How to make friends on FetLife for the hard of thinking

It’s not news that people have no fucking idea how to look for a date on sites like FetLife. Sadly, it turns out they often don’t even know how to make friends either. Maybe some simple instructions will help.

First step:

Cunning Minx posted a PolyWeekly podcast about how not to be a douche on FetLife. Listen to it. At the very least read the description, it lists her four main points. Her tips are somewhat dating-centric, but it’s all good advice no matter what kind of relationship (capital R relationship, play partner, friends only, etc.) you’re looking for.

If you’re only looking to make friends at this point, you don’t need to worry too much about having pictures on your profile or adding a list of fetishes. If you’re looking for a partner, you really should have a recent, accurate picture of yourself on your profile, but if you just want to find somebody to talk to and maybe go for coffee with, having a picture isn’t such a big deal.

As for having your fetishes listed, that’s largely a matter of personal preference. Again, if you’re just looking for friends, it doesn’t particularly matter. Personally, long lists of fetishes put me off. A few are fine, but when your list of fetishes is longer than the rest of your profile, I start thinking you care more about what I can do to you than what you have to offer me.

The rest of your profile, however, is always, always extremely important. If you have enough time to message people on FetLife, you have enough time to fill in your damned profile already, you lazy little shit. Speaking of which, some people seem to think that not putting much in their profile makes them mysterious and tantalizing. Newsflash: when you’re reading someone else’s profile, there’s no way to tell ‘mysterious’ from ‘lazy’. Practically nobody actually likes writing profiles, that’s not an excuse. Suck it up, princess. Not knowing what to write is also a cop out. Everyone can describe themselves and what they’re looking for.

No matter what it is that you want,  you need to give the person you’re messaging a reason to give a shit about it. That’s what your profile is for.

In case that didn’t sink in the first time: if you want something from someone, give them a reason to care! If I don’t know anything about you, I don’t care what you want from me. If you’re too lazy to fill out a profile, I don’t care what you want from me. If you won’t put any effort at all into making friends with me, I don’t care what you want from me.

Basically everyone you’d ever be interested in talking with has things they could be doing besides exchanging messages with you on FetLife. If there is someone out there who literally has nothing better to do than chat with random morons on FetLife, do you really think they have anything interesting to say? No? I’m shocked. People who are interesting to talk with generally have lives. Those lives eat up quite a few hours every day. I, for example, work full time, work more on my own projects in my spare time, blog, run errands, get some exercise now and then, and occasionally even hang out with my friends. Oh, and I kind of like sleep. The time I spend replying to messages on FetLife has to come from somewhere, so how about you make a token attempt to justify taking time away from something else in my life?

That said, you don’t need to be the most fascinating person ever to double-major in comp sci and english lit while selling your own hand-made toys and volunteering at the local SPCA just to get a response to an email. All you really have to do is make an effort. Everyone was new to the scene once. We all remember being freaked out about going to our first munch without knowing a single person there. We’re generally happy to pay it forward and help a newbie out. You do have to meet us half-way, though. If you expect other people to do all the work of making friends with you, you’re going to spend a lot of time alone.

Everyone has trouble figuring out what to say in that first email. Here’s a handy template you can customize.

Hi, I’m _____. I’m [new to the city|new to the scene] and hoping to make some friends. I’d really like [someone to talk about kink with|someone to hang out with when I start going to events]. From your [profile|forum posts] you seem like a cool person. <Add something about why you chose this person in particular to message>.

I’m curious about [what munches are like|kink that you’re into], can you tell me anything about that?

Thanks,

<your name>

That’s not so hard, is it? The only tricky bit is explaining why you chose this person to talk with. You really do need some sort of reason, everybody likes knowing whoever sent them a message actually read their profile and isn’t just blindly messaging everyone with tits within a 50 km radius. Nothing makes a person feel wanted like knowing the only reason they got a message is because they were next on the list.

Also, pay attention to the last line in that template. If you want a response, make it as easy as possible for the person you’re messaging to give you one. Questions are easy to answer. Incoherent rambling sits in my inbox until I finally give up on ever answering it.

One more note about messages: spelling and grammar matter. Yes, really. It might not be fair, but you are being judged on the apparent effort you put into your profile and message. All is not lost if you’re just not a great speller, however. A simple acknowledgement along the lines of ‘English is not my first language’, ‘or ‘I realize that my spelling isn’t great, but no matter how much I practice it just doesn’t stick’ goes a long way. People are also more likely to excuse your spelling if you have something interesting to say. Again, this is a respect thing. The less mental effort people have to put into understanding your messages/forum posts/profile, the better.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed a theme here. Think about what other people might want. It’s not rocket science. Would you reply to a one-line message from someone with a blank profile asking if ‘u wanna b frendz’? Then don’t send one.

19 thoughts on “How to make friends on FetLife for the hard of thinking

  1. From my profile on a popular dating/social site:

    “PSA: If your first message to me is a one-line come-on and/or a picture of your cock, thanks for saving me the trouble of being interested in anything you have to say. Try getting to know women as people. Come-ons begging me to dominate you never, ever work, and if I want to see your dick at some point, I will ask, or click over to look at your pictures. Also, I consider punctuation and a thorough understanding of homophones necessities, not suggestions. I am a woman, not a women. “Dominate” is a verb, “dominant” is an adjective.

    “That’s me in my avatar/icon. If you’re interested in meeting, I am going to need to see a good picture of you. That means your face, gentlemen. I really cannot stress how non-negotiable this is.”

    The sad part is that even though this cut down on the number of “Want to have this sex I happen to have with me?” and “I want 2 b ur sissy bitch your so beutiful miztrss plz” messages I’ve been getting, those STILL make up 2/3 of what I get.

    Motherfuckers, if you cannot follow the simplest fucking instructions online, where you have all the time you could possibly need to make sure you didn’t accidentally include pictures of your dick — I realize you may need to double check this — why in the name of the baby Jesus’ unresurrected foreskin should I believe that you will be able to treat me with respect in a personal setting? This is not about youall being obedient slaves, this is not about arbitrary rules to weed out the stupid, this is about me setting boundaries straight-up, trying to save us both some goddamn time, and if you cannot respect those boundaries I will be damned if I’ll let you near me to disrespect my physical boundaries.

    I am flexible on the spelling/punctuation within reason, and sometimes the homophones, because everyone has brainfart days, but I am firm on the “I need a picture of you that does not include your dick and/or asshole, or some other woman’s tits, or an anime character,” and I am firm on the “Give me a reason to WANT to play with you before you ASK me to play with you.”

    It’s HARD not replying to these people with the keyboard set to frappe. I’d do it every time just for the satisfaction, but the last thing I want to do is provoke some sort of butthurt aggressive/emotional display. I don’t have time to fucking talk to kindergarteners.

    My favorite lately began with “Hello, miss.” (And degenerated into will u dominate me shortly thereafter.) Is it just me or is that just . . . ridiculous? I am not a fucking MISS, okay? I am 34 years old. I left “Miss” by the side of the road long ago. And unless I’m your Mistress — and you will know it if you are, because we will already have met and talked and stuff — don’t you fucking go around calling me Mistress when I haven’t indicated that I want that from you. You gotta EARN that shit; you don’t TAKE it from me, I GIVE it to you, just like I have to earn calling you my pet or toy or slave or whatever by earning your trust and obedience and proving that I will provide a good experience for you.

    UGH.

    • Motherfuckers, if you cannot follow the simplest fucking instructions online, where you have all the time you could possibly need to make sure you didn’t accidentally include pictures of your dick — I realize you may need to double check this — why in the name of the baby Jesus’ unresurrected foreskin should I believe that you will be able to treat me with respect in a personal setting?

      First of all, I absolutely love the way you write when you’re riled up. Second, augh! What on earth makes people think that their complete inability to follow simple instructions is attractive? That happens over and over in fetlife groups for submissive men and dominant women – some jackass comes in a posts a personal ad after joining a group that clearly says ‘NO PERSONAL ADS’ in the rules, then acts all surprised and butthurt when women tell him that if he can’t so much as manage not to post personal ads in a no personal ads group, there’s no way he’ll ever have a d/s relationship.

      The sad part is that even though this cut down on the number of “Want to have this sex I happen to have with me?” and “I want 2 b ur sissy bitch your so beutiful miztrss plz” messages I’ve been getting, those STILL make up 2/3 of what I get.

      I’m sadly surprised to hear adding that PSA cut down on wanker messages at all. I guess a few of them can read after all.

  2. I actually ignore the dipshits who attempt to contact me that way.
    Sometimes there are some good questions (I’m interested in meeting folks in this area but haven’t been her longer than a few weeks or moving in a few weeks, etc)
    Now, as someone who is a Switch, is dating someone, does not state herself as single nor do I state that I am looking for a play partner, they still keep approaching me! Ggggrrrrrrrr. I also get plenty of sissy boys who want me to Dom. Sorry. I have one guy who right now completely fills that need… bye bye. ASK next time if I would like coffee or something… GD, you would think I have to do the wooing here! I don’t! Convince me that I should want to spend my time with you!
    So I instead brag about how wonderful my man is and leave it at that; it isn’t a committed relationship. I just don’t have TIME for more than one man in my life! I work too much and want to spend time with my friends and family as well.
    Silly fuckers

    • Sometimes I just ignore them, sometimes I try to educate them, and sometimes I just mess with them 🙂 In general I try to be civil, if not particularly nice, but if their first message to me is that disrespectful I feel completely justified in indulging in a little recreational jerkitude.

      Convince me that I should want to spend my time with you!

      Exactly! I’m not charity for the social skills impaired, dammit!

  3. As someone who has a cartoon-y avatar, a total of about 4 words describing myself on my Fetlife profile, and a fetish list that primarily contains smartassery, I guess I am about a textbook model of how not to do it. It is also pretty rare for me to get involved in posts on FL.
    My profile originally was generally less chilly but I didn’t enjoy the driveby propositions and flashing that seemed to be a regular feature. It has worked, perhaps too well. I don’t get the fucktards but I get hardly any messages at all.

    Interesting… my profile looks the way it does because I pretty much want to be left alone, and theirs looks like this and they are desperately seeking attention. There is a lesson there somewhere.

    • a cartoon-y avatar, a total of about 4 words describing myself on my Fetlife profile, and a fetish list that primarily contains smartassery

      When I first skimmed your comment, I thought you were talking about my profile 🙂 I changed mine when I went through a period where I just didn’t want to hear from anyone, wanker or not, and just never bothered to change it back when I was feeling more social. Hearing so little from complete fucktards has been nice, so I don’t have a lot of motivation to change it back.

      Interesting… my profile looks the way it does because I pretty much want to be left alone, and theirs looks like this and they are desperately seeking attention. There is a lesson there somewhere.

      Hee! It’s almost like self-defeating behavior doesn’t get you very far. I wonder if it’s an absolutely stunning sense of entitlement, or just plain old stupidity.

  4. It’s hilarious reading these comments and this message, after having already followed all the points made in the article and having active profiles on CollarMe, FetLife, etc etc; I”ve only had fakes contact me. Fake after fake after fake, no dickpicks, no driveby flashings; just absolute fakes. Everyone is up for a Munch, or wants to “talk”; or be a dom/sub ONLINE; but nobody wants to meet anyone; or do anything real.

    Is this what FetLife has turned into? Or has it always been this way?

    Hell, I even messaged back the greeter who’d welcomed me to the site (a good year later); asking them if anyone on FetLife was real, their response:
    I have little to offer, other than to say that you are correct. Most people on here talk a good game…

    That’s sad, especially coming from an avid member of your site; a greeter. Everyone seems to talk a good game, the people with the long thought out profiles and many pictures / entries (from my experience) have been the agencies looking for a few hundred dollars, or the complete fakes sitting at their computers scamming nudes off of others and “roleplaying” all day. (The best part is when you see them online every five minutes.)

    Feel free to send me a message (to the listed email of this post, I do get them.) if you see this any other way (or reply here, I think it’ll send me an email.) I would love to actually hear back from someone at FL that wasn’t staff or a greeter for once.

    One last thing in closing, groups and users that think their city is the only damned city in the world with that name; please stop, right now. “Vancouver” exists in Canada and the USA. “Surrey” exists in the UK, and Canada (as well as a few other places.) These are just two of numerous examples of retarded things not to clarify.

  5. Ladies I’m asking you… reply however you want, but do it! Of course, unless you receive a disrespectful message.

    Spread the love.

  6. Well.. I have been trying to pluck up courage to join Fetlife for a little while now, I’m a timid soul.
    After laughing so very hard at the comments (then reading them all again !) I think I may be way out of my depth and eaten alive there-Metophorically speaking. Unless that is among the listed kinks 🙂
    Thank you all for the insight I appreciate it. I will wait a while and perhaps take a brave pill in the interim.

    • Fetlife’s actually a pretty friendly place as long as you’re not going around calling strange women your “dominate mistress” and acting surprised when that doesn’t make them want to be your new BFF 🙂 There are a lot of interesting discussions on there, maybe quietly lurking for a bit would be more your speed. You can take interacting with people as slowly as you want, I just hate it when people act like total boors and don’t see the connection between their bad behaviour and my total lack of interest in them.

  7. Hi Stabbity.
    thank you for the encouragement. I feel a wee bit of lurking comng on. As you say its the rude forwardness some folk feel is acceptable under the safety blanket of a perceived anonymity.
    It was my worry that as soon as I pop my head up on Fetlife I would get verbally dragged off to a dark corner kicking and screaming.
    thanks again

    • I’m not going to say that there is a shortage of rude jerks on Fetlife or that it’s a safe place to put identifying information, but the block button is a beautiful thing and there’s no reason you should share anything you’re not totally comfortable with 🙂

  8. Great post as always! Really like this one. There’s a lot of ignorance out there. It’s nice to see a little common sense.
    –Miss Ari ^_^

  9. Good post you did explain things very well and I’m trying to get to know the side better because I’m still fairly new. And I agree, please put pictures on the site and not just your body or your cock because when and if I want to see it I will let you know we will work that out. Thanks for the advice it was great.

Leave a Reply to Stabbity Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *