Sex & Dating

What Is Kink? A Guide To Understanding Your Desire

No, you’re not weird.

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18,178 Hypes

What Is Kink? A Guide To Understanding Your Desire

No, you’re not weird.

Kink is anything that bends from the straight and narrow which can include BDSM: bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism. Does Rihanna’s “S&M” music video ring a bell? Everything from ball gags to chains to whips can be considered kink.

But what’s kinky to you may be vanilla AF to the next person. That’s why avoiding kink-shaming is important. For example, a praise kink to some, may be annoying to someone who could care less about verbal affirmations and dirty talk.

What is a praise kink?

Actually, the praise kink is a great example to dissect. Recently, on TikTok‘s kink community casually called “KinkTok,” the praise kink went viral. Someone who has a praise kink enjoys being encouraged and affirmed during sex. Think of a woman who loves to hear her partner call her a “good girl” when giving oral. Or maybe they remind you that they love how you ride by sensually whispering “just like that” in your ear. It’s like a little razzle dazzle.

What are the benefits of kink?

Kink has a ton of benefits, but let’s start with the obvious: embracing your kinks means you can actually enjoy sex now. Having unauthentic sex sucks the fun out of your sexuality. Most people who’ve been shamed or live in fear usually just stop having sex overall. That goes to show how harmful it can be to ignore your desires.

Embracing your sexual needs also reduces the everyday stress you carry around daily, because there’s no piece of you that you’re ignoring or running away from. It reinforces your self-identity and can increase your confidence, because you not only know yourself in-and-out, but know how to pleasure yourself too.

What is the difference between kinks and fetishes?

One misconception most people have is that kinks and fetishes are the same. A kink is your sexual taste, your sexual palate, what makes your mouth water and beg for more. A fetish is when you can only feel pleasure when certain objects or experiences are present. For example, you only feel aroused when you have your nipple clamps on, or maybe your male partner can only climax when wearing feminine lingerie. If you and your partners simply enjoyed these moments now and again, it’d be a kink. But, if you can only get off when the nipple clamps or lingerie are present, it’d be considered a fetish.

Aftercare tips

Kinky sex comes with vulnerability, wetness and a whole lot of feel-good hormones. It’s important to follow that up with aftercare, or caring for your partner emotionally and physically. Aftercare is just as important after sex, as foreplay is before sex, according to licensed therapist Kim Atwood. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to aftercare, but some types that work for most people are “cuddling, holding, sensual touch, laughter and discussing things that made you feel amazing.” Hopefully, you and your partner have established some trust so you can even discuss some things that didn’t quite hit just right. But remember, always follow up a negative with a positive.

The bottom line

If kink is something you’re enticed by, you’re not alone. Society will always have its stigmas, but one thing you should always remember is that an authentic sex life will always be more important.

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