How to Talk About Kink Openly
We are talking about all the kinky yummy fantasies you may have swirling in your lovely mind, what is a kink, kink v.s. fetishes… And how to share them with your partner.
Do you have a kink that you have been itching to see play out? Maybe you saw a representation on a Dom/Sub relationship that really turned you on. You know like someone being walked on a leash, or maybe someone acted as a table for someone else. What about a sexy nun.. Maybe that made you start thinking about fucking in a church. Perhaps you saw rope on Instagram and wanted to start incorporating that into your sex life. The big question I always receive is “Nox, how do I tell my partner I want XXX?” And that is what we are going to talk about today.
So, what exactly is a kink?
A kink is anything that is not see societially as “normal”, or apart of the expected sexual path. Kinks are things that are of particular sexual curiosity and interest to someone, particularly those things, behaviors, or practices that are outside of normative sexual behavior.
The term comes from the Dutch word "kink" referring to a twist or bend in a rope. It is important to note that what is kinky is subjective. What could be kinky to your best friend could be seen as very normal and vanilla to you. I also want to include that kinks are completely normal, healthy, and are apart of what makes you YOU!
Okay cool, so what is a fetish?
It is super common to get these two terms confused. Before I dove into the world of kink, sex, and BDSM, I too had to learn these differences. A fetish is similar to a kink, but the difference is that something is a fetish when it MUST be present in order for the person to achieve sexual arousal or enjoyment. For some folks simply fantasizing about the fetish (feet, exhibitionism, etc.) can be enough while others may need to actually engage with the object or behavior in some way. Sex therapist Aliyah Moore, Ph.D., says you can differentiate between the two using this simple quiz:
- Am I aroused by a thing or an action?
- Do I need it to be present to be aroused?
- Can I enjoy solo sex without it being present?
"If the answer to item 2 is yes and item 3 no, then you have a fetish. On the other hand, if you answered no and yes for items 2 and 3, respectively, then you have a kink," she says.
Got it. How the hell do I tell my partner my kinks?
A good place to start is are you comfortable with your kinks? If you like to be called a dirty slut, and have accepted this part of you, you will likely be able to communicate this kink in a calm and collected way. If you’re experiencing shame around your kink, or struggling internally, maybe you reach out to a sex therapist, or an erotic witch like myself, to work through this shame. To accept all the ins and outs of you is the best way to start your kinky journey.
Now that you have talked with yourself about all the juicy desires that are floating about in you, you’re probably thinking “Okay.. how do i bring it up to my partner?” I think the most important thing here is: can you talk openly and honestly with your partner about anything? Communication and honesty are a foundational piece of any relationship and if you can’t tell your partner what you desire, how will you be able to feel fulfilled? Maybe you bring up an article you read, or an Instagram page you came across. Maybe you show them an ethical porn that showcases some of your desires.
Prefer games over watching porn? Ask your partner to write down their kinks, what they desire, their soft limits (what they are pretty sure they don’t want to do, but may be somewhat curious about) and hard limits (sexual acts they know are not for them). You can both complete this exercise and then exchange papers.
A simple icebreaker can unlock a wondrous conversation. And now that you told them your desire to explore, here are some helpful tips for how to explore safely, find community, and try some new things.
- Keep the acronym RACK in mind, which stands for “risk aware consensual kink.” It’s a term used in the kink community to make sure that all parties are comfortable and safe.
- Find a kinky event! I host one in NYC called Heaven, that is for women, nonbinary folks, and trans men. There is such a community for all different groups of humans. There you can meet pals who share the same interests as you.
- Hire a professional if you want to learn something like domming, impact, or rope! Use the resources around you! There is nothing more invaluable than in person sessions, lessons, and training! As a professional rope artist in NYC, I love working with couples, trios, and polycules and holding small lessons for them, sessions where their partner can witness them, and hold space for them to explore something new safely.
- Taking baby steps, especially if it’s a new experience, can help you ease into it. There is plenty of time! Take that time!
- Remember to honor your desire. Release that shame. Some days will be easier to regress into little space with your Daddy and other days it won’t be. Journeying into who you are, what you desire, and your pleasure is not alinear upward journey. It is a loop de loop journey of bliss, exploration, patience, excitement, nerves, and more.