FetLife Etiquette

man in suit

FetLife is meant to be the kink lifestyle version of Facebook. Many people assume it’s more like a dating site. However that was not the original purpose, which is why you can’t search for specific types. Just like anything online, FetLife is prone to trolling and people basically acting in a way they wouldn’t if they were standing in front of you. In this article I want to speak to four issues that I see on FetLife. I am positive that this article will not cover EVERY issue, however, I will cover the top four that stick out to me. Unfortunately the people that probably need to read this article are the ones that won’t, however, I’m hopeful that perhaps a few of them will happen upon these words.

The first issue is a pretty simple one: NOT READING PROFILES. Rather than sending someone a message based on their profile picture or just the fact that you know by looking at the top of their page they are the “role” that you’re looking for (aka sub, Dom, etc) look at those things as your first filter, but then keep reading. There’s a lot of important information you can find in somebody’s profile page – the first one being whether or not they have any protocol to follow or for you to follow in order to contact them. If they have someone that they are connected to – whether that person is someone they are in a D/s relationship with or someone that is protecting them – they may have certain rules about contacting other people. So if you don’t do that, you may not hear back from them. Whether or not you think you should have to contact somebody else first is beside the point.

You can also learn a lot from what they say in their โ€œAbout Meโ€ section. Perhaps the two of you have common interests, in or out of the kink scene that you can connect with them on, or it can give you some extra insight into the type of person they are. Their list of fetishes might tell you some things they may or may not enjoy, but don’t assume they’ll enjoy all of those things with YOU! You may find some common interest there as well but I don’t recommend starting with that. If you were trying to pick up on someone at, say, a vanilla event you wouldn’t start out by asking them their favorite sex position. Same thing here, you’re getting to know somebody – get to know them as a human being first. Look at the groups they are involved in – that may also give you some insight. Take a look if they have friends writing on their wall or how much activity they have had recently. This can tell you how active they are. Check out some of their writings if they have any. If they have many writings, maybe just check out the most recent ones. Again, this lends more insight into who they are and what they are about and may give you some additional information to reference when you start to message them.

I’m going to extend this etiquette rule to not only individuals but also events. Most event coordinators are perfectly happy to provide information about their event if you’re confused about something or not sure about something – they’re usually more than happy to help. However, please read the entire event page first and if there are links back to a group page that hosts the event, take a look there as well. If you have additional questions once you’ve done that then that’s the time to contact the host. People who create events put time and effort into managing those groups and event pages so that most of the information is there.

This moves me right into the second issue, which is the CUT AND PASTE MESSAGE. Donโ€™t do that! While you might get away with this sometimes, you need to understand that many times (perhaps when you don’t get a reply and can’t fathom why) it’s because the person on the other end can tell that there is nothing personal about your message. This brings me back to why the first issue is so important. Also, if you’re messaging the same cut and paste message to multiple people – and especially when you have found those people through the friends list of the same people – those people do talk! I hear female s-types talking to one another all the time, comparing the messages they receive. So, once again, refer to issue number one -read the profile of the person you want to message and write the message accordingly.

Issue number three: FORCING A DYNAMIC. This applies to online and in person. Just because someone identifies as a babygirl, doesn’t mean you get to start referring to yourself as “Daddy”. Just because someone identifies as a Domme, doesn’t mean you should start calling them Mistress. Just because someone’s fetish list includes “dirty talk” or ” humiliation, doesn’t mean you start your message with, “How are you my dirty slut?” NO! Again, how they identify or what’s on their fetish list has NOTHING to do with you yet. Approach with respect and treat them like any other human being until (or if) the relationship progresses.

The final issue I am going to speak to is a bit more controversial; the issue of GENITALIA AS PROFILE PICS. I will give you my opinion here. If you have your genitalia as your profile pic I will make some initial assumptions. Keep in mind, just like meeting someone for the first time in person – your profile picture is your first impression. I will assume that you are only on Fet for sexual reasons and/or that is all you have to offer. I personally, don’t want to see it. If I look at your picture gallery and find pics of your junk (any gender) – well that’s on me. Still not my favorite, but much better than getting greeted with your erection or close up of your cervix every time you send me a message or pop up on my feed. On an even more personal level – as a female s-type if you are a male D-type that I may be interested in, I will be turned off by ANY pics of your package. To me personally it detracts from your confidence as a Dominant.

Now, having said all that, if you really are on Fet for mostly sexual adventures and want to attract others with the same goal, then let your privates march out in front for all to see! I am not going to not be your friend and I won’t think less of you. However, if that’s the first impression you choose, please understand when I don’t feel as badly when you are complaining about all the “unsolicited”, “aggressive”, or “creepy” messages you get.

I understand I may get some arguments over that last issue. Again, this is all my opinion. And it’s my article. So there. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Feel free to add any additional FetLife etiquette issues that you have come across in the comments section below!

Jennifer Masri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in Alternative Lifestyles for individual and relationship issues. She also teaches the BDSM 101 class series at Sanctuary LAX in Los Angeles every Monday evening. We are delighted to have her as a columnist for Kink Weekly, offering particular insight into some of the common challenges that kinky people face in their relationships and journey in the lifestyle.


  1. THANK YOU for this! I do hope that the people who need this the most do read it, but some often live in denial. Just treating people like people is the biggest tip of all. Because it’s BDSM, people get so weird so fast.

    • Slaves Advocate AKA RebelGent says:

      SlavesAdvocate AKA Rebel Gent says: It is always expected that one has learned etiquette in their day to day social interactions. There’s no mystery to what is proper etiquette and what is not. Doms should take notes: your status as Doms doesn’t give you carte blanche to treat women in BDSM any way different than your mothers or sisters. Common Sense. Dems should note that treating a woman slave properly doesn’t mean you’re a wuss, namby pamby, etc. What it shows your partner (if you have one) you are aware of what’s expected in ordinary vanilla meetings. It allows the woman/partner to relax when interacting with a Dom for the first time. Slaves are risking a lot when they decide to submit. female slaves have host of reasons why they submit from the sublime for example (a bit of tap & tickle to hardcore BDSM if somewhat consensual Hard part is for Doms to control their libido and testosterone.

    • These points above are also true equally valid for traditional dating sites as well!

    • These points above are also equally valid for traditional dating sites as well!

  2. I would add two other things. People who just serially “like” pictures/blogs rather then commenting on them. Nobody is paid for the content, it’s nice to get some feedback.

    I’m also disappointed by profiles that are full of pictures taken from other sites.

    • While I’ll “like” photos I find attractive, I rarely if ever comment. Why not?

      At times, I find a majority of comments made by other people have already expressed my thoughts of a particular photo. In some cases, my initial response to a photo may be very primal in nature, but I don’t wish to be coarse. Other times — and this is most often the case — I don’t feel that saying anything at all for to do so, I wouldn’t feel like much of a gentleman.

    • I generally ‘like’ pictures for three reasons – firstly to share the image with my partner, and other friends who get notified, either because it’s of interest to me, or I think it may be of interest to them. Secondly, as an encouragement to either (or both) the photographer and model(s). Thirdly, I like to promote truly kink images – I’m always astonished when someone comes to a kink site and posts two hundred bathroom mirror head shots, many almost identical, without any hint of kink, unless Narcissism is a kink now. I’ll comment rarely – either a funny comment, or something relevant to the image. I won’t react with lewd descriptions what I want to do to the model. Just today, I liked a beautiful portrait of a model displaying nipple piercings. Despite it being obvious from the profile that the model was lesbian, and had no interest in sexual contacts with males, almost all the comments were from men wanting to lick, suck, bite and others things. Simply displaying hormone driven ignorance!

  3. have to agree after useing that site

  4. Stillsubgirl says:

    Hmmm, I just had tech support tell my that Fetlife is not for me just because I asked if there was any search feature beyond the area I live. He said that it isn’t a dating site… well, I am not even interested in dating and just wanted to see if there were people in my area with similar interests. Otherwise, from reading this article I have no idea why he said that. I did start off with some graphic details of my sexual life in a few groups, but I also talked about other things, and after all the site is based on sexual preferences.

    • I agree, spankos are one example of folks who want to meet and get to know each other, without necessarily looking for dating or sex opportunities. In fact, the vast majority of us play non-sexually for the most part. So the ability to search by fetish within certain geographic areas is not the same as expecting it to be a dating site.

    • The_Goblins_girl says:

      I actually take issue with the blanket statement that FetLife is “based on sexual preferences.” Yes, the Leather Community is about Leather Sex, but I believe this focus on BDSM equalling sexual exploration and sexual preference is to some extent a misnomer. BDSM for many people is not about sex at all. Many people engage in SM or D/s for that experience in and of itself, and do not mix it with sex. Many have entirely replaced sex in their lives with SM. This is not SexualPreferenceLife, this is FetLife, and it is for fetishists, not sex.

      That said, the ability to search people on FetLife is unnecessary for two reasons: Groups and Events. If you want to find people who have similar interests as you, join some Fet groups that match your interests. Most major metropolitan areas have their own groups for specific interests. Showing up to munches to meet people is helpful also because munch leaders often know who to talk to in a community if you are interested in a particular fetish. It also helps you to learn about people who are different from you. Who knows, maybe that spanko girlfriend you have also likes needle play, and meeting people at a munch will help you find others interested in teaching you needles that much faster.

  5. KinkyKitty39 says:

    Amen sister! Well said. I agree with you 100%!
    It’s not that hard to read a persons profile & we all know what each other’s anatomy looks like… Save for gallery pics; NOT main profile pic. That’s just plain offensive!

    • kinkweekly says:

      Thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed it!


    • I agree I’ve had guys to contact me in every picture they have on there on his site AR naked I find it offensive and disgusting I’d rather move on to someone else. But I’ll tell you they don’t give up very easy. I don’t mind someone with her a guy with their shirt off butt pants on give us a little imagination so once we do get together we can you got the idea

  6. All Well said. I come to the site looking for friends and more. Reading a person’s profile is how I make the choice of weather to ask for friendship or not. FetLife is an excellent site, and there are a lot of wonderful people here. But it is an online thing, so you are going to get a fair share of good and bad people.

  7. dreamer51 says:


  8. Thank you so much for this. I really hope more people read this. while I follow ALL of these rules (especially number 4), I feel like not enough people do (again, especially #4). I admire you calling this out and attempting to change this back to how it was designed to be.

    • kinkweekly says:

      Thank you for reading! May we forever strive to improve relations on Fet, haha ๐Ÿ™‚ -anniebear

  9. I agree with your article on its intended view. But again to the dating site if it’s wasn’t suppose to be then cut out the classifieds. What I’m truly disappointed in is not the men but the submissive or domme women of the site being rude and less mannered than you say the men are now. So the farce of my experience is women of fetlife truly being childish. I have had to stop my friendships due to their trolling and badgering. Sadly the women’s click on there won’t let it go.

  10. Keith M. Anderson says:

    Great article. Amazing it needs to be spelled out, but then again, it very obviously had to. Too bad so many have been brought up to be so uncouth and lacking in respect. Thank you for saying this so plainly.

  11. I’m so pleased that someone with courtesy and poise took a moment to explain these important facts. Well done and thank you

  12. sfknightking says:

    Fetlife mystifies me

  13. Lady Simone says:

    Thank you so much for taking time to write this article

  14. I dislike the ones who come on like there are ordering a fast food .

  15. Wow! Thank you to all who have left feedback on this article! I do hope people who need to read it will. You never know how far you will reach – but even if I can influence a few people then it’s worth it!

  16. 69hapymealfo2 says:

    That’s all very cool and I respect [genuinely] but something I don’t get is why somebody puts up a profile and the only thing there is a pic of something a tree or whatever and i do get [understand ] why they don’t put up a pic of them selves, it’s being discrete like with i’m new to the site so I don’t for sure how respectable and trust worthy this site and it’s patrons are, just being careful.. But when u don’t put up anything about what your looking for or about your self, how is anyone going to know whether to msg you or not… Sorry don’t mean to ramble but something else I noticed is activity,, how do you know how resent they have been on? I’ve seen some pics and replies that say 5yrs ago and then 2yrs ago an then nothing, so is 2yrs ago the last tym they where on or do they stop by once in a wyl to check mail or what???? Puzzled

    • The Goblin's girl says:

      The reason some people post a tree or something else is varied.
      First of all, FetLife is a social networking site. It is there primarily for people who already know each other in real life. Some people don’t bother with real pics because they don’t need to advertise themselves. What they are on FetLife for is to chat with their friends, read what their friends say, and stay tuned in to events in their area. Once upon a time, before the internet, there were these things called “munches” where people met. That isn’t obsolete. It’s just that now you can find out when and where munches are on FetLife instead of the classifieds. In other words, REAL kinksters aren’t usually on FetLife to meet new people, they are there to network with people they already know.
      Secondly, if someone doesn’t put up anything about themselves, they probably don’t want to be contacted for the reasons mentioned above.
      Third, how do you know the person isn’t a dendrophiliac?

      As as for how long it has been since they were on, again, this site isn’t set up so strangers can troll how frequently people are on. It is for social networking. It is not constructed for people to meet, it is constructed for people to find munches and the profiles of people they have already met.

  17. Renegade1963 says:

    After reading this, I would like to add that there are so many people that log in and create a profile that never return. If this site added a last visit line, then after we would know whether to continue with the profile or not. It is not an invasion of anyone’s privacy to list when was the last time they were on the site. If someone has not been on the site for a very long time, then it would not be worth while to continue reading and then sending a message with an expectations of getting a response. In general, it is wasting the time of the active people on this site.

  18. Robert Andrews says:

    most site are in some way sexually oriented. this is why so many site have these terms to so called prevent people from show and tell as would be put, which i think is many site should remember there is a first amendment that allows people to do what they like in expressing them self and have many things in common with others on the site.

  19. I’m enjoying Fetlife! I’m extremely happy surfing here! I wish that I could find someone to show me how to take & post pictures! I’m not tech savvy! AND I promise to NEVER post a picture of my junk!

  20. Great piece.

  21. Mistress_of_Kink says:

    Great article! Thank you sooo much for mentioning all of these big issues. I hate dick pics too & get soo frustrated when people message me & don’t read my profile. I think every new member should be forced to read this while setting up their account. It should be mandatory!
    Excellent job here!!! Very well written too. ;-))

    • Aw thank you SO much for this amazing feedback!

    • I completely agree. I am new to the site(1 week) and was not sure about what pics to put up or more difficult my profile which I still have not done or yet my fetish likes . I’m shy n a gentleman doesn’t help but this article helped me a lot. YES should be read beforehand. Thanks for the insight.

  22. Thank you for the article I’m new to FetLife and it’s good advice. Still trying to learn how to use FetLife. A friend recommended it to me as a place to find a partner but it didn’t seem to be geared toward that. Are there any lifestyle focused sites where people can find partners that you can recommend?
    I have been exploring and learning and was glad to find your website. Once I read this article I started reading a bunch of the other ones. Thanks for what you all do.
    Be blessed!

    • kinkweekly says:

      Thank you for the kind words! While Fetlife is not a dating site, it can be used to located events such as munches and classes to meet people in person. If your area does not have these events, you can respectfully reach out to people on an individual basis. I think it all boils down to a respectful tone in your note. It’s fine to be honest and say that you’re new! -anniebear

    • singlemaltgirl says:

      you could try okcupid – i’ve heard that b/c they allow so many questions and you can put your kinks on there…it’s much more like a dating site for those with some kinks. of course, fetlife also lists lots of events all over including munches and that’s a good way to meet people in a safe no stress setting, too ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Toni Wright says:

    Well written article…thank you. And I concur re: genitalia shots!!

  24. ozzsclan says:

    Finaly some one got it right well done

  25. MasterZack says:

    Honestly, this entire post is common sense and shouldn’t have to be posted.

    Being a high-profile Master, perhaps that is why I have more manners, albeit a bit blunt in some cases such as this but I feel it is warranted.

    If someone doesn’t want to use critical thinking skills – if someone doesn’t want to form an actual relationship with someone else, it will show and that it their own loss.

  26. My pet peeve is a photo gallery filled with CARTOONS (Ugh!) and jokes from the Internet and other sites and few or no photos of the person himself/herself. I could care less about seeing jokes. I also despise seeing pictures of various act of BDSM that have been downloaded from the Internet. Occasionally the owner of the profile admits that said pics are from the Internet and not of themselves and more often do not. Such profiles are a colossal waste of a viewer’s time. Both men and women are guilty of this, and I’ve seen thousands of examples of it by now. It indicates to me that the real person behind the profile is hiding and must be creepy in some way! Just my $.02!

  27. Kinky-Autumn says:

    My biggest pet peeve on fetlife is the messages people send out about what they fantasize about doing to me the 1st meet up. For example I had one individual send me a long message about how we have never met and when I show up to his house he is going to pin me to the wall by my throat and agressively strip my clothes off. There is nothing on my profile about send me your fantasy or that I enjoy rape fantasies. As a rape victim I cannot handle these messages and I would love to break their keyboard trolling fingers. Next pet peeve is people messaging me and saying I’m in town let’s fuck, or wife doesn’t know I’m on this site let’s hook up. I’m not about to help you cheat or condone hiding anything when it comes to this lifestyle. If you’re married and you’re into things your partner isn’t but they support your need for the alternative lifestyle by all means, but don’t be a jackass and assume everyone wants your nuts or vagina. We’re kinky nympho maniacs, but we’re not desperate.

    • ” If youโ€™re married and youโ€™re into things your partner isnโ€™t but they support your need for the alternative lifestyle by all means, but donโ€™t be a jackass and assume everyone wants your nuts or vagina. Weโ€™re kinky nympho maniacs, but weโ€™re not desperate.”

      THANK YOU! I have had a married men either wanting to have a threesome with their wives, giving me the sad story how their wives do not understand them, or give you this long story how they will not leave their wives (no one said to ditch your wife. You contacted me first about all that crap). That is why I do make it clear, I married men. No one is desperate. Irritating and dumb how they think that everyone wants them.

    • *That is why I make it clear, NO MARRIED MEN!

  28. On the issue of dick picks… I’m curious of the opinion of the author as well as those who left comments. My Fet profile picture is and always has been a picture of just my face, there are no solo dick pics in my gallery. However, I’m very active in the scene, I’m very self-expressive, and there are several pics of me in scenes with partners where my junk is prominently visible. Some are dramatic, like the one where it’s being nailed to a board on stage at Club Anarchy. Do these constitute true dick pics, or is this just me ‘spressin’ myself? I’ve always thought of dick pics as crass and un-evolved. But I didn’t think of these other pictures in my gallery as dick pics. After reading this and the comments, now it makes me wonder.

    • Personally, nudity in scenes where a picture was taken and holding a phone to a penis and taking a picture are two very different things. One is just ‘a moment in time’, where people are nude. The other is very different – it’s a ‘come and see what I’ve got’ (or not).

      Pictures of you in the nude are just that – nope, not a dick-pic.

    • kinkweekly says:

      I agree with Lori. I think the profile photo should never be of genitals but your gallery photos can be more liberal. I too have more of an appreciation for “in scene” photos as opposed to mirror selfies of boners or spread open vaginas. However, those types if pics may be in line with these peoples’ kinks….but in many cases I’d be suspect. Steven, it sounds like your photos are generally “action” shots of things that have happened to you. In that case, I think they are tasteful, fun and all good. -anniebear

  29. I loved reading this. It’s certainly something that needs to be said and I agree with all four points. Some people, unfortunately, simply don’t get that or just refuse to acknowledge the fact. Thank you for putting this out there.

  30. Aaliyah Love says:

    I hope you don’t mind me pasting a link to this article on my FL profile?
    – AaliyahCuddles.

  31. Silje Wyn says:

    I expected more. That was a lame list and it wasn’t really specific to FetLife. With the exception of your comments about the fetish list, these general basics could have been applied to any social network site. I expected this to be about etiquette specific to FetLife and including some general basics. This was more of a rant than a good article on FetLife social etiquette. I’ve seen better on FetLife itself, and that isn’t saying much.

  32. I’m in agreement with the topics, I joined to learn and friend with real people, I left fb due to the drama and rudeness from the pricks of the world, but I see it is the same no matter where we go. I have to share my profile with my wife thanks to the idiots running loose here. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fetlife, but I am sick of the pecker pics that shout out shallowness. With no depth, comes no imagination, why join a fetish site if you have nothing to offer, it clearly displays a hormone balance being off. I say go get laid from the whore on the corner, leave us that want this life alone so we may enjoy it. Thank you for this article, it was a great read.

  33. mrSwatsalot says:

    Great advice. Hope a lot of people read this. I am tired of seeing some dude’s junk as a profile pic. Real turn-off. It would be bad even if I was gay, but REALLY not good for a straight guy. And for girls who post their twat as the main part of their pic set, same applies. I love looking at nookie, but no if that is ALL there is. Personalities are key, lead with that….

  34. SensualVirgo says:

    After reading this article, I feel so much better about the fact I don’t have not one single nude/partially nude pic on my profile. For a long time I felt like I was an outcast for not flaunting my body for the whole site to see, but not anymore. I’ve learned a lot about people just by reading their profiles and writings. Thanks for the good read. happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    • Same here! You don’t need a nude pic on that site. I get so many compliments with my hair, makeup, and a nice shirt! Those kinds of pics attracts a lot of weirdos. Glad I am in good company of the no nudes club.

  35. Well said ๐Ÿ™‚ How often I don’t get a Dom replying to me acting like I’m his slave and should take anything he throws at me. Only because I have “Slave” scoring high on the “BDSM-test”. This doesn’t make me a slave, and most deffinetly doesn’t make every Dom who sees fit my master. (Not for nothing I define myself as a Brat)
    Also I am a bit digusted by all the dickpics and such. As if it would make me feel like wanting to contact or even meet that person only because I see him having an erection?! It only makes the person seem overconfident or insecure as if they don’t have anything else to offer
    Have some style and show some respect, and you’ll see that you’ll atleast get a nice message back even if it is a message stating that I don’t see that much similarities as they apparently do. And as soon as someone starts to insult me (high degredee percentage) without us had build up a state in which it is appropriate, well.. Goodbye!

    (Good article ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    • Thank you for reading and well said! I’ll reiterate since you brought it up that I’m neither a fan of dic pics or vagina pics. Equal opportunity for “showing too much” hahaha -anniebear

    • Collaredstorm says:

      Well, I agree with all of your points as a local community founder/leader/facillitator whatever the hell title you wish to apply. The two I really agree with are the don’t force a dynamic(if you do that where I am concerned, you’ll find yourself publicly humiliated by a slave.). It took about 6 before that stopped, but it has thankfully.
      The genital pics, um…yeah…haven’t you heard you lead with your best? If that is your best(male or female) very few will be impressed.
      One I wish had been added is the oldskool standby of ” Your kink is not my kink, but your kink is okay.” You will see kinks you find extreme, don’t particularly agree with, had a bad experience with, or even wish a person didn’t have because of your own desires. Just keep looking…
      Don’t message me telling me how you think C.N.C. play is rape plain and simple, or how you had terrible drop that wasn’t handled properly, or how you don’t believe a woman as beautiful as myself should be treated that way and if I’d just be your mistress you’d treat me like the goddess I am. If I am grown enough to chose kink over vanilla I am damn sure grown enough to decide for myself what kinks I am into or willing to experience.

  36. Zsadist87 says:

    This was an awesome article with lots of great responses….lots of them seem directed at liking or commenting on pics and/or profiles. As well as what’s uploaded in the first place… I myself don’t really comment on pics anymore for the simple fact that everyone has already said it and I don’t want to add to its repetition. Personally I feel we should be allowed to upload anything we like within reason. It says Fet is pretty much a kinksters FB, and that’s what you do on FB. I understand some content should be friends only, I have plenty of pics that are. But if it is part of our kinks we should be able to post it. I’m an anime/hentai fan and you can really only find it on the net… I don’t want to this to sound bad, but I don’t care for threats from the Fet “caretakers” saying if you don’t remove your pics we will…. Now, I’m not really on Fet to find sex partners. I wanted to find like minded people…. as far as reading everyone’s about me or profile. I agree that it’s not happening, I don’t think anybody has actually read mine…but we are given the choice to accept or reject…just sayin. This is just my opinion on some of what was covered and I do apologize if I’ve upset anyone.

  37. I would like to address the dick pic issue. You have singled out men in your statement, however there are just as many women that have pics of their tits and cunts as their profile pics. Many of these same women are the loudest complainers of the infamous dick pics. As well there is a lot of people who condemn me for not having any pics on my profile. I have no pics as I have a job sensitive issue as does my slave. But back to the issue these same complainers only have copied photos or slogans on their on pic list with no actual photos of themselves.

    While there are many men doing wrong things on Fetlife, please let us not loss focus on the fact that for every wrong doing man there is a wrong doing woman as well.

    Another fact that has not been addressed is the personal attacks some individual suffer when they post. As I was luck enough to receive this treatment when I posted, some of the attackers even followed me to other peoples posts and attacked me there.

    • Hi Richard, Thanks for the insight. I addressed the “equal opportunity” dick pic issue in this (very long) comment thread-stating that I find it distasteful when women do it to. I think a follow up article is due on this issue to cover more ground and breadth on the topic. Thanks for reading! -anniebear

    • tigerlily says:

      I think my issue with “majority” of men with Dick Pics- is that these particular men are the ones to send crude comments and messages to women and do not read profiles first. They are usually there to get “laid”. They often believe they are gods gift and not truly into kink. Where as most of the women (ok not all) have their private parts showing in-line to the kink they are into, or for instant, sub doing it for their Dom or to show what they have been up to. Again most of these women, sure there may be the exception, don’t go around harassing men with pictures of their genitalia and coming on to them without reading their profile first.

    • Hi Richard – actually if you read that portion of my article again you will notice I was actually very clear about addressing both male and female genitalia. I refer to “genitalia” as to not exclude specific gender as well as actually say in parenthesis “any gender” and refer to both dick pics and “close up of your cervix” (if I’m recalling the exact words correctly) to make it clear I am not singling out men. I am very aware of including everyone on this issue because my whole point is that I’m not a fan of anyone’s genitalia as their main profile picture.
      Thank you for commenting and I hope I’ve cleared that up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. AlteredEgoState says:

    While my imagination and fantasies can sometimes even suprise me, and just because I’m anonymously behind a k/b, that’s no excuse for me, to act like an ass-clown. I always maintain my gentleman’s approach, with a level of maturity and respect for others. I’m also not a fan of genitalia pics. Not judging, just not my thing, least not in the context of meeting people on Fet for social online friendship.

    My profile is specifically me, and some of it does explain in detail what I enjoy. However I sometimes gets the distinct impression, because I do not make sexual type advances to a woman, I’m cast aside as being all show-and-no-go. I hate games on that level, especially those loaded with head-fucks. But it seems, those women who protest with extreme prejudice against MEN in general, are the one’s who play these games – then cry foul when they attract the MEN they claim they don’t want. Go figure that one out!

    I think FL has positive aspects which are useful, but I also think a lot of it, least in my experience, should be taken with a grain of salt. K&P seems to drive a lot of this attraction in gaining a zillion friends. Ironically people who haven’t read your profile, who don’t really want to spare anytime getting to know you. Your just a means to an end, and hopefully the fuel that drives their posts in K&P stardom.

    Faking it seems all too easy on FL. Worse, it seems those who master this RUSE, get rewarded for it!

    In the end though, I visit FL for me. Sure it would be nice to find that diamond in a sea of sand, but I’ve knida lost hope in that happening. When it’s practically impossible to decipher the EGO driven BS, from the real deal.

    Great post BTW…

  39. painandecstasy says:

    I’d love to have your permission to copy and paste this article to a group I belong to on Fetlife!!

  40. I guess politeness and courtesy should be a must, here like in most social networks, the idea of anonymity should not be a reason or excuse for misbehave language. But, there are all kinds of flowers in the garden of God.. just need to watch out for the few cactus. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Anyhow, is a well written and explained topic. Thanks!

  41. MsTrustLA says:

    My current pet peeve are those stupid generic Dom/sub photographs that look like bad 50 Shades bullshit. One “Dom” who messaged me had nothing but those pics and I was like WTF. I also don’t like it when Doms have a lot of pics of their subs vaginas or them penetrating their subs….seems oddly exploitative to me, abusive in a not good way.

  42. Mark Walton says:

    I am still somewhat confused when it comes to FetLife. These are my observations 1) there seems to be a lot of pro Dommes / Doms on here looking for business, 2) members can be very dismissive, even rude and arrogant, 3) lack of full face photos is concerning when it comes to discerning who is genuine and who isn’t (I am guilty of this and I am now going to post a plain photo of me with my face showing, 4) a dedicated dating site this may not be, but given the ever increasing amounts of time we spend on net it is only natural people will use social media and similar sites as an avenue to search for a partner. Given there are very few genuine sites like FetLife, it is only natural people will use the site to find a partner. In many respects it makes sense given the captive audience – there seems to be very few other places to look. That said, every day values like respect, courtesy, honesty etc still apply.

  43. LacyMayCD says:

    I am an oversexed CD exhibitionist but do occasionally or rarely meet others but I am “very, very” picky as to whom… I mostly prefer my sex life being with myself and happy to be able to share my photos on Fetlife… Been on Fetlife for about 6 months and had some crude offers but it’s not been a big problem… It’s been rather easy to let others know my interests and intentions… Funny that people ask me if I would travel just to be with them.

  44. Naughtynymph68 says:

    I started reading the article and hearing it in a particular voice… Low and behold I get to the end and she wrote it. Jen your a blessing to Newbies.

  45. Neil Champion says:

    Love the bit about genitalia Since when do you dom people with it lol .
    Very good article and voices my sentiments and thoughts throughout .

    • Vampgirl21 says:

      I agree about the genitalia there are some guys out there that are doms that’s all they show is 20 pictures of their genitals and maybe one or two decent pictures of themselves. Do they have insecurities is that why they do that , but it really turns me off. I’ve heard a lot of Subs say the same thing that if they want a picture of some guys genitals they would ask for it.

  46. MichaelZ10000 says:

    She writes the whole thing as a critique on the fact that, and how, men approach women on Fetlife. Yet women commit the same infractions (for want of a better word). If she really wants to see change, she should write an article encouraging women to approach – this would allow the guys who suck at it to abstain and still have hope for love or lust. What’s more is the expectation that she deserves to be hit on ‘just so’ paired with an interest in sex (which requires that someone initiate something at some point) and ignorance of the bear absence of female initiation of it: you need to be some kind of stuck up to not only want the result of an effort (sex), not put in the effort that brings it about (initiation) and want it done a very specific way. If it were anything else, she’d be told to get bent.

    • After reading your comment I went back and gave the article another read through. I actually believe I spoke to both sides on the issues – male/female as well as Dom/sub. I’m sorry if you felt offended in some way.

  47. Well said. I would gladly add additional comments, but as one of those rare few who not only reads profiles AND complete artcles, but also all the comments, there isnothing newI could add that hasn’t already been said. There are so many people out there who use ANY online site as a dating site, even places like LinkedIn. Unfortunately, as Ron White says, “You can’t fix stupid.”

  48. Every point you is done with eloquence and is 100% correct. However, I do feel like you are preaching to rhe choir.

  49. I hate when women I talk to assume I want sex.

  50. Absolutely everything you said! I get tired of guys trying to overstep my limits on my profile. Let’s me know they won’t respect my limits elsewhere

  51. Paradolia says:

    As a new person on Fetlife, after reading this article, I’m happy that I don’t fall into any of those four categories… Thank you very much to the author for providing a wonderful article that was easy to read and understand, as well as a valuable perspective on your opinion.

  52. Curiousone says:

    I can not begin to thank you for this article but like you said unfortunately the people who will read are generally not the ones who need it but I’m optimistic that it will reach some who may need it…

  53. Lil-Leprechaun says:


  54. Spot on!

  55. Kelly O'Reilly says:

    If people followed you suggestions for just the first issue … reading profiles … that alone would make things work so much better.

    The flip side of that is to take the writing of your own profile seriously and as a way to communicate who you are. That allows similar people to at least have an opening or reason to contact. It also makes it easier to figure out who didn’t read the profile.attract.

  56. TheWrathOfThor says:

    Can I share this ??

  57. Can I share this??

  58. Thank you for this article, very informative for a newbie like me.

  59. His_Little_Miss says:


    If I could Iโ€™d give you a standing ovation for this one due to I donโ€™t think you could have nailed it more accurately.
    I only wish more would (Read This) or better yet have the same beliefs
    But at the end of the day Thank You for saying your piece, many of us feel the same way

  60. I love this article & will post a link on the United Utrecht Perverts forum ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. I am also a licensed, an LCSW. I am new to the life style. I have a million questions and you answered many for me.

  62. Thank you,

    FINALLY! How refreshing this was to read. You are correct in that the people who need to read the article, well, probably won’t (heavy sigh). Nonetheless I loved it!

    Respectfully as always,

  63. Carol Waldenburg says:

    Is there some way that we can get this into required reading for Newbies? I am fairly new to Fetlife and I am already sick of getting questions from single males under 30 about how soon can we hook up and what do I think of their cocks? And most of their pictures are of their penises. It seems that the purpose of talking, exchanging, friendship, and Being here is lost a great deal of the time. I would so very much like to see this change. If I can help in any way – I would like to.

    Thank you for this.

  64. Annoyed by all the people that complain about the genital pics. Every one is there for a different reason. Everybody wants to be the expert. If you don’t like what they post or that they dont post face pics or want to meet, go somewhere else or block them. Some people are there to get off on pics ,so what. U don’t like it? Block them and carry on.

    • Hi Willie – I can’t speak for those that have commented, but if you read the article I state that it’s genitalia pics as the PROFILE pic that bothers me. I take responsibility if I see them in the person’s gallery. But when it is the profile pic and the person posts or sends a msg I have no control over seeing it. Hope that clears things up a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚

  65. Lauren Millar says:

    I am very pleased to have noticed the link to Kink Weekly and particularly this article. I do appreciate the social network aspect of FetLife and enjoy being in a few groups whose interests match mine. I enjoyed reading the article and I find I agree with Jennifer on all the topics. I find myself frequently, when confronted with a profile photo of a penis, thinking, “Oh, Just another dick.” I also tend to really restrict my asks for friendship to a very few people since I really do not feel it is my place to push myself into their lives.

  66. Marcoaferro says:

    Yes! I agree! I usually try to don’t use any offense in my messages. I am looking for more than sexual adventures, I want to know more and more on BDSM. Unfortunatelly, Brazilian people speaks Portuguese and we have some difficulty to read in English. So, this article will be unread for so much people. Could I try to translate it?

  67. Conny-Lingus says:

    Spot on !

    I am probably one of the few that replies when a stranger send a letter to my submissive despite the very first paragraph informs that any contact is initiated via me.

    I give exactly the same answers and reasons posted in the article. And I inform them, that they have placed themselves on a ‘warn-about-this-profile’ list.

    Though some of the culprits or spammers live in denial I have on rare occasions mindpushed the sender into some kind of understanding.

    I’ll link to this article and send it the next time they force their way in to and step on my subs private peaceful ‘island’.


  68. if they aren’t going to read the profiles, they aren’t going to read this article. lol.

    • This is unfortunately true in, probably, most cases. But we can hope it will get through to a few! Also, hopefully new peeps will read it before they get started. ๐Ÿ™‚

  69. An outstanding article and good read, all those new to the lifestyle should read this.

  70. Jacks241 says:

    I admit that I am guilty of the “copy and paste message” but I did take the time to read the profiles of every member that I sent a message to, but now thanks to this brilliant article I know how to behave better on Fetlife.

    • I understand how the copy and paste simplifies things, especially when you are messaging many people. It’s good at least you were still reading the profiles. My advise is always to try and get out to events to meet people in person. There is no substitute for face to face! ๐Ÿ™‚ This journey is all about personal growth and learning. Thanks for reading!

  71. Wel hik you very much for your insight.
    i have started reading profiles more, seeing where they are from, if they are attached, single, and write accprdingly,
    and i always comment on the photos, there are some lovely people on here
    again thank you for this article

  72. We take the time to write them so people dont waste their own time as well as our own to find out you live to far away. Awesome article!!

  73. Thanks for writing the article – I hardly am on Fetlife these days due to the disrespect and nobody reading my profile, I have sort of disappeared for awhile. Glad I logged on today and read this.

  74. David kilpatrick says:

    Well said! Im on Fetlife to find a sex partner but i always respect others because you never know. you just may find your soulmate on the site and go undetected because you wanted to act like an ass.

  75. Absolutely love this article. I find this very accurate. Would enjoy more from you always. Find me as a person first and enjoy the conversation more than just the fiddling with odds. I have my love at home and she learns well. I find people loose the respect factor because I have a profile here. I am the way I am and the misses knows all.

  76. Very well written. I think this article addresses some issues that need being addressed.
    For me atleast, I think I find a majority of kinksters having a hard time differentiating the difference between fantasy and reality.
    I think there is a very fine line between the two. I see Fetlife as a fantasy site for most expressing what they dream about rather than what they would actually do in everyday life.
    And for those who do, would probably freak out if they actually crossed that line.
    For me ? Fetlife offers me a space I can express myself, vent and visualize. I have never actually met anyone in person from off this site.
    The people I have met, I met at clubs and events, and when meeting people in real life, it has always been about courtesy and first impression.

  77. BuffetSlave says:

    I generally agree with this article and most of the feedback. Certainly etiquette is important, whether on Fetlife, at an event or scene or even in the vanilla world. At events, our profiles (fetishes and limits etc) are not advertised. I generally work on the basis of being polite when talking and always politely asking before touching anything or anyone. At a vanilla club with a play area that I occasionally attend, there are those that touch without asking. Myself, I am not offended by someone tapping on my arm or shoulder, but seriously, when they try to grab your genitals without asking. Sometimes I am pleasuring an individual and feel a hand go towards my penis. I put my hand down to block and they try to get round it. In the end, I had to grab his hands and teach him a lesson on manners. Regarding pictures. I do not use a dick pic. I do however use my bottom in lingerie. I cannot use my face because if someone ever showed it to my employer, my career would be over. Whilst government employers advertise equality and choice, they do not always grant it.

  78. This was extremely helpful to me Being that Iโ€™m walking on really unfamiliar Ground and any tips are welcomed. Thank you for taking the time to Explain about it as much as possible โ™ฅ๏ธ

  79. Can we also agree that figuring out where someone works based on their hometown and their occupation and then VISITING THEM AT WORK after they say no to a meetup is not good fet-life etiquette, or acceptable life behavior in general?

  80. BlazdAnarchy says:

    Newer to this and I just got on this site so I appreciate this article a lot. Thanks for taking the time to write this and helping me understand a little more about the lifestyle and some things to look out for and do and not do.

  81. SubLilith283 says:

    Thank you for writing this. I’m new to the site and was unsure of proper etiquette. This is helpful.

    • So glad it was helpful!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • beloveddark1 says:

      I am brand new on this site, but have already cultivated several valuable friendships… To me it comes down to respect and decency… if you have none…… you will not hear this message… Thank you, this valuable information is exactly what I need to grow into my actual Dynamic in a healthy manner…

  82. thanks for that info ,we have a pic of us on our page with cloths on i thought that might be the reason were not getting couples to chat with us.i like to meet people first to see if we click before i start showing off our prives.just here to have safe fun with open minded couples .

  83. Sublissimal says:

    Thank you for writing this. I hope it gets seen by the beestards. You hit the top peeves and your assessments are super amusing. I think the only thing missing is the droves of folk who send 1-5 word messages: “hi.” Or worst of all, “how are you?”

  84. I just want to give praise for the work you have done and time you have put in this article, and not that I have ever been accused of being inappropriate in any situation, stil after reading this there where some reminders here to consider/reconsider.
    And even tho one might think that one understands serten tings well, it is good to get a reminder too refresh the behavior a bit, and once again think over what we do and say, and just as important why.
    So well done, and I do hope more people get to read it and both learn something new and refresh what was there already.


  1. […] 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 Masriโ€™s earlier article about >FetLife Etiquette. […]

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