Hello, my kinky friends. If you're any sort of kinkster or fetishist, you've probably heard of Fetlife… This site is essentially the online hub for most Kink communities in the world. This is where people talk about events, meet their future lovers and partners, aswell as support other kinky people in their business endevors.
While an entire community of kinky people might seem intimidating, I can tell you from first-hand experience that it's not!
I delved deep into Fetlife to explore how worth it the site really is. Does Facebook for kinky people really stand up to its name? Is it worth the sign-up? Are people mean and intimidating? Am I going to get chewed up and spit out?
Read on to discover what I learned about Fetlife:
One of the best things about this site is how private the whole thing is. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, you can't view someone's profile without having one yourself. And while you have no assumption of privacy on either of those sites and it's not too difficult to make a bullshit account to creep on someone else, this little countermeasure still makes you feel secure.
This site is clearly a members only area; it's a closed community. It's only for those who belong there in the first place. And it makes you feel like you're protected from those on the outside who may be judgemental!
But I went ahead and made an account! Otherwise, my review would end here. I didn't just make an account, but I spent some time creeping around and interacting with other people on the site.
It's straightforward to sign up. You just fill out your information, respond to the confirmation email, and the world of Fetlife is your oyster!
I'd say that this site definitely feels like Facebook for kinky people. I think they do a really great job of making Fetlife feel like a social networking site that you've used before just with a darker, kinkier, color scheme!
Let's talk about the dashboard first:
The main dashboard feels very much like Facebook or Twitter. It shows all of your friend's activity. Though some of the information displayed might seem redundant, like the site displaying who your friends have added as friends, it's not! While you might not care who your mom is adding on her Facebook, you should pay attention to who your friends are adding… because they might be (a) single, (b) really hot, (c) down to have sex with you, or any combination of the three.
Yeah, it's totally annoying when you add someone as a friend who's a friend collector because it starts to get out of hand when your entire dashboard is just a list of their new friends… but with Fetlife's new "Follow" feature you can avoid that bullshit!
The follow feature is mainly made for people who are what you might think of as "Fetlife Famous." These people get tons of friend requests because they're good at what they do, they're porn stars or are just really active on the site. Instead of adding a metric fuck-ton of friends, they can opt to turn on their follow feature and allow people to see what they're up to without being added as a friend!
Speaking of friends… friending can be somewhat of a big deal on Fetlife! It's not like you're following someone's photography Instagram, by adding someone as a friend of Fetlife you're showing that you want to see what they're up to in their sex life… And for a lot of people - while they have a kinky social media account - their sex life is still something they consider private. Sure, the closed site might be enough for some… but a lot of people upload things that are marked as "friends only" (like pictures or videos), so don't expect everyone just to want to add you as a friend!
In addition to adding friends, you can join groups (believe me when I say there are groups for LITERALLY EVERYTHING), get information on events, and browse the most popular uploads on the site!
Let's turn our attention to the profiles:
At the top of the page your username, age, gender, sexual role, and location are displayed alongside your profile picture. Underneath that, you'll find your sexual orientation followed by any relationships you're in and what you're looking for! This section is vital for figuring out if someone is single or if they're in an open relationship (I mean come on, that information is important when you're on a social media site that's centered around sex!).
Underneath that primary information section, you'll find the "About me" section followed by latest activity, fetishes, and their wall (which is where people can post comments, yes I know, it feels very Myspace to me).
This isn't like Myspace where you can change the entire layout of your page… but you can make use of HTML when you're writing your About Me section! This is helpful if you want to link out to an article or a website!
You can also see what groups you're a member of, who your friends are, and what events you're going to in the future!
While this site bills itself as Facebook for kinky people, it feels a little bit more like Myspace with features like the "Wall" and the "Writing section," which you can treat as a diary or a place to post your Twilight fan fiction.
One relatively new feature that I'm very excited about is the messager! Instead of sending longwinded messages back and forth, you can now instant message with your friends provided they're online!
The developers of this site also have a sense of humor! You can find funny little sayings in little nooks-and-crannies around the site. It keeps everything light-hearted on a site that could have been entirely dark and kept with the sex-dungeon vibe. But instead, you can find little jokes and funny loading messages.
One of the best things about this alternative dating site is that it's free. There are very few things on this site that you can't access if you're not paying a membership fee…
It's not even billed as being a membership fee! It's called "Supporting Fetlife." Basically, you're not paying to get unlimited matches or messages or any of that bullshit… you're paying to upkeep the development of the site.
In return for paying for the development of the site, you can view all of the most loved pictures and scroll back through everything you've ever "loved" (their version of a like). You can scroll back further through your friend feed and get early access to new features. Plus you can watch user-uploaded videos!
And honestly, you might just want to decide to support only for the videos. Who doesn't love amateur porn? Fetlife is full of it! There are plenty of people who upload videos of their last session with their play-partner or the previous time they masturbated. Honestly, supporting is worth that!
Plus, there's no tiered membership! You're not going to get anything extra for paying twenty bucks a month versus five. For five dollars a month you get all the perks and a little badge that says you're a Fetlife supporter!
The only thing that gives you an extra perk is paying two-hundred-forty bucks to b ea lifetime supporter! I personally don't have almost two-hundred-fifty bucks to spend on porn, but maybe you do!
Here are a few of my favorite things about this website!
Fetish List: One of my favorite features on the profile is how you can list your fetishes! It gives you a great way to get to know someone which is helpful when you're browsing around looking for a play partner, trying to get to know people you're going to a munch (a non-sexual kinky gathering, usually at a coffee shop) with, or if you're just creeping.
It also gives you the option to list what you're curious about too. This is helpful too because it can be a great way to find someone who might be interested in trying something you're already an expert at! Either way, you can get a great idea of what someone is into sexually because of this list! There's also a lot of goofy fetishes people have created too. So, you can even get a pretty great idea of what someone's sense of humor is like.
Limit List: Your sexual limits are just as important as what your sexual interests are. Limits are usually something that is only discussed in the realm of kink (which I think is unfortunate, the discussion of limits should definitely be an important conversational topic for vanilla folks too!), but if you didn't know limits are boundaries that are not to be crossed.
There are two kinds of limits: hard and soft. Hard limits are never to be crossed whereas soft limits can be pushed under certain circumstances or if consent is given. This is another really great way to get to know people. It also might show you if you're incompatible with someone… because if one of your favorite fetishes - like threesomes and anonymous hookups - is on their hard limits list, you probably shouldn't bang all the time.
Linking in About Me Section: Okay, this might not seem like it's super important to you, but I am OBSESSED with this feature. I mean, I'm pretty stoked that you can even use HTML to customize your About Me section in the first place (because you can bold things that are important to you!) but linking takes it to a whole new level. Why? Well, because there are infinite possibilities!
There are a lot of sex workers on Fetlife (professional dom/mes and submissives, porn stars, etc.) and artists who deal with kinky material (photographers, painters, models, riggers, etc.). By giving them a way to link they're able to link out to their online store, their OnlyFans account, their Patreon, etc. They are able to give their fans a direct way to support them! And kinky people are definitely int he business of supporting other kinky people.
Plus, you can link out to your favorite articles or your Amazon Wishlist! I love it, and I think that it's something that is reminiscent of Myspace that is lacking in most modern social media layouts.
Here are a few of my least favorite things about Fetlife:
Searching for people: I hate the search bar. Oh boy, do I hate it so much! Honestly, searching for people should be much easier. I think that Fetlife needs to take a note from Facebook, and most dating sites, and make a refined search feature specifically for looking for people.
Fetlife isn't just Facebook for kinky people… it largely functions as a dating and a hookup site! So, I think that there needs to be a way to search for people by more than one search term.
You should be able to enter in a location, gender of a person, kink, etc. and be able to pull up all the people that fit those search criteria. I found it impossible to find people in my area who were anywhere near my own age. I had to comb through all the people who were in my same city to find someone to talk to… and let's be honest, a lot of them are much older.
Please, Fetlife… I beg of you… give us a better search feature!
People suck: This has very little to do with the website itself and more about the people on it. During my research, I made sure to put a few significant things at the top of my About Me. One of which had to do with the age range of people I wanted to talk to… that was blatantly ignored.
I don't know if it's just an older male thing, but even though I specifically said I didn't want to chat with anyone ten years older than me, I still got plenty of messages from people who were ten or twenty years my senior.
So guys, please read people's "About Me"'s!
A far as I'm concerned, Fetlife is a pretty great site for kinky dating. It definitely goes beyond a dating site and a social media site by artfully combining the two. Sure, there could be some improvements made… but this site is clearly low budget. Which is great for its users! Because that means there's not a lot of things that they're going to paywall.
In all, I'd definitely reccomend Fetlife to anyone who is looking for a little kink to spice up their life! 4/5 Stars.