In the wake of Facebook privacy debates it seems that social media has become hot topic number one. Considering that more people ‘facebook’ (vb.) than ‘google’ these days and that the population of the former is exceeded only by China and India, it’s not surprising. Nor is it going to go away.
But how does social media do for us perves? Well you tell me – because you can.
With the internet the revolution already happened, did you miss it? In forums, comments, tweets, the debates can update themselves and probably be set to alert your genital piercing, and linked to a platform on your mobile.
In my circle of fetish adventure it seems that there is a social-network trinity of Informed Consent, Collar Me and Fetlife. Informed Consent or IC is broad and exceptional in its simplistic scope. It’s idiosyncratic features, functionality and forum set it apart and have very definite followers. You can get hacked to pieces or wildly celebrated in a forum, and that’s part of its charm. You will definitely get more of response to a play question than: ‘Have you tried Googling it?’ And yes, there is a lot of old-school BDSM here because these things have come down from the ages.
Collar Me on the other hand is a straightforward personals site with lots of chancers trying it on from both sides. Beware the online money dominatrixes and male ‘web-wankers’ (not an insult, it’s what they do) looking to start play from ‘Hello, my name is…’But despite having its fair dose of proactive predators, I still suspect there are many like me who naively hope to find and date a person first and filter the BDSM discussion in over wine after a light dinner. Your definition of fun will determine your strength of loyalty here.
Fetlife however is more your general fetish Facebook and has even started updates in social network fashion. It feels more stylish and focused on mass-facilitation than setting itself in any firm camp. It has this North American way of embracing the word fetish to mean an alternative-sex umbrella, a catch-all that has the ability to dilute sexuality down to a wannabe model wearing a latex dress. But that’s ok because you can have your own groups and follow the discussions about your predilections. And because it’s USG – user generated content – the site itself avoids liability. Did you read your terms and conditions?
I’m sure as it grows it will get more easily-flung flak as these free services do. But bear in mind this before I leave to check your BDSM and F emails. The site has only been created and is just maintained by facilitators; it only takes one or two members to besmirch a reputation of the website as a whole.
I have faith they will continue to enable my friends and I to communicate our personal preferences. So I will leave the last word Fetlife founder John Baku, who I wrote to asking how much work was involved in setting up his social-networking site. Baku’s answer I feel reveals a passion that defies rash and cynical judgement:
‘Fetlife is a company like no other. We have 3 full-time employees, a couple part time and 60-70 volunteers. Not only does it take up all my time, we work 70+ hours a week easily.’