I’ve been hosting munches for 2.5 years and attending munches for 3.5 years. I’ve probably been to over 100 munches in that time. I’ve heard some people say that munches are cliquey and unfriendly, and nobody talked to them. I’ve had mostly good and a few not-as-good experiences at munches, though I can definitely see where those people are coming from. While I could maybe blame the munch hosts or attendees for my not-as-good experiences, there are also things that I could have done differently.
Maybe you’re an introvert and have trouble talking to new people (like me). I’ve been to munches with 30-50 attendees. I showed up late one time, I didn’t know anyone, no one acknowledged me, I felt really out of place, and I left after a short time. I’ve also been to that same munch, showed up 5 minutes early, sat next to munch hosts and talked with them for a bit, and they introduced me to several people as they came in. Being in the middle of the group, people started conversations with me. It took a lot less effort on my part than trying to break into an ongoing conversation at just the right point.
So you’re new at a munch? How to get the most bang for your buck:
Step 1: Upload a face picture. When new attendees tell me they’re coming to a munch, I check out their pictures so I can watch for them, to wave them over to the munch area. If you don’t have any face pictures uploaded, I can’t do that. RSVP on event page as Going or Maybe Going and fill out your profile with both kink and vanilla interests so that other munch attendees can check you out before the munch. Maybe they’ll find something in common with you and seek you out at the munch.
Step 2: Contact the host a couple days before the munch to let them know that you’re new and are interested in coming. If you’re an introvert or have social anxiety, tell them. The more information the host has, the more they can do to help.
Step 3: Show up 5 minutes early! Sit next to someone, even if you don’t know them (ask if that seat is taken first). Try to sit towards the middle of the table if you can, so there’s people on both sides of you (I realize that some people with anxiety can’t do this). If you sit on the end of the table, it’s easy to isolate yourself. I find that I have less anxiety when I’m one of the first people at an event, and people come in gradually, rather than me arriving late and Oh shit, there’s a ton of people, what do I do? Panic!
Step 4: Be persistent. Go to as many munches and events as you can. Even if you’re not that outgoing (like me), people will remember you and get more comfortable with you, and be more likely to start a conversation with you.
Written by and shared with permission of PauleyO, in this post.