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:
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 🙂