Back in 2017 while travelling around Europe, I ended up in Porto, Portugal and since I knew I'd be sticking around for a bit, I wanted to be part of their local kinkster community. But a search on FL showed no results for local events and yet, the numbers of profiles of fellow kinksters registered in Porto was not that small. So I did what I do - I start stuff... And for the next 3 months I run munches for the local kinksters and that lead to the formation of a growing community.
When I left, I was proud with what I started and I wanted to encourage people to keep meeting, keep growing, keep the community alive... This desire to inspire led me to write the open letter bellow for my fellow kinksters in Porto. I share it, because it received great attention and people loved it - and I see the value in sharing it outside of FL.
Feb 4, 2018 Dear online kinkster community,
I am writing an open letter to you, because I spent 3 wonderful months in Porto and organised a number of events for the local kink community throughout my stay. So I had the chance to get to know a fair few people, with whom I have now established wonderful connections and friendships. I also had the chance to see the community showing great interest in the events I run, yet not that many actually turning up, as stated online on FL.
The first few events did bring quite a few people, but as time went by, the numbers subsided, however some people became regulars and at every session without a fail I had new faces turning up.
People never stop asking me why do I do the things I do, such as why move to Porto for a few months and just kick start events for the local kinksters? And I am not tired of explaining that I am fairly new to the scene, yet I have benefited majorly from attending events and munches back home and I don’t want to miss out on meeting fellow kinksters and making new friends, learning and growing through interaction and more. So when I came to Porto and saw there’s nothing being organised, I thought this is depressing and that people should get together and form the community in the real life and world, because it can be damn lonely when you don’t have anyone to talk about your kinky side with - openly, unafraid of judgement. Social meetings have shaped me so much as a kinkster and as a person part of the community and I wish that more people get to experience the tremendous positive impact of being part of the community as I do.
So in an attempt to persuade people to start attending munches in Porto, I would like to outline the benefits I have found for myself.
You meet like minded amazing people. No more loneliness in your perverted mind.
You get to say and hear ‘’OMG! You like this too?! It’s so cool, right!’’ about your kinks and it feels so good
You get to learn new words, practices, kinks, you get your myths busted, your questions often answered or at least discussed
You learn the code of conduct, which is always a must if you want to be a worthy kinkster
You get to hear about specialised shops, markets, play events and parties
If you establish good connections and people like you - you may end up invited to some exclusive good private house play parties
People share and talk about kink resources such as websites, books, radio podcasts, films - that may change your life
You may find play partners without even trying
You get a special circle of friends you can nerd out with on all things sex and kink
If you don’t live the lifestyle, you get time, which you dedicate to bringing the kink world into your life at least for a few hours every so often
You grow through interaction and experience in real life connections
There are so many other benefits of being part of the community in real life that I cannot outline here. I recommend it, and I wish that more people made it their priority to join the community and grow with it. Because when I entered the scene, I decided I will make it my priority to attend at least one kink event per month - be it a munch, a workshop or play event and I have been pretty successful and I am happy I’ve made myself this promise. It has been a positive one on all accounts.
If you think there’s nothing you can learn at a munch, because you’ve been in the scene for years, I’d laugh at you. Knowledge, experience and personal growth in the kink scene is not like a school where you complete the curriculum and you know it all that needs to be known. Besides kink is so massive, no one will ever be well versed and all knowing about all the kink there is. And no one will ever know it all about themselves and their partners.
If you’re worried about your personal information and safety, let me assure you, most people who are in the scene and know their code of conduct will never ask or pressure you to disclose personal information, such as your real name, profession or where you live. And if someone is telling you how you owe them information because they told you theirs, or because it is very basic part of making a conversation - you can politely tell them you don’t feel comfortable with personal disclosure, that you feel your privacy is being disrespected and just move tables and address it with the organiser. In the world of kink, even in the real life community - vanilla conversations about personal life may never happen, no one owes you and you don’t owe anyone information which may put either of you in jeopardy.
At a munch I will not ask people about their real name or where they are from - but I may ask them where they buy their toys from or if they’ve done this or that kink. Why? Because it is preferable we remove all labels that will impact how we interact. It is due to anonymity that people are more themselves online - and this can be kept in real life. As I said - start with respect - the only thing you owe people and you can demand from them at events is respect - nothing more.
The munches I have been to back home and those I have run in Porto have always been for the purpose of connecting and socialising with fellow kinksters and have not been intended as pick up events. Everyone has been welcomed in, regardless of background, gender, age, race, sexual orientation etc and this is how a good kink community must operate - by being inclusive, respectful and nice! The kink community must offer safety and respect to all who reciprocate these values. Even when we don’t understand each other - we can still be respectful and civilised.
This is why on the topics of safety and respect - I would like to highlight something important, yes you can meet play partners at munches, but if the only reason you go to munches is to meet your next play partner - I would advise you to chill out, re-evaluate your reasons and go to a munch without an agenda - because chances are people who are there want to socialise and learn and have a good time, without being prayed upon. It is especially difficult for women to enter the scene and munches alone, for that reason - they don’t want to be prayed on and chased, most of the time this attention is unwanted and is a joy killer.
So please, if you like someone at a munch, don’t occupy them the whole time, have a chat for a bit, and ask them at the end of the evening if they’d like a 1 to 1 meeting sometime and don’t pressure them for an answer on the spot, you can just say: ‘I’ll leave you to think about it, and you can message me over FL or let me know at a future munch’ - otherwise in my genuine opinion, it is very likely you’re treating the munch as a dating platform and are being disrespectful towards the other person with your agenda.
I don’t want to be gender biased, but the reality is as is and I’d have to say: Men, if you want more women to turn up at events, make sure you save your predatory behaviours for the appropriate times and places.
Anyways I will have to conclude by saying that being part of the community in real life is priceless and it is worth it. Make it your mission, your priority to attend meetings and keep an open mind, open heart and walk in with respect.
Your fellow kinkster