As a writer focusing on relationships and intimacy, many assume I am well-versed in the latest sex trends and techniques. While I do have some knowledge and experience in this area, my journey into the world of kink wasn’t always straightforward.

Coming from a Christian background where sexuality was reserved for marriage, I didn’t have the typical exploratory experiences growing up. It wasn’t until college that I began delving into kink, sparked by influences like Fifty Shades of Grey and content on platforms like BookTok.

As I embraced my sexuality and curiosity grew, I became interested in exploring kink. If you’re looking to spice up your sex life with some adventure, read on for insights from sex experts. Welcome to Kink 101: Let’s get started.

In this article
1 What is a kink?
2 How to safely practice kink
3 How to start exploring kink

What is a kink?

Despite the buzz around media like Fifty Shades of Grey encouraging exploration of kink, there are misunderstandings that need clarification—starting with the definition itself.

According to Dr. Gloria Brame, a certified sexologist, kink is a broad term covering unconventional sexual practices under BDSM, from power dynamics to fetishes and sensation play like bondage or whips.

It’s common to mix up kinks with fetishes, but Dr. Brame distinguishes them, saying, “A fetish is specific—centered on an object, body part, material, or role-play. While having a fetish can be considered kinky, being kinky doesn’t always involve having a fetish.”

How to safely practice kink

Before diving into kink, Dr. Sarah Sohn, DPT, emphasizes the importance of initial steps and safety measures. Think of it as training wheels before riding a bike—start slowly, ensuring comfort and readiness.

Decide how you want to feel

Dr. Sohn suggests, “Begin by identifying how you want to feel during this exploration—whether it’s about safety, comfort, excitement, or control.” Kink activities can evoke different sensations and emotions in your body and mind.

For example, exploring dominance and submission dynamics can trigger feelings of safety or comfort, especially in a submissive role where you relinquish control to your partner. On the other hand, engaging in pain-inducing activities like impact play can empower you by choosing to experience such sensations.

Personally, embracing the submissive role in kink has been empowering for me. It helped me reclaim my sexuality, overcome inhibitions, and understand the importance of consent and pleasure.

Educate yourself

Knowledge is crucial, so join online kink classes, explore different kinks, and connect with local community groups to feel confident in navigating new dynamics. Look into kink-friendly platforms and resources to learn about safety protocols, ensuring responsible engagement in kink practices.

Understanding concepts like SSC, PRICK, RACK, and TICK can guide you in engaging responsibly in kink, whether alone or with a partner. Establish clear communication and boundaries with your partner to ensure emotional and physical well-being as you embark on this exploration.

Identify a plan of action

Formulate a plan outlining when to explore new kinks, define preferences, incorporate safety measures, and maintain open communication with your partner. This roadmap helps you track progress, adjust intensity levels, and respect personal boundaries effectively.

Ease into it

Dr. Brame suggests a gradual approach when exploring new kinks—less is more. Introduce one element at a time, focusing on sensory experiences like touch, taste, or smell to ease into kink gradually. Experiment with different textures and sensations to enhance your experience without overwhelming yourself.

Dr. Sohn recommends incorporating multiple senses into your activities, whether alone or with a partner. For example, using ice during foreplay to stimulate erogenous zones can heighten sensations. Explore power dynamics, BDSM, and other kinks creatively to align with your desires for fulfilling experiences.

How to start exploring kink

With a partner

Communicate your desires openly, especially in committed or new relationships. Discussing ways to enhance your sex life outside intimate moments is crucial for mutual satisfaction and understanding.

According to Dr. Brame, open communication about preferences and fantasies is essential in a consensual sexual relationship, whether involving kink or not. Explore literature and online resources together to align desires and make the experience gratifying for both partners.

Without a partner

You don’t need a partner to explore kink. Many individuals delve into kink independently, which can be empowering and meaningful. Start by experimenting with toys, sensory tools, or exploring fantasies to understand your preferences at your own pace.

Self-discovery through solo kink exploration can empower you to articulate your desires in future shared experiences. Embrace this journey to enhance your sense of control and pave the way for fulfilling intimate adventures.


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