Kink and fetishism? Completely normal, so express your true self!

Kink and fetishism: for most people, these terms will undoubtedly evoke provocative associations. Maybe you think of black leather and nineteenth-century corsets, whips and nipple clamps. But what do kink and fetishism really mean? And why is it actually completely normal to get excited by foot or bondage play?

What’s the difference between kink and fetishism?

Although many people use the terms fetish and kink interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Researcher Samuel Hughes defines a kink as a ‘consensual, non-traditional sexual, sensual or intimate activity, such as BDSM and erotic roleplay’. So, a kink is something that turns you on but falls outside of other ‘mainstream’ sexual activities. Well-known kinks are, for example, spanking, bondage, or using a whip.

An essential difference between kink and fetishism is that you like and enjoy a kink but don’t need it to get sexually aroused. Of course, this remains subjective and ideas regarding kinks have changed over time. For example, your grandmother might consider sex toys kinky, but you may think that having a vibrator or butt plug in your nightstand is normal. A kink can develop during childhood or later during puberty when you start to experiment with sex and discover what you enjoy.

From foot fetishes to latex in bed

We’ve already mentioned the fact that playing with the fetish is necessary for the fetishist to get aroused and be able to enjoy sex. It could be a specific sexual activity or fantasy, including a particular object or body part. For example, people with a foot fetish will get aroused from feet or shoes, but there are also people for whom a sex session without anal play is not satisfying.

Sex in public, erotic hypnosis, or a balloon fetish are other common examples of fetishes. For some fetishists, it’s already enough to just fantasize about their fetish during sex, but others need the object or activity to even have sex. They might only be able to get aroused when their partner wears lingerie or latex.

To clarify: if you’re lying in bed, and you hear your neighbors going at it and this gets makes you hot, that would be a kink. Do you always need to hear other people’s sex sounds to get in the mood? That would be a fetish.

Examples of kinks and fetishes

  • BDSM: when we think of kinks, we often think of BDSM: erotic power play in which domination and submissiveness play a significant part. Impact play, such as spanking, flogging, paddling, and other forms of consensual hitting, is one manifestation of BDSM. It can vary from a light spank on the bottom to ‘flogging’ with a whip and everything in between. Spanking is the most accessible form of BDSM and a great way to start exploring this exciting new world.

Other BDSM practices? Orgasm control, for instance, where your partner gets to decide how and when you are allowed to orgasm and where you can be forced to stop right before the moment of orgasm (edging). Or sensation play, where a person blindfolds you and then works over your body with an ice cube, candle wax, or tickles you with a feather.

Important! A kink only exists when there is a mutual consent and mutual pleasure. Like with every kink and fetish, it’s essential to know each other’s boundaries. Talk to each other about how intense you want it to go before you begin. Use a safe word in case you want to quit as you discover how your body responds to specific actions. For instance, you can start by using your hands instead of whips or paddles.

  • Roleplay: erotic roleplay is perfect for everybody who wants to keep their sex life fresh. You don’t have to immediately rush over to your local costume shop or come up with detailed scenarios. Maybe you think it’s sexy to walk into a bar and talk a complete stranger into coming to bed with you. If you’re not in an open relationship, your partner might be able to play the role of this mysterious stranger. There are countless other scenarios to come up with where you can act out your sexual fantasies.

Of course, it could also be exciting to put on a specific outfit. For example, medical fantasies might turn you on. This is quite common, so don’t feel embarrassed! You could then ask your partner to dress up as a nurse or a doctor. Or maybe you want to put on a pair of scrubs or a sexy nurse’s outfit yourself. Think about what works best for you. Perhaps you don’t feel like playing the submissive secretary, just to name one cliché, but you might get a kick out of being the dominant. There is no limit to your imagination, so live it up!

  • Foot fetish: a foot fetish is one of the most well-known and common fetishes. Professional dominatrix Goddess Aviva has come across many foot fetishists and even has a unique foot routine to keep her feet soft for her many clients. But what is a foot fetish? People with a foot fetish long for feet. They worship them by massaging, kissing, licking, and sniffing them. They get sexually aroused by the sight and feel of feet, whether it’s bare feet or feet covered in special stockings, shoes, or slippers.

Within foot fetishism, there are different varieties. One foot fetishist might be more interested in the sole of the foot, while another is solely turned by toes or the arch of the worshipped foot. Some people get excited by a so-called foot job, where someone jerks off the guy using their feet or puts them on a woman’s breasts.

  • Bondage: tying up is a form of domination and submission and therefore falls under the BDSM category. You can tie your partner up with things you have lying around the house, such as belts or scarves. You can also buy special kink items, such as fluffy or metal handcuffs, or even a special bondage swing for more serious play.

With bondage play, it’s also advisable to set clear boundaries beforehand and keep the communication going while you play. Cutting off the breath or blood circulation is not something you would want to happen. It’s best to do some research before haphazardly beginning your bondage session. And hold off on ‘advanced bondage’ if you’re not quite sure what you like yet and how to do it safely.

  • Voyeurism: are you a bit of a ‘peeping Tom’? That’s not that strange because, according to one study on fetishism, voyeurism is one of the most common fetishes. With voyeurism, you get sexually aroused by looking at other people when they’re naked or having sex.

It should go without saying that you shouldn’t actually spy on people but instead do it in a setting where all involved have given their consent and are aware that they are being watched, for instance, during a sex party. The opposite of voyeurism is exhibitionism, where you get aroused by being watched during your sexual escapades.

Is a kink or fetish normal?

Do kinks arouse you, or do you have a fetish? No worries. Research shows that about half of all people are interested in sexual activities that aren’t traditional. So you’re not the only one.

Unfortunately, there are still some taboos surrounding kinks and fetishes. In fact, it wasn’t until 2013 that the definitions of fetishism and BDSM in the DSM (the worldwide classification system for mental disorders) were re-examined. Before that, psychiatrists called everything that deviated from common sex patterns ‘sexual disorders’, meaning you were considered ‘mentally ill’ if you preferred power play or spanking sessions.

A screw loose

Because kinks and fetishes were regarded as undesirable for so long, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding these sexual phenomena. For instance, people that were into kinky sex were once thought to have a screw loose or that they must have been abused as a child. Kink was thought to stem from trauma, which simply isn’t true, says Hughes.

Of course, some people have turned to BDSM in response to their trauma. To them, kink or fetishism are ways to relive their trauma but now for healing and with control. Some of the participants in Hughes’ research even said BDSM had helped them conquer their depression and other mental problems.

Better mental health

At the same time, Hughes states that this isn’t the case with the majority of the BDSM community. Only a small percentage of the group has ever experienced trauma linked to their sexual preferences. On average, most people participating in BDSM activities suffer less from personality disorders, a history of sexual violence, phobias, or depression.

Richard Krueger, Professor of Psychiatry professor at Columbia University Medical Center, concurs with Hughes. He adds that different studies show that people who participate in bondage and sado-masochism have the same or even better mental health than people in the control group.

Want to give it try? Give it a go!

The psychology surrounding the topic is often misunderstood, which in turn leads to stigmas. This is unfair, since a preference for a kink or a fetish is not some freaky sexual deviation and is nothing to be ashamed about. It’s simply a preference and therefore a completely normal aspect of human sexuality.

There is nothing healthier than freely discovering your fantasies and desires. So, put your shame aside and start experimenting! As long as your desire is safe, doesn’t hurt or damage anyone, and everyone participates voluntarily, you’re free to fulfil your sexual fantasies however you see fit.

We have some toy tips for those beginning to explore kink or their fetishes. Take a look at our webshop filled to the brim with cuffs, clamps, masks, whips, stretchers, plugs, and sexy latex outfits!

Relevant stories

Respond or ask a question

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Are you going to follow us?