Kinks really can be anything and may stem from anywhere, at any stage of life. They can subvert concepts that we have either experienced ourselves or have just seen in the media. ’Kink’ is a broad term, encompassing a wide variety of consensual, non-traditional sexual and intimate behaviours. One common kink is domination/submission, which can leak into our sexual lives without any conscious effort, while other less common kinks can be discovered over time.
People can discover kinks in all kinds of situations: being online, reading, watching a film, or seeing something or someone in everyday life. Many start encountering a fascination or ‘good feeling’ with their subconscious interest early on in life, even before puberty. Many kink communities have common experiences in watching a film or television show during childhood, only to realise years later that a kink was the reason they were drawn to it.
But as we mature and start to be able to define our sexually-driven desires, we can be overcome with social stigmas, especially if we are drawn to dangerous or criminal ideas.
It is not unusual to feel ashamed or embarrassed when you begin exploring a kink. You may feel different or alone, especially if you have highly specialised interests that are hard to find in mainstream pornography or erotic fiction. But you shouldn’t be deterred. It is possible to healthily and safety explore and discover your kinks using communication and clear consent.
Reading or watching erotica is a fantastic way to explore your newfound sexual interests before actually partaking in the activities. It is extremely common for people to be interested in a kink, but to not actually want to participate in it physically. Consuming media on the kink is also helpful in establishing what parts of the kink you do or don’t find attractive and what roles you may be interested in. It also helps you to find more niche fields, which you may not have been able to explore in only your own fantasies.
If you decide to actually explore a kink, it is important to know whether you want the act to actually take place, whether you want to be in a certain headspace, or whether you would prefer acting it out.
When you hear the word “roleplay”, you may think of conventional practices, such as doctor/patient, or the popular term ‘daddy kink,’ more officially known as dd/lg or dd/lb, which can be sexual or nonsexual in nature. However, roleplay can be a fantastic tool for all people wishing to explore their sexual (or nonsexual) desires.
Many roleplay scenarios help participants follow through with sexual interests that aren’t physically possible. For example, pet play, or furries (which again isn’t always sexually driven), is centred around at least one participant taking on the role of a non-human being.
This is especially helpful if you are drawn to something that you don’t actually want to play out in real life. An example of this is ‘rape fantasy,’ which can be a very jarring concept for most of us. It does not mean that a person actually wants to commit the act or be taken advantage of, but roleplay allows participants to act out the fantasy in a safe and controlled environment.
Communicating with your partner(s) before the role play, including establishing safe words, is vital and helps empower all participants. This can apply to any sort of kink-related sexual act; establishing a clear safe word (or action, if speech is impaired for a participant) is extremely important in differentiating what is following along with the role play and what is wanting something to stop.
Aftercare is also physically and emotionally important. It is all about nurturing, and often involves the dominating participant(s) taking care of the submissive participant(s).
The internet is a great place to start learning more about your sexual interests. Even the most niche kinks will have some sort of message board or chat room where you can speak to others who have similar interests. If you decide you don’t want to pursue your interest any further, that’s okay too. Just don’t be afraid to find out more about your sexual identity because of perceived social norms.