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Meeting Others In The Scene:
Munches, BDSM Groups, Play Parties, Events

by KttN
Thanks to astraea for editing and encouragement.

Local Area Munches, Groups and Events:

It is not the old days any longer folks. In this day and age almost every area in the country has a BDSM group. To the question asked; "Will I meet someone out in the scene?" I once heard a Domme say, "I never go to an event looking to meet anyone, but that is usually where I find all my partners". Just be yourself. Check out the links on to find one local to you.

Local Munches:

Often in your area there will be several munch groups. Find the one most suited to your style.

A munch traditionally is a group of folks who meet in restaurants, have a meal and just chat. It is a good place to start out since munch groups usually don't tend to be large. Perhaps 40 people at the most attend. They are also extremely casual and only street clothes are allowed so as not to draw unwanted attention to the group. After all, you are meeting in a public restaurant. They will often go under the guise of a computer club, or something generic.

Local BDSM Groups:

For novices I always recommend you try to find local groups where they have casual get togethers. Most local groups have an orientation process they like you to go through before you become a member. This allows you to see if it's for you, or if you are for them.

The one near me has a Sunday barbecue, demos, and guest lecturers. These are casual and usually very friendly. Never be afraid to walk up to a group of folks socializing and just introduce yourself and let them know you are new, and ask if they can help you out. Think about it, it is very flattering to someone when they are asked this. I bet they will go out of their way to take you under their wing. When at a new place I always look for couples or other submissives to chat with. For me it is more comfortable and less threatening. For dominants, same advice, socialize with a mixed group of folks.

These are the best places to get real information.

Play Parties:

Play Parties are usually put on by the local BDSM groups. One thing you need to know is that you do not have to play if you go to one. This takes the pressure off right away. I am pretty private in my play, but I do like to watch. :) Play Parties usually have a scening area with "stations" set up, and then a separate socializing area. For the most part folks who scene in public like an audience. What they don't like are folks who walk through their scenes, i.e. a dominant is about to swing a flogger and someone walks right behind him. Always give scene players at least 6 feet distance all around them. While ooohhs and ahhhhs and gasps are welcome, loud chatter about traffic and the weather aren't. Keep that for the social area. Some may enjoy applause, but that may interrupt the scene happening to the right of you. :) Joining in a scene is a no-no too.

Most Play Parties I have been to have a DM (dungeon monitor). They are there to ensure everyone has a good time without being intrusive. Most DMs are pretty cool too. If you decide you might like to play and don't have a partner I would seek one out and ask if there is anyone they might introduce you to. They know the experienced players and will generally have no problem hooking up a submissive up with someone appropriate, if this is what you want. Dominants can meet a play partner this way too, although it may be more difficult.

Upon entering a Play Party you will be asked to show your ID for age verification, and asked to sign a form that usually states you are of legal age and want to be around this type of activity. There is usually a list of rules. The rules will state what is allowed and what isn't. Most things are, however some places do not allow penetration, or the heavier edge play like blood or water sports. So make sure you read the rules.

You will see all kinds of different play going on at different stations. You may see two St. Andrews Crosses with two subs tied to them and two dominants flogging away, with completely different styles and getting completely different reactions. To the right there may be a submissive tied spread eagle and the dominant fisting her. To the left there may be a school girl scene going with a traditional OTK (Over The Knee spanking). There may be some heavier play going on. If this bothers you, walk away. Go find someone and just say, "Hey, I just saw ______ and I am not sure what to think about it." You are sure to find someone who will help you sort it out.

It is hard sometimes, but it is not up to us to judge a scene. Once there was a sub who was tied in what I thought heavy bondage for way too long and she was alone. While I panicked, I needed to reassure myself that her dominant was close by watching for any signs of danger. Now say the sub had been there for a couple of hours, I would go get a DM and ask them to check. We all play differently.

Scene Events:

As for the bigger events, like Blackrose, or Folsom Street Fair, just go and enjoy. Eat, watch and socialize. As far as dress...I am all about comfort so I just usually wear jeans. This is up to you and venue where it is held. Most events will state a dress code. This is important to know since some places also have vanillas. For instance, if it were held in a hotel Convention area I for one wouldn't want to be the one responsible for getting the group kicked out because I walked naked through a hot el lobby with a collar on. At some events anything goes, at others there are rules.

For me, I like to be around other kinky folks. It is fun, it shows you are not alone. The food is great, the shopping is FANTASTIC. Vendors at these events happily demonstrate their wares and offer great deals on all kinds of toys. I always bring money for a new toy or two...or three. If the event offers classes and demos, by all means try to attend one or two.

© KttN 2002

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