How To Connect With A Submissive On FetLife

school girl

One of the most common questions we get from readers is how to meet fellow like-minded kinky people for play or dating. There are a lot of different answers to this, but in this article I want to cover Fetlife as a way to meet people. This builds on Jenn Masri’s earlier article about >FetLife Etiquette.

While FetLife is intended to be a social network more than a dating or hook up site, people do of course message and meet each other on the site. As a submissive woman, I get a lot of messages from dominant men looking to connect. Based on comparing notes with other submissive women, this is not unusual. So if you want to meet people in this way, it pays to put some thought into how you go about it in order to stand out from the crowd in a positive way and maximize your chance of getting a reply.

There is a misconception that when corresponding online, normal rules, etiquette, and general politeness can be tossed out the window. For FetLife specifically, many assumptions are made due to someone listing themselves as a submissive, bottom, etc. I’m writing from the point of view of a female submissive, but this information can be utilized across all dynamics and orientations because my preferred method of communication is based on mutual respect.

Another point to note is that a lot of female submissives/bottoms receive many many messages, so it’s important to make your message comprehensive enough to garner a response but not to shock someone into ignoring you forever. I think there is a misconception that a crazy, off the wall message will at least get a reaction, but it will be the wrong kind. It’s also best to avoid overly complimentary messages. They show little substance and are also the most commonly received, poorly thought out type of message. Instead, focus on other information you can glean from the submissive’s profile that can indicate that you have actually read it (most people don’t, so this is an easy way to set yourself apart). Maybe they list an interest in pet play or mention they enjoy rope that you share a commonality with or desire to try. Focus on the non-superficial aspects and close with an open-ended question that requires something beyond a yes or no response. Finally, strive to never come across as needy, desperate, or angry. A good friend once told me, “He who loses his cool always loses.” You don’t want to be that weird guy typing angrily at his computer because someone didn’t respond or responded rudely to you.

Let’s start by looking at some examples of what NOT to say. The following are real examples of messages I have received on FetLife. I’ve “cleverly” covered the names and photos to protect the clueless.

1. Domly Dom


This is a common approach used in general – having a quippy subject line to get the receiver to open it, it’s a good tactic but not in this example. This person assumes too much. They believe their Domly Dom message will make me melt into a puddle. On the contrary, it did quite the opposite – this is a total turn off. Yes, I have been brought to my knees by a Dom but not by you, and you now will never have that opportunity.

Instead: This type of talk can be a real turn on but everything has to come in steps and with trust. Had he engaged me like a regular human being, then this type of talk would eventually not be too far off.

2. Boner Dom

Boner Dom

No, I’m not particularly interested. If you’re on FetLife for sex, that’s perfectly fine, but there is a proper way to go about meeting other like-minded people, such as respectfully stating your interests. Once again, this is a failure to approach a person as a regular person.

Instead: This falls in the similar vein as the Domly Dom message. A polite introduction followed by an outline of this person’s interests would have been a better approach and much less polarizing. Many people want to find someone right away without any effort, but in order to find quality people, you have to do the legwork.

3. Quick Escalation

I recently went out of town.. Prior to my trip, I was reaching out to some local kinksters and joining a few events via RSVP’s. I received this message out of that:

Quick Escalation

There are a few issues with this message. I kind of took a big risk even responding in the first place as this guy’s profile photo was a picture of his penis in comparison to an air freshener can. In my experience, people with these types of photos as their profile picture are typically on FetLife for hooks ups; you can read more about that in this FetLife Etiquette article. While he did admit that he was new-which would explain the direction the conversation went, to go straight to propositioning me for sex is extremely inappropriate. I had never given any indication that this would be something in which I’d be interested. The funniest part about this situation is while on my trip, I was talking with one of my friends and she specifically mentioned getting a weird message from a guy whose profile photo matched the exact description of this one; it was the same guy! Girls talk and if you give off a weird vibe, word travels fast.

Instead: He could have offered to meet in person or even speak to my Dominant first to see if there would be an interest for this type of play.

4. Blank Dom

no info

Now, there is nothing horrible about this message. However, at the time of writing, his profile was blank and he had no photo. I’ll give more appreciation to someone who has at the very least put forth effort to fill out a profile, even if it’s short. The blank profile photo is understandable as many folks cannot show their face, but put something there. It shows inexperience and laziness to not include an avatar.

Instead: At the very least, have a “filler photo.” I am not a fan of using photos that don’t belong to you, but take a photo of something and post it. Some people will post play toys that they own or lingerie in lieu of a face pic.

5. The Eager Beaver

Eager beaver

Take notice of the time mark between the two messages. This guy hit me up with the “hey beautiful lady” and barely twenty four hours passed before he fired back with this needy, desperate, and not funny response. Remember, tonality is lost in text and online communication, so while you think you may sound funny to yourself, the general “tone” will be lost on your receiver. I also hate to tell you all that his profile photo WAS HIS PENIS BEING COMPARED TO AN AIR FRESHENER CAN! I cannot make this up. I should start a collection of genitals in comparison to inanimate objects album. This just reinforces my theory that genital profile pictures usually belong to people who are creepy and weird.

Instead: I have nothing for this one other than don’t be desperate. Or, if you are in fact desperate then try not to come across that way. Politely pinging someone a second time if they don’t respond is perfectly fine – but give it a few days before circling back.

6. Mixed Messages

subby sexy

This message is nonsense. It comes from someone who must be inexperienced, but what does he want from me? He compliments me but then says he prefers to switch but then wants me to submit. I often get messages that say “Hey, you’re beautiful just stopping by to say hi.” This is a very low value message and is crafted in such a way as to not have much of an opening for the sender to be rejected. The sender believes that I’ll swoon over the compliments and respond. It also will usually garner no response from me.

Switching gears a bit, let’s move away from the negative and on to some constructive advice. Here are a few examples of great FetLife messaging techniques. These people deserve gold stars in the vast land of online correspondence.

1. Unique Approach

Good example

This was a well thought out message. I honestly had a blank profile at the time of this writing, but he took the time to craft a unique message to me that does not completely focus on my looks. I do have a small inkling that he does use this type of message often, but it was well written.

2. Short and Sweet

Good example 2

This one was short and to the point. It included a compliment and a specific “action” question regarding seeking partners.

3. Intrigued

Intrigueing I

Another well thought out, specific to the receiver message. He also tells me something about himself that is beyond the general and obvious.

I hope these examples help outline some best practices for strong, online correspondence. Let me know about your FetLife messenger stories-I love to hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly. And, if you have had success messaging people on Fet – share your secrets!

Stay tuned for a future article on how to approach a potential submissive/bottom in person!

Writer, model, babygirl, submissive. After trying vanilla relationships one time too many, anniebear finally realized her submissive desires and discovered the BDSM community. When not writing for Kink Weekly, she enjoys spankings and being tied with rope.


  1. Very well-written piece and I loved the examples.
    Don’t the Bye-bye Felipe guys who have a tantrum when politely turned down. Such an exchange would be something along the lines of this:

    Him: “Hey gorgeous! How would you like to get spanked and fucked by Daddy?”
    Me: “Sorry, but as per my profile: I’m not here for sex, I’m engaged and not poly, I’m a cougar and I’m a Domme who doesn’t bottom.”
    Him: “You fat ugly cunt- I was just offering a pity-fuck!”
    Me: “It’s amazing how often and quickly I go from gorgeous to fat and ugly. Bye Felipe.”

    See guys, this is why women often don’t respond to solicitation messages. You say it’s rude for us to say nothing. But then if we do; this is what we are often subjected to.

  2. Great piece! One great way to “cut through the blather” is the “ole testimonial”…when a submissive is introduced to a Dom/me by the third party that they respect, the “twenty five year old Dom/me with fifteen years experience” type is no longer the dreaded outcome.

    This is really a useful guide…continue on!

  3. Thanks for the feedback, all! I definitely want to write a follow up with even more examples.


  4. Joe Demarko says:

    Thank you for the article. I am new, but willing to do the work to learn. Reading this article was most informative. I really like that you used some examples to illustrate your points. Well done. Joe

    • Thanks for reading Joe! While these guidelines are not the “be all, end all” they will assist in getting a hang of some of the basics.


  5. Nicely done. I’m new to Fetlife, and while I’d like to think some of this would have come naturally to me. I found this information helpful, insightful, and to some extent, encouraging. I am a Dominant, but I’m not really here to hook up, although I can see some potential in Fetlife to explore some of my own kinks in the real world.

    I’m looking forward to meeting people of similar interests. This article is a good step in understanding the vibe behind this site.


  6. Zekery Melado says:

    I honestly have to agree all the way I HATE those people who don’t even bother properly introducing themselves, let alone actually writing a decent message….and then along side going STRAIGHT to IMs when somebody posts something or the classic “messaged you” or “IM me.” Those kill me XD lol. I have to agree, I too write descriptive introductions. It’s nice to ACTUALLY properly introduce yourself, where you found the person, and so on. The people like above who go right to dirty talk just gives me the chills lol

  7. Aquarius2 says:

    I think a lot of people do not practice two important things to me, fetish or otherwise.
    1. the golden rule
    2. walk a mile in their shoes.
    I learned a lesson decades ago, let me explain;
    I was driving and my ex and her GF were riding.
    we happen to see an attractive guy wearing speedos and standing on a mound of dirt, shoveling said dirt.
    I said look at that! the girls rolled down the windows and hollered WOOOHHH. He waved and smiled. Then the girls wanted me to turn around and go back! I said No. that wouldn’t be nice (knowing that I would have to turn around again, that would make it three passes) Long story short they talked me into it. So again Woo and cat calls. He waved a bit disturbed. Then I turned around again. More shouting and then his expression change again, this time he was disturbed and clearly this was unwanted. Aha, that must be what an attractive woman must feel like when she is hit on?

    • kinkweekly says:

      Thanks for this example Aquarius2. This is true! No, we (women) do not want dick pics, we do not want to be hollered at. It is not a compliment it is creepy. Even over messaging, it can still make you feel uncomfortable. Thank you for reading! -anniebear

  8. This message box tells me to speak my mind, but would i really be permitted to do that within your parameters of “acceptable partner?” It’s not that the compliments given to you were tacky and reeked of brown-nosey, it’s that apparently by speaking one’s own mind, whether crude or not, is not whats truly valued here. Anyone can look through someone’s profile and pick out buzz words that will stroke the subject’s ego, sometimes it takes far more truthfulness and bravery to critique someone’s approach. Even a someone who tells others how it should be done.

    • kinkweekly says:

      Thank you for reading my article and commenting. I’m not quite sure what you meant in your comment. I definitely agree that it is very easy to sit back and critique others’ work. In my article I simply aim to help those messaging on Fetlife to not come across as generic or mediocre. These messages will get ignored. Oftentimes, people fall into a pattern of messaging introductions in the same way, rendering no results. I hope to disrupt that pattern for those willing to try. It’s not a matter of offering flowery comments but rather not being just one in a sea of dozens of similar messages. -anniebear

  9. SalemDog says:

    Thank you, I am new to this side of myself and as I was married a long time before my partner passed, I do not have much experience in ‘getting out there’ so your article was very informative. I tend to be shy, both in person and messaging. I will now know that I should try to be more verbose so as to be worth a reply. Thank you again.

    • kinkweekly says:

      So happy to have been of assistance! My article is just one opinion in many, but I find it to be a good guideline at the very least. Best of luck getting back out there! -anniebear

  10. Ghostman says:

    Excellent article. I’ve been on Fet for a while and have noticed a lot of the “bad” comments and come-ons. I’m also a Dom and have had wannabe subs approach me with all the wrong remarks. Hopefully, your article helps to fix some of those bad attitudes and even safeguards some newbies from the bad predators.

  11. CaoricornMaster says:

    Excellent. Well written and to-the-point.

  12. I love it. Thank you for writing and sharing this. Please keep in mind, boys, this applies across the board. Basic etiquette and respect.

  13. The young women on here, 25 and under, are desperate phonies looking for attention. Putting nude photos all over your profile is sad.

  14. In a few years, you’re going to have common sense, and wish your pics weren’t all over the net. This is no way to find a steady boyfriend. This is for casual sex, you ditzy morons.

    • kinkweekly says:

      Hi J, Thanks for reading my article. A lot of people use Fetlife because they are seeking a serious partner in kink and bdsm. Sure, many people also use the site for casual sex but there is still a large percentage of lifestylers who use it as a social network to connect with kinky friends and also find potential play partners. For you to generalize Fetlife as a “hookup” website seems to indicate that you are not using Fetlife for what is was originally intended for. Perhaps Tinder is more to your liking? -anniebear

  15. I enjoyed the article. I’m not on FetLife but another site. My pet peeve is a submissive that tells me they have no limits. I instantly know that they don’t know what they’re doing.

  16. I’ve been searching for help in this regard for a good while now. A great degree of what’s here is extremely helpful. Critiquing my own approaches I would have to say that I am likely coming across as over complimentary and likely desperate as a result. Also may need to be more persistent in my dealings with people. I very much appreciate you bringing your experience forward to help those of us who are genuinely looking to connect with others and have had bum luck with it.

  17. This is a very well written article and I enjoyed reading it. My only note is the #1. unique approach is not at all unique, I’ve been getting that exact copy/paste since 2011 I think. Some men actually tweek it a little bit, but most don’t even bother to get rid of the M at the end lol. It was super popular for like 2 months, I only see it VERY
    spearingly now if at all. Once and a great while I get a message from good old M, and it kinnda makes me giggle thinking about how long it’s been since I found FetLife.

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