Author's Note: Today's entry is highly explicit in language and content. If this kind of thing offends you (as it does me) then please don't read any further.
I've been on Fetlife for about six and a half years now; since September, 2008. It has changed a lot in the course of those six and a half years. Some of those changes have been for the better, such as a button that lets you "love" a particular photo or writing. But some of the changes have been for the worse, such as men beginning to think that they are owed something by the women on the site, whether it be allowing men to talk about them suggestively with impunity or demanding that women "show more" in their photos. This entitlement attitude just seems to get worse. And the more we women complain about it, the more the men insist that they have the right to treat us as objects. After all, we post photos showing our bodies, some of them highly explicit. At the very least, most of us spankos show our red bare bottoms along with the occasional up skirt or pantie shot. Does this behavior mean that men are now free to objectify us to their heart's content?
As I said in my "Myth vs. Reality" entry, Fetlife is a social networking site, but because it's free to use, many men feel that it's OK to view Fetlife as a porn site because they don't want to go to the trouble and expense of paying for porn. So for them, Fetlife becomes their source for porn. And since the ladies in the porn videos are happy and eager to put out, they see no reason why the ladies on Fetlife shouldn't be the same way. Then they get a reality check.
A couple of days ago, I received a very crassly worded message from a man who told me what he would like to do to a certain part of my anatomy. I get those kinds of messages all the time, usually from men I don't know. Men who know me know better than to talk to me that way. I could see if I posted really revealing and explicit photos, which might tell the guys on Fetlife that they have a green light to objectify me all they want to. But I don't. I post photos of my bottom and sometimes some of the more intimate parts are visible (though not outrageously so). So because of that, I felt that this man had been inappropriate with me and I told him so. I asked him in several different messages to please be respectful of me, but he just didn't get it. He tried to do what we call "mansplain" his way out of it. He also continued to be disrespectful by telling me in his second message that, while he was sorry he had been disrespectful to me, a woman's nakedness does something to him that makes him act in inappropriate ways. So, really it was my fault because I post naked photos. He seemed to be saying that he had no control over his reactions to photos of naked women and so he shouldn't be held accountable. This is classic "mansplaining". He told me in this third message, after again apologizing to me, that he would eat food off my butt because it's just so gorgeous. Apparently, he felt this was more respectful than his first message had been. This is the photo that prompted the inappropriate message:
Notice that I'm not even naked in this photo. Unless, like Superman, he has X-ray vision and can see through clothing, there's not much showing here, at least not by Fetlife standards. Granted, there are a lot of women on Fetlife that I would term attention whores. They love being noticed. To a certain degree, I'm one of them. I love knowing that men want to spank me and that they find my bottom (and the rest of me) attractive. But just because a woman may enjoy attention from men doesn't mean that there's no such thing as unwanted attention. My messenger went on with his mansplaining by telling me that men like sex and that my ass reminded him of sex. OK, that's fair enough. I've been on the planet for 54 years and have spent about 40 of those years having sex. I know men dig sex. I didn't need him to tell me that. However, just because men like sex doesn't mean that making sexually inappropriate comments to a woman he's contacting for the very first time is acceptable.
So because when it comes to sex, men and women apparently speak different languages, I'm going to attempt to translate some of what this guy said to me. The parts in quotes are actual lines from the messages he's sent me.
"I want to fuck your ass hole senseless"
Translation: I'm a total pig and I thought I would send you a message designed to prove it.
My take: this guy gets no action in real life.
"I meant it as a compliment"
Translation: I was hoping that, like the chicks I see in the porn videos I obsessively watch, any comment of a sexual nature would make you all wet and agreeable.
My take: Whenever a guy says he meant something as a compliment, he's backpedalling because he had no idea you would respond with indignity.
"you're on a site showing off your ass"
Translation: because you're displaying a part of your anatomy that I find very stimulating, I no longer have to treat you as a human being.
My take: Some women love being objectified and that's cool for them. I'm not one of them.
"a woman's nakedness does something to me."
Translation: because I get all excited at the sight of naked flesh, I'm no longer responsible for anything I may say or do.
My take: This guy wouldn't know what to do with a woman if she came with an instruction manual. All he really knows is what he sees in porn.
"i'm a man, sex is great ok. men love sex."
Translation: it's all about my dick. Stop being a prude and let my dick get what it wants.
My take: He typed that one-handed.
"your ass reminds me of sex"
Translation: I have an ass fetish. Seeing naked female buttocks makes me want to rut like a dog in heat.
My take: I have a great ass and a lot of men like it. I don't blame him for being attracted.
"i would eat food off your but(t) because it's gorgeous"
Translation: even though I identify as a dominant, I would be all subby in your presence and humiliate myself by eating food off your lovely butt.
My take: Eating food off someones butt is very unhygienic.
"i could stay in it (my ass) for hrs."
Translation: if I ever got the awesome experience of screwing your delightful ass I would never want to come out.
My take: He would probably blow his load before he even got it in.
"aww come on, i'm sorry. stop being so sensitive."
Translation: stop acting like a normal, self-respecting woman and act like you at least want to jump on my dick.
My take: If he had been in the room with me and said that, we would find out how sensitive his ball sac is.
Anyway, that's the juicier parts of the four messages I got from him. I told him I didn't want to hear from him again, so we'll see how obedient he is. Here's some advice for all of you would-be doms out there. Yes, women like attention; sometimes even sexual attention. But please, before you message a total stranger the way this guy messaged me, learn how to curb your enthusiasm. Learn how to speak like a gentleman speaking to a lady. Yes, I know that a lot of women like dirty talk. I'm just not one of them and I'm sure I'm not alone. You will get a lot more accomplished if you send a politely worded message first, one that expresses that you see the woman as a complete human being instead of a body part. A few times when I've given this kind of advice, I've gotten messages back saying "Listen, bitch I'm a dom. I don't have time to be all candy and flowers with sluts. They either service me or they don't." Yeah, let me know how that approach is working out for you. It appears that these particular dudes have never heard that old axiom "You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar". A woman, even one like me who posts pictures of my bare bottom, deserves to be treated like a human being and not a body part.
And ladies, that respect door swings both ways. It's one thing to post teaser photos (as I've done numerous times), but it's something else entirely to post photos you know will get the guys all hot and bothered and then castigate them for behaving like horny bastards. If we want to be treated a certain way, we should act that way. Act like a lady if you want to be treated like one. If your reputation or how you're perceived by others isn't that important to you, then feel free to act any way you want to. But be prepared to hear some comments you may not want to hear. It's OK after you've discovered it bothers you to say "I thought it didn't bother me, but it does so these are the new rules for commenting on my pics and messaging me". Men will either adapt as appropriate or not.
Getting down to brass tacks, I think the Golden Rule is a good rule of thumb. Treat people the way you want to be treated. If you don't want to be treated like a sexual object, then don't treat others that way. Fetlife might not be a sex site, but it IS an adult site. You have to be 18 to be there for a reason; because there's nudity and adult discussions that are inappropriate for kids. I would suggest learning how to read a profile is helpful in knowing how to approach a woman. If she has "no sexual messages" listed on her profile, then respect that. If she has "don't message me unless we've met" listed, then respect that. If you think that a woman has too many rules on her profile, then find someone else to message. If you see a photo that you find interesting or attractive, let the owner know in a respectful way. If you're a lady and you see a photo of a guy that you like, do likewise; be respectful. You'd be surprised how civil people can be when they're approached the right way. Yes, I know Fetlife is a site for grown ups, but there are still Rules Of Engagement. The rules that govern good behavior still apply, and with a few exceptions, are appreciated. Just because you're calling yourself a dom doesn't mean you own everything you see. Being a dom doesn't give you the right to treat people like they're beneath you or like their feelings don't matter. If you think that treating people this way will make them respect you as a dom, then you're going to learn another thing: that treating people with contempt won't make people like you or see you as a dom. They will see you as a jerk and rightfully so. At a spanking party once, a so-called dom looked at me and told me to get him a drink, pronto. I told him, since I didn't see a cast on his arm or leg, to get it himself. He was nonplussed, to put it mildly. He said "Be a good little subby and do what I said." Again, I told him that since he looked able bodied to me, he should do it himself and that I wasn't a sub. It's a problem that many doms see all women the same--as subs who are just there to serve them. A lot of that same attitude permeates Fetlife.
Just so we're clear, gentlemen...you are entitled to NOTHING. Yes, I post photos of myself and yes, many of my photos are nudes. That doesn't entitle you to my body. That doesn't entitle you to force your dick on me. Try acting like a grown up and stop thinking with your dick and you might get further. There are respectful, kind gentlemen getting busy right this minute because they did the right thing. Think about that the next time you send a foul, inappropriate message to a total stranger.