WHAT'S MY KINK?
It seems every person on the planet has some kind of Kink that they're either interested in trying or desperate to keep doing. Having a special kind of consensual sexual interaction that you like the most does not make you a freak, at least not anymore. Where I live in LA, entire communities of kinky people get together under a common interest, and many of those interests are not exactly mainstream. It got me thinking. What is my Kink? I'm an open-minded lady. I'm tolerant, I'm accepting, I open my arms to all kinds. So why don't I have a kink? I went on a hunt to figure it out.
WHAT IS A KINK?
Since I'm no sex-meister, I referred to Los Angeles based marriage family and sex therapist Liz Selzer-Lang, LMFT, for a professional explanation. She explained that in the professional world they don't refer to someone as having a kink:
"Kink is a broad, umbrella term that describes many forms of sexual fantasy, erotic expressions, and identities which may involve sexual AND/OR psychological role-playing, bondage and discipline, sadomasochism, and other interpersonal dynamics."
Well, discovering a kink or kinky behavior isn't so easy. I realized as unprejudiced as I am, I'm going to have to get over various social taboos and personal hang-ups, and to do that, I have to educate myself on what's out there. What are the options?
WHAT ARE POPULAR KINKS?
According to Selzer-Lang, a popular kink or kink dynamic usually involves a power exchange. And after scrolling Reddit and other popular sites she's right on, but lawd there are so many! How will I ever find mine? I had to narrow them down to the ones that kept popping up.
AGE PLAY :Young girl and an old guy or young guy old gal. I did sleep with a 26-year-old when I was 34 but don't think that counts. Definitely gonna try this one.
ROLE PLAY: Captain and Galley Chef or Bar Manager and Cocktail Waitress. Oops, I've already done the Bar Manager Cocktail Waitress, so yay for me!
IMPACT PLAY: Spanking or flogging (using a whip) I love a good spanking! When it's done right, it can feel excellent. And I do own a whip that I got as a Secret Santa gift. So many types of play!
CONSENSUAL-NON-CONSENT: Pre-negotiating taking someone by force. Notice consent in the name. This one is a maybe because I don't like being forced into anything, but I love coming up with safe words. BDSM bondage/discipline, domination/submission, sadism/masochism Very Fifty Shades of Grey. Not sure because I have a fear of being confined, but I do have a lazy side, so if I'm the one who can't move, God bless.
CUCKOLDING : One partner watches their lover have sex with another person. I'm probably too jealous for this. It would have to be a hideous looking person.
VOYEURISM: Observing other people while they undress or engage in sexual activity. I'm too much of a wuss to ask, "Hey, can I watch y'all?"
EXHIBITIONISM : Exposing yourself or having sex in front of others. Exposing with consent could be fun! But no sex in front of people. I'm too self-conscious about my thighs.
GROUP SEX: Threesomes, orgies, etc. Again, too jealous. And if I'm involved, everyone has to be attractive to me and practice good hygiene.
After some awkward and fun experimenting with my special friend, I came up with some tips to help friends and family.
TIPS TO DETERMINE YOUR KINK
All kinks do not fit all lifestyles. I'm a renter, so screwing in a hammock-style sex swing to my ceiling was a no go. Your roommates might not appreciate your exhibitionism. Or your in-laws might not understand your BDSM dungeon. But don't let your lifestyle limit your experience. There are plenty of groups out there you can join to learn more about your Kink and how to execute it in the best way.
BODY TYPE: Body concerns definitely need to be considered, and I don't just mean jiggly thighs or a bloated belly. Some people may not have the mobility or other limitations that can keep them from enjoying certain things. Not everyone can role play Ring Leader and Contortionist. Although the sex toy industry has really kept up with the demand for user-friendly products. Just remember to think about the body or bodies involved so everyone can enjoy the maximum amount of pleasure!
BUDGET: Discovering your Kink can be exhilarating, but it can get expensive. Certain scenarios require special equipment for maximum enjoyment. You may want to invest in personal lubes, fun toys, cleaning supplies, storage for all your plugs, and whips. Whatever your thang is, don't be irresponsible because it will save you some seriously uncomfortable moments. Like Mommy, what's this? Or at worst a trip to the Gyne.
Like everything we do in life that involves other people, communication is the most important.
SET BOUNDARIES : Talk through what you’re about to do. Yes, it might feel awkward at first, but you have to be honest. What are your limits? What are you comfortable with? Go into detail! Because if you can't verbalize your boundaries, you're not ready for sex much less upside-down doggy with a ball gag.
SAFE WORDS: A safe word is a word you call out when things are going too far for your comfort level. Maybe something hurts. Or perhaps you're getting a terrible view of an unkempt undercarriage. Just call out your safe word, and that will alert your partner to STOP. I love coming up with safe words. For this piece, I've been using "Roomba."
WHAT I DISCOVERED ABOUT MYSELF
I'm definitely not vanilla, but I'm not a full-on sundae with nuts. I still have a lot to learn. But the most meaningful insights from this sex-positive journey are as such:
RESERVE JUDGEMENT Someone else's Kink may not be yours, and that's ok. I can be quick to poo-poo something I think is "weird" or "not normal," but doing that does not create a safe environment to share desires or concerns. You want to develop trust and form a bond of intimacy. No one should feel shame for what they like in the boudoir. Who cares if I covered my boobs in saran wrap before we secured my nipple clamps. We all deserve pleasure!
CONSENT CONSENT CONSENT! Liz Selzer-Lang really hit the nail on the head with this, "What's very important to understand is that kinky play always involves getting express consent from all parties before and during play; if at any point someone is uncomfortable physically, mentally or emotionally, playing pauses and adjusts or stops entirely." She's so right on because not everything is sexual in kinky play. Sometimes it's just about the play getting tied up, blindfolded, or anything not directly related to sexual intercourse. When you say no, whether it's a hard, "No!" or a safe word like, "Ham on Rye!" or if someone doesn't enthusiastically say "Yes!" to any activity, that lack of consent must be respected.
At the end of the day, I experienced new possibilities. Will I continue to act on them? Who knows? I definitely learned to develop healthy boundaries and communication methods to keep me and the person or people I interact with safe so everyone can embrace their inner Kinkster!