So now that I’ve decided to bite the bullet and make a FL account with limited identifying information (ETA: b/c as I’ve mentioned, there are local groups whose meetup schedules are exclusively posted on FL), iiiiiiiii’m even more annoyed at this whole deal of aces rec’ing the place to other aces with zero warnings about it, ’cause on top of everything else —
if you’re an ace yourself, I expect you to know that sex-repulsed aces exist. If you’re an ace yourself, I expect you to get that people might want to limit or avoid exposure to porn, or at least be informed about it before it’s thrown into their face.
- you can’t just assume that these total strangers you’re making these recs to are okay with seeing that at any/all times
- you can’t just assume consenting to join a kink social network = automatic consent to constant porn on your screen the whole time you’re on the site with surprise instances of even more porn
- you can’t! just! assume! that everyone! has! adblocker!
What the actual hell.
This is basic common courtesy, esp. for the ace community. Warn people about sexual content in the things you’re directing them to.
Context/info for people who want to know: there are sidebar ads on Fetlife on pretty much every page (not sure if every page, but definitely on the landing pages & the basic areas of the site you’ll come to even if you don’t do much exploring). If these ads were just technically NSFW, that’d be one thing (say, images of dildos, bondage gear, etc. as just the items themselves, maybe some suggestive partial nudity), but there’s also pretty regular instances of actual sexual imagery, like closeups of genitalia and pictures of people in the middle of having sex.
Those, at least, can be eliminated with an adblocker.
And if you’re an un-fan of nudity, seems best to avoid KNP (Kinky and Popular) as well, which is basically the trending topics page.
The one thing I have yet to find a workaround for: there are also some people who have graphic nude pics/sex pics as their avatar images. Even if you never visit another person’s profile, these’ll show up anywhere there’s a list of users, such as on the members tab on a group or if you click a specified “fetish” link (esp. relevant because you end up on this “users who are also into” page even if all you’re trying to do is set a certain “fetish” as a hard limit, i.e. a Do Not Want). Anyway, I know of no option to disable images or anything like that. [edit: Hezekiah has a suggestion! I didn’t find the Stylish script, but I did find this and this.]
So, to review: if you don’t want to see porn, externally block the ads, don’t look at trending topics, don’t go on discussion tabs/message boards, don’t look at profiles, don’t look at the members of groups, and don’t use the site’s options for specifying your own interests.
Basically despite having “asexual” as a drop-down orientation option, Fetlife is really inhospitable an environs for anyone who doesn’t want visuals of genital interaction on a constant/random basis.
Filed under: things an asexual recommending Fetlife to other asexuals should have said before me.
[edit: see also lyricalagony’s commentary on Fetlife’s activity feed & its platform effect.]