Of all the features on Fetlife, I find Group the most frustrating. Posts on Fetlife groups are often negative, blaming, shaming and unhelpful. Sadly, Groups are also the place that many new people find themselves first, as they dip their toes in the kinky waters, they read and ask questions on-line in order to gage how their experiences would be in person.
If you find yourself blamed or shamed in a Group, here are some helpful tips that I've found help me get through it. When trolled, I look at the poster's profile, always, and look for the following attributes:
- How many friends do they have?
If they have fewer than 10 friends, I consider this to be large red flag. It means they're not generally well integrated into Fetlife. Not everyone needs over a thousand friends, but having a very small number should raise some concerns.
- Are their friends local to them?
Some people have lots of Fetlife friends, but they're just that- Fetlife friends. They've never met their "friends" in real life. Usually these folks are photography admirers.
- Are they RSVPed to local events?
A good way to determine if someone is "real" is to look for their participation in local events.
- Is their something fishy in their profile?
Are they a 19 year old with 10 years experience as a BDSM Master? Are they a 65 year old "Daddy" looking to show young girls the "real deal"?
- Do they have experience with BDSM outside of their own relationship?
Being part of a community means knowing about relationships and relationship dynamics that are not your own. If they only post about and mention their own relationships, that's an indicator that they don't have experiences from other that they can learn or build from.
I still belong to Fetlife groups, but always use these guides to determine whether or not to take someone's criticism seriously.