I have now, in the past 3 days, seen 4-5 threads about newcomers complaining about the lack of kink, sex, and fuckery at Munches. If you read the history, you’ll see what happens when Munches deviate from this rule. And some folks in the PNW re-learned this lesson the hard way recently.
Dating and “getting to know folks” is IMPORTANT. Pervs oft forget this in the flush of excitement in having found community. Munches are a fabulous way to socialize in a safer setting. Picking up a trick is not the stated purpose, Sure, yes, it is an occasional benefit! But to keep the arty moving, ant to make it beneficial to the broadest number of people, it has to be chill.
And hey, I’d love to hear from Munch organizers about their experiences managing Munches, keeping them safe, and how they foster community.
So for those bitching…perhaps you failed to look up what the fuck a Munch actually is?
Lets do that, shall we? I’m-a cut and paste it to spare your clicking finger from even having to click. That’s how nice I am. :-P
A munch (short for burger munch) is a low-pressure social gathering for people involved in or interested in BDSM, usually at a restaurant. When available, munches often use a private room. In the UK, the venue is usually a pub, and people are free to arrive and leave within the specified hours. The primary purpose is socializing, though some munches also have announcements from local organizations. Munches often help those who are curious about the lifestyle meet others who may be able to help them become more comfortable and better informed. Munches can also be a place to get advice about or pass on anecdotes about BDSM experiences.
Unlike a play party, most munches are casual affairs that exclude fetish attire or BDSM play, though a rare few include covert Master/slave interactions or other play. Some munches may have a specific focus, such as spirituality or whips. Others may be restricted to a specific group, such as women or submissives.
Munches started in the 1980s, prior to the widespread introduction of the web. At that time, meeting members of the BDSM scene was a bit more difficult, given the then-prevalent bias against BDSM and the resulting lack of places to meet those of the same interest. While organizations such as the Society of Janus and the BackDrop Club existed, there were few informal ways to meet others socially within the scene. The USENET group alt.sex.bondage was a common meeting ground on-line, as was a San Francisco-area email list then known as BABES (Bay Area Bondage Enthusiasts Society).
One of the alt.sex.bondage and BABES members, by the name of STella organized a social meeting at Flames, a coffeehouse in Santa Clara, California. It was a quiet meeting in one corner of a family-orientated coffee house.
After that, an informal rotation of meeting sponsors and locations was instituted, with widely varying amounts of success. Not long afterward, STella suggested that a standard time and location be chosen, and selected Kirk’s Steakburgers at 361 S California Avenue in Palo Alto, as it had both great hamburgers and a spacious patio where attendees could meet in relative privacy. This was known as the “burger munch”. (That Kirk’s location was demolished around 2005, though a few other locations still exist.)
The Kirk’s burger munch attracted a large and often spirited crowd, with discreet play. As time went on, the atmosphere became less discreet and people started bringing in outside food. Ultimately, the management insisted that the group stop meeting there.
Many of the original participants found another social gathering just down the street, though STella requested they not use the name “burger munch”. The name was shortened to “munch” and the gathering took on a quieter tone. The organizer of the first spin-off munch, Miss Vicki, still runs a munch in the SF Bay Area www.TheMunch.org
Munches, like anything change with time and the increased acceptability of BDSM, “the lifestyle”, or WIITWD (What it is that We do). Many have evolved in depth to include more people, topics and philosophies. While some munches remain traditional asking that no expressions of identity be expressed, others are open to the wearing of collars or pride emblems. Each munch is different and reflects the personality of the group that attends it, make sure to ask the host or attendees for what to expect at a particular munch.
The term “Burger Munch” was not only used at the Palo Alto munch, but was also used in Boston in 1994 and possibly earlier, meetings being held at Mr Bartley’s Burger Cottage in Harvard Sq. Someone very active in the scene at that time and today has said that the first munches in the US were called “burger munches” and were in SF, LA, and Boston.
Some of the Boston attendees became somewhat famous, or infamous, as they were models for images in the noteworthy book *Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns.*
So! There you go :-) Thanks for reading, and please enjoy that Munch: your low-pressure social BDSM / Leather / Kink experience without the expectation of ass-beatings and free-love. Because, like anything good, it takes. TIME.