An Exploration of Fetish Social Networks and Communities
Authors: Fay, D.
Start date: 11 January 2016
Journal: Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Volume: Volume 9564
Online Social Networks (OSNs) provide a venue for virtual interactions and relationships between individuals. In some communities, OSNs also facilitate arranging offline meetings and relationships. FetLife, the world’s largest anonymous social network for the BDSM, fetish and kink communities, provides a unique example of an OSN that serves as an interaction space, community organizing tool, and sexual market. In this paper, we present a first look at the characteristics of European members of Fetlife, comprising 504,416 individual nodes with 1,912,196 connections. We looked at user characteristics in terms of gender, sexual orientation, and preferred role. We further examined the homophilic communities and find that women in particular are far more platonically involved on the site than straight males. Our results suggest there are important differences between the FetLife community and conventional OSNs.