Friday, October 17, 2008

Joining FetLife.com

“It’s just like MySpace, but for perverts.”

That was the first description I ever read for FetLife. And I immediately thought, “Hey, I’m a pervert . . . I should sign up!” So, several days later when I was spending the weekend housesitting for my sister, I did just that.

I’d signed up for ‘adult’ social networking stuff before, and each and every one of them turned out to be a ridiculous waste of my time. Most of them were ‘ABSOLUTELY FREE!’ Then, after a lengthy sign-up process, you discovered that you couldn’t contact anyone else registered on the site, or even answer mail that people had sent you, unless you upgraded to Silver or Gold membership for the low, low price of . . . “Oh, bite me, will you?” How they wanted to charge my credit card $40 for a three month membership in something that was ABSOLUTELY FREE is something that I just can’t quite understand.

I was worried at first when I wasn’t able to access anything on FetLife without first signing up. “Here we go again,” I thought. But, it wasn’t like I was really pressed for time that night, so I sat there filling out their forms. And I’ll spoil the surprise right now . . . there wasn’t a catch. No sneaky demanding a membership fee or asking for a credit card number ‘for reference’. It was. . . .well, it was just like MySpace. But for perverts.

Anyway, I started filling out their little online forms, clicking the appropriate boxes and choosing the proper answers from the drag-down menus.

They say that . . . “A man is the sum of his memories.” Yeah, OK. “A woman is the sum of her dreams.” Fine, whatever. You can find enough quotes to tell you that a person is the sum of a whole lot of different things. Here’s my contribution to that list: “A Pervert is the Sum of His Fetishes.” (Or “A Pervert is the Sum of Her Fetishes”. Whichever gender of pervert you happen to be.)

I’m not fond of forms in general – probably a reaction to having seen over 17 million different doctors in my lifetime, all of whom wanted an entire ream of paperwork filled out. But way back when, during my incomplete senior year in high school, everyone was given this lengthy questionnaire to fill out for the senior papers. Full name, birthdate, place of birth, and so on. Favorite food, favorite drink, favorite song, favorite book, favorite place visited. Favorite saying. Goals. Fantasies. This kind of thing. I was one of the first people to turn mine in (mainly because most everyone else turned theirs in late, and had to be threatened to participate at all). And mine ended up being something like two and a half times longer than the average.

Ever since then I’ve liked the concept of having a document that expresses – from some angle, for at least some aspect of your personality – an answer to the question “Who am I?” And that’s what I wanted to express as I started signing up for a FetLife account. “This is who I am.”

I chose a username (Zeitgeist_Clown) and password and all the usual stuff, then went to my empty profile page and picked an area to start off with.

First it asked me for my Gender. That was easy. Male. (My other options were Female, Trans – Male to Female, Trans – Female to Male, and Genderqueer.)

Next it wanted to know my Sexual Orientation. My choices were: Straight, Heteroflexible, Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Queer, and Pansexual.

Heteroflexible? That’s such a great word. Normally on a set of forms like this, I’d be all stressed out over whether I should claim to be straight, or whether I should instead man up (wow, there’s a bad pun lurking around here somewhere) and admit to being bicurious. But with ‘heteroflexible’ sitting in the spot where term ‘bicurious’ usually lives, it just screamed out to me.

[Is this the first mention of there being a possibility that I’m not 100% heterosexual in the blog? I believe it is. I admit it. I sometimes masturbate to sex fantasies that are completely missing a female component. There are things – sexual things – that I’d be willing to try with another man. I actually think that once I’ve had sex, and had some of it with representatives from both sides of the gender line, I might end up reidentifying myself as bisexual. Not an even 50/50 split. I can’t imagine not being predominantly hetero. But definitely enough to qualify as bi rather than straight. Of course, it could also turn out that my first man-on-man experience just confirms that I’m 200% Heterosexual, and I’ll never have another thought about a penis-not-my-own again. Who knows? There will be future posts about this whole topic of discussion, believe me.]

The next thing that the form asked me for was my Role. Only this time when it gave me the list of choices, I was stumped. It was a ‘pick one’ situation, and I wanted to pick four. The choices were: Dominant, Switch, submissive, Master, Mistress, slave, Top, Bottom, Fetishist, Kinkster, Sadist, Masochist, Sadomasochist, Vanilla, Not Applicable, and Unsure. I felt justified in choosing Dominant, Top, Fetishist, and Kinkster. I was tempted to choose Not Applicable due to being a virgin, but that didn’t work, because, well, I have done some BDSM stuff. I almost chose Unsure, because I was unsure how to choose. I finally decided on Dominant. At the time, I’m sure that I had a reason, but right now, I couldn’t tell you what it was.

“How Active Are You” was the next question. My choices here were: I Live It 24/7, I Live The Lifestyle When I Can, Just In The Bedroom, Once In A While To Spice Things Up, Curious And Want To Try, and Just Curious Right Now. Huh. I’m more than curious, all I need is a partner. Give me a partner and I’ll be able to give the “I live the lifestyle when I can” answer. (Or possibly the “I live it 24/7” if the lifestyle clicks with my OCD and it turns out she’s really into it as well). I ended up leaving the pulldown menu for this one set on “(select your activity level)”, which left the section off of my profile entirely.

Relationship Status. Yikes. I chose Single, and I swear, it was an easier choice than Male had been for Gender. I mean, yeah, I checked first to make sure that “Hopelessly, Depressingly Single” wasn’t an option, but then it was obviously just “Single”. The full range of choices were: Single, Dating, In a Relationship, In an Open Relationship, Engaged, Married, Polyamorous, and It’s Complicated. (It’s Complicated? Fuck. Where was “It’s Complicated” back in “How Active Are You?” where I needed it?)

D/s Status: Dominant, Owner, Master, Mistress, Top, Daddy, Mommy, Protecting, Considering, Mentoring, Switches, owned and collared, owned, under consideration, under protection, slave, submissive, pet, bottom, babygirl, babyboy, being mentored, unowned, unpartnered, It’s Complicated, Presently Inactive, and Not Applicable. I chose “It’s Complicated”. I would have chosen “unpartnered”, but it starts with a lower-case ‘u’, and BDSM likes to play games with capitalization. Note that Dominant, Owner, and Daddy are all capitalized, and submissive, owned, and babygirl are not. I don’t know if there’s some secondary meaning to a lower-case ‘unpartnered’ that I’m unaware of, but I wanted to err on the side of caution.

The next section was “Looking For”, and the options were: A Lifetime Relationship (LTR), A Relationship, A Mentor/Teacher, Someone To Play With, ‘A Princess By Day, Slut By Night’, Friendship, A Master, A Mistress, A sub, A slave, and FetNights. Instead of the usual pull-down menu to choose one thing, here we had a series of boxes we could check. (Again: Where was this multiple check box system back up in the Role section where I needed it?)

I clicked on A Relationship, Someone to Play With, Friendship, A sub, and A slave.

The rest of that particular form was stuff like location, date of birth, and boring stuff like that. I finished up those remaining details, then moved along to the next thing.

Which was to click on the button marked “Bulk Add Fetishes”. This took me to a whole new section with pull-down menus as far as the eye could see.

This section was set up like this. The name of a fetish, followed by two drop down menus. The first menu gave you the following two choices: Into, and Curious About. (Well, you would also leave the menu alone, which would leave that fetish off of your profile. So I guess it’s three choices.) The second menu gave you these options: Giving, Receiving, Watching, Wearing, Watching others wear, and Everything to do with it.

So if your fetish was fish-slapping (not something listed on the bulk add fetish section – actually, as far as I know, not an actual fetish, just part of a hilarious Monty Python sketch), you’d first specify whether it was something you really got off on (Into), or whether it was just something you were maybe interested in trying (Curious About). Then you’d hit the second pull-down menu to let people know if you liked slapping your partner with a fish (Giving), having your partner slap you with a fish (Receiving), if you just got off on seeing other people engaged in sexual fish-slapping activities (Watching), or if you simply were into slapping, getting slapped, watching others slapping and getting slapped, and anything else that falls into the realm of the fish-slapping fetish (Everything about it). [In this obviously poorly thought-out example, ‘Wearing’ and ‘Watching others wear’ weren’t all that applicable.]

I could have pulled the first drag-down menu down to Into for well over half of the fetishes listed. But there was this snotty little voice in the back of my head saying, “Oh yeah? Prove it!” Then I heard a kick and a yowl and a much nicer voice asking, “How can you be sure?” (I really, really don’t want to know what goes on inside my head.)

The first fetish on the list was Age Play. Am I into Age Play? Yes. But really, when you get right down to it, how can I be sure? I’ve never done any age play. I can fantasize about it. I can get erect reading about it. But can I really say that I’m into something if I’ve never actually done it?

So I decided that the only things I was going to list as being Into would be things that I’ve actually done. With footplay being the sole exception. (Tell me I did not just say that.) Because even though I have yet to find a female willing to let me fully indulge my foot fetish down just past the end of her legs, I KNOW that I’m into bare female feet and toes.

So, the fetishes that I listed as being Into were: Bondage, Breast/Nipple Torture, Chains, Erotic Photography, Foot/Feet, Handcuffs, Lingerie, Masks, Masturbation, Nipples, Pain, Pantyhose/Stockings, Roleplay, Spanking, Talking Dirty, and Toys.

Erotic Photography was iffy. Despite my goals, I still haven’t been able to find someone willing to pose for my digital camera. On the other hand, I’ve seen erotic photographs, and I’m definitely into looking at them, so I’ve proven that I’m into it on some level. Things like Breast/Nipple Torture, Pain, and Spanking I all applied the (giving) rider to. Things like Chains, Handcuffs, Lingerie, and Pantyhose/Stockings all got (watching others wear).

Then I moved onto Curious About: Age Play, Anal Sex, Ass Play, Blindfolds, Candle Wax, Collar and Lead/Leash, Dildos, Discipline, Doctor/Nurse Play, Exhibitionism, Fisting, Gangbangs, Hair Pulling, Humiliation, Latex, Leather, Making Home Movies, Masochism, Master/Slave, Mutual Masturbation, Nun/Priest Play, Oral Sex, Power Exchange, Rimming, Rubber, Sensory Deprivation, Sex In Public, Strap-ons, Vibrators, Voyeurism, and Watersports.

Going through and choosing options from the second drag-down menu just alerted people that in most cases, I was the one doing stuff to other people. Strap-ons was an exception, where I was (curious about) (receiving). And I was simply unable to pass up the chance to use the (watching) label behind Voyeurism.

I left the following fetishes blank, so that they don’t appear on my profile at all: Biting, Breath Play, Caging/Confinement, Chastity Devices, Cock and Ball Torture, Cross Dressing, Electrotorture, Enemas, High Heels, Piercings, Pinching, Sadism, Scat Play, Scent, Transvestitism, and Whips.

Some of them I’m neutral toward. Some of them turn me completely off. There’s stuff on that list that I don’t want done to me and I’d be afraid to try and do to somebody else. And, I now notice a couple of items on this list of things that I’m neither Into nor Curious About that just crack me up, given the costume I plan on wearing later on this Halloween season.

After the Bulk Add Fetishes, I figured out how to add in fetishes that aren’t on the list. I added both Clowns and Bananas under things I’m Into. They probably should have been placed under Curious About, as I’ve never done anything sexual with a female clown, and I haven’t ever seen a live and in-person demonstration of a woman masturbating with a banana, much less slid a banana in and out of a woman myself. I might have to change those.

Once I’d finished the Fetishes section, I moved onto the “About” section, wherein I had to write about myself. I cranked out a handful of paragraphs, filled with the kind of stuff you’d expect. My standard OCD list of ‘what’s wrong with me’ (obese, chronically ill, poor, virgin, etc.) I also explained that my presence in the community would be sporadic, due to my internet access being extremely limited. It wasn’t my best work. It was, however, nearing 2:00 in the morning by this point, and I think that my brain was starting to move onto other things without me.

I saved the photo section for a couple of days later when my sister and her fiancé returned home. I had him take some photos of me, played around with them for awhile, and then uploaded two of them to the site. One was just a shot of me sitting at the computer. The other picture was my mug shot – front view and side view, each holding up a clipboard with my prisoner number – from ‘Virginity County Penal Institution’.

And that answered my question. “Who am I?” Who am I, sexually? Just another unfuckable loser locked up in virgin jail.

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