It has been several years since I first discovered Fetlife. As with all "social media" websites, I have had multiple accounts. I have one singular account on the website at the moment and it is my intent to keep it that way.
Fetlife is a social media website where people who are interested in BDSM and/or other kinks/fetishes can gather, meet and discuss related topics. It is not a dating website although some people attempt to use it that way.
The website has taken some hits in the mainstream with several controversies over the years. The most famous of these being "The Wolf" allegations. If you do not know about that case I suggest you google it. I would like to be transparent and admit that I have spoken to the man accused before and after this happened. I have a personal opinion and view that some may consider biased. However, I feel that I am quite objective. If you would like to know more people leave a comment below asking for that. If not we will leave this here.
There are also differing views of those who are users of the website. There are those who are "old school" and have a certain way of seeing the scene. Then there are those who found their way to the website via the insanity surrounding "50 Shades of Grey" and of course the view of those completely new to the scene.
There are also those kinds of people who seek drama or lie as a hobby as with any social media website. The sad part is that they taint the view of the entire site with their nonsense. Most of the people you will find in the communities are knowledgeable, open, and really good people.
The community at large is filled with hard-working and honest people. There are doctors, lawyers, educators, warehouse workers, sex workers and so many more! There is literally a community set up for anyone who is into almost anything. There is no illegal on the website or accepted on the website. So, that is why it is -almost- anything. I have no issues with that but some people do.
I personally have always had a mixed experience with Fetlife. It is a wonderful way to make new friends and speak with people with similar interests. At the same time it is difficult to know if someone has real or honest intentions. There are a lot of people who try to use the website like a kinky version of Tinder. There are good and bad people everywhere and this website is no different. If you are simply looking for friendship it is great. But, beyond that... I would be very careful.
The safest way to meet new people in person is to find a local "munch" and go. A munch is a public gathering of like-minded people in your area. Everyone wearings "street clothes" and simply share a meal and talk. It is safe and public so you can see if you can connect with friends and be protected. They usually happen once a month at a restaurant or coffee shop.
I would suggest Fetlife to someone who is into kinky things and wants to learn more, explore, make friends and feel like they are a part of a community. It is a tool to grow and connect. I would discourage people from using it as a dating site and from looking for casual hookups. It can be unsafe. So, be careful and have fun!