I have never had the slightest interest in golf, that is apart from the time some Frenchman called Van der Velde threw away the British Open on the final afternoon after getting stuck in a stream where it was canalised in a concrete trough and dropped a dozen shots as he hacked away like an amateur. Cue laughter and schadenfreude oh and a little anger at the crass misogyny of Peter Alliss who apparently thinks the sole function of any woman in his life is to make his tea. But I digress…..
One of the reasons golf has never really appealed is that most golfers belong to clubs, which are expensive to join, have bars full of back slapping self-satisfied white men and that, if these things weren’t off-putting enough , you have to be proposed and seconded by existing members if you want to join yourself. I have never been a fan of anything that required you to be approved by somebody else before joining.
I am concerned, therefore, to see that Fetlife is now effectively an invitation only club. New people can only sign up if invited by an existing member. Just like the golf club, really, but without the G and Ts and the Pringle sweaters……unless that’s a particularly esoteric fetish that has passed me by.
I can see why they might have done this. In my early days on the scene I got to know a man who was banned from Fetlife for stalking and harassment of one particular lady and kept rejoining under new IDs and I know, too, if only anecdotally that abuse, trolling, and general dickheadery are not uncommon. I have had to block a couple of people because of the latter. But the new rules will not necessarily deal with these issues. What, for example, is to stop a troll inviting him or herself under new names to have an account ready for when they are banned? And what about those who are simply blocked and ignored but never reported and remain on Fetlife to seek out new victims?
For those not yet in the scene this is a disaster. I, and no doubt many of you reading this, struggled for years alone with my fetishes and fantasies, unaware of the scene, unaware that there were so many like-minded people living within five miles of me. Joining Fetlife opened up to me a world of munches and play events, and led to me meeting a number of lovely people who helped me to love myself as I am and were influential, often in ways they might not realise, in making me the person I am today.
So, Fetlife, please think again. Think of those who don’t know anyone on the scene who have no-one to invite them and, because they cannot join, have no way of finding out about the munches and play events where they can meet kinky people. You have left them isolated in a vicious circle and made it impossible for us, as a community, to reach out and welcome them. Do not deny them the opportunities we all had.