Some time ago I shared about my first visit to a local munch, a space for which I have many stories yet to share. Included in these tales are the former munch hosts Master Bigfoot and Juggler. Now, these two are amazing people, and more importantly they are wonderful friends. I have so much love and respect for the pair of them. They’ve worked hard to maintain a sense of community throughout lockdown. A mission for themselves, but one which has been invaluable to so many. Master Bigfoot is renowned for something that has (somehow) passed me by, many times. This is “the menu speech”. I’ve heard snippets of it at various munches, but never the whole thing.
What I do know is that many newcomers to the scene have found it useful.
So I asked the question: Was there any chance of him writing it down, so I could share it here. He agreed, and has given me permission to post it on a leap of faith.
Imagine yourself sitting back in a bustling pub, listening to the Menu Speech. Perhaps you have a beer in hand while you listen to the warm, rumbly undertones of a man passionate about his kinks and the community he is a part of. Supporting nervous newcomers in their quest for mischief…
For Newcomers to BDSM and/or the Kink Scene
I’m a Foodie, so I tend to use Food and Drink analogies and comparisons for most things.
There is no “One Twue Way” of proceeding with BDSM and Kink, so I always encourage people to do their own research and to access other sources of information and advice.
NB – BDSM is Consent-based.
If there is no Consent, or consent cannot be given, or withheld, then it’s not BDSM, it’s likely Abuse, Coercion or Assault.
THE MENU SPEECH – FULL VERSION
The list of activities broadly encompassed by the term “BDSM” can be likened to one of those Menus in a large All You Can Eat, World Foods Buffet Restaurant. There’s a massive selection of things on offer, some of which you may not even have heard of before, and the choice may even seem overwhelming.
But, you’re curious and hungry to try some of the things on offer…
Just as with food, our BDSM tastes are specific to us, so just because someone else really loves something on the Menu, there’s no guarantee that you’ll like it or even want to try it.
You may already know what you’d like to try, and you’ve possibly got an idea of what new things you might like, but suddenly there is this vast choice of offerings for you to consider.
Just as with spicy food, some people prefer something a little milder, whilst others will enjoy something that may be eye-watering or even unbearable to the rest of us.
The good news is that there are a number of things we can do to make things a whole lot more fun and help prevent mistakes or unsuitable choices.
There are a number of important elements to consider, but the most important is probably:
Is what I’m doing/thinking of doing Safe?
Broadly, the majority of BDSM activity tends to fall into one of two categories:
“SSC” – Safe, Sane and Consensual.
“What it says on the can” – BDSM activity (or “Play”) at the safer (i.e. less risky) end of the spectrum. Generally, activity where accidents or unintended outcomes are not going to be too serious.
“RACK” – Risk Aware, Consensual Kink.
BDSM activities involving greater risk, or with the potential for harm, e.g. Knife Play, Blood Play, Breath Play etc., which, by their nature, can never be made 100 percent safe.
This includes any activity where the intended events are more challenging or extreme, or where accidents or unintended outcomes are potentially harmful, or may result in mental or physical trauma, serious injury or even death.
So, how to proceed? Several options, in no particular order…
Find and complete a BDSM Checklist – Highly Recommended!
BDSM Checklists identify and list most of the activities available, what they are commonly called, and help you think about and rate to what extent you’d like to do this activity.
Completing a BDSM Checklist will help you identify and form your preferences. And, even more importantly, identify those “Menu options” that you feel like you will never, ever want to do. (Also known as your “Red List”). Got any allergies? Be mindful, and keep those in mind when choosing from the Menu…
Does the thought of eating something make you feel queasy? Or does it light you up?
Knowing what you would, and wouldn’t, like to try is key to avoiding some potential disasters!
So, peruse the Menu (a.k.a. the BDSM Checklist) and imagine yourself working through the choices on offer.
Far from being a chore, the act of completing a BDSM Checklist can be great fun as it whets your appetite for what, potentially, lies ahead!
Research what’s available in a bit more detail
Look online, maybe do the online BDSM Quiz to clarify your thoughts in a fun way…
Get (Buy, borrow, look online) some of the books on your chosen subject. There are many factual books on BDSM and a wealth of good videos online.
Do be guided by common sense!
Also, please take the time to learn about “Aftercare” and “Drop”.
Good, appropriate aftercare can very often help to prevent feeling “Droppy”, the sad, blues-ey, ‘Low’ feelings sometimes experienced after the joyous “Natural Highs” of a good Scene or Party.
Seek out those more experienced than you.
Genuine “Subject Matter Experts” – Does someone have a good reputation for certain types of play? Has someone posted a really well-written, well-reasoned blog post or piece of writing
Do your research, look at various “Writings”, and if you still have questions, make polite, respectful enquiries of like-minded Kinksters.
Observe others – the “Watch and learn” technique.
Look, and listen, with an open mind. Watch the way others play. The language and expressions they use, their interactions and the way the Scene builds, unfolds and ends. Is it what you would like to give? Or Receive? What, if anything, would you like to do or experience differently? What sort of Aftercare is given?
Regarding Play, context is important.
e.g. just as in some parts of the world it is polite to slurp soup loudly, in others this may be seen as bad manners. Similarly, local preferences may be reflected in styles or manner of play, and affect the acceptability of sexual or other behaviours.
Let common sense prevail.
A lot of BDSM activities take time and practice to master well. Always be honest in describing your levels of experience, there’s nothing wrong in being new at something. An open mind and a willingness to listen to, and learn from, the experiences of others is as important as your “Hands on” personal journey of discovery.
Gently Does it!
Just because you may feel like you’re desperately Hungry for so much on the Menu, take your time to savour and appreciate each dish, each experience, each person you Play with. It really is worth pacing yourself on this journey.
Even when planning to act out long-held Fantasies or Desires!
Remember Common Sense
It is so incredibly easy to mistakenly try to “Eat The Menu” and cram as many dishes/experiences in as quickly as possible (-Fear of Missing Out?) a state sometimes called “Frenzy”…
Getting out on the Public Scene can sometimes feel a bit like being a kid in a Sweetshop with ‘Carte Blanche’ to taste anything and everything on offer – and too much of anything can leave us feeling overwhelmed, out-of-sorts or even unwell.
Overdone it? Tried too much, or too quickly?
Slow down, take a pause and review how you feel. Try something a little lighter, or even take a little break.
Keep an eye on your body and its responses, and your emotional and mental state; reflect on how you react and how you feel about each experience at the time, and a few days later.
Good Luck, I’ll look forward to maybe seeing or hearing about your adventures!
p.s. Always Remember Consent, and keep in mind that you never, ever, have to try anything you REALLY don’t want to.
The Menu Speech was first shared to Master Bigfoot’s Fetlife and I was given express permission to use as desired. It’s been lovely to finally hear the conversation I’ve heard so much about. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed it too, and perhaps even found something of value for you. Or maybe something that you can share with someone new to exploring. Personally, it’s been great to actually listen to it for the first time- almost 4 years down the line. And, given how well I know him I can actually hear him saying this.
If you have enjoyed the Menu Speech and would like to have a go at your own BDSM Checklist, check out this post. Your focus determines your reality contains a link to a simple to use checklist.