that don’t have a very active scene.
Also, not everyone identifies with the kink scene in general or their local scene in particular. The local scenes do not cater equally to everyone. If you are into:
– M/f – most people will be into that
– rope or other technical stuff – you want classes and demonstrations
– poly – you are looking for partners more frequently
– exhibitionism – you want to be seen
– casual-ish play
you probably can’t contain your excitement in going out there and go to munches and play parties and whatnot. If you are a monogamous femdom/malesub with no interest in “technical play”, who plays only within established romantic arrangements and doesn’t like the idea of playing around other people, your interest in the IRL scene probably drops considerably. Doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea to participate anyway – munches still have value -, but what bothers me is how some people see the scene as the natural habitat for anyone who is kinky and fail to understand why some do not share in their enthusiasm. Some people are only really interested in finding a partner and disappear back into the comfort of their cozy kinky nest, never to be seen again.
If you feel like that – you don’t have much of an interest in the lRL scene – consider that the person you are looking for probably shares the same feeling. So, even if you think that girl with all the cool suspension bondage photos taken during the 50 events she participated in the last 12 months is the most perfect thing in existence, consider that she might not be a good match for you. If she only wants to meet people in events, it’s her choice to make, and getting all ranty because the smug local scene people don’t want to talk with you is just childish.
In my short tenure on fetlife I found plenty of people who state their interest in accepting a friendship requests and starting an online conversation, so look for someone interesting among those and stop bothering people who clearly aren’t looking for the same thing as you, especially if they expressly state it in their profile.
So, even if you think that girl with all the cool suspension bondage photos taken during the 50 events she participated in the last 12 months is the most perfect thing in existence, consider that she might not be a good match for you.
That is a great point! I think a lot of people mistake attraction for compatibility and get themselves hung up on people they don’t actually have anything in common with.
There are fairly large metro areas in Europe (even whole countries) that don’t have a very active scene.
Crap, I didn’t even think of that. Being one of the lucky ones on the west coast, I just assumed everybody had a scene within an hour or two’s drive. It’s still reasonable to decide you don’t want to go on a long drive on a week night, but I just assumed most people had the option.
> Crap, I didn’t even think of that. Being one of the lucky ones on the west coast, I just assumed everybody had a scene within an hour or two’s drive.
Not long after creating my fetlife account I poked around for some patterns. This was not an exhaustive search by any means as I only compared a couple of cities in both sides of the Atlantic.
That said…. the impression I got is that IRL kink scenes seem to be mainly an Anglo-Saxon thing. You’ll probably find something in most big cities in continental Europe, but with nowhere near the participants/activity you find in big cities in NA or the UK. But well… everything starts in the English speaking countries anyways.. so it’s somewhat unsurprising.
Fortunately, it seems to be spreading. My city’s scene seems to have picked up some momentum over the last year or so; but there’s still a long way to go and I doubt any other city in the country will have any regular activity in the near future.
Stabbity’s post is full of wisdom and good pointers. However, this…
> what bothers me is how some people see the scene as the natural habitat for anyone who is kinky and fail to understand why some do not share in their enthusiasm.
> If you are a monogamous femdom/malesub with no interest in “technical play”, who plays only within established romantic arrangements and doesn’t like the idea of playing around other people, your interest in the IRL scene probably drops considerably.
…is also important.
We’re an established (very) kinky F/m couple, and so far the RL scene is of no real interest to us for the reasons you describe. Were I young and single right now, I suppose I might check out the local scene out of a blend of daring and desperation, however that would really be in order to find somebody on my wavelength rather than to stick around and join the community.
My understanding is it’s still possible – perhaps more than ever- to find kinky partners outside the scene through the simple expedient of dating broad minded people and introducing kink early.
> My understanding is it’s still possible – perhaps more than ever- to find kinky partners outside the scene through the simple expedient of dating broad minded people and introducing kink early.
I tend to agree with you. It might even be the best option if you live in a largish metro area without an active kink scene. I bet there are more dominant leaning ladies in my city’s well populated boardgame meetings than in the small IRL kink scene.
Super ancient post but, here’s another problem I personally have run into…
I’ve been in the scene for a decade. I have posted countless ads in local personals groups. Not only have I gone to a lot of munches, I even ran a munch group for three years and co-ran a party group for two.
I’ve put in a lot of time and effort to come up empty-handed. Why? Because I am only interested in S&M and I am completely turned-off by D/s and power dynamics, rope, fire and wax. In over 10 years in 3 different places on the east coast of USA, never once found a masochist, only D/s people. Even then, the vast majority of people are either in a committed relationship and don’t play outside of it, or they are strictly looking for a D/s relationship.
Go into any local personals group and nobody is looking for play, only “fin dommes looking for pay pigs” or “looking for a third female” or “bored dude in-town/got hotel/whatever, wanna have some fun”.
And if your local scene doesn’t work out (and for me, “local” is a search of a 100 mile radius), people say “just move then”, even though uprooting my whole life to move somewhere else to find a play partner is not an option, as it isn’t for many.
That’s my main issue with everyone harping on “go to a munch!”. That’s legitimately only an option if you’re into relatively “mainstream” kinks. The rest of us are treated as if it is our own fault, and there’s so much anti-“looking online” that there is no other option, just spend decades going to your local scene that doesn’t change. And if you have fringe kinks and get tired of going because you don’t fit it, there’s a chance maybe someone else near you had the same problem, and now you have no way to ever find out because “the only way is to go to a munch”.
I’m tired of the hostility people in the scene seem to show, especially to those of us on the fringe.