What is kink?
If you’ve been around for a while, you’re probably at least vaguely familiar with kink. We’ve talked a bit about it before (for the non-kinky, we’ve explored the things kink & kink practices can teach us regardless of our sexual preferences; and for the kink curious we put together a short guide to getting started with kink) but we haven’t gone in depth on kink at its core.
Why do people like it? Is it just sexual? Are there benefits other than pleasure to kink?
To back up, let’s get clear on the definition: kink isn’t one practice specifically. It’s what we call an umbrella term, encompassing any sexual practice that deviates from the heterosexual, vanilla norm. It can be anything from acting out fantasies, practicing BDSM, engaging in group sex, playing with blindfolds, wax play or more dangerous activities like breathplay.
Why do people enjoy it?
Some people don’t get as much enjoyment out of vanilla sex. Whether they desire stronger sensations, or “traditional” sex acts don’t allow them to feel much, kink can be a way to explore other physical sensations that lead to pleasure. Many people with vulvas can’t orgasm from penetration alone, kink practices can offer them a variety of other ways to engage physically and emotionally with their partners, which can help to increase their pleasure!
Just like vanilla sex, kinky sex can be a great way to relieve stress. When practiced safely, kink allows avenues to explore pain, emotional & physical tolerance, and ways to engage forcefully with those who are excited by that. (Note: kink should not be used to take out emotions on a partner. Just like other physical activities, it can offer a healthy release when all safety precautions are respected and practice is entered with a clear head.)
A chance to play:
We usually only think that kids need time to get creative and play. But adults actually need that too! While certainly not the only way adults can find ways to embrace this playful side of themselves, kink provides an opportunity to engage in make believe, to fully immerse yourself in your imagination and fantasies.
Some people engage in kink as a somatic healing practice. For example, assault victims may play with scenarios involving power imbalances, bondage, etc. as a way to help rewrite those traumatic experiences with themselves fully in control.
Some people also are able to engage in healing environments for their bodies within kink atmospheres.
While parts of themselves that may be considered “undesirable” in mainstream taste, they may find that part of themselves worshiped or fawned over in kink spaces. While it’s not a one way ticket to healing body image issues, getting reinforcement from others that your body is in fact desirable can feel revolutionary to those who have never experienced that before, and it can begin the process of they themselves learning to see their body in a more compassionate light.
The release it provides:
Kinky sex, just like vanilla sex, releases those feel-good chemicals into your brain, but because the play involves much more intense physical & emotional highs and lows, the release it provides can be more intense and satisfying than with vanilla sex.
You might be someone who spends all day in charge: at work, in your family, in your social circle, etc. Playing with kink can allow you a space to relinquish control without relinquishing your power (with things like safe words, a trusted partner, etc.), and give you a much-needed space to let go.
Working with a sex therapist can give you space to heal, grow, and re-discover your sexual self.
Sex Therapy at CRIWB is a warm, inviting, non-judgmental space. Our multicultural therapists are trained specifically in sex therapy and can assist you in creating the intimacy and relationship you’re longing for. Get in touch today to get started.