So, in a lot of writings here on Fet and elsewhere, I constantly see notes about vetting the people you play with and checking references. I even wrote about it.
On another site, a young lady who was new to a town wanted to get some ideas on how best to check the experience of a Dom who was courting her.
She go the usual suggestions, then someone said something along the lines of:
I don’t check references, and I don’t trust people who speak of references. I do just fine on my own, thank you.
Granted, this is not a word-for word, but it does pretty much cover the concept as I read it, which got me thinking. And of course, once one person says something, all the others who are against or just not for references chime is as well.
And they make some valid points. And I thought of some other things that are rarely discussed myself, so I thought I’d write this.
References (HUH! YEAH!), What Are They Good For?
- If you are a casual or heavy player, references are good to check on people that you are simply interested in doing particular types of scenes with. For example, learning about who offers the best needle scenes in a community, or whether HighDarkLordMasterMucketyMuck is really as good with a bullwhip as he claims.
- If you have reason to mistrust your personal “picker,” and would like to get a good feel for how people are regarded in the community, to add to your own impressions.
- If you met someone online, and you’d like to vet them as real.
- If you just want to get a feel for a person, to see if it matches your personal impressions.
Absolutely Nothing (SAY IT, SAY IT, SAY IT!)
- References are only worth how much you trust the people offering them.
- Many people are not a part of the “community,” and therefore may not have any references. That does not make them bad people.
- Some people give false references as a blind, knowing you probably won’t check them, because you’ll feel secure that they offered.
- If you are confident in your own personal people-reading skills, you will likely do better making your own choices.
- If you are interested in a relationship, versus casual play, references about relationships can get sketchy, because people are often either biased for or against.
I give references and encourage people to look me up, to KNOW that I am real. To see how I interact with people on FetLife, and see how they say that they enjoyed seeing me last night, or whatever.
I happily provide references. Honest ones. I don’t pretend I know someone more than I do, nor do I say good things because I like someone.
I believe references have a place in this world. And I will make use of them.
I also don’t personally feel a NEED for them, myself. I like my picker, and I take time to really get to know people before I play or have relationships with them, generally.
What are YOUR thoughts on references? How do you use them, if you do? How do they fit into your life?