Everything You Need To Know About Kinks and Fetishes!

Everything You Need To Know About Kinks and Fetishes!





For our in-store customers, you all know that our Kinky College: BDSM 101 & Beyond class is right around the corner. We thought it might be a good time to refresh on everything you need to know about kinks and fetishes! Though some of these will be topics we cover in our class, it's not the center of our course, so at least you'll have a head-start on some basic concepts before attending - which will put you ahead of the game.



What Is A Kink? What About A Fetish?


Kinks and fetishes used to mean two different things, but now they're used interchangeably. Nonetheless, the original definition of a kink is "something sexual that someone likes to do with themselves or consensually with partners, usually outside of mainstream sexual activities," like BDSM or roleplay. Meanwhile, a fetish is "something that must be present for the person to achieve sexual arousal or enjoyment," like having sex in public or an object of desire such as feet.



So What's the Difference, Then?


There can be some overlap between a kink and a fetish, so we understand the confusion. The main difference is whether it's something someone likes to do or something someone has to do to have sexual pleasure. Here's an example: If you accidentally hear your neighbors going at it one night in bed, and it turns you on, that's kinky. But, if you need to listen to or watch others having sex to feel aroused, that's a fetish.



I Think I Have A Kink Or A Fetish - How Can I Explore It Safely?


Trust and communication are the main points of exploring a kink or fetish safely - and I know that sounds cheesy, but it's the essential aspect. Finding a partner you can trust and researching your kink or fetish will make a difference. Research doesn't mean that you have to look into how the kink originated either - it can be as simple as how to tie a knot safely or what essential items to keep with your fetish gear to maintain its integrity or help ensure your safety, such as bondage scissors or latex polish.


The kink community has acronyms that help newcomers remember important concepts easier, such as RACK, which is now more well-used than the previously used SSC. 



What Is RACK?


RACK stands for Risk-Aware Consensual Kink. It's widely used in the kink community to remind participants to always go over how a kink could potentially harm them so they can give their consent with the full knowledge of what they're about to partake in. 


Using RACK in a casual setting can be as simple as saying, "I want to use this bondage rope on you, but there's a chance that it can give you rug burn and lead to bruising and some cuts if you strain against the bonds. I have bondage scissors if it becomes too much, and you can always use your safeword. Is this something you'd like to try out?"



What's A Safeword?

 A safeword is something the receiver uses when they're overstimulated - and not in a good way. If the scene gets too much, or they're in too much pain, the giver and the receiver settle on a safeword before engaging in kink or fetish play. 


Safewords are a great practice to have in place because, during a scene, a submissive may find it hard to think of a complete sentence, and saying one word that the two of you have settled on may be more manageable. Safewords are the most failproof way to ensure that a submissive is comfortable in a situation since saying "no" or crying may not mean they want to stop entirely.



How Does Someone Decide On A Safeword To Use?


Sometimes it can be hard to find a word you'll remember immediately! For this reason, a lot of people rely on the stoplight method. The stoplight method is a set of safewords that are universally understood. If the giver asks the receiver what color, the receiver will reply with either green, yellow, or red, depending on how they feel during the scene. 


Green means they're good to continue as-is, yellow means to slow down or lighten up on things like pain or speed, and red means to stop entirely since the receiver is no longer consenting to the activity. Depending on how the receiver feels after saying to stop, they may wish to continue after taking a break, but that's up to them. 


The receiver can also state a color at any time during the scene if they choose to, and it's up to the dominant to listen to them, hence why finding a partner you trust is so important.



What If Someone Can't Speak During A Scene?


If someone can't speak due to subspace or utilizing kink items like gags, that's where safe-motions come into play. Safe-motions are when the partner can shake their head, tap on their partner's body in a specific manner, or move a visible part to signal to stop. If the person is bound and gagged, try holding something that makes noise.


Most people who use safe-motions will rely on shaking their head to communicate since nodding "yes" or shaking "no" is universally understood, and most times, a person's head isn't bound. Another option is tapping their fingers a certain amount of times, such as once for yes and twice for no, if their hands are tied above their head and visible to the other person.


Checking in is undoubtedly vital. In kink scenes, participants can dissociate or enter subspace. A simple form of communicating, "Are you present and okay?" is essential. Communication can look like simple dialogue or squeezing their partner's hand three times to ask. Three squeezes back means "I'm present," or however you and your partner(s) best see fit.



Okay, What Happens After A Scene Has Ended?

Aftercare! Aftercare is a vital part of kink or fetish scenes that is incredibly crucial. Aftercare is the time after play or a scene where partners recover and take care of each other. Aftercare focuses on both emotional and physical needs. Scenes can be physically and psychologically taxing, so aftercare is a time for relaxing and getting 'back to reality.' 


Aftercare involves communicating the positives and negatives of the scenes, addressing any wounds or marks that could have occurred, and engaging in comforting activities. The submissive may need some time once everything has ended to leave the subspace and may be nonverbal. It's up to the dominant to be patient, wait until the submissive is ready before asking for feedback, and communicate with the other if they want to address any wounds or clean up during this time.


Before You Go, Remember:


Getting into kink or fetish is a process! It doesn't happen overnight. Take the steps needed for your journey to discover what you enjoy and what you want to explore. Reflect on whether some fantasies have kink/fetish behaviors or what turns you on. Reflect on past experiences, sexual or non-sexual, and what you enjoyed and didn't enjoy within them.


Some beginner activities you can try that are low-risk and work as an accessible introduction to kink are dirty talk with the usage of honorifics like daddy, sir, mistress, etc. to establish power dynamics; roleplay; wearing a blindfold; or using ice for some low-risk high pleasurable temperature play.


And as always, remember education before exploration!


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