Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

It's not a blogging platform, it's a badly implemented Facebook clone. It's also private, making it difficult to collaborate or spread content, and has terrible search functionality. The only thing you can do is look at their global viral content feed and hope something that isn't just bondage or idiotic rants pops up. It also trends strongly towards kink, and white heteronormative sex, which excludes a huge portion of the Tumblr lgbtq+ spectrum.

I apologize in advance for the wall of text but I felt compelled to dispel a serious misunderstandings of the Kink community and by extension Fetlife from your comment here (though I think getting into the idiosyncrasies of the kinky community and lifestyle might be a wee bit too far off the rails/topic for the discussion of tumblr providing a platform for those interested in adult content).

Sure, while Fetlife might not be a "blogging" platform like Tumblr or WordPress is, the functionality of the site as a community shouldn't be dismissed as a viable alternative for tumblr refugees just because it isn't dedicated to periodical columns the way WordPress is even while the platform has a versatile and quite heavily used blogging feature.

It also trends strongly towards kink

Yes. It does. That's the point. They advertise it as such or try to convince you of anything otherwise. . They don't sell you anything else. That's entirely who the community was built for, it's the entire purpose of the site.

The very first thing you see when you go to the website is:

FetLife is the Social Network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky Community.

So yes. That's exactly the point of the site. But I also made sure to add, that among other things, the site is a pretty good and welcoming community for artists of many types: painters, drawers, photographers, writers, it can be many things to many people who want to trade in, and interact with 'adult content' despite the headline viewers see before even logging in or creating an account of their own.

But again, as I said in another comment in this subthread: kink != sex and to be earnest in discussing the affair, it's probably helpful to divorce one from the idea that kinky material == sexy material. Some people find pleasure-and it doesn't have to be sexual pleasure, it could entirely be psychosomatic in controlling what another says and does as a dom or domme. Conflating the two only sets back the entire discussion IMO.

Further, this part has me raising an eyebrow and sorry if I've missed your point but:

and white heteronormative sex, which excludes a huge portion of the Tumblr lgbtq+ spectrum.


Not to be a contrarian on the subject, but as a person of color, my own experiences with the site can be surmised the way a lot of people surmise their experiences with many sites like reddit, twitter, et al: pick the communities/subgroups you want to interact with, ignore those you don't.

So how does Fetlife as a platform "trend towards" white heteronormative sex? Just curious because the platform, best I can tell over the last five years as an active member allows the user to choose what groups they involve themselves with, and what people they involve themselves with and which groups they don't. If you're a person of color, looking to interact with polyamorous people who enjoy rope play, there's a good chance a group exists for it, and if not there is nothing stopping you from creating that.

If you're a white person who wants to interact with non-poly people and are looking for just plain-jane sex with other white people, there are groups for that too.

Best I can tell, Fetlife enables you as a user to find and interact with all sorts of individuals who fit your specific theme/motif of "pleasure" however you define it, and places no limitations on those who exist outside of however we decide to define "normative" on a given day.

Is it possible the experience you speak of has less to do with the platform and more the groups you've chosen to subscribe to and the people you've chosen to interact with?

Saying that Fetlife is an adequate safe haven for the Tumblr lgbtq+ diaspora is like saying a punk record store is a safe haven for all the musicians in a city. Sure, technically speaking, the punks may welcome the musicians. But maybe those musicians don't want to sit around with a bunch of crust punks, pretending to like their trite immature lyrics and three-chord symphonies. Maybe they'd like a space built to make them all feel comfortable and independent, and not shoved into somebody else's space.

Kink isn't sex, but guess what there is a lot of on Fetlife? SEX. Look at the trending page. It's all bondage, stupid rants, and sex/nudes. That is literally all that is on the page right now.

It's white and heteronomative because, again, look at the viral feed. It's all white people having straight sex. I know of maybe 3 regular-old gay men on the whole site. The gay leather community, which literally invented BDSM, is bearly represented at all. And if there are pictures of women, or just any woman with an account, they get inundated by men trying to have sex with them.

Back to Tumblr - if I want to find furry-related content on Tumblr, I just search for "furries" and bam - gifs/jpgs, short posts, memes, everything the Tumblr community wants. I can also search Google and plenty of content comes up.

Now, if I want to find furry content on Fetlife, I have to log in, search for "furries", and individually weed through 602 discussion groups, looking at every individual's profiles, because no posts come up on the search page. No posts. No gifs/jpgs. No. Memes. It would take hours to find the same content.

This is not what Tumblr users want. Fetlife will not work for them.

I know of maybe 3 regular-old gay men on the whole site.

"regular-old gay"??? Would you care to articulate what this even means? What is 'regular' gay? Is there a 'regularity' of being gay or are you applying YOUR presumptions of sexual orientation to a group of people you've never met?

I feel like this probably says much more about how you're using the site than you (probably) intend to give off, and further belies what your associations with the LGBT and kink communities are even to begin with describing things so lackadaisically and I'm not sure I'm inclined or convinced by anything you're really countering with as to what the Fetlife community even is.

It seems limited, surface-level, and full of projections that reduce a spectrum of experiences, desires and wishes for the site down to some personal hangups that really aren't worth discussing here.

And if this comment seems inflammatory to you, then I'll point back to the very beginning of my apoplectic response to your "regular-old gay" comment as an example of exactly how it feels.


Anyhow, that aside I'm leaving the discussion to rest with this: Fetlife isn't a 1:1 replacement for EVERY disaffected Tumblr user out there, but it is a good alternative for some, has good features for some, and can be a good and enjoyable community for others.

The gay leather community, which literally invented BDSM, is bearly represented at all.

This is patently false to the point of almost being humorous, but also and even so, the Kink world is several times larger than the "gay leather community". It's mdae up of more people with more varied interests than whatever outmoded idea of Kink you have from the 80's.

I probably did a poor job phrasing that from the start, here-admittedly, or getting the point across that it has features some may find attractive to use for the type of content they want to publish, but to be honest I find your particular characterization in response as a counterpoint to be missing a lot of nuance of the platform, and one that dismisses and completely erases entire social-groups who use the site successfully to create their own local communities, groups and networks based on a few cherrypicked features.


If you'd like, I would be MORE than willing to share with you some of the groups and events on the site that (1) aren't about "white heteronormative sex" or (2) full of stupid rants, because contrary to what you're putting out here: they are NOT that hard to find, they are NOT that hard to join, and they are ABSOLUTELY welcoming to all sorts of flavors, identities and orientations. I really suggest you take a much closer look at the site than someone who made an account ten minutes ago and decided their mind is made up

Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact