Shadow's Essays

"Words are loaded pistols."Jean Paul Sartre ~ "The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." Anais Nin

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Location: San Jose, Ca, United States

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

#26. Baby Step

Essays on a life of P.E.
November 6, 2005
by shadow

You are kinky. You have figured this out by now, haven't you?
You wander web pages, fantasizing about having THAT life.
You have gone shopping, discreetly, looking at new fetish clothes, picking up the occasional "toy", imagining that moment when you find a partner and get to play.
You got yourself an anonymous e-mail address that cannot be traced back to you or your house.
You have hidden your kink from your family.
You have lied to a few people about what web page you were viewing (and worked hard to find out how to erase a history file).
You have some books about fantasy sex, and no matter how many times you have told yourself that you just need to find a partner and slip off someplace quiet to live them out, you keep coming back to that 'page' on the web.

The munch page.

That list of places within your driving range where the happy kinky people gather to laugh and share and "interact".
You are sure that they are much hipper than you.
Much more in control.
They all have a LOT of experience, and they will all be dressed like that movie you saw.
Your boss will walk in, recognize both you and the situation instantly, and fire you the next morning.
Your life will be in shattered pieces if you go and meet those happy people, won't it?

Probably not.

MOST munches are held in public well lit family restaurants for a variety of reasons, the most important one being that they are the most prevalent places we can find.
It's hard to find a public meeting place for free, and restaurants are good venues.
Most of us try to find a place where they have a private room, or at least a private area where our conversations won't be easily overheard, and where we can all sit and laugh and talk without fear of our neighbors arriving or being seen by our cousin.
Sometimes, if the area is REALLY small, or we have a very careful group, someone will even have a "pre-meeting" with a stranger before we tell them where we are meeting.
It makes everyone feel protected a bit more, and gives us a little bit MORE privacy and security.
Some munches are held in other locations, just because that was what we found.
Bars, pizza parlors, bowling alleys all come to mind.

Yes, there are munches held in private houses, but they are almost never advertised on the open web, to protect the house resident from the prying eyes of strangers as well as to protect anyone who comes to that house to meet and greet.

There *is* however, a big difference between careful security and paranoid isolation, between the thousands of groups that have some rules and some guidelines to keep each other safe and protect everyone's privacy, and those that are using "screening" and "security" to meet new gullible strangers in dangerous out of the way places.

So a public restaurant is usually the best place to hold these little get togethers, for both parties sake.

So you have this safe public location, a good excuse to be there (FOOD!), and some free time to slip away from your real life and go check this out, have you?

She has always had my deepest respect.

ALL of us had to "come out" somewhere, sometime...
and we all remember that first time going out to meet a stranger in the scene, sitting in a restaurant wondering if we were going to HATE this, thinking that we really should have gone home.

In the smaller communities across America, having the options of sitting outside a brightly lit little place and watching 20-30 people interact before we go in and become slightly invisible is not an option, for there just aren't that many kinksters around.
Most small towns have little privacy, and VERY few options for a person if they lose a job or get seen someplace "questionable" by their church deacon, the PTA Mom with the big mouth, or their newspaper delivery boy.

We understand that.

In larger cities, you can often attend the munch "from a distance" if you are shy, sitting outside in your car and watching through the windows, having a cup of coffee at the counter as you eye that door in the back and the people walking inside it (some of whom seem to be dressed *very* differently from your next door neighbors).

Maybe you have had to skip out of work fast at quitting time and race across the valley in rush hour traffic to get here, and you are so keyed up that you can't imagine being comfortable meeting "THEM" just yet.

In a smaller town where they have asked you to come meet someone before they reveal their munch place, it might be different. Getting up some Saturday morning, getting dressed to run a huge list of errands, and going down to Denny's (or where ever) to have a cup of coffee with a stranger and say hello, size them up, and make just enough "contact" to give yourself an option is not that hard.
It's terrifying.
It's one of the most difficult moments someone outside mainstream sexual America will ever face.

We know that. Those of us in the scene that meet newbies, that mentor shy folks, that educate and write and lecture understand that better than you will ever know.
The great majority of us out here working to bring other lonely kinky desperate strangers into the fold know that feeling.
We promise to be kind.
We promise to be discreet.
We promise to take your special needs into consideration and give you all the room you need, while giving ourselves a chance to look at you, make sure that you are over 21, protect our little groups from looky loos and weekend warriors, give you a chance to take a "baby step" with just one other person around, and we all keep each other safe and relatively insulated from the pitfalls of this life.

MOST munches are hosted by someone that is outgoing, that loves to have friends around, and that understand outreach.
Most of the people you are going to run across at a munch are going to be there because they like to see their friends, and they know that new people will be attending from time to time.

There are, however, the occasional closed group that feels "cliquish" and withdrawn, the scattered event that doesn't have a welcome sign out. Please do not let that discourage you. If you happen to run across such a group, please persevere and find another. Yes, that group might be the only one you know of NOW-- but there are others out there if you keep looking. There are people on the net to point you in the right direction. There are people on the net that do not want to control you, lie to you, fake you out, run over you or put you in your place. There are people just like you that are comfortable now with their kink lives, who feel a great joy in the service of reaching out and lending a helping hand.

It is OK to be fearful, nervous, unsure, and timid.
It is OK to sit at the back of the room and wait, watching the others.
It is OK to come up with every horrible scenario out there and have those fears keep you double guessing yourself- for a while.
Then you will pick out the most carefully chosen outfit of your entire life, and get dressed, and travel across town or across the state or across the street to meet some strangers, and you will be afraid. You will be sure you will make an idiot of yourself, or you will be confidant that they will not like you. You will have reservations, no matter what your station in life, and this will be hard, but it will be worth it.

i should know. i am the author of "How to Host a Munch" and "The History of the Munch", and once spent a year staring at a munch announcement that i hung on my dresser mirror, working up the courage to attend it.

Your life is waiting-- please join us.

copyright 11-7-2005 by shadow, all rights reserved.
This document may be reposted and reprinted only in it's entirety including copyright and author contact **WITH PERMISSION from the AUTHOR**. (i like to know where my stuff is being reprinted). Failure to abide by the laws of common decency will result in inhuman revenge. Ask around. i can do that. It will be painful.


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