How does Fetlife work?

Almost everyone has certain fetishes or fantasies. Anyone who doesn’t is lying. Unfortunately, there is still a big taboo on fetishes in today’s society and it can be difficult to find peers. At Fetlife you can be completely open and honest about it: the social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky Community.
As one of the few websites, it allows you to meet others with the same fetishes or fantasies. Fetlife is the place where lovers of BDSM, fetish and kinky things feel at home. The website now has over 9 million worldwide members. Fetlife is not for cowards, because the members are not afraid to express their sexual desires. So you don’t have to be shy to express your own desires, needs, fantasies, fetishes or wishes.
Not looking for a place to share photos, video and more, but now you want to move on to the real thing? Fetlife is a social network and not a “real” dating site.

Who is it for?

FetlifeFetlife is the social network for the BDSM, kinky and fetish society. It is meant for women, men and all other gender identities. Your sexual preference doesn’t matter here either. Because if you have a fetish, you know yourself that sexual preferences are not so simple to describe. You do have to be 18 years or older to sign up.
You do not sign up with Fetlife to find your true love unlike many other dating sites. Fetlife is all about the community. Therefore, get involved yourself in various chat rooms, discussion groups and forums. Only in this way will you come into contact with as many people as possible who share the same fetishes, wishes and desires. The registration process at FetLife is very simple and fast. You can go directly to the website or download the app. First of all, you need to provide your email address and also tell some information about yourself. You can choose to give a nickname, gender, sexual orientation, date of birth and location. Fetlife requires confirmation via text message when you sign up. So you also need your cell phone when signing up.

Discussion groups, chats and forums

Fetlife doesn’t work like other dating sites like Tinder, for example. It doesn’t follow an algorithm to match you with a match. It loosely follows the Facebook model, bringing together social communities that share similar fantasies. Simply sign up and then you can participate in discussion groups, chat with friends or post public blog posts.
If this is your first time connecting with the BDSM or kinky community, signing up with Fetlife can feel a bit intimidating. But there is a place here for everyone, including beginners. You create the experience all by yourself, so that’s how you can set it up. For example, there are discussion groups for members interested in just about anything. With a free membership you can use all the functions you need on Fetlife. If you choose to donate, you get some extra privileges. For example, you can design your own feed, look back at your liked things and see which photos of yours are most liked by other users. In addition, by doing this you also support Fetlife and you can also see the monthly payment as a donation.

Advantages and disadvantages

FetlifeThe main advantage of FetLife is that there is a wide range of different fetishes. Familiarize yourself with the website and you will find small communities that cater to specific smaller fetishes, interests or desires. No matter how niche your fetish is, chances are you will find peers on Fetlife.
In addition, the great thing about Fetlife is that you can be completely open and honest about your desires and you will find peers in there. Sometimes it can feel quite alone and frustrating when you think you are the only one with a certain fetish. There is a good chance that you will find peers in Fetlife. Don’t be afraid of taboos or rejections: fetish dating really does exist.
One drawback of Fetlife is that the app is not available to everyone. For now, the app is only downloadable for Android users. This app cannot be downloaded from the Google Play or App Store, but through the additional website. The fact that the app is not downloadable from the app stores comes with a danger. It is always recommended to never download apps that cannot be found in an app store. There is also the disadvantage that FetLife does not require you to have public photos. This is of course understandable, as you may prefer not to have your neighbor or colleague find out about your fetishes, but it does make it difficult to get in touch with users if they have no photos of themselves at all.


FetLife considers the privacy and confidentiality of members very important. Unfortunately, there is still a big taboo on fetishes, so Fetlife understands very well that members appreciate the secrecy and anonymity. Data and photos are never used for commercial purposes or sold to third parties. In addition, you will also find many options around privacy at the Fetlife helpdesk that can be found online. For example, you can block other members or make reports. Fetlife makes use of an SSL connection. Because of this, you can be sure that your data is safely protected.

About Fetlife

FetLife was launched in 2008 by John Kopanas. John was a software developer who was frustrated that he could not find the same people in the dating world with the same interests as him. He started the website FriendsWithFetishes in 2007. A year later, he changed the name to the current FetLife. Since then, the website has grown into a large platform about fetishes with almost 10 million members worldwide.
In 2012, FetLife found itself at the center of controversy over its policy of not allowing members to make criminal accusations against other members in public forums. Members subsequently objected on the grounds that this policy would censor posts by victims of sexual violence. Also in 2017, FetLife made bad news because of the kidnapping of Ying Ying Zhang. The abductor had visited sub threads in Fetlife such as “Perfect Abduction Fantasy. As a result of these cases, Fetlife removed hundreds of fetish subcategories.