Alright, ladies. It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had some #GirlTalk on here. Let’s get right into it.
We Need to Stop Kink and Fetish shaming people
To put this conversation into context, I’ll explain where I’m coming from. I actually would consider myself a fairly vanilla person in my sexual preferences. I have a couple of fantasies here and there as I’m sure many people do, but generally I find myself feeling fulfilled by just connecting with my partner on an intimate level – I don’t really need all the bells and whistles to get me off, per se.
That being said, I do keep an open mind about kinks and fetishes and am not opposed to being experimental from time to time. Firstly, who am I to dictate what sexual acts are appropriate for others to enjoy? Second, how do I know whether something’s enjoyable or not without having tried it? I’m fortunate that my partner and I are on similar grounds with our preferences and fantasies, but also know that differences should also be celebrated. Okay, so that’s where I’m coming from, now let’s get into the facts.
What is a Kink?
Sandra LaMorgese, PhD wrote an article for Huffington Post describing the one key difference between being kinky and having a fetish. She describes a kink as “enhancing sexual intimacy with your partner by adding new and creative elements to sex”. She also mentions in the article that kinks can be ever changing depending on your situation at any given moment. Dr. LaMorgese uses a great example of people using whipped cream in bed. Generally when you hear about people doing this, it’s often illustrated as a kink because it’s enhancing the experience rather than being the focal point.
What is a Fetish?
In the same article, Dr. LaMorgese describes a fetish as a person being “sexually aroused by a specific object, body part, or role-play even without a partner”. It’s generally more engrained in that person’s psychological and physiological makeup. It would be a fetish if someone was sexually aroused by the whipped cream itself. Hopefully that helps to differentiate the two a little bit!
How Common are Sexual Kinks and Fetishes?
So you know that kinks and fetishes exist, but how common are they? The Journal of Sexual Medicine published an article in 2014 with some research data they found on the matter (obviously we don’t all have access to full scholarly journal articles, so I found the information here). Essentially, the results were broken into three different categories: rare fantasies (2.3% of the population), unusual fantasies (less than 16% of the population), and common/typical fantasies (50% or more of the population). You can head over and read the article if you want a full list of kinks/fetishes in each category. I will mention that some of the ones I found interesting that were among the most common were:
- Having sex in an unusual place;
- Having sex with multiple people; and
- Watching someone undress without them knowing.
Those are just a few examples, but there are a lot more out there. The bottom line is that kinks and fetishes are a lot more common than you probably think. Your best friend could have a fetish and you might not even know!
How Can We Become More Accepting?
Here’s the thing. Chances are if it’s not you or someone you’re having sex with, their kinks and fetishes aren’t affecting you in any way. Quite frankly, it’s not your business what activities someone partakes in during their sexual endeavours. That’s the first thing you need to realize if you ever hope to become more accepting.
When it starts to directly affect you is when a sexual partner shares a kink or fetish with you and when you have a kink or fetish yourself.
When Your Partner has a Kink/Fetish
First looking at it from the partner angle. When a partner shares a kink or fetish with you, you need to be aware that they’re sharing something highly intimate about themselves. How you react is extremely important. If it’s something that’s unusual or unheard of, you might feel a bit freaked out. Acknowledge that, know that your feelings are valid no matter what, and then put your game face on, because if you really care for this person you need to tread carefully.
What I would suggest is fuelling your curiosity rather than your shock. Ask questions and keep an open mind. That being said, also know that you’re not obligated to participate in anything that you’re not comfortable with.
When You have a Kink/Fetish
Now, what if you find yourself developing a kink or fetish? I’ve heard a number of stories where someone has had a kink or fetish that they aren’t particularly comfortable with. The fact of the matter is that it can be a tough situation when you’re struggling with yourself internally.
Because I don’t have this experience, I can’t offer you first hand advice specifically related to kinks or fetishes. I can, however, offer you advice on dealing with internal struggling. The first thing you need to do is acknowledge both sides – the kink/fetish that arouses you and your feelings about that kink/fetish arousing you. Then you need to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to explore both ends. Why do you feel negatively about it? What about that kink/fetish turns you on? Really dig deep and do some self-exploration.
Kinks and fetishes are more common than most of us think. Therefore, why is this such a taboo topic? We need to become a more accepting society and celebrate the uniqueness residing within each of us. We can do that by realizing what affects us and what doesn’t. Curiosity rather than hatred should be our driving factor. Asking questions and being empathic are the best ways of moving towards acceptance. Knowledge is power!
Have you ever experienced kink/fantasy shaming on either end? How did it make you feel then? How do you feel now in hindsight? Let us know in the comments!