Until I met my lovely and extroverted wife, I’d always been very private about my fetish and kink interests. Part of this came from being raised by WASPs, so I was never particularly public about much of anything. But part of it also came from the “world” being a very different place back in my twenties. Alt.com and Fetlife hadn’t been imagined yet, and the Internet itself wasn't much more than AOL or CompuServe. Those were the days you would still dial in directly to a BBS housed in someone’s spare bedroom, though at least you no longer had to force your actual phone into that rubber cradle of an ancient, external modem.
If you wanted to meet someone else with these interests, life was
something of a trek through a wasteland. Unless you were already clued
in to whatever quiet and very private group existed in your area, you
took your chances with regular dating and hoped for the best when you
finally risked bringing up the subject. Or you answered a personal ad
in the back of your city’s glossy, high-brow magazine, only to find that
she was a professional. Or you answered a personal ad in the back of a
badly printed tabloid from an adult bookstore, only to find that she (or
often a he pretending to be a she) needed money to deal with some
unfortunate misfortune that she (or he) just knew you would be willing
to help out with, because you were a sub and she (or he) was a Domme,
and this would of course put you at the top of the slave list for when
the time came. Or you chanced an account on a BBS at a blazing 9600
That BBS was where I discovered the idea of a “munch.” And that munch
was where I discovered that meeting other kinksters in a public setting
for the first time could be so awful that you wouldn’t risk trying it
again for years.
It helped that I had at least read on the BBS about some of the
people who would be there, had even passed a message or two with a few
of them, and had been patient enough to download a very attractive if
low-res image of one, who I only remember today as “Lady
Something-Or-Other.” All this—and the sheer desperation of being a
guy in his early twenties who really, really wanted this in his
life—helped me finally screw up the courage to hop the subway and
ride from the gentrifying-but-still-hip end of the city where I lived to
the other, sketchier end.
Coming up the stairs from the subway and looking around, I immediately wished I'd stayed home.
Then I got to the munch.
I’d read that a munch was for people to meet and at least start
getting to know each other. This munch, however, turned out to be run by
a very insular, clique-ish group who had all decided to have a private
dinner with each other before the munch itself, but had never
bothered to proofread the starting time they’d posted for everyone else.
So after a somewhat shocked “Oh, you’re here for the munch?” and a
perfunctory "Just grab a seat somewhere," they completely ignored the
four newbies, myself included, who were all stuck at the far end of a
very long and narrow table.
We tried a few times, unsuccessfully, to catch their eyes and get a
word in, but all of us were young, nervous, and rather introverted.
Except for the sole woman in our newbie group, that is. Unfortunately,
her response to most questions or comments, whoever was making them and
whatever the subject, was "With feathers and honey?" After the third or
fourth time, it became a real conversation killer. Otherwise, she spent
her time talking about the Mike Myers film So I Married an Axe Murderer, which she considered to be the greatest comedy ever, and with a real kinky subtext.
Important lesson: If you're talking to a bunch of nervous, young,
first-time kinkster munchers—even if you're a nervous, young,
first-time kinkster muncher yourself—do not repeatedly bring up Axe Murderers.
Even so, the four of us managed a very halting, awkward,
start-and-stop conversation. It turned out all four of us were subs (I
wasn’t much of a switch in those days), so no kink matches were coming
out of our little corner of the munch. Unfortunately, this didn’t stop
the sole newbie woman from taking a liking to me. I was never a big fan
of honey, however. Too sticky and messy and tough to get out of your
sheets. (Raised by WASPs, remember?) And even back then, tickling was my
hardest of hard limits. The real deal breaker, though, was that I just
could not stand So I Married an Axe Murderer. I might have been
able to get past everything else, but not that. I just wasn’t evolved
enough then (or now, actually) to forgive that film to wasting two
precious hours of my life—or to put myself in a position where I
might have to watch that train wreck of a movie again.
After about an hour of this, the Elder Kinksters, as we’d started to
think of them, finally finished their dinners and suddenly remembered
they had these other people farther down the table. They looked
over at us, glanced down at the remains of our own dinners on our
plates, and their eyes actually widened in surprise. I swear, one of
them even gasped.
They had completely forgotten that we were even there.
A few of them did start talking with us after that, though seemingly
more from what seemed like a sense of duty than from anything else. And
while I'd expected to meet some eccentric people that night, I wasn't
quite prepared for how these conversations would actually go. For
instance, I soon found myself awkwardly chatting with the group's Grand
Dame. She was in her late 50s, morbidly obese, and needed a cane for
each hand. I hadn’t expected to walk out of my first munch straight into
a collaring ceremony with Mistress Uber-Babe, however, and the parts of
the Grand Dame’s conversations I’d overheard while everyone was eating
had actually been pretty interesting.
When she introduced herself as “Lady Something-Or-Other,” however, I
couldn’t hide my double take, even if I did keep my jaw from dropping.
Fortunately, Lady Something-Or-Other didn’t notice, because she had
already started detailing the last few submissive men she'd met “for
consideration,” and how they had all seemed surprised and disappointed
when they first saw her in the flesh. She was genuinely confused by
this, too, she said, because she had uploaded a picture onto the BBS.
Wanting to at least try and give her the benefit of the doubt, and
remembering that her sparse profile on the BBS hadn’t included an age, I
asked how recent the picture was. Maybe she had uploaded the wrong
image and then never checked it, much like how no one had checked the
starting time that had been posted for the munch.
She answered, “Oh, the picture is quite old. But it’s wonderful.”
Then she told me she was a professional dancer, turned to one of her
friends, and asked him to make a trip to the salad bar for her, because
she wasn’t sure she could handle the walk.
Then it all got kind of creepy.
By now, we four newbies had each realized that this so-called “munch”
had really been intended as a private dinner for an existing group of
friends. We weren’t unwelcome, exactly, but we weren’t entirely welcome,
either. We were the 9th through 12th wheels, the relatives you had to
invite to the holiday dinner but didn’t really want to, and we quickly
found ourselves clustered together on our own once more, which is when
the “True Dom” came a-courtin’.
Tellingly, the “True Dom” didn't have a sub or slave there with him.
And scarily, he had bided his time until all four of us had gathered in a
vacant corner of the bar/pub, with walls on two sides and a table on
the third, so that his semi-muscled girth could block our escape. He
actually shifted his bulk as needed, too, refusing to let anyone get
around him while he quite literally interrogated each of us in
turn to see if we were "true" submissives, at least according to his
definition, which was the “true” definition, because he was a "True
Dom." And of course, being a “true” submissive involved agreeing to go
somewhere private with him that night for some "educational" play.
Did I mention that he also made a point of how he didn't believe in
safe words? Because a “true” submissive always submits without limits.
Now, remember, we were actually in part of a bar/pub, and clearly,
this guy was counting on us being too nervous and embarrassed to cause a
vanilla-attracting scene. After all, what newbie at a first munch wants
everyone else in the place knowing about the godawfully perverted and
kinky things he or she is into? But by the time he’d finished
interrogating—and berating, for their lack of "true" submissiveness—the first two newbies and then finally got to me, I'd had it. I knew I
wasn’t coming back again, and I just wanted out of there. So after I
said I wouldn’t be joining him that night, either, I cut off his look of
contempt and by-now-stock response with a non-WASP-ishly loud "Hey, none of this means I'm not a 'true' submissive. It just means I won't submit to you. Deal with it. Ass."
The place got real quiet, but his face was priceless.
All four of us slipped around him then, and we left, as quickly as we
could. The feathers-and-honey woman offered me a ride back to my side
of town, and even suggested we could make a stop along the way and rent So I Married an Axe Murderer. I begged off, though, and slipped back down into the sketchy subway station.
It was the safest I'd felt all night.