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Intro to Kink

Intro to Kink

By: Ryan Cocron, LMFT, CAADC

Let’s Talk Kink

Kink is often hard to define, but broadly is an umbrella term for fetishes, BDSM, or any other “non-traditional” sexual or relational practice. In looking up the definition for this blog, I came across so many definitions of varying degrees of detail and stigma. 

Kink is often seen as scary, intimidating, or weird. As far as intimidating, it can definitely be intimidating to try to learn about a scene with so many practices and rules. My hope is to provide some definitions and basics for anyone who is interested in exploring kink. My introduction to kink was through porn, which is probably a typical gateway. While porn can be a good place to start, there often are a lot of important pieces missing or happening behind the scenes. 

Consent, Communication, Boundaries

These are, in my experience, the most crucial pieces for a successful kink experience. Consent is fully understanding and engaging in something, enthusiastically, and without pressure or coercion. This is something that is a MUST in kink because much of what can go on in a “scene” can be harmful if not treated careful and sensitively. Communication and boundaries are part of consent. Talking to a partner about your wants and dislikes is necessary in order to prevent harm from being done. Safe words are also a part of consent. A safe word is an agreed upon word for opting out of a scene or to communicate that one person needs to stop.

Definitions (Taken from The Guide to Getting It On)

BDSM– Umbrella term for erotic power-play including bondage discipline spanking and certain types of fetish play. The term BDSM started online and encompasses the older acronyms of BD (Bondage and Discipline) and SM (Sadism and Masochism) and DS (Dominance and Submission).

Fetish– A particular prop (leather, rubber, underwear, shoes etc.) body part (hair, feet, breast etc.) or a scenario that a person relies on to get off sexually.

Top– Generally refers to the dominant partner (dom, master, daddy, mommy) in a dominant /submissive relationship.


Bottom– Generally refers to the submissive (little, baby, slave)

a close up of a Black woman wearing a leather collar and o-ring with her tongue sticking out

Source: 1millidollars via Unsplash


Common Kinks 

Dom/Submissive – Power related role play in which one partner is “in charge” of the other and can set rules, inflict punishments, etc.

Pain Play/Impact Play – Use of objects (paddles, whips, electric tools, floggers, riding crops) to inflict pain. 

Bondage – Being restrained by chains, ropes, handcuffs etc.

Degradation/Humiliation – Being reduced or demeaned (degradation) or embarrassed (humiliation). Degradation can involve being used as an object, and humiliation can involve being made to do embarrassing things.





The New Topping Book and The New Bottoming Book by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy

Playing Well With Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Navigating and Exploring the Kink, Leather, and BDSM Communities by Mollena Williams-Haas & Lee Harrington

Passionate Boutique & Sexploratorium (great place for sex toys, equipment, outfits, and classes on kink) 317 South St. 1st& 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19147


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