Hello FetLife Newbies!

Hello FetLife Newbies!

I received a message the other day asking if I take requests for writing topics. I do, actually and I said so.

This is what they sent:

I would really like to know how one is supposed to break into this “exclusive” club on fetlife. It feels really clique-filled, which is sort of difficult to navigate without ideas of social structure. It’s truly an odd thing to be new at something I’ve thought about/been about my whole life. Am I creepy? Is my profile filled out enough? Do I HAVE to go to events to make friends? These are the difficult questions, because fetlife feels so exclusionary I am afraid to message most people.

This is not the first time I’ve been asked questions like this, but it is the first time I’ve been asked to write about it, versus just answering a few questions, so here goes:

FetLife is the Wild West of kink. We very much have our own codes, but those codes can be radically different from group to group and person to person.

Which, for those who feel a bit unsure, can indeed be quite daunting.

And yes, there are cliques. Or at least, there are groups that exclude others. They may not do it intentionally. After all, the way I speak to certain people on here is different than others, because I’ve met those people, I’ve gotten various forms of consent, I’ve probably hugged them, and often I’ve seen them in various stages of undress.

That is a bond with shared references that others cannot join, unless they too were there or have an opportunity to be there at some point soon.

And consent is often the barrier to entry here on FetLife.

Which seems weird to most who don’t understand consent other than “Can I touch your butt?”

Am I creepy?

Maybe you are.

I don’t know for sure.

However, asking this question is a good sign that you’re not. Or at least that you care.

I think the important thing about creepy is knowing what creepy actually is and is not.

Creepy is not asking someone to play and accepting a “No,” graciously. Your advances may have been unwanted (we all go through that), but accepting the decline is NOT creepy.

Creepy is verbally or physically objectifying someone whose consent you don’t have. UBER Creepy is doing that AND getting graphically sexual:

Not Creepy: What an amazing photo of you. You look absolutely stunning.
Creepy: WoW! I can’t take my eyes off those amazing tits!
UBER Creepy: I would suck those tits for hours and make you scream in ecstasy.

Of course, if the person posting captions their photo with something giving blanket consent for objectification and sexualization, well, then, go ahead. That won’t be creepy.

If not, don’t do it. Even if others are. Even on FetLife. Even if you think “Well, what do they expect?”

Is my profile filled out enough?

This is all about preferences.

If you’re on here to make friends, that may be more easily done one-on-one, without putting a ton of effort into your profile.

If you’re using FetLife like a dating site (which, BTW, will turn off many Fetizens), then I’d suggest you fill it out more.

What is more?

Enough to say what you think people would want to know about you, perusing your profile. Enough to give a sense of your personality, sense of humor, interests.

It doesn’t have to be War And Peace, like my profile. Maybe a few lines about who you are and what you like and an invitation to connect is enough.

And it is enough, when it’s well-written and genuine.

Do I HAVE to go to events to make friends?



This is what you will hear over and over, and for good reason.

FetLife is not a dating site. On purpose. It is our Facebook.

So, just like most people (MOST) don’t troll around Facebook sliding up into someone’s profile looking to get wet and slippery, that is not expected here.

By some, sure.

However, if you use FetLife like an internet dating site, assuming everyone here is looking for something (worse is assuming they are looking for something YOU have), then you’re going to run afoul of social expectations.

So, FetLife is actually set up more for people who already have met in some way to find each other on here and keep up with each other.

And getting out to events and meeting people in person is actually sort of anti-creepy. Sure, you can creep in person. Many do. However, making friends and going to events is a way to actually see others as humans (rather than sexual objects—or as sexual objects if you are both into that) and to bee seen as a real life human yourself.

So, benefits.

…because FetLife feels so exclusionary I am afraid to message most people.

There is an easy formula to message people and get more positive than negative reactions:

[Greeting of some kind.][UserName],
I was perusing your profile, and I [indicate interest without sexual overtones]. I was particularly interested in [what caught your interest], [give a reason]. [Ask a question about it, or start a conversation for them to respond to.]
[Introduce yourself.]
Is there a name or title besides UserName you prefer?
Have a fantabulous day!
[UserName or preferred name signature]

So, for example:

Good morning UserName,

(the use of a username here shows respect in both specificity and in not assuming titles or kink roles)

I was perusing your profile and I find you fascinating, and, frankly, amazingly attractive. I was particularly interested in your statement about hedgehog racing, since I’ve had an interest in that area for years, and I’ve always wanted to learn more. What got you into that?

  • (Fascinating, amazingly attractive: indicators of romantic interest. Hedgehog racing: potential connection. ‘What got you into that?’ is an invitation to continue the conversation.)*

Oh, and pardon my enthusiasm. I’m NookieNotes, and I’m ever so happy to make your acquaintance.


Is there a name or title besides UserName you prefer?

  • (Respect. Asking after titles or preferred names, rather than making an assumption, treating the receiver as a valuable human with a right to be unique.)*

Have a fantabulous day!

Of course, you’d write in your own style, focusing on what you genuinely find fascinating or interesting.

MOST people will respond positively or at least neutrally (no response) to an effort like this, rather than negatively, and you will have a chance at making friends.

Hopefully, I’ve at least given you a bit of encouragement.

It’s really not all that difficult. It’s just peopling like you actually like the people you’re peopling with.

Which, to be fair, can be difficult some days.

But those are the days to just step away from the keyboard and come back some other time.

And, if you’d like a few more ideas on how to connect, here are some of my favorite suggestions (some are FetLife links—not yet moved to this blog):

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