Type of site
|Adult social networking|
|Headquarters||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Written in||Ruby on Rails|
FetLife is a social networking website that serves people interested in BDSM, fetishism, and kink. On its homepage, FetLife describes itself as "Like Facebook, but run by kinksters like you and me." The "Fet" in the name refers to "fetish". FetLife distinguishes itself from competitors by emphasizing itself as a social network rather than a dating site.It is on principle supportive of fringe sexual practices.
FetLife was launched in January 2008 by John Kopanas (also known by his username John Baku), a software engineer in Montreal, Quebec.Frustrated by attempts to find women who had the same sexual interests as he did, Baku created a website in 2007 called "FriendsWithFetishes". While working on release 2.0 of FriendsWithFetishes, Baku decided to launch it as a separate site and named it FetLife. James Golick served as chief technology officer. In 2009 Baku received the Community Choice (Man) Award as part of the Pantheon of Leather Awards.
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In the past, any member could create a group devoted to whatever fetish they chose. However, in January 2017, FetLife temporarily shut down the ability to create new groups. At the same time, they deleted hundreds of existing groups, including anything with the words blood, needles, rape and incest.The ability to create new groups was reinstated shortly afterwards.
All new members are by default enrolled in the group Fetlife Announcements, which has (as of 2017) over 6 million members.
There are many groups devoted to answering thematic questions, such as "Ask a Submissive", "Ask a Mistress", "Ask a Dominant", "Ask a Stripper", "Novices & Newbies" and so on. Groups can be searched for by words in the group title.
In addition, there is a separate "directory" of fetishes which a member may indicate their interest in. Any member can create a new fetish.
Any member can post an Event with date, location, cost, dress code, and other information. Location can be concealed and only revealed individually by the Event owner to participants. Users, on an Event's page, can indicate that they "will attend" or "might attend".
Members can indicate that they are "Friends" with another member, and thus receive notification of the Friend's activity (for example, which groups the Friend joins and what posts they make). Confirmation from the proposed Friend is required.
Members can also indicate that they are in one or more relationships. A separate menu allows a member to indicate more specifically any D/s (Dominant/submissive) relationships they may be in. Both optionally allow the member to specify someone on their friends list.
Members can exchange private messages with any other member. A limited chat function was implemented in 2013, allowing members to chat to others with whom they were friends: this function was discontinued in 2016. In 2020 it became possible to select if one wishes to receive messages from any member or just from followers and friends.
Each member can post writings (journal entries, erotica, and notes), photographs, and videos. Posting of photographs or videos not taken by the member themself is not permitted unless they are photos or videos of the member. While membership is free, videos can only be viewed by financial supporters. Those who make a financial contribution receive an "I Support FetLife" badge on their profile.
Any member may comment on another member's piece of writing, photo, or video. Comments are public and cannot be changed after posting.
The search feature is deliberately limited to prevent members from finding users with specific characteristics, such as age or gender.Also, writings cannot be searched by topic or keyword; they are only available via the author's profile page. From 2020 it is possible to add tags to writings and search a writing via tags.
In 2012, FetLife found itself at the center of a controversy regarding its policy that users pledge not to "make criminal accusations against another member in a public forum".This policy has been objected to by users on the basis that censoring posts of sexual assault victims that name predatory users prevents them from warning others. FetLife's reasoning behind this policy is that it allows users to accuse others of a crime, which could be libelous if the allegations are false or unprovable.
An account is required to view content on FetLife, although membership is free. The site is not indexed by search engines and, partly because of this, critics have argued that FetLife presents itself as being more private than it is.
In April 2017, FetLife was accessed by Brendt Christensen, the killer of Yingying Zhang, to explore topics such as "Abduction 101" and sub-threads such as "Perfect abduction fantasy" and "planning a kidnapping."
After being cited in several criminal cases, FetLife prohibited several hundred fetish categories.
BDSM is a variety of often erotic practices or roleplaying involving bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, sadomasochism, and other related interpersonal dynamics. Given the wide range of practices, some of which may be engaged in by people who do not consider themselves to be practising BDSM, inclusion in the BDSM community or subculture often is said to depend on self-identification and shared experience.
An internet relationship is a relationship between people who have met online, and in many cases know each other only via the Internet. Online relationships are similar in many ways to pen pal relationships. This relationship can be romantic, platonic, or even based on business affairs. An internet relationship is generally sustained for a certain amount of time before being titled a relationship, just as in-person relationships. The major difference here is that an internet relationship is sustained via computer or online service, and the individuals in the relationship may or may not ever meet each other in person. Otherwise, the term is quite broad and can include relationships based upon text, video, audio, or even virtual character. This relationship can be between people in different regions, different countries, different sides of the world, or even people who reside in the same area but do not communicate in person.
Urolagnia is a paraphilia in which sexual excitement is associated with the sight or thought of urine or urination.
Sexual fetishism or erotic fetishism is a sexual fixation on a nonliving object or nongenital body part. The object of interest is called the fetish; the person who has a fetish for that object is a fetishist. A sexual fetish may be regarded as a non-pathological aid to sexual excitement, or as a mental disorder if it causes significant psychosocial distress for the person or has detrimental effects on important areas of their life. Sexual arousal from a particular body part can be further classified as partialism.
A fetish magazine is a type of magazine originating in the late 1940s which is devoted to sexual fetishism. The content is generally aimed at being erotic rather than pornographic.
Shoe fetishism is the attribution of attractive sexual qualities to shoes or other footwear as a matter of sexual preference, or an alternative or complement to a relationship with a partner. It has also been known as retifism, after the French novelist Nicolas-Edme Rétif (1734–1806), also known as Rétif de la Bretonne, who wrote a novel about it called Fanchette's Foot, which preference or penchant seems to have been if not "all the rage" at the time at least known to have been practiced or suffered by more than handsful of somewhat important individuals of that period.
tribe.net was a website that hosted an online community, or tribe of friends, similar to other social networking sites. The site name was always spelled in all lower case. As of February 2017 the site content is inaccessible and the site lacks a host.
Cock and ball torture (CBT), penis torture or dick torture is a sexual activity involving application of pain or constriction to the penis or testicles. This may involve directly painful activities, such as genital piercing, wax play, genital spanking, squeezing, ball-busting, genital flogging, urethral play, tickle torture, erotic electrostimulation, kneeing or kicking. The recipient of such activities may receive direct physical pleasure via masochism, or emotional pleasure through erotic humiliation, or knowledge that the play is pleasing to a sadistic dominant. Many of these practices carry significant health risks.
LinkedIn is an American business and employment-oriented online service that operates via websites and mobile apps. Launched on May 5, 2003, the platform is mainly used for professional networking, and allows job seekers to post their CVs and employers to post jobs. As of 2015, most of the company's revenue came from selling access to information about its members to recruiters and sales professionals. Since December 2016, it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft. As of February 2021, LinkedIn had 740 million registered members from 150 countries.
Gaydar is a profile-based dating website for gay and bisexual men.
A social networking service is an online platform which people use to build social networks or social relationships with other people who share similar personal or career interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections.
Feminization or feminisation, sometimes forced feminization, and also known as sissification, is a practice in dominance and submission or kink subcultures, involving reversal of gender roles and making a submissive partner take on a feminine role, which may include cross-dressing. Subsets of the practice include sissy training and variations thereof, where the submissive partner is trained over time in femininity. Feminization as a sexual fetish is not the same thing as being a transgender woman, and the submissive partners engaging in it are typically heterosexual, cisgender men. It has been speculated that the fetish is rooted in societal pressure for men to be traditionally masculine.
Badoo is a dating-focused social network founded by Russian entrepreneur Andrey Andreev in 2006. It is headquartered in Limassol, Cyprus and London, United Kingdom, with offices in Malta, Russia and the United States. It operates in 190 countries and is available in 47 different languages, making it the world's most widely used dating network. The app is available on iOS, Android, and the web. Badoo operates on a freemium model, whereby the core services can be used without payment.
Google Friend Connect was a free social networking site from 2008 to 2012. Similar in practice to Facebook Platform and MySpaceID, it took a decentralised approach, allowing users to build a profile to share and update information via third-party sites. These sites acted as a host for profile sharing and social exchanges.
Sonico was a free-access social networking service oriented toward a Latin American audience.
Xtube is a Canadian pornographic video hosting service and social networking site based in Toronto, Ontario. It was established in 2006 and is notable for being the first adult community site to allow users to upload and share adult videos. Xtube is not a producer of pornography, instead it provides a platform for content uploaded by users. User-submitted content includes pornographic videos, webcam models, pornographic photographs, and erotic literature, and incorporates social networking features.
Since the arrival of early social networking sites in the early 2000s, online social networking platforms have expanded exponentially, with the biggest names in social media in the mid-2010s being Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. The massive influx of personal information that has become available online and stored in the cloud has put user privacy at the forefront of discussion regarding the database's ability to safely store such personal information. The extent to which users and social media platform administrators can access user profiles has become a new topic of ethical consideration, and the legality, awareness, and boundaries of subsequent privacy violations are critical concerns in advance of the technological age.
Multiply was a social networking service with an emphasis on allowing users to share media – such as photos, videos and blog entries – with their "real-world" network. The website was launched in March 2004 and was privately held with backing by VantagePoint Venture Partners, Point Judith Capital, Transcosmos, and private investors. Multiply had over 11 million registered users. The company was headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida but moved to Jakarta, Indonesia early in 2012 and recently announced intentions to switch to e-commerce, dropping the social networking aspect entirely. Quantcast estimates Multiply had 2.47 million monthly U.S. unique visitors at their peak on July 30, 2012.
Facebook Graph Search was a semantic search engine that was introduced by Facebook in March 2013. It was designed to give answers to user natural language queries rather than a list of links. The name refers to the social graph nature of Facebook, which maps the relationships among users. The Graph Search feature combined the big data acquired from its over one billion users and external data into a search engine providing user-specific search results. In a presentation headed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, it was announced that the Graph Search algorithm finds information from within a user's network of friends. Additional results were provided by Microsoft's Bing search engine. In July it was made available to all users using the U.S. English version of Facebook. After being made less publicly visible starting December 2014, the original Graph Search was almost entirely deprecated in June 2019.
In an apologetic post to the FetLife community, founder John Kopanas — better known on the site by his username JohnBaku — said the restrictions were the only way out of an existential threat
He told me about his growing company, and a month later, the consulting firm I'd been running was closed, our office vacant, and I had joined BitLove (the company that runs FetLife — which was then known as Protose) as CTO.
You agree that, while using BitLove’s Products and Services, you will not [...] Make criminal accusations against another member in a public forum.
Authorities also searched Christensen’s home and seized electronics, including his phone, according to the affidavit. The phone’s search history revealed visits to a bondage and sadomasochism fetish website called FetLife and a forum called "Abduction 101," as well as subthreads titled "Perfect abduction fantasy" and "planning a kidnapping," according to the affidavit
FetLife prohibited hundreds of fetish categories this year after it was cited in several criminal cases, Baku said in a February online note to members.