Fetishists of all kinds are beginning to band together. The number of people who openly express their kinks and fetishes has grown to such an extent that the phrase “fetish culture” is now all but ubiquitous. Without a doubt, kink communities are thriving and growing all over the world. Many people attend conferences and classes held in larger cities, and more and more websites are being developed daily to cater to the kinks of the fetishly inclined.
The massive increase in kink involvement can be partially attributed to the social media platform FetLife. Fet Life seems to have launched at the ideal moment, in the midst of the social media boom, and it has remained a fixture of everything kink ever since.
It not only helps seasoned fetishists organize and communicate, but it has also taught many newcomer kink culture enthusiasts the ropes. Their easy to use platform has become nothing short of iconic in the last few years, allowing people to easily and effectively chart where they fall on the spectrum of kink.
John Kopanas, a software developer from Montreal (also known by his user name, John Baku), founded FetLife, which debuted in January 2008. When he couldn’t find girls who shared his kinks, he started Friends With Fetishes. Over the course of a few years, it developed into the FetLife site that we know and love today.
By 2017, FetLife had amassed over 6 million users and was nothing short of a social media phenomenon. Of course, this number continues to rise as more people explore and become aware of their own sexual desires.
At first, any user could start a group devoted to any kink they desired. But as you might expect, things eventually got out of control and stricter moderation was needed. The ability to create groups was temporarily suspended in January 2017.
All new users are automatically enrolled in the group FetLife Announcements, which will keep you abreast to new site policies and news. There are many other groups in which you can enroll as well, such as Ask a Submissive, Ask a Mistress, Ask a Stripper, Ask a Dom, Novices and Newbies, etc. Other than being a little more group-oriented than other sites, FetLife basically acts like a normal social media site. You can add friends, private chat, follow users, write public messages to users on their walls, post what’s on your mind, and upload pictures and videos (which you can also comment on and like).
The Best Social Media Site Features, Plus the Fun All the Others are Missing.
The design of the site is unlike any one social media site you’ll be familiar with, though. It actually is kind of an amalgam of Facebook and Tumblr. You have your wall for friends to comment and post on, just like you’d have on Facebook. Your newsfeed also imitates the Facebook model.
The “Explore” section of the site, however, looks like something much closer to Tumblr, in the way random posts appear in a gallery fashion. This section can be finetuned, though, to your liking. Here, you can choose to see recent media posts by just your friends and people you follow, or you can browse the entire FetLife world in sections titled “Kinky and Popular” or “Fresh and Pervy. ” You also have easy access to stuff you have “liked,” or, in FetLife speak, “Loved,” allowing you to return to your favorite material over and over again.
FetLife also allows you to limit this enormously helpful Explore section to just pictures, just videos, or just text. Or all three if you don’t discriminate. It’s really up to you. Users seem to post sexy content very frequently, too. That means that, although FetLife is most useful as a social media site to connect you to others with similar sexual desires to your own, you could also successfully use FetLife as an endless source for amateur, fetish-oriented porn if you wanted. Your level of participation is, of course, your call.
Online Community to Real Life Friends.
Right next to the “Explore” tab on the menu bar is the “Groups” tab. This is where you can search (using keywords) for whatever new groups you might want to be a part of. This is also where you will most easily keep track of the discussions going on in whatever groups you are already a part of. Unsure of what groups to join? Not a problem, FetLife also provides a feature for you to browse groups by popularity or newness.
Okay, so, maybe you’ve been on FetLife for a little while now. You’ve started to build an online community and have a good feel for the culture and where you fit in it. Well, my friend, congratulations, you are now ready to start attending some events out there in the real world. The “Events” section of the site is also very actively updated and allows you to get info on upcoming events (meetups, swinger parties, orgies, BDSM classes, etc. ) going on in your area.
Or, fuck it, in any area. Say you’ll be travelling to a particularly active city in the near future … just check the events section for that city ahead of time and plan a meetup while you’re there. There are few to no limitations on what’s possible with FetLife. It all depends on what you want and are willing to explore.
As if those aforementioned features weren’t enough to keep you busy for the next year, FetLife has more to offer. You can browse the site by city, state, or country as well, making it easier than ever to connect with likeminded kinksters, either around the world or right in your backyard.
Great Features, Site Design, Everything.
Usually they are really poorly designed, cluttered, or just unnecessarily difficult to navigate. Not FetLife, though, this site is sleek, straightforward, and easy to use.
Plus, there are extremely minimal ads on this site. Which is incredibly rare for a site that is 100 percent free, but also how it should be. All you will find is one small ad to the right of your newsfeed. And it is usually for a discount on a product that kinksters would actually find useful, so it’s not all that bad at the end of the day. Kudos to you, FetLife for providing an amazing service and putting your users’ experience above all else. We appreciate it.
Plus, FetLife has an open-source Android app in the play store. Apparently, for my fellow iOS users, an open source app is in the works for us—so, contribute to it if you know how to code!
All in all, it’s a great site. It’s aesthetically pleasing, easy to use, and provides an amazing service: connecting sexually open, curious, or experienced individuals with other likeminded people, both around and outside of their neighborhoods. It is just as useful for the novice as it is for the veteran kinkster; people are generally pretty cool about educating and helping others figure out their paths when possible.
Pair all these great features with the fact that FetLife is composed of an extremely active community and you have a site that you cannot go wrong with. You can get as much or as little out of it as you desire. It can also double as a great amateur porn site if you aren’t necessarily trying to go out and meet up with anyone.
If you already know where you fall on the kink spectrum, stop reading this immediately and start chatting with your tribe! If you are a budding beginner kinkster, do not be shy … head on over to fetlife . com (often misspelled as “fettlife”) and start exploring. You’ll be very happy with what you find. It’s always good to have a community. You are never alone! All groups containing words like blood, needles, rape, or incest were purged from the site and then the group creation feature was reinstated, with these new limitations.