- allowing us to friend, follow, and interact privately with other kinky people,
- allowing us to create and post events so we can find fun things to do,
- adding a group component so we can have discussions with multiple people at once,
- through the previous two points, facilitating education, both locally and worldwide,
- allowing us to upload content to their servers,
- making it simple for us to upload pictures from our phone,
- giving us a very large space and quite a lot of freedom to describe who we are and what we like,
- creating and maintaining quick ways to find content (Fresh&Pervy, Kinky&Popular),
- a fuckton of other features and functions I can’t recall,
- AND … having all of this in one centralised site so we don’t have to go to a dozen (+++) sites to meet-up, develop, and maintain contact with friends and acquaintances,
what has FetLife ever done for us?
FetLife’s services have improved over the years
When I arrived at FetLife (6 or so years ago), we already had groups, though they were new. Originally, there were no groups at all. We didn’t have K&P and F&P. We couldn’t follow people, so the choice was friend or (possibly) forget. I had a bookmark folder so I could follow certain writers, artists, photographers and models. To be honest, I think the “Just Friends” privacy feature might have been rolled out while I was here. I don’t remember it being an option when I first joined. (I could be mistaken).
So, again … what have the Romans … erm, I mean, what has FetLife ever done for us?
You’re probably right … they haven’t done anything worth anything to anyone … </sarcasm>
I, for one, am grateful to John Baku and the entire FetLife team (past and present) for all of the things they have done, continue to provide, and will someday roll out to us.
Sure, kink communities existed prior to FetLife. The kink community will continue, even if it is driven underground again. However, having this site gives us a central place to check in on one another and find local events … or maybe even national and international event if you are travelling. We can reach out to others in times of need, or when we feel we have something in common. Event organizers can coordinate events and vet participants/partners. Users can do all sorts of things.
Oh, and you know what else you can do? If your content was recently censored and you decided to move it to a blog or some other sort of site elsewhere … you can post a link to your site/blog/Twitter/Tumblr/whatever on your profile. FetLife allows that too. Some sites don’t.
The bottom line …
You know what … I am angry too. I lost some of my fetishes too. One of my groups (a dark erotica group) went poof too. But my anger isn’t directed at FetLife, it is towards the intolerance and puritanical laws of the society we live in. Much of what I enjoy doing is still considered obscene. It is illegal for me to publicly display images and my expression of that aspect of my sexuality isn’t protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. R v Butler clearly lays out that my tastes are to be kept in private. They are a reasonable exception to my freedom of expression.
However, the social networking aspects of FetLife mean so much more to me than any of the other features that have been subsequently added. It would be a far greater travesty if we lost the site altogether. It is the people that make a community and having the ability to connect with others is what gives me the opportunities to connect with others. <wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more>
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