Is There A Place For Fetlife In My Life?
I have heard a fair bit about about Fetlife over the years and been intrigued. From tags on social media, to jokes in the bar, I always get the feeling that people don’t really understand what Fetlife is. Who uses it and why? Before delving into the subject, my thinking was it would be a dark and possibly disturbing sexual underworld. Don’t get me wrong, I am no shrinking violet, but as I filled in the membership form and pressed submit I actually felt pangs of nervousness in my stomach. Had I let myself into a world that I wouldn’t be able to tolerate? Or maybe even one that would consume me, capture me and convert me?
Before long I was accepted and my journey of kinky discovery began. Would my occasional dalliances with water-sports and handcuffs stand me in good stead? Or would I be hopelessly out of my comfort zone? I selected a suitably cautious user name and proceeded to explore the website. Fetlife describes itself as ‘The social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky Community.’ The first thing to note, is that rather than being faced with the torrent of confronting images which I was fearing/hoping for, the emphasis is on networking. The community feel of the members is obvious from the get-go.
The Lady Next Door
The news feed is similar to that of other social media, however it is completely unfiltered of course. Members are only here to talk fetish. I clicked on members’ photos that took my fancy and soon got lost in a world of wondrous perversion. There are pictures of all kinds of sexual kink, from flogging a tied-up female slave to men having their balls tortured. All of it consensual, all of proudly uploaded by members for the enjoyment and consideration of their peers. Despite the extremely explicit sexual content in some posts, it does not feel like I’m viewing porn. Sure, there are plenty of hot young things spread-eagle, but more often it’s mature folk that are allowing a peek into their fantasies. Every photograph records the sexual enjoyment and fantasies of its participants. Unlike pornography, these images are real and are not created for titillation.
If you think you don’t have a fetish, think again! Over 350 different fetishes are listed, all linked to the members that love them and multiple discussion boards. so, if you like a bit of spanking or dressing up as a schoolgirl, you, my friends are fetishists (albeit at the shallow end of the perv pool) and you’re in the right place! We all have our comfort levels and even though I was enticed to read articles about Pussy Pumps, Catsuits and Face Sitting, such topics as Diapers, Needle Play and Human Toilet remained unclicked. At least for now.
Far From Vanilla
Not every member posts images. Not every member participates in his/her fetish. Some people are clearly on the site every single day, commenting on photos or writing content. One such member goes by the name of Captain Vanilla1. An Older Daddy by his own description, he’s pretty ubiquitous on the site. After reading just a little of his content I felt like I knew the New Zealander personally. Despite not knowing his real name, I know he’s into Female Ejaculation and Panty Sniffing, whilst he is curious about Cross-dressing. A browse through his photos soon reveals it’s a curiosity that has been tirelessly and enthusiastically explored.
Without exception, I found that all the comments underneath pictures and articles were supportive and congratulatory. Such a nice change from all the mainstream social media with its haters and trolling. I’m sure Fetlife has moderators, but I get the sense they are barely needed. Many of the local groups meet up regularly to help members interact face to face. I see from The Captain’s feed that his local group in Hawke’s Bay meet in cafes, bars and occasionally in a sex shop. It all seems so normal, that after a few hours of trawling the website I am becoming a little desensitized to its content. I feel a bit foolish that my pre-conception was of a troubling, sinister portal better suited to the dark web.
Learning My Lesson
Fetlife has taught me a few things about myself in the last few weeks…
- I have fetishes.
- Quite a few fetishes.
- That is completely fine.
After signing out of my account and opening Facebook for the first time today, I see a harshness and falseness that makes me sad. I’m back to a world of one-up-man-ship, airbrushing and negativity. I will no doubt get used to it again very quickly, but I wish the world in general was as accepting as the fetish community. Although I don’t feel totally at home on Fetlife, I will be sure to re-visit the site from time to time to check out a fascinating other world. Oh, and to check up on Captain Vanilla of course!
Gia joy is a blogger writing about all aspects of sex and sexuality. Check her out at joyriding.blog