Has fetlife popped its bubble?

Launched in 2008, fetlife describes itself as a community of kinksters by kinksters. By the end of 2012, the member count was over 1,700,000 users. Fuelled by those into the scene, those curious, and those that have read the 50 Shades trilogy. It certainly seems to be the place to be… or is it?

Claims about lack of safety and bullying on the network are rife. There are countless stories to be told. Moderators are known to have breached users privacy by sharing private email addresses of popular female members at fetlife gatherings. Some of this information was used to locate a person’s home.

Another occasion, a young lady in Belfast took to fetlife to share an unpleasant experience she had. She told how she had been assaulted on a night out. Instead of words of kindness from her ‘community’, she was told by fellow members that it was all her fault because she ‘smiled’. Read more of this story here: http://jezebel.com/5958113/kink-community-tells-sexual-assault-victims-its-all-their-fault

If you’re new to the scene, you’re out of luck.
Other fine tales tell of younger folk with a genuine interest. When they join groups with the aim to learn more and further themselves they get told they are sluts, that they should not be on the site. On one occasion, a young looking girl was banned from the site within an hour of posting an introduction which then recieved in comments that belong in the domain of pedophilia. Instead of banning the commenters, the girl herself was banned.

Fetlife claims that their community is safe. However, this claim is false. In reality, no social network is safe. Most social networks take action based on cyber bullies whom are often banned. But, not on fetlife. Speak out about about the way you or others are treated and you will soon find yourself in trouble.
On Christmas day 2012 a frustrated fetlife user posted this open letter on fetlifes facebook wall:

Dear FetLife.com,
All I want is peace, safety and the ability to trust you when I’m being a victim of Cyberbullying.

I don’t want enemies, I don’t want wannabe Kinksters and I definitely don’t fucking want psychotic serial killers running around on your website, making me feel unsafe about having a awesome and fun SSC kinky lifestyle that was supposed to promise awesome adventures in KinkLand…

Instead it’s become a breeding grounds of sorts for psychopathic predators.

John Baku, you are not fit to run FetLife if you continue to let Cyberbullying go on longer and you let it all go too far and it rots in Internet Hell.

So I started this:


You’re finished. Expect a subpoena soon.

Amy Draconian Lovecraft (Known as MurderedLove on FetLife)


Amy then followed this up with the following announcement the very next day:
‘I’m leaving FetLife.com today! Yay! I’ll be a proud member of CollarMe, Homemade BDSM, SlaveRegister, bondage.com and BDSMFriendBook effective immediately today since FetLife’s just a baby wannabe Kinkster website who doesn’t care about real BDSM. If you wish to add me on my new profiles, hit me up. No more drama from the wannabe Kinksters, no more Cyberbullying torment from predatory assholes, no more serial killers, no more flakes who is obviously vanilla folks and no more bullshit! Yay!’
As of today, (28th Jan 2013) Fetlife have not commented on the facebook posts, yet suprisingly, they haven’t removed them either.
Amy isn’t the first to make such comments, others are leaving in droves. Fetlife’s community is no longer a kink one, the real kinksters are leaving for other alternatives. They are fearful of being tarnished by these countless tales. If fetlife doesnt change its ways soon, its bubble is going to pop.


What are the alternatives?
Amy mentioned the following “CollarMe, Homemade BDSM, SlaveRegister, bondage.com and BDSMFriendBook” However, Amy missed another: kinkpeeps.com (now rebranded as bdsmspace)

Maybe Amy hasn’t heard of it. Not suprising because kinkpeeps is probably one of the internets bestkept secrets. They have a very strict anti-bullying, anti-trolling policy. It also has a more social network feel to it and perhaps more feature-rich.

Edit: Since the original publication, fetlife claim to be investigating and clearing up the problems with greeters, pedophiliac comments and several other issues. It appears they are trying to correct some wrongs, but have they shot themselves in the openly admitting to allowing some pedophilia content? Not wanting to be tainted, I myself have removed my profile from the site and joined one of the newer up-comming sites.

Edit: Updated for clarity.

If you have had negative experiences with fetlife, or if you have another tale to tell, drop them in the comments below.

Update: We have been consistently getting reports that we said that, and we quote “Fetlife is sending people out to rape women”. To clear this up, I would like to state here and now that we never, ever, at any point stated nor implied this. That comment solely belongs to the person(s) who have been writing articles on other blogs and websites. Please direct all such comments to them sites.

The purpose of this article is to highlight problems that existed at the time of writing. No website or social network is immune and you should exercise caution when signing up, such as creating an email address specifically for a website and keeping it separate from your eBay, PayPal and Amazon and other accounts that may hold your personal name and home address.

18 thoughts on “Has fetlife popped its bubble?

  1. Fetlife is full of spammers, trolls, bullies, attention seekers and abusers, these people are the first to report you for harassment when you call them out too and JB doesn’t give a damn.

    Waste of time being a member,

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  3. ^^^^…I reiterate what Captain Kink said.

    Fetlife has become a breeding ground for trolls, pimps, predators etc. JB’s shitty business model, inconsistent & illogical ‘caretaker’ policies along with deliberate bending of his own TOU, has created a culture of mistrust.
    His refusal to reign in the REAPS project is symptomatic of an even bigger problem. Then again he has personally been involved in numerous incidents that would have had mere mortals thrown off the site……no wonder the predators & pros feel safe.

  4. I have had a few creeps bug me on Fet, but that was about it. I have no problem blocking people who prove to be jerks, trolls, etc. CollarMe, bonage.com etc all have their issues too. Every social network is going to have asshats and trolls, its just part of the Net. That said, there is NO reason why Fetlife cannot improve.

  5. I let Fetlife.
    The bullying and ganging up on Fetlife members from others I saw on groups pages and else where included publicly shaming members, insults, racist comments and many others. That was only the tip of the ice burg.

  6. Now even the moderators are the bullies themselves. How sad is that. And when you complain about their attitudes, they get all pissed and just harass you for everything on your profile. I just deleted my account. Couldn’t take it anymore.

  7. I think it underlies what’s going wrong with sexuality. A lot of people are seeing bad actors at work in FetLife. They’re right. What I also see is that people are looking at kink as the way feel pleasure. There’s something socionormative going on that is pulling FetLife members towards kink instead of toward pleasure. If you aren’t into leather or fisting or hook pulls, you’re vanilla. It’s like vanilla is shorthand for boring. I generate friction when I am nonplussed by the Pride celebration for a minority of the population when the majority has to sit in silence. I get why. I get that the Pride movement has to have its foot on the gas otherwise many others would try to box them. But we recognize the exceptional at the expense of the popular. If we applaud one subset of our culture and squelch another, we are using prejudice in the same for a different benefit. FetLife’s whole vibe is the extreme and its members get brownie points for being extreme and showing pictures to prove their worth. Imagine what would happen in a sex positive online community came up that celebrated people for finding joy and bragging about how they paved a road to happiness? Everyone has the capacity to be happy; many can find joy through sex; and only giving those with ropes respect doesn’t help.

  8. I ave been bullied by a group of gang stoppers on FetLife for years. These gang stalkers destroyed our local community to a point that everyone is scared and paranoid. The Caretakers are bullies themselves and are full of double standards in there mediation. They actually assist the gang stalkers.

  9. Over the past three days, I have suffered horrific bullying at the hands of over 40 members of a Fetlife group called, Spectators Only No Participants. On Friday, one of the group leaders dug up an old post of mine from over a month ago and reposted it. His intro to the post was extremely misleading and offensive in itself. As of the last time I looked last night before finally deleting my Fetlife account, there were almost 200 comments on the thread.

    I am making a complaint with Fetlife today and am considering having my attorney send them a cease and desist letter because they are violating several Fetlife rules:

    1) Bullying– one cannot possibly read this thread and NOT think it’s bullying. They are “outing me” saying over and over that I’m very easy to find. Uh………yup…….I’m not hiding. They are insulting me, swearing at me and more.
    2) Posting pm’s from me in the thread– I figured out on the 2nd day that the diaglogue a couple of members of the group seemed to be having with me that was decent was actually being re-posted into the thread and used as fuel for further bullying.
    3) Posting my copyrighted intellectual material from my personal wordpress blog. One commenter even wrote, “Just in case she bolts…..here is her blog”.

    I have had to shut down my blog for now which is a shame because there are many readers who rely on my blog for support.

    I have never in my entire life suffered such atrocious behavior. One of them kindly pointed out that my PROTECTOR is one of the group leaders. At first I was very upset because I couldn’t imagine him being a part of this circus. I called him and he was quite upset. He knows the group owner and contacted her via private email. Her response was that I deserve what I’m getting because I shared “private business” on Fetlife and she refused to do anything about it. Uh, really…..? They took my one writing and used it to find a lot of other “personal business” from my personal blog and then went crazy with it.

    I am feeling unsafe at this time. I bought extra locks for my doors last night. Several of them have made it clear that they know exactly where to find me. They are claiming that I have pics of my kids on my sites, which I do not. All pics of any children are just random pics I found on Google Images. Yes, my partner and I are on there but only in professional clothing. I have used Fetlife for several months as a way of finding support for me as a member of an atypical relationship– my guy is 20 years younger than me. We have been together for almost 3 years.

    It a shame really. I had just written a blog post about how I had finally found some support and encouragement on a social media group. I guess they just blew that.

  10. I left 4 months ago. I was approached by someone in the North of England, where I come from coincidentally, who had read a post I’d written about foot worship and trampling and she could offer me a good session. Next I was sent an aggressive e mail demanding a deposit for a session, then another, and finally a foul mouthed rant about me being a timewaster. I’d sniffed a rat as soon as I received the e mail about a deposit, it’s likely this domme was someone who was wanting to scam my bank account, but Fetlife had received several warnings about this woman and had done nothing. Also the trolls, you’d get a stupid e mail from someone in New Zealand saying they’d give you a session for free if you flew out tomorrow, the extreme nature of the advertising ( which nearly always seemed to be drugged looking women performing sex acts) and the horror stories made me decide to leave.
    Locally, not mentioning the organisers names, a munch was set up in 2014. A friend of mine went to one and it was just full of giggling students and a middle aged dom who seemed more interested in trying to pull the 19 year old females. Also being hosted in a pub opposite a football ground on match days must have been the stupidest decision ever, the pub would have been full of football fans and kink and football, which is perhaps the most vanilla sport in the country, don’t mix. I wasn’t surprised the munch collapsed last year and they all started blaming each other.
    Fetlife is rubbish and dangerous. I honestly wish the far better British only site Informed Consent, which was strictly moderated, had continued as there were few incidences of trolling, scammers and abusive people on ther.

  11. Learning all too quickly that Fetlife has changed so much in the last few years. I remember the original reason I left now, the majority are posers pretending to be kinksters and if you don’t agree with them then you are their enemy. I’ve had less bullying from Facebook and Twitter.

  12. Being blocked by various members and one hag had the gall to tell me that she doesn’t friend people on FB. Later when I opened up another account on FB – using my legal name instead of my given one – Lo and Behold she friends people on FB. Hypocrite! and when I brought up what she said to me in a text – she brushed me off by saying “it happened months ago”

    Had another d-bag refer to me as “spiteful” for playing with someone at a club – I had no idea at all he was involved with her – I checked out his profile and it stated that he was available for *public and private play” Nothing was mention about his relationship with her.
    Asked about this friendship between my ex-GF and him and a mutual friend of mine said that she wasn’t aware of any relationship between these two and that someone was “creating trouble”
    This man was a popular member of this monthly event.
    Had enough of the cliques, animosity and bullying. The women are the worst offenders IMO. If I do rejoin, I’ll not post any pictures of myself and not put down my actual location. FUCK YOU FETLIFE!

  13. Just to add, there are plenty of bullies on fetlife. I was interested in a truth or dare group that someone runs. I asked about where I could find the group as I genuinely looked everywhere on her group list and failed to find it. She seems to think she is ‘it’ and calls herself a goddess. Her age has been ’69’ for ages. Really! Get original!!
    She’s another one of these that has to resort to selling panties for sale and doesnt seem to offer much else.

    Thats another thing. There are just too many of these so-called doms thats are desperate for nothing more than to get money. Fetlife is littered with this poison. They are not true dominants, and I’d be shocked if they actually know what being a dominant is all about. No, you’re not dominant, you’re just offering a ‘service’, some of you seem so desperate I wouldn’t hesitate to class you as beggars.

    • It’s trash and worrying trash, janon. Fetlife might have started out with good intentions, like a kinksters Facebook, but it seems to have taken over and replaced far superior sites like Informed Consent, a great British site that was very well moderated and where I met up with two genuine non pro dommes in the noughties.
      Also the old comment of 69 or 97 F, location Antartica, seems to be overused. I can understand people not wanting to give too much away about themselves for fear of outing, but anyone who is too vague about themselves and then declares that they’re a goddess has something to hide. I do agree as well that there are plenty of scammers and fakes on there and give the genuine players a bad name.

  14. I did rejoin again a few months ago and it was the same old, same old, links to hardcore porn sites that had nothing to do with kink and will probably get the site banned in Britain under the new Digital Economy Act, people who were more interested in photographing their genitals than kink, and groups where nothing had happened for months. One does wonder if people like me join, realise the site is a joke and give up. Certainly offers of foot worship sessions from Australia, when the poster knows you’re 10,000 miles from them, smack of a waste of time and a very poor joke.
    I’ve given up totally now due to some of the people on there, a few of which I’d class as seriously disturbed. Of the kinky sites I’m a member of now, I’m a member of one run by a pro domme and her partner who ensure everyone is safe, trolls and bullies are banned very quickly and everyone has a good time. Since we only have 100 or so members, it’s a lot better.

  15. Hi. I rejoined Fetlife recently and was shocked to see a stalker harass a woman openly in her section. Stabbity told me that women receive dick pictures all the time which is really weird.

  16. Wow!
    So I have been keyholding for a number of years, and today, literally hours ago I joined Fetlife (yes despite all the warnings I have been reading here). I uploaded a couple of generic images of padlocks (its on subject right?) and joined some chastity groups… all well and good so far.
    I was a fan of a website called chastity mansion. I had been browsing the forums for years and it gave me the inspiration to be where I am today. I drop them a message to tell them what a fan of the site I had been.
    Their immediate reply was ‘where are your pictures?!’ I explained my reasoning – mainly safety, plus the fact that I don’t need pictures as I rely on word of mouth, then the next message is ‘How can you be a keyholder if you have no pictures?’

    The very next moment I find that I am blocked.. I’m like wtf did I do? It is shocking hear that from another website (which should be promoting safety after all!).
    I wont be visiting that site anymore, and if this is typical of fetlife users in general I will be deleting my account.

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