This code of conduct is specifically for the TES Novice & Newcomers Munch, but many of these guidelines may be good advice for other events in the Scene – always check with the organizers to see if the following meets their standard for behavior in their space.
- DO NOT ask attendees their personal information (real name, middle name, last name, where they live, work, go to school, or favorite Starbucks location).
- INSTEAD, tell someone something about yourself, and then ask them, “Would you tell me something about yourself that you feel comfortable sharing?”
- DO NOT touch others without their permission.
- INSTEAD ask them “Would you like a hug?” or “Shake hands?” This may seem strange, but it is common in the kink community, and most people both appreciate and expect to be asked. Ask this every time before you touch someone.
- DO NOT touch others’ belongings without their permission.
- INSTEAD ask “May I see your item?” Same reasoning as above – people will expect & appreciate it.
- DO NOT insist or get offended if the answer to any of these questions is “no.” There could be all sorts of reasons, and it likely has nothing to do with you personally.
- INSTEAD say “thank you anyway,” and walk away to find someone else to talk to.
- DO NOT approach someone again who has already said they don’t want to share things about themselves, play, hug, or show you their toys. It can come across as pressuring them to change their mind if they have already said no once.
- INSTEAD leave them alone for the rest of the evening. Next time you see them, you can give them a wave and say hi, but then WALK AWAY. Let THEM come to YOU if they want to talk next time. If they don’t, respect that and move on.
- DO NOT kink shame if someone is talking about a kink activity that sounds unpleasant to you or makes you uncomfortable by saying “ew!,” “why would anyone like that!?” or anything like that. Sometimes someone else’s kink is not yours, but their kink is still okay.
- INSTEAD quietly withdraw from the conversation if you are in a group and join a different group. If you are talking to someone one on one, say “Neat, thanks for sharing. I’m not into that, but have a great night!” Then, go find someone else to talk to. You do NOT have to keep talking or hearing about something that makes you uncomfortable.
- DO NOT ask to friend someone on social media other than Fetlife, and even then . . .
- INSTEAD offer them YOUR social media information if you feel comfortable doing so. Most people will want to stick to Fetlife to protect their privacy, so start with that. If they offer theirs back, great; otherwise, let them reach out to you if and when they want to.
- DO NOT be discouraged if you don’t meet anyone who wants to play with you, date you, or share information with you. Socializing is always a toss-up.
- INSTEAD accept that you never know who will show up to an event, and for those who do, you might not be what they’re looking for. Enjoy making friends and socializing without the pressure of needing to find a play or romantic partner.
GREAT THINGS TO TALK ABOUT/ASK
“How did you hear about TES?”
“I’m interested in [insert kink activity].”
“Have you been to any other events that you would recommend?”
“Outside of BDSM/kink, I’m really into music/cooking/movies/video gaming/whatever you’re into.”
- DO NOT get intoxicated before or during the munch or party. You will be told to go home.
- DO NOT bring outside food or beverages to the munch.
- DO NOT take pictures or videos during the munch. Privacy is very important in the kink community, and recording of any kind makes many people uncomfortable.
- DO NOT only talk to people you think you would like to play with or date. Make friends first, even if they are not the gender you are attracted to or into the same stuff you like. If you are a submissive, talk to other submissives. If you are a sadist, talk to other sadists. If you are a straight man, talk to other men. You don’t have to play with them or date them, but be friendly with them. This helps the community get to know you and trust you.
- DO apologize if someone tells you that you’ve accidentally broken one of these rules and try to do better next time.
- If you need help with any of these rules and suggestions, ASK the hosts of the munch for advice or clarification.