If you’ve ever been curious about kink and wondered whether it’s for you, you’re in excellent company. About ten percent of the population openly admits to engaging in one form of kink or another, but there are – of course – many more people who think about it or fantasize about it.
However, knowing you’re interested in the idea of kink and figuring out whether it’s really for you are two different matters. Here’s a closer look at kink, including what it is, what it’s not, and how you can incorporate it into your sexual repertoire if you do decide it’s for you.
So, what is kink, anyway?
Many people instantly think of BDSM when they hear the word “kink” – images of whips, chains, and ball gags dancing in their heads. But, while BDSM does fall under the larger umbrella of kink, it’s not all there is to it.
Kink is a broad catch-all term that applies to any sexual activity that strays away from the mainstream. Whether or not a particular activity could be defined as “kinky” is largely subjective. However, activities and practices generally considered part of the world of kink include roleplaying, dominance/submission play, and fetish play.
Understand the importance of consent.
This is perhaps the most important thing to understand about kink play – the absolute importance of consent. Even the most extreme form of BDSM is always 100 percent consensual. Anyone who says otherwise has it wrong and is most likely not engaging in responsible play themselves.
That said, the first thing you want to do if you’re interested in turning up the kink dial in the bedroom is talk it over with your partner. They need to be on board with what you’re proposing, as well as genuinely into the idea themselves. Never spring something kinky on your partner without asking them about it first and take “no” for an answer if they’re not into something you’re proposing.
Define (and respect) your boundaries.
Communication is the key to any healthy, satisfying sexual relationship, and this is, even more, the key when kink is involved. Spend some time with yourself thinking about where your boundaries are and encourage your partner to do the same. Kinky sex is best when both people are getting everything they want from the experience.
And always have a safe word that isn’t related to sex or sexual activity in any way. Agree that either of you can use it to shut down a play session at any time if you’re uncomfortable for any reason. Check in with one another while you’re playing, as well as afterward, to make sure everyone’s happy with what’s going down.
Don’t go overboard right away.
You don’t need to go from zero to Fifty Shades of Grey right away (or at all.) Many individuals and couples who decide they’d like to try kink start small, building from there if that’s where their interests lead them. A person’s kink journey is very personal, and there’s no right or wrong way to approach yours.
It’s okay to want to add some gear or equipment to the mix, but don’t go all-in right away. Your first time at a sex shop or browsing for gear online can make you feel like a toddler loose in a candy store. The temptation to overdo it can be strong, but start small with just a few basics – perhaps a couple of toys and a couple of bondage accessories. There’s plenty of time to explore other options in the future.
Get comfortable being direct.
Talking frankly about sex comes more easily to some people than others, but it’s essential to master it if you’re serious about getting the most out of kink play. Your partner can’t read your mind, so it’s not to your benefit to be coy or resort to dropping hints to get your point across.
Happy, satisfied kink lovers ask for what they want. They not only know their limits but are comfortable communicating them. They’re good at being direct about critical issues like sexual health, emotional triggers, and so forth, as well. They’re also excellent listeners who are good at seeing to their partners’ needs.
It’s okay if it takes a while to get used to directness in the beginning. There’s nothing wrong with admitting out loud that you’re nervous about asking something, in particular, including that first time you ask your partner how they feel about kink. Just stress that it’s also important to you. Communicate why you’re interested in it and what you think it will bring to your relationship.
Start small and slow. Take things one step at a time. Touch base with one another often to make sure you’re both getting what you want. It won’t be long before kink feels as natural as any other part of your relationship.