The Internet has forever changed the way we have sex. A recent study by Shape and Men's Fitness showed that Facebook alone has a hand. 58% of men say the site has led to faster sex, while 80% of women echo this sentiment. While online dating becomes okay with single moms in the suburbs, the world of online casual sex is seen as drastic, continuing some 90's parental fear of “you could be anyone on the world wide web!”
In this series, I've talked with people from different spheres of casual hook-ups: Craiglist Casual Encounters, Newspaper XXX-listings and now fetish sites to explore what happens in a casual hook-up with someone you just met online.
Meet Jim & Faith—Kinky Couple Exploring Fetish and Fantasy on FetLife
Jim and Faith are a poly couple who use FetLife to throw massive fantasy parties and find people to date (They are also two of the people recently involved in the now infamous "fucksaw" demonstration at Northwestern University). Here Jim spills about a time the police rolled up to an elaborate rape-fantasy party and a secret society they invented for someone with a fetish for cloaks and robes. Faith, getting the house ready for yet another party, chimes in every now and then on how the Internet has helped them have a full and healthy sex life.
What has the Internet changed about your sex life?
I love to set up elaborate fantasies up for people. Everyone has a fantasy they don’t think is going to happen. You have to do something that people are going to masturbate to for a long time afterward. There was this girl (online) from out of town who had a fantasy of being owned by a secret society. So we had this giant induction party where she was inducted in the secret society. She flew out here for this. Everyone had robes on and it was very ritualistic. She loved it.
Faith: That is why we all have the tattoos (points to forearm) she wanted the secret society tattooed on her too, so we all got these.
So we made up an entire secret society. We had the temple slaves, who were fluffers. We had to go out and get kneepads for them. That was one of those instances where you have to show up at a store and buy 20 pairs of knee pads and a bunch of rope and the girl at Sport Mart looks at you funny. I'm so glad CVS has auto checkout now. Last time I got 40 boxes of condoms, lube and tape and then candy for Faith. So I was pretty sure I was on some pedophile watch list.
Could you do parties like this without the Internet?
Before FetLife came along we didn't do parties. We had a few parties when I was in college and it was much, much, much harder to set up. We had a sex-slave auction for charity every year and it took three years for it to grow to anything. FetLife provides a strange shorthand that lets people know things... I certainly can't tell people on Facebook what I like.
You guys are also poly, how has FetLife and online hook-ups had a hand in forming that?
One of the most important things people can do when they start talking about being poly is to sit down and talk honestly and openly with each other about past sexual experiences. Hearing your partner talk about having sex with someone else in joy and happiness is the first step. If couples can't make it past that step, they will never have sex with other people.
And that liberation of your story happens online too. So, once people’s stories start getting liberated there is joy in that sense of compersion. FetLife is one of the only places where I’ve seen that compersion, it’s not a common thing right now. And it's fantastic because we, as humans, really only learn through experiences...whether it’s other people’s or our own.
How is online play and hooking up different from real life?
There is a kind of honesty that you can engage in online that is really remarkable. You can be honest about specifically looking for something, if you are at a club you have to hide that.
There are some situations where the online part of it can last a long time. For instance, there is a couple I know in L.A., I see them every once in awhile but, though contracts, I run their relationship. And every now and then I will change the rules of their relationship. Maybe it's, whenever I am in town, I will sleep in bed with her and he will sleep on the couch. Or I will sleep in bed with him and she sleeps on the couch. I also recently changed the contracts putting her in charge of all of the money. So she runs everything now and that's going to be the case for awhile.
I will also throw parties long distance, where people I know will show up at their house. They like that feeling they are both submissive, they like the feeling of being totally out of control.
So “contract play” is one way to keep it online?
Contract play is one of those things you can enjoy tremendously without even touching someone. For example, I wrote a slut-training contract for a friend. And the contract was during a certain amount of time, according to certain sets of rules, she was not allowed to say no to anybody for anything sexual. So she basically had to live with this for three months—she couldn’t say no to anyone who asked her for a sex act. And so then all I really had to do was send people to her. And her safe words still applied, obviously, trying to make things as safe as possible. But for her it felt completely out of control. You can joke about online domination, but, it does happen and it is a lot of fun sometimes.
What other parties have you had?
We had a party called the Hostage Party. We were looking for submissives into rough body play. We rented this club out from a friend of mine. It is a fully functioning club, but not open right now. So we opened it just for this event and had music and everything. There is an upstairs VIP, gogo areas, everyone was dancing. We had to keep turning people away on the street who wanted in, the only people who could get in had envelopes and were on the list.
A couple hours into the event when the submissives were dancing, we showed up in masks to basically beat and rape everyone. But there was a police car going by and we had these phony guns, the whole bit. I thought this would be a horrible thing to end up in jail for. What would I even say? But it all happened fine, we came in and beat everybody up, took them hostage and raped and abused everyone. The whole scene lasted for like two hours. Someone called “red” a minute and 15 seconds before the two hour mark.
We are trying to set up a prisoner party right now, and trying to figure out a store front location to arrest everyone from.
Faith: The hostage party was intense, I mean, even the pain sluts were in shock. It was more of a mental thing.
What advice can you give other couples who are curious now about exploring together sexually with other people?
It’s ego that you have to step away from—that idea that “I should be 100% enough for this person.” Which it's really hard to imagine, if we are all being honest, that this is true all the time—that one person can be everything you need. I mean, we all have friends. We all have other things in our lives. I think so much of it is ego and fear.
Faith: It’s weird how many couples walk into a relationship and don't talk about what is cheating. Having an open relationship has helped my self-esteem, I realized that I was cheating all of the time in the past, because I was poly.
Yet, I honestly think there are a vast majority of people in the world who will be comfortable with monogamy and it will work for them. But I feel like in this culture we are all forced into the same relationship. There is one relationship. Everyone says the same thing: when are you getting married?