Exploring Kink: Frequently Asked Questions

naked body

Diving into the world of kink can be overwhelming. 

It’s not like any other sexual education we get in school or from our parents, and rarely are we exposed to it, even within adult-friendly spaces and media. 

That means, likely, you have a lot of questions when you even start to think about kink & kinky practices. Since we’ve touched on it a few times before in our blog, we put together this short list of frequently asked questions you can use as a jumping-off point when considering kink, what it is, what people get out of it, and whether it’s a world you want to explore a little more.

First, what is kink?

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. In many kinky relationships and encounters, there is some sort of power exchange that is negotiated and communicated beforehand. Some examples of kink include:

  • Bondage
  • Impact Play
  • Domination/submission
  • Discipline
  • Sadism/Masochism
  • Role Play
  • Group sex
  • Exhibitionism
  • Voyeurism

Read more about this in our blog 4 Important Lessons for Everyone From the Kink Community

woman wearing red lipstick

For us, when our sexual lifestyle is essential to our sense of identity, anybody who doesn’t know about our kink doesn’t really know us.
― Dossie Easton, When Someone You Love is Kinky


Why do people like kink?

There are a lot of reasons people find kink and kinky practices to be a valuable addition to their sex lives. Some of them can include: 

  • Sexual pleasure 
  • Stress relief
  • A chance to “play”
  • Somatic healing opportunities 
  • The release it provides 

Read more about each of these in our blog 5 Reasons People Love Kink.

Does consent matter in kink?

Consent is of extreme importance in the kink community. Kink is based on explicit consent. An important part of the kinky play is the negotiation before any sexual activity occurs. This is when all participants discuss their limits, their safewords, what they’re looking to get out of the encounter (called a “scene”), and anything relevant at the time. Without explicit consent, a lot of what goes on in a scene wouldn’t be considered fun or empowering – it would be assault. It’s essential to get consent for everything going on every time. You can discuss what consent means for you and your partners beforehand. For example, in some scenes, both partners cannot speak, whether that’s due to the negotiated rules, a gag being used, someone experiencing nonverbal subspace, or something else.

Read more about this in our blog 4 Important Lessons for Everyone From the Kink Community

Is practicing kink safe?

Kink is fun and doesn’t have to be extreme, but there are elements added within kink play that can increase the danger. Whether someone is gently bound, has a fake safeword, or wants to try edge play (a type of kink play associated with danger, knife play, breathplay, etc.), it’s crucial to go over health or safety risks with all parties involved, so they can fully consent to opt-in.

woman about to bite a handcuff

It also allows you to educate yourself on the safest ways to practice the riskier activities–there are safe ways to choke people and safe areas to hit your partner during sex if that’s what you like–so that you’re not endangering your partner or yourself during sex.

Read more about this on our blog, Getting Started with Kink.

What safety terms should I know?

A few safety terms to be familiar with as you explore kink:

  • S.S.C.: S.S.C. stands for safe, sane, and consensual.
  • R.A.C.K.: R.A.C.K. stands for risk-aware consensual kink, which many have begun using as a response to the weak spots of the safe, sane, and consensual model.
  • Stoplight system: A stoplight system is a form of safe-wording that is very common in the kink world. 
  • Safe words: Safe words are agreed-upon phrases used during sex to let your partner know you need to either slow down or stop immediately. 
  • Hard & soft limits: hard limits are things you are never, ever going to try. Soft limits are things you don’t think you’re interested in or don’t think you would enjoy but would be willing to try at some point with a trusted partner. 

Read more about this on our blog, Getting Started with Kink.

What is aftercare?

Aftercare is the practice of checking in and tending to your partner’s emotional and physical needs after sex. Some examples include: 

  • Showering together
  • Cuddling
  • Telling each other you love/care about one another
  • Getting each other snacks and water
  • Tending to any bruises or injuries sustained during play


Read more about this on our blog, Getting Started with Kink.

It can be intimidating to communicate what you’re looking for to a partner, whether that’s sexual or otherwise. Working with a therapist can help you figure out what works best for you and your relationships. Get in touch with our office today to get started.