ust about all the men behind the “Wannafuck?” messages I receive imply that my annoyance is irrational. Let me try clarifying the issue with a metaphor.
Let’s say you just opened a restaurant, and someone walks in asking for a free meal. You’re a nice guy, so you offer your best dish. The next day, two more freeloaders come in. You politely decline, but every day, more arrive in ever increasing and noisier numbers, which affects your paying guests, losing you profits and clientele. How politely do you decline your freeloaders now? What about after six months? A year? How long until you start getting annoyed?
It took me two years.
I used to respond to every message I received, but Fetlife has 7 million users, so those wannafuck messages never ended. I began to resent the time I was wasting being polite to dudebros who had been decidedly impolite to me. It was starting to cut into my Mr Robot time, and nobody cuts into my Mr Robot time.
Declining only earned me the classic butthurt dudebro response: “Fuck you, bitch.” Then I tried ignoring them. It took years of failed strategies to turn me into the irrational bitch I am today—the one who sometimes responds to wannafuck messages with obvious irritation because somewhere along the line, my silence began to feel like tolerance.
Admittedly, some of my snark did earn me a pretty great friend, but 99% of the men behind those objectifying messages aren’t bungling balls of cuddle-itiousness like him.
If you’re thinking my annoyance is the irrational part of this situation, you’re wrong. The senselessness lies in the fact that it took me two years to start getting angry. Resisting abusive behaviour is a hallmark of mental health. Tolerating it silently for as long as I did is a sign that I devalued myself.
Wannafuck messages are the cockroaches of Fetlife. We only tolerate them because we know we’ll never get rid of them, but that doesn’t mean I should resist stomping on those that walk into my inbox.
This is usually when I’m told that sexualising strangers is acceptable because this is a fetish site, but no. BDSM does not equal “into anonymous casual sex with internet strangers.” Fetlife is not a hook-up site. Some of us don’t even bring sex into our kink at all, so this being a fetish site is no excuse. In the BDSM community, we take consent just a tiny bit more seriously than most, and respect is our due until you’ve established whether we’re open to discussing anonymous encounters.
But let’s use your logic anyway: If it’s okay to treat internet strangers like fetish dispensers because this is Fetlife, then it’s okay to stomp on cockroaches that scurry into my private space because they’re dirty, creepy as fuck, and tread crap all over my nice, clean floors.