I've been meaning to cover this topic, FetLife's Biggest Fail, for some time now. I have been reluctant to do so, as I feel I am no one to tell someone how or what they should do. However, some things need to be said and if you are sensitive and/or narrow-minded, I encourage you to skip today's entry as it will not sit well with you.
For a long time, this (fail) could have been many things. It could have been the numerous security breaches FetLife has encountered, the fact that it is becoming 'big time' social media but is still run as a 'small time' operation, or even the many scandals in which it's creator has long been part of.
Unfortunately, none of which are FetLife's biggest fail. Its biggest fail - the people.
FetLife's Biggest Fail
FetLife identifies itself not only as a 'BDSM' community but also as a 'Kink' community based social network. For a BDSM lifestylist, this is a total nightmare.
I don't believe it's any secret that the number of individuals who are 'kink', view BDSM as kink or attribute BDSM to sex, greatly outnumber those who know and understand BDSM as a lifestyle.
Part of this problem is the ignorance of the people. I don't believe it needs to be said, but I will anyway. It is not my job or anyone else's to tell someone how they should identify, no matter how wrong they may be. However, I am one of few who has the platform to do so, so today, I am going to do just that.
A little more self-education goes a long way. Sit down and grab a coffee, because I am about to educate many of you on your ignorance.
There's a massive gap in the understanding of being someone who's a dominant individual and someone who's a Dominant. Also, the same for submissives. I know many women who are submissive, but not a submissive.
Why is this so important and how does it relate?
Far too many individuals identify as a Dom/sub when they should be identifying as a Top/bottom.
As the sentiment was in the BDSMtalks Facebook Community yesterday, you have a man who relates BDSM as kink or sex, someone who isn't a lifestylist, approaching a lifestyle submissive who understands and desires a deeper connection than sex. You have this individual sexually hounding and harassing them.
Now, we have a submissive who views and refers to these individuals as 'Doms', because that's how they've nimble mindedly, ignorantly, chosen to identify on Fet. Guess what happens? This submissive now attributes this behavior to Dominants. For a lifestyle submissive, a Dominant now comes with negative attribution or impression. That her worth is merely sexual.
To further that, now we have other Dominants and submissives entering into our community with an impression that over-sexualization is the 'norm'. That this behavior is the standard. I can't fault them for that, it unfortunately has.
The ideals that posting pics of their junk and spread-eagled all over the interweb or that BDSM equals 'freedom of sexuality' is a trend all too common. Although this may have some merit, BDSM in my opinion, equals the freedom of life, to know and understand who you are.
Allow me to pose a question to the 'Dominants' and 'submissives' currently reading my previous statement with some degree of contempt, I'm sure.
How does posting your junk or yourself spread eagle display your Dominance or submission?
I'm well aware Dominants have their submissives post these photos as well. I'm aware of the indication of Dominance and submission as a lifestyle means that a submissive will obey a Dominant's request, no matter what it may be, and I am also aware that you can be Dominant or submissive and kinky.
Okay, but why are you naked? Why is your submissive naked? If Dominance and submission is a lifestyle, who you are, how does the over sexualization further display that?
I'm going to privy all my fellow readers to a discussion I had with a newly discovered submissive a few months back. I'll provide the short version and I'm confident you'll get the point.
This submissive in particular was partnered. For her, BDSM was a lifestyle and for him, it was sexual. In my opinion, it was not a Top/bottom exchange but rather a Top/submissive exchange. Because of this, she was posting nude photos of herself on all forms of social media, from Fet to Instagram. All kinds; kneeling, bowing, gagged, bound... Always nude. So much so, one of which even included his junk in her mouth.
One day in our conversations I asked the question; "Why are you always naked?", "How does this enhance the display of submission?", "What does it have to do with BDSM, as well as Dominance & submission?"
Naturally, I received a few responses. She was displaying her submission, she was showing everyone that she does what she's told, etc etc... However, none of the responses addressed the initial question. The false understanding that one must be naked in order to express submission or Dominance.
During this conversation, I messaged my submissive. I told my submissive to do something for me.
My submissive responded accordingly. I sent this exact snapshot that I am sharing with you to the new submissive I was conversing with. I then posed these questions to her, as I will now pose them onto you.
- Did she follow precise instruction immediately?
- Does this photo embody everything that is submission?
- Did she have to be naked to display this?
My point is this, within minutes of my writing her, in one fully clothed photo, my submissive displayed more submission than the vast majority of these absurd and distastefully nude photos we consistently see.
So, how does your 'freedom of sexuality' display Dominance and submission again? Do tell.
Tops identifying a 'Doms' and bottoms identifying as 'subs' is a scary and continuous trend. Ultimately, leading to the mass false notion that BDSM = Kink. That the best approach to the BDSM community is to post your junk, spread your legs and sexually harass others with the expectation of sexual gratification because you're simply part of the 'community'.
Sure, there are many other issues related to the people of FetLife that make it a failure. Like the insane number of insecure Dominants who feel by advising their submissives to carry themselves and act unbefitting its a proper form to claim themselves as owned or a vast majority of group ownership being passed off to another member after some time, where the original essence and vision of the group is all but lost and now run under dictatorships. There are many. However, none greater than the ignorance of the people.
Am I saying that the BDSM community is better than the Kink community? Not even remotely. I truly respect whatever decision someone makes in how they identify. What I am saying, identify accordingly and respect the manner in which others identify. Because you see yourself as a Kink member, doesn't provide you with the given right to approach those who view themselves as BDSM members with a disrespectful, over-sexualization. Because you don't know how to identify properly, doesn't entitle you to anything.
I'm sure you may be thinking; Well Master Eros, a lot of people in BDSM have kinks - Thanks, tips.
Allow me to make one final point.
I'm into many kinky things. I revel in the taboo, I have made submissives do things you wouldn't even dare fantasize about; I'm twisted. However, it doesn't end there. I am a Dominant. I take as much pleasure, if not more, in non-sexual submission; as displayed in the photo above. Obedience, compliance, the servitude of a submissive outside of the bedroom brings more pleasure than any sexual act. That is part of what makes me a BDSM lifestyle Dominant and not a Kink lifestylist or Top.
Kink is not BDSM and BDSM is not Kink.
So, before you check that little box off that says Dom or Top and sub or bottom, think deeply about what your interests are and how you plan to carry yourself around the community. Think of whether you want to be a respected member of whatever community you choose or whether you want to be ignorant.
Also, think of the three separate lifestyle submissives who messaged me on Fet the week before last and said; "So many 'Doms' on here are creepy/creeps/creepers and I can't tell who's real and who's fake." Further, think of all the submissive women in the BDSMtalks community who expressed their utter discomfort with the manner in which 'Doms' identify, approach and carry themselves on Fet.
Whatever lifestyle, Kink or BDSM, I applaud you. Truly, for having the courage to find yourself - your true self. I also encourage you to continue to discover yourself and your interests - live your life! However, I also implore you not to be ignorant, identify accordingly and respect those who don't identify such as yourself.
Perhaps at the end of it all, I am merely one individual who still believes in the traditional lifestyle. A time when people knew how to identify, respected one another and knew their boundaries. A time when, how someone identified actually meant something, it carried weight and one would truly reflect on how they should. Maybe, all hope is lost for our community on social media and it is far easier for those to claim equality by, "I can identify however I choose" than it is to put the effort forth to do so correctly and respectfully.
Just to note, in no way am I trying to imply that you should delete your Fetlife profile (although I know many have previous to even reading this article), nor am I suggesting that you shouldn't join Fet. This entry isn't to highlight it's positives, but rather a very concerning flaw.
You may be reading this and think I am being self-righteous. You wouldn't be entirely wrong, I can see how this entry may provide that impression. I will say, if you truly feel that way, chances are you missed the moral of this entry and I ask that you read it over once more.
Fetlife's Biggest Fail - Don't be part of the problem, be part of the solution.