On Friday evening Moineau and I made our way to the Chardmore Society annual street party in Hoxton, London.
It was a last minute decision to go, but my itch to meet kinky people and socialise again needed scratching.
I had no knowledge of the Chardmore Society, and had never been to one of their events before. However, I had seen the name come up a few times on Fetlife, as they run semi-regular CMnf (clothed male, naked female) events in London – a type of event I’d been interested in attending for a while.
Attending the street party therefore had two main aims. Firstly, to continue my goal to build a kinky social circle in London, and secondly, to see the types of people who might attend the CMnf events.
The street party was a munch of sorts (a munch being a get together of kinky folk in public, purely for socialising – no sexual stuff happens) held at a bar.
As I approached the venue at around 7.30pm, I could see 20 or 30 people spilling out onto the pavement, drinks in hand, chatting animatedly. I’m not surprised given everyone has been locked up for the past year and a half.
Moineau was late to meet me (for which she got some punishment spanks the following day), and I didn’t really want to walk into the venue alone, especially as I couldn’t see anyone who looked like they were my age (I’d say the average age was about 50 or more). So I hovered a few minutes down the road until she arrived.
As with any kink event, you never really know what kind of people will show up. It’s pot luck. I’ve got nothing against older people who enjoy kink, but I’m trying to meet friends who are going to be interested in the things I am outside of kink. Therefore it’s likely they are going to be between 25 and 40.
I must admit I was therefore a bit worried that the evening would be a bit of a let down, and I wouldn’t find anyone to talk to.
Time to enter…
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When Moineau arrived we both headed up the road to the bar. We went inside to order drinks, then returned to the pavement, as the small entrance way was crammed, and nobody seemed to be adhering to the guidelines to wear masks inside the bar (I guess being older they’d all had their vaccinations, but still…).
Although it was a munch, and therefore normal non-fetish wear is the norm, there were a few eyebrow raising outfits and some nice looking sub collars on show.
After some time we got talking to a couple of gentlemen. The conversation was decent, and it’s always interesting to hear how others got involved in the world of kink. You can’t assume anything either – kink and BDSM are such diverse universes that you never know why someone might be attending an event until you ask them.
Everyone was very friendly, and willing to chat. The bar at which we met (and I believe is run by a friend of the Chardmore Society owner) was small but inviting, with some kinky pictures and equipment on display. Plus the drinks were very reasonably priced.
After some time we found ourselves back on the road, on the periphery of the crowd of people. Glancing around I spotted a younger couple who had just arrived, also standing on the edge, also seeming to be deciding who to talk to.
Striking whilst the iron was hot…
Sensing an opportunity, we walked over to them and introduced ourselves. It was a good move. From that point on we stuck with them, and another woman who joined us soon after, having arrived on her own, for the rest of the night.
The conversation was free flowing, ranging from anal sex to coding, to fashion, to parties people were going to attend. The couple gave me a tip about an upcoming play party in July that I hadn’t heard of, and I immediately jumped onto Instagram to message the organiser and booked two tickets.
My social skills felt a little rusty seeing as the number of people I’ve interacted with over the past few months has been minimal. And yet it somehow also felt easy. The group had a good dynamic. People involved in kink tend to be quite open and honest, willing to talk about most subjects, which makes everything far more interesting. There’s little need for small talk. The conversation flowed well.
By this point it was getting late, so we decided to head home. We exchanged Fetlife usernames and phone numbers, and summoned an Uber to whisk us home.
As a first kink meet after months it felt fantastic to be back out. Although I’ve been to multiple play parties, it seems folks at those events are more interested in the fucking than making friends (which is understandable). At a munch I felt as though I could make a stronger connection with someone and get to know them a little (I prefer to fuck someone who I have flirted with and have chemistry with, rather than some random).
This was on the second or third meet up purely for socialising, and it was great to come away from it having met people who I want to see again.
6 tips for attending a kinky event (munch)
If you’re also looking to meet other kinky people, here are some things to remember when attending a munch.
- Get out there. It’s pretty damn obvious but to build any social circle you need to put in work. You have to take the time to find, book, and attend events. This can be daunting, especially if you are attending alone, but you must push through that fear.
- Lower your expectations. Not all events are going to be amazing. So set your expectations low. If you come away having had a conversation with someone you wouldn’t normally talk to, even if you never intend to see them again, that as a win.
- Go to make friends, not to get laid. Don’t be the person hitting on everyone you fancy. Yes, flirt if you sense it is appropriate, but triple check you are not misreading the situation. If in doubt, don’t. Not everyone at a munch is looking to meet someone – they may just be there to talk to old friends. Work on your emotional intelligence, social skills, and reading body language to help you guage the situation. You don’t go to munches to try and pull. That comes later once you’ve built up rapport with the person. I’m not saying you can’t pull someone if the opportunity arises, but it’s rare.
- Take chances. Once you get to the event you are going to have to throw yourself in at the deep end and just start talking to someone. It doesn’t matter who, just get yourself in the mood. Further conversations will be easier.
- Don’t assume anything. BDSM and kink are so diverse. You don’t know if the people attending are monogamous, polyamorous, straight, bi, gay, into dominance and submission, or anything in between. Unlike a regular event where you can assume most people are monogamous and either single or coupled up, the same isn’t true at a munch. Expect a far higher percentage of non-monogamous, and open couples. It’s more acceptable to ask a person’s relationship status and what they are into at munches (although again – read the room. It isn’t the only thing you should be talking about).
- Don’t forget to get their details. You’re at a kink event. People want to meet like-minded people, so if you got on with someone, ask for their information and if they fancy meeting up again. Learn to accept a ‘No’ without getting annoyed – sometimes you will have misread the situation and they aren’t interested in keeping in touch. That’s okay. But if you don’t ask, you can’t meet in the future to make friends.
I’ve no doubt we’ll keep in contact with the three folks we met. There’s already a Whatsapp group set up and plans for dinner…