Kinks and Fetishes: What Do They Mean?

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Kinks and fetishes – what do they mean? We’re sure you’ve heard these terms going around, if not among your friend circles, then certainly on the internet and popular TV shows. However, contrary to popular belief, these terms do not mean the same thing. Kinks aren’t fetishes but fetishes are kinky.

Confused? Don’t worry – we’ll break it down for you.

What is a Kink?

In simple terms, a kink is something that both turns you on and is generally non-traditional or atypical sexual and intimate desires, practices, or fantasies.

While ‘non-traditional’ will be subjective to each person’s culture, generally the term refers to anything that falls outside the ‘norm’ of romanticised sex between two people.

Today, there is a vast array of different ‘kink’ practices. Some better-known examples include age-play and BDSM (Bondage & Discipline, Domination & Submission and Sadism & Masochism).

“Am I Kinky?” – Identifying Your Kink 

If you like to be spanked by your partner or occasionally engage in a threesome – but you don’t identify yourself as a person with a kink, you’re not alone. Many people explore and enjoy different sexual interest and practices but don’t feel the need to label their desires.

Identifying your sexual preferences as a kink is a personal choice. Naming your kink can be useful for finding a community in which you can define yourself and relate to others will similar sexual interests. 

Fetishes – How Are They Different From Kinks?

A fetish is described by ‘sexperts’ as a sexual act or object that is usually necessary for one to be aroused. This could entail having the fetishized object at hand or be fantasizing about it, alone or with your partner in order to be sexually stimulated and/or have an orgasm.

The Difference Between KINKS and FETISHES

One of the most prominent differences between kinks and fetishes can be identified by necessity. With fetishes, the person will not be able to enjoy themselves without entertaining their specific needs and desires.

When someone has a fetish, they usually have to engage with their desires in order to ‘get off’. Whereas, a kink is regarded as more of indulgence or preference rather than a requirement for sexual fulfilment.

Depending on the fetish, some people may become sexually aroused from holding, rubbing, smelling or tasting the object of their desire – or even need their partner to wear or adhere to specific needs during a sexual encounter. Fantasizing may be enough for some, while others need to physically engage in their desire.

Some examples of common kinks and fetishes?

Age Play

This is a very common form of sexual kinks or fetishes. This refers to a form of role-playing where one or both partners pretend to be any other age besides their own. The most common one being the ‘daddy dominant’ and ‘baby girl submissive’. Chances are, if you’re calling your partner ‘daddy’ or ‘baby’ during sex, you may already be enjoying light age play.

It is also important to note that everyone engaging in this type of role-playing must be of legal age and give their consent. Age play does not condone anything illegal or non-consensual.

Bondage

Bondage is apart of the BDSM sexual practises which entails one partner being restrained or bound up. A great example of bondage is Japanese bondage, also known as kinbaku or shibari, is a centuries-old form of BDSM.

Some people enjoy being tied up, some enjoy tying up their partner, and others like both. If you enjoy being tied up, you may be regarded as a ‘submissive’. Conversely, if you enjoy tying your partner up then you may be a ‘dominant. However, someone who is both the dominant and submissive is known as a ‘switch.’

Foot Fetishism

This fetish is especially common amongst heterosexual males. Someone with a foot fetish could potentially get off on everything feet – including kissing, caressing and massaging their partner’s feet. As a receiving partner, this could be particularly enjoyable (who doesn’t love a good foot massage?). Other foot fetish activities include giving pedicures and smelling dirty feet or shoes.

Impact Play

Impact play is a BDSM practice where one or both partners strikes the other with their hands or sex toys for sexual gratification. This also includes spanking, paddling, flogging, cropping, and caning.

Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t have to be abusive or even sore! Done right, with two consenting adults, erotic exploration within impact play can result in controlled pain and extreme pleasure.

The intensity can vary based on preferences, so communication, especially in early experimentation is very important – we say, invest in a good “safe word”!

Is it ‘normal’ to have Kinks and Fetishes?

Yes! It’s important to realise that sexuality is a spectrum. As long as what you’re doing is safe, consensual and legal, go out there and explore your sexuality. And if you’re looking for a simple start to some sexual exploration, check out our blog – 5 Sex Positions You Didn’t Know You’d Love.