Kidding aside, let me clarify that I do not mean that each and every person or forum moderator on Fetlife is wrong and full of shit, nor do I mean to imply that there is anything wrong with the website itself. It is and will continue to be a valuable resource for the BDSM community. No, what I am referring to is the Fetlife users and moderators who seem to spend their entire lives sniping at people online, forum trolls and forum bullies, prudes and hypocrites.
I don't know if this is a large number of users, or just a very vocal and active minority. I would like to believe that rationality and common sense are the order of the day but sadly, this might not be the case.
Let's backtrack a bit.
A few days ago I posted this story to the Fetlife group "Submissive Men and women who love them".
(The deleted version of this by a moderator who by her own words 'only skimmed it' is here)
I picked this fetlife group because I had posted other, kind of humorous pieces before and they seemed friendly to such postings. For a long while I've been giving up on reading forum after forum for the same snotty attitudes that I'm writing about now. I had thought this group was different: I was wrong.
To me, this was a light piece. Kind of sexy, kind of funny, but it honestly reflected the loving, poly BDSM relationship which I am fortunate enough to be in. I am a submissive man: My Mistress loves me. As the name of the group is, again, "Submissive Men and women who love them", I thought it appropriate. Within minutes the self-appointed Forum police jumped on it, saying it was not a 'discussion topic'. Calling it just porn, or an erotic story, or 'wank fodder', and such posts were against their rules.
I'm going to argue those points in a minute but for now let's just examine this wonderful 'rule' that seems to be in so many Fetlife groups in one form or another:
Do not post to tell people what you did last night, or what you wish you had done to you.
We will consider this wank fodder and will delete it. If you need to describe a play scenario because it is relevant to your question then by all means post enough information for context. If in doubt, contact a moderator for clarification.
This quite frankly blows my mind. This is a group entitled 'Submissive Men and women who love them'. It is a discussion group for people who, by definition, are doing naughty things to each other. On a naughty website. With naughty pics, video, ads all over the place.
I can see the logic in posting an erotic fictional story elsewhere: that's kind of a whole other kettle of fish entirely with it's own conventions, writing styles, etc. Rules of reality may not apply. You kind of want those stories kept separate to A. make them easier to find for those looking for such a story and B. So it isn't confused with ongoing discussions or actual real life accounts.
But this 'rule' goes further than that. It prohibits talking about what you have actually done for REAL.
My mind boggles at this, trying to picture other discussion groups where you are not allowed to actually talk about DOING the activity the group is SUPPOSED to be about. I'm trying to imagine...astronomy groups, where you are not allowed to talk about getting a telescope out and looking at the stars. Or groups on sailing, where they don't like you to talk about taking your own boat out on the water.
Doesn't happen right? Why does it happen on FETLIFE for crying out loud?
Is it some..I don't know, some kind of perverse (no pun intended) self-hatred? People who are so ashamed of themselves and this lifestyle they are supposedly into that they feel, if they take 'sexy talk' out of the equation, that that somehow elevates the conversation into something they deem more 'respectable'?
Or is it just a case of a few forum bullies trying to run the whole playground, asserting themselves and their ideas about their own self-importance, playing an endless game of 'one-upsmanship' on discussion topic after discussion topic where the topic itself is only incidental, and the chance to throw their weight around is really whats important?
Or is it the case of simply being prudish? This possibility really just blows my mind, and it might even be so. Quite often (when I feel bothered enough to care, as I find 95% of the Fetlife forums useless and uninteresting) I'll click on a thread because I want to hear about what other naughty people are doing I see a few people who seem against the very idea that--gasp--other people might be actually having S-E-X out there!
(Perhaps they're offended because they werent invited themselves?)
I've clicked on a few of these members out of sheer curiosity--has Fetlife been secretly invaded by Puritans?--and find, no, no, they seem to be kinky folk as well, belong to a bunch of groups, have a lot of naughty interests. So why the anti-sex attitude?
It mystifies me.
Perhaps its the type of play being described. In the case of my writing, there was some forced fem, some forced bi. Not everyone's cup of tea, but does that make my form of play any less valid than yours? If you like pony play and I dont, I'm going to exhibit common damn sense and not read your hot account of last night's pony play, I'm going to hit my backspace button, go back to the topic list, and find something more my speed. Just like changing the channel here folks. If something isnt your cup of tea, or if something offends you, dont read/watch/listen to the damn thing. Dont raise a hue and cry trying to censor anyone else.
Fetlife is a NAUGHTY website by its very existence, your presence on such site implies that YOU are naughty, no form or style of play is more valid than any other, so stop frikkin throwing stones in your own glass house. Sheesh.
I swear. So many people on Fetlife are full of shit.
The almost comical sequel to this is that my Mistress felt compelled to apologize to the very group I had offended. She did this out of a sense of reponsibility as my Owner: http://fetlife.com/groups/42/group_posts/1273036
(An apology I wasn't going to give, by the way.)
We're not even 4 posts into the reponses here before people are going round and around about 'forum rules' again. (Remember the game of 'one-upsmanship' I spoke of earlier?) And we even get into the loathsome Fetlife activity that I call 'bdsm navel-gazing':
So my purely rhetorical question is, how is his Domme posting any different than if he did? Is it simply because she's a Domme and not a male submissive?? I don't see the distinction and yes I've seen the thread about a sub's behavior reflecting on his Domme.
This is the result of what happens when you have insane forum rules against posting accounts of actually doing the activity that the forum is supposedly about. Arguing for the simple sake of arguing. The same sort of endless discussion like, 'how is it forced feminization if its not actually forced', that kind of thing. Arguing over semantics or forum minutuae in a never-ending comtemplation of one's own kinky navel.
Like arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Or Kirk vs Picard. Or some other meaningless argument just for the sake of arguing. None of which has little or any meaning on the actual real subject of what the forum is supposed to be about.
Attitudes like this--the forum games, the one-upsmanship, the navel gazing, moderators enforcing rules blindly without a gram of common sense, are what keep Fetlife from being well and truly great. Discussion groups are almost meaningless without actual real content within them; what discussion remains becomes nothing but the mental masturbation of whatever clique of users and moderators who are running it.
In a community that is already set apart from the mainstream to begin with, to have its own members divide and turn against each other and set each other further apart is not just dumb: its tragic.
*climbs down off the soapbox*