Getting Down and Kinky

When many people think “kink,” they think bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism (BDSM). But BDSM is just a small portion of the bigger, kinkier picture. An article on the kink exhibition at the Museum of Sex in New York says that “a kink is the use of props, costumes, and role play to enhance partner intimacy.” This definition encompasses things like cross-dressing, power games and fetishes. Depending on the dominance of a fetish, some people may require the use of it in order to be sexually satisfied. Others use kink to add something different, fun or exciting to the bedroom though they may not require it for sexual satisfaction. This shows that, rather than being an interchangeable word with BDSM, kink is simply an umbrella term that includes it.

A common form of kink is a fetish or paraphilia, which is a sexual fixation with something not typically seen as sexual, often involving certain body parts, fabrics or forms of role play. Some examples of these are foot worship, leather fetish and pony play.

Role play may include a little lingerie and a mask, or go so far as to have a script and characters. You might play the sexy librarian, or you may decide to go out to a bar and pretend to be strangers, flirting with others, then taking each other home for the night. With role play often comes “dirty talk,” saying sexual things to each other for the purpose of sexual excitement. While it may be a little nerve-wracking to begin with, it can be very enticing.

Role play also includes cross-dressing. For a great example of this, refer to Tim Curry in Rocky Horror Picture Show, where he man dressed up in lingerie and heels, a very confident, sexual figure. While cross-dressing can be more easily recognized on men, women cross-dress as well; this is not the same thing as drag, which is meant more for performance purposes rather than sexual ones.

Exhibitionism is the act of exposing your body to someone; it most commonly refers to showing yourself in public, though it could be as elementary as putting on a strip tease for your partner. Voyeurism is defined as loving to watch, which is why exhibitionism and voyeurism are often addressed together.

Sensation play includes activities used to impart physical sensations upon yourself or your partner. You can use massage oils, run certain textured fabrics or feathers over the body, even use an ice cube. To heighten sensation, you can add a blindfold; it may be exciting if your partner doesn’t know what’s coming.

One of the most important things to remember when approaching kink is to have a safeword, a term that lets your partner know your comfort level with the current activity. Avoid words you would commonly use in sexual activities; instead, use other memorable, non-sexual words.

There are many other kinds of kink than I’ve mentioned here; anything can be kinky. Never be ashamed of what turns you on; we each have our own tastes and desires. Go out there with your safeword and explore your own kind of kink.