Reviewing the published guidance effective from the 4th July, it will not be possible to bring munches back until regulations relax further.
The restrictions currently prevent more than two households meeting indoors and groups larger than six people from different households meeting outdoors. You cannot interact socially with anyone outside of the group that you are attending a place with (so no “happen to all be at the Turtle at the same time” loopholes!).
To follow the law, munches will not be restarting with the changes from the 4th July. We’re watching the unfolding recommendations, and are in active communication with our venues to bring events back as soon as we can. Many events will continue to run virtually to keep the community spirit going.
Stay safe; look after each other.
Advice and support for those new to the Reading Scene
There are lots of ways to get involved in the scene, but the most effective way is by meeting people face to face. The events that are available in and around Reading include:
- Play Events
- Social Events
A brief summary of the different types of events and the ‘feel’ of each of the munches is below:
A munch is a social gathering of people, usually in a vanilla venue. All of the ones in Reading are held within pubs, and as such it is expected that people attend in vanilla outfits/street clothing. The point of a munch is for people who have similar interests to be able to meet and socialise, often without even discussing kink/fetish topics. No play occurs at a munch and it is not a ‘singles’ or ‘pick-up’ event.
What to Expect
At a munch, conversations often happen in a ‘circle’ of 4-5 people. It is perfectly fine to walk up to a circle, listen in to the conversation to pick up what is being talked about, and join in if you feel inclined. When you get bored, it’s also okay to bow out and join another circle.
How the Community Supports New Attendees
If you’re new to munches in general, or just new to the scene in Reading, then you can contact one of the organisers of the munch you are planning to attend and ask them for a ‘meet & greet’.
A ‘meet & greet’ usually means that the organiser will meet you when you arrive, or can possibly meet you at the entrance to the venue if pre-arranged. Once they’ve met you, they’ll introduce you to some people at the munch to help you break the ice and get started talking to people.
Depending on how social you are, you may wish to attend one of the quieter munches for your first event. These are usually:
- The Outlook Munch
- Butler Games
You may also find that some of the ‘speciality’ munches are a more comfortable way to get started:
- Berkshire Sub-Sisters
- Under 35s Munch
Locally, there is a Discord server that has been set up to help the community be more connected. If you’d like to join and get chatting, then there is more information at: https://fetlife.com/groups/2925/group_posts/13138536
What Not to Expect
Do not come along expecting to find a partner or someone to explore kink with at your first munch. You need to build your reputation as someone who is respectful and reliable, and even then a munch is just a social gathering.
Munch organisers put time and effort in to making sure that all of the behind the scenes work takes place to facilitate things happening for the community, and while they’re happy to help introduce new people to others, please don’t expect them to babysit you as they are there to have a good time themselves.
The Different Munches in Reading
Purple Turtle Munch
Second Wednesday of the month – https://fetlife.com/groups/2925
This is one of the largest and liveliest munches in Reading. We have the downstairs area to ourselves, which is one of the main highlights. In warmer weather, we are often allocated an outdoor space as well for extended socialising. Often a smaller group will gather beforehand for dinner as the venue itself does not serve food.
The number of attendees can range, but regularly exceeds 30 and during peak months can have upwards of 70 attendees. It can be rather loud with high background noise.
The Outlook Munch
Last Monday of the month – https://fetlife.com/groups/2925
This is the other ‘general purpose’ munch for all who wish to attend. Formed as the main (Purple Turtle) munch was becoming more crowded, and to cover a wider range of days of week, this munch remains in the original venue. The pub serves food and seating is usually available.
This is often a reasonably quiet munch of around 10-20 people.
Reading Poly Meet
First Wednesday of the month – https://fetlife.com/groups/172870
For any and all interested in aspects of ethical non-monogamy, join us as we learn more about polyamory, discuss topics relevant to polyamory, and meet other polyamorous people from our community.
This is held in a separate room at the venue, and can vary between around 10 attendees and 25 attendees. There can sometimes be questions that are discussed between attendees in order to share knowledge and experience.
*Note that the Poly Meet is the only local event advertised on non-kink sites as well, so there may be attendees who attend who are not otherwise a part of the Reading scene.
First Thursday of the month – https://fetlife.com/groups/60802
A space for submissive women in Berkshire, UK to get together, hang out, and make friends with other women who share similar experiences. This is a supportive space that gives women the chance to develop friendships and share ideas.
The venue changes regularly and is only shared with female submissives who have marked themselves as attending the event in order to ensure a safe space.
Second Saturday of the month – https://fetlife.com/users/9867898
FemDom Munch South is open to all that self-identity as a female under the vast umbrella that is Female Domination, as well as anyone who admires these amazing women.
It’s a very friendly informal Munch! Most months we have a good mix of attendees, some in Couples, some single Dommes and some single male and female submissive’s.
Under 35s Munch
Third Tuesday of the month – https://fetlife.com/groups/123143
A munch for people under the age of 35. The aim is to create a safe place for new munchers who might be more cautious about attending the main munch, as well as for any Reading scene members who are under 35 and want to socialise with other under 35s.
The number of attendees can vary between 10 and 30 and we have our own reserved area of the venue. The group often ends up splitting into two or three separate conversations.
Fourth Tuesday of the month – https://fetlife.com/groups/116032
A group for all like minded game junkies to meet up and play the games we love. Board games, card games, roleplaying games, and anything in between!
This can be a great first munch to attend as playing a game with other people is a good way to break the ice and give you something to talk about.
The event ranges from 10-30 participants regularly.
Age Players Reading
A newer munch in its early days – https://fetlife.com/users/8814801
A friendly, relaxed group and organised events for littles, middles, Bigs, Daddies, Mummies, Guardians and Caregivers. We welcome anyone who enjoys ageplay, whether that’s an occasional role or a 24/7 lifestyle, sexual or not. Just as long as you’re nice!
Erotica Reading Night
Third Thursday of the month – https://fetlife.com/users/8306145
A space for kinksters to bring their favourite erotic short stories (either self-written or pre-published) and read aloud to a group of other eager listeners. A theme may be posted for specific events. Participation not mandatory but strongly encouraged!
This event is new but anticipates 10-20 attendees; the event venue is typically the back room at The Castle Tap but could change on occasion pending availability. See event listings for details.
Peer Learning Events
Peer Learning events are often set up in an informal manner, usually with specific topic focuses. Often managed by a core group of volunteers, these are spaces to learn technical and other skills to take away and play with. They are rarely spaces for significant play and are often light-hearted and community focused.
Fourth Sunday of the month – https://fetlife.com/groups/94188
Peer Reading is the local event for peer learning, with a heavy rope and shibari focus but interwoven are other special events such as whips, fireplay, takedown, and pet play, as well as the occasional guest workshop leader.
Most sessions follow a format of two group workshops led by the team, with space, equipment, and guidance for people to explore further. The event is a laid back and safe environment to learn from others and to share any skills you have. This event is for members only; the vouching policy can be found in the Peer Reading group which serves to keep both attendees and the venue safe.
Play events are events with a play focus: at these events you should expect to see people engaged in scenes as well as some social spaces.
Often events will have a dress code (typically all black as a minimum) and people take the opportunity to dress in attire they could not wear elsewhere!
Different events will have blends of play focus, music, dancing, and socialising.
There is no expectation that you have to play at events, equally: there is no obligation for anyone to play! It can be helpful to pre-negotiate scenes with play partners, although pick-up-play is also common at some events.
The nearest play event to Reading is PlaySpace – https://fetlife.com/users/1508593. PlaySpace is a private members-only BDSM (SSC & RACK) play party, not open to the general public, within 10 minutes off Jct 4/4a off the M3. Membership is free, but all members are vetted and require two real life scene references.
These are events that are not under the banner of being a munch, and usually form based around undertaking an activity as a group.
Karaoke at the Outlook
This is organised by @MaRr0ck and @GemmaMuerte and usually takes place on the second Sunday of the month.
Links to Useful Information
Glossary – National Coalition for Sexual Freedom – https://www.ncsfreedom.org/images/stories/pdfs/Activist/BDSM_Pamphlet-Glossary_of_BDSM_Terms.pdf
Munches are alright for a first-timer if you don’t delude yourself that it’s too much more than a bunch of people that like kink – DollCries –https://fetlife.com/users/4275108/posts/3506261
Munch Etiquette For First Timers – Ms Morgan Thorne – https://msmorganthorne.com/munch-etiquette-first-timers/
Kinky days (and nights) out for fetish fans who are sick of dating sites – The Metro – https://metro.co.uk/2017/07/26/kinky-days-and-nights-out-for-fetish-fans-who-are-sick-of-dating-sites-6742878/