Sunday, February 05, 2012

Recap: MBS Sunday Brunch for Feb 5

Our topic this week was Fetlife. Here's what you had to say.

morningstar: I could write a book on this topic. I was one of the first people on FetLife. I met John, the owner, at a munch. I beta tested for a bit. Then when it was up and running, I completely forgot about it.

Many months later, someone asked if I had heard of FetLife. So I wandered back to take a look. I was impressed. In those days, you have to remember, it was very small and consisted mostly of local (to me) folks. As it grew, I found it interesting and fun with all these new folks to 'chat' with...

Then it became the same old ,same old. So I left. Now I go on maybe twice a month, but mostly to check on events here in our hometown.

A lot of us "old timers" are starting to say that FetLife has opened the flood gates to a whole bunch of folks who just want instant gratification. I know we see them coming out to events here and muddying the waters.

Recently, I read a thread about how the lifestyle is becoming "watered down" and placed some of the blame on sites like FetLife that opened a more or less closed community to people who want to be in on the latest "fad."

Now I try very hard to stay on the sidelines of everything, from FetLife to events. This is a very personal choice. I am not happy with the behaviours of those "newbies / wannabees" who claim expertise or knowledge and have no basic social skills, never mind BDSM rules and protocols. I believe sites like FetLife, though meaning well, have caused more problems than I need or want.

(putting my soap box away and mumbling an apology for voicing a very non-popular opinion)

James: I enjoyed FetLife when it first started. I used to sign in quite a lot. But I have to agree with morningstar. It's become a not so nice place to visit. I may go in to check on some happenings in the area, but other than that, I stay away and I sure don't post any more.

There are a lot of wanna be's and some not very nice people.

Sunny Girl: I'm not a member. Nor have I ever visited.

Spanky: We have not ventured into FetLife. Our anonymity is important to us, and therefore we aren't interested in meeting like-minded people in person. I have to admit I have thought of making an account just to lurk, but haven't done it. I find that I waste quite enough time already between my blog and trying to keep up with all the others! But it is a temptation.

Dioneo: I'm on FetLife sporadically (Dioneo_D). I joined as SpankoLife began to have its troubles, hoping FL would be a good substitute. I've met some new friends there, and some old ones, but it definitely has a different vibe. It's a very diverse community, and yet the core membership seems to have a darker slant than is my ideal. The diversity of kinks is in some sense its best aspect and in other senses a weakness. Whatever you're into, you'll most likely find like-minded folks there. But it's kind of overwhelming and I think it takes away from a sense of community that a more specialized site would have. At the very least, it could offer search features.

Sarah Thorne: Yep. I am a member. I guess it's been two or three years. I put off joining, although my friends had all joined. When I finally did, I only checked in once a month or so, if that. But then, I got a bit more involved as I got used to the site, and like it well enough. It's just another way to keep in touch with people you've met who may not be close enough that you talk to them everyday through other means (Yahoo, email and phone), but with whom you'd like to develop a bit more knowledge of outside of maybe a party where you see one another once a year.

Dave: I have not joined Fetlife because I am only interested in F/M and M/F spanking, primarily of a disciplinary nature. I am not at all interested in BDSM or bondage, so I do not see place for me there.

Joeyred51: I am a member of FL and like to visit the site to learn about events in the NY area. I belong to a great club, The Spanking Club of New York. Events are posted on FL as well as who will be attending from around the country. There are also lots of excellent materials on Shibari, a fetish which I enjoy very much.

I am on FL often to correspond with my friends and to stay connected with them.

Dragon's Rose: Yep, I'm on Fet. I visit once or twice a month to check out local events, chat with lifestyle friends and look at a few new pics. There are places for people who sew, love corsets and where Christianity and kink mix. It's an all-in-one kinda place. I don't like the spanko groups though.

KZ Roth: Okay, I just joined. I'm not sure why, curiosity I guess. As an outsider just wandering around, it looks to have some interest. Most of the writing groups I'm on have become way too vitriolic. At least with a BDSM group, you sort of expect a level of, um, aggression. My muse is always on the look out for new playgrounds.

This is She.: I love Fetlife. :) I access it nearly everyday. What is appealing is the fact that I have a better opportunity of making friends with other open minded people. There are unappealing aspects, though, and that is all the DRAMA. But, you know, that is not Fetlife's fault. It is the fault of people who are too bored in their lives. Some people just gotta troll. I don't let it get to me, though. I just ignore it. :)

Abby: I've never joined or ever visited. If I get curious enough, I might some day.

Scunge: I was one of the first 20,000 to join, but I hardly go there anymore. My fiance visits much more than I do, and he lets me know if I need to check something out. There seem to be many friend collectors who don't bother to read profiles.

Loki_Darksong: I rather enjoy Fetlife. I am a regular visitor and have a group that I co-lead.

I have met many new friends, both local and at a distance. I have found resources that even I would have had trouble locating via Fetlife. And I have become more active within the scene as a result of joining. And I mean this as an S/Mer as well as a spanker, although I do not necessarily see the separation of the two.

Of course, I will not say that the site does not have its share of flaws. Some people have joined Fetlife just to prop themselves up in some imagined way. Or worse, they spread misinformation as gospel with the most selfish of reasons. I am an experienced member of this community, with twenty-five years under my belt. I have tried to counter that wherever it occurs, especially when someone new to Fetlife is involved.

Giving aid to those who are new, no matter what sex, or race, or orientation, is one of the main reasons why I like the site. It gives people who lack the ability to visit a club or event the chance to meet others and to learn how to be an experienced and safe person within our realm. Now if we can just get folks to understand that!

Oh, and Dave, trust me. There are plenty of F/M and M/F spanking groups on Fetlife for you to explore. ;-)

Daisy: Nope. I am busy enough just keeping up here! I think I may have visited once years ago. But if so, it was just the once.

Dr. Ken: Yes, I'm on FetLife. I go there maybe once a week or so. It's more BDSM-oriented than I like, and not really geared toward spanking-only people such as myself. There are a lot of spanking groups, but it's obviously not the main focus of the site.

SpankoLife would be a better alternative, but their software hasn't worked properly for months. I really can't recommend it, based on that fact.

Erica: I spend more time on FetLife than I care to admit. :-) I really do enjoy the community of it, for the most part, and it's a fun social network for those of the kink persuasion.

Dislikes? As with any big group, you get some really rude people on occasion. Flame wars erupt. Sock puppets torment others. But you'll find that anywhere. And some of the pictures really make me crave brain bleach...

I agree that a spanking-only forum is nicer for us, but IMHO, SpankoLife sucks. I belonged there for a while and left.

Rod: I think I still have a valid membership, but I never visit these days. It's not really my scene to be honest. There seems to be a gap between silly bratty spanking sites and the more extreme stuff like FL.

Todd and Suzy: We both are members and have been since pretty early on (amongst the first 35,000 or so to sign up). How much we visit varies. It probably averages to about four or five times a week these days, though many of those are shorter visits.

The best thing about the site is seeing how vast the spanko world really is. It can be easy to think of it being only as big as your experiences are, such as bloggers or a certain party group or message board. The spanko world is massive. There are groups everywhere. We find them in Kansas, Connecticut and Hawaii... South Africa and Australia. Beyond the groups, actual spankos are even more prevalent. They're everywhere!

It's a little like the first time you realized, “Hey, I am not alone in these desires,” only way bigger! That makes it pretty easy to talk with people who share your interest in spanking.

As for the downside, that's pretty easy. It's the petty drama. It can be endless. People griping about who is on your friends list, thinly veiled snark, gossip mongering... yada-yada-yada. We steer clear of it, but it's not always easy. Overall though, it is a very good site for spankos.

Molded by Him: I'm not a member as we're just exploring our sexuality together. I would imagine as we become more free in our responses to each other, I would like to join and learn more about ways to please.

Welcome, MbH, and best wishes with your wonderful new life together!

Lea: I'm a very active member on Fetlife. I think I check it more than my Facebook. LOL Kinky things are more interesting to read about than my aunt putting her house up for sale, after all.

One's enjoyment probably depends on how involved they choose to get. It's a nice way to stay in touch with friends in the scene (who may not want to mix on their Facebook) and I like to participate in many discussions in various group forums. I've learned a lot of interesting stuff and it often inspires a blog topic of my own.

Prefectdt: I did register with Fetlife when it first opened up. I got in contact with some real time wasters and found, as the site grew, that it got harder and harder to find interesting threads to read. It took too much of my computer time (which is very short some days). It must be more than a year since I have been back there and I do not intend to return any more.

Molly: Yes, I am a member of Fetlife, an interesting place on the web. If it is happening in the world of kink, someone on Fet is bound to know about it.

I use the site mainly to organise the local munch that I run and to keep in touch with real life friends, as well as few international friends too.

Like any social network site, it attracts the fucktards, but considering the number of active users, I would have to say that in general they are not too bothersome. However, there are a great many “experts” on Fetlife who really know nothing, but like to talk as if they do. There are also a lot of people with strong opinions that can be delivered in an offensive manner. If you can learn to identify these people, take them with a pinch of salt and, of the course, not forget the most important rule of social sites - do not allow the place to become your whole life - then there is much to enjoy.

Rod: Despite my earlier comment, perhaps I should give it another try...

Hobbes: Yes, I am a member and get there probably once or twice a week. It is so broad that nine-five percent does not interest me. But with that said, there are some nice spanking pics, spanko folks, groups, and discussion threads that make it worth the time to visit and post. Facebook does not enthrall me and I likely spend about the same amount of time on each, less than an hour a week. The place I never miss and enjoy the most is this one.

Aw, thank you, Hobbes!

CurtisG: Because I chose to be part of a few groups on FetLife, I get e-mails about threads that have been started. I join in on those that interest me and where I have something to offer. I also occasionally look at interesting threads where I have nothing to offer. My problem with FetLife is that it tends to be dominated by people who are into many things beyond the spanking for pleasure that I'm into. As a result, it's hard to find connections with the like-minded.

Texringer: I was going to post, but CurtisG said everything I had to say. Said it well, too!

Bonnie: I've been a member of FL for several years. Most of my friends there are people I've met through the blog. It provides an alternative avenue to converse with friends with whom I might otherwise lose contact.

My duties here leave me little time to devote to the forums. As a result, I will let others evaluate them.

My biggest objection is losers who message or friend me using pictures of Old John Thomas. Unless it's three feet long and has a hood like a cobra, you won't shock me. And even then, I don't want to see it. Anyone who reads my profile should recognize immediately that I'm not looking for a lunchtime fling, a party buddy, or someone to come over and spank me. Guys, I'll be your friend. Just don't act like a creep. OK?

Thank you all for sharing your insight about Fetlife. I hope you'll join us again next week for another community conversation!

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