San Diego Munch Historyby
In the spring of 1995, I saw a rather pathetic post on the BDSM newsgroup I regularly read and posted to, alt.sex.bondage, by someone who was complaining about the lack of activities here in San Diego.
Side note: alt.sex.bondage still exists, but is nearly unreadable, due to spam. A new group, soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm was voted into existance according to usenet protocols in May 1997, and has largely replaced a.s.b as a venue for conversations on BDSM-related matters.
There were two prongs to this complaint.
In the first place, the poster felt that there was too much emphasis on sexual orientation at the events he heard about. The poster's logic made sense to me: why should it matter to people I meet if I am gay, straight, or something in between, if I'm looking for *social* conversation, not a play-mate?
The second point that was made in the thread that started was that there are a lot of people in the community who are not "out" as leatherfolk. They felt uncomfortable attending events in leather bars, and were concerned about their reputations if they were seen with people dressed in fetish styles.. After all, in many ways, San Diego is a small town. Since I'm one of these people (I work with children, and have no intention of becoming a poster child for intolerance), I understand that attitude. I think it may have been a bit exaggerated, but it's still, IMO, a legitimate concern.
The standard suggestions were made: Eagle's and Wolf's, the NLA (which has since become Club X)... but nothing seemed to be meeting these particular people's needs. At least partly, I think this is due to misconceptions and stereotyping, but there were still a lot of complaints!
I didn't see what all the fuss is about. In another social club I belong to, the activities are all hosted by members who chose what they will do. So, to me, the answer to the dilemma "there's nothing meeting my needs" was simple: start something that does.
As the thread continued, I suggested this alternative, and was shot down. Someone told me it had been tried and hadn't worked. Someone else said it was "too much work." However, the way my parents raised me, I tend to equate "complain" with "volunteer". So, I posted an announcement in a.s.b, saying I would run a munch locally, if there was interest.
I got three nibbles.
So, I kept posting for about two months, adding people to the mailing list, quizzing them about their schedules, and, when I finally had a free night, I posted a note saying that the first San Diego munch was going to happen, with a time & date, and information about the location.
That first munch had was held in June 1995 and there were five attendees, including myself.... and I'll freely admit how relieved I was that they all agreed to the basic ground rules, that they all were nice, and so, well.... "normal looking." No-one who came was at all as I had pictured the worst-case scenario; everyone was civil and well-mannered. Since then, I've found this to be the usual rule.
We intended to alternate between burnches in one month and dinners the next, and we have kept to that. Some people can only attend a brunch, others can only attend a weekday dinner.
Since 1995, we've grown considerably. There are about 250 people on the mailing list (as well as two redistribution lists who get copies of my notes), , and we've had over 50 people show up for some munches. The group is still aimed primarily at people who read a BDSM-related newsgroup but other people who are interested in BDSM are still welcome, whether as guests or on their own.
In February of 1999, I started to look for someone to take over the Munches; my own schedule is very complex, and it had become more and more difficulat to find time to host the munches and to take care of the newsletters. I had a couple volunteers, and in August 1999 coordinated my last San Diego Munch. The new coordinator is HisPeach@aol.com
Most Recently updated 8/29/99.