An Introduction to Kink

Have you ever been curious about kink but weren’t sure where to start? Are there certain words that you have heard but don’t know what they are? Have you had a difficult time finding information? We’ve been there too and we’ve got you covered! 

Here’s your introductory guide on kink!

To start, What is Kink?

Kink is defined as any non-normative, consensual, sexual, sensual and intimate behavior.

Kink is defined outside of being inherently sexual since many kink behaviors can be done without sexual activity. People who are asexual can and do enjoy kink for the many benefits it brings that’s not just sexual gratification. 

What does non-normative mean? 

Non-normative means it falls outside what a given culture or society deems normal, so kink can differ from person to person and country to country!

Kink tends to be separated from normative sex as it functions differently — there are different practices and guidelines that people follow when engaging in kink to ensure the activity is as consensual, safe, and pleasurable as possible. 

The three most important guidelines in kink are consent, communication, and negotiation. 

So let's break these three down.

What does consent look like in kink?

Sexual or non-sexual, consent is essential. Consent is defined as ongoing, mutual and enthusiastic. In kink there are added guidelines for consent to ensure everything is done in the highest, most consensual manner. 

There are a few acronyms surrounding consent that are used in kink to help develop safety and consent guidelines. 

The original kink consent acronym is S.S.C., or Safe, Sane and Consensual. This acronym lets the participants reflect on if the kink behavior they are about to engage in is safe, if the participants are sane and in the correct headspace (i.e., are there any substance involved and how this impacts the scene), and has  consent been freely given and there is an understanding that it can be taken away at any point. 

Many people within the kink community are moving away from S.S.C. and using the term R.A.C.K. I would go into the nitty-gritty of this, but hey, we are still in the beginners guide!

R.A.C.K. stands for Risk-Aware, Consensual Kink. The most important aspect of this acronym, besides the consensual, is the risk-aware. This lets everyone in the scene, as well as beginners in kink, understand that every activity has its risks and that by consenting, one is aware of the risks at hand during play and how to navigate them.

By using R.A.C.K., partners discuss and understand the potential, real risks and how to avoid them. It also allows for emphasis on safe practices so the kink activity can be enjoyed in the safest, most pleasurable manner.

Risk aware may seem like an overwhelming concept but we do it every day! When we get in a car and put our seatbelt on, we are preparing for the risk of an accident, even when the majority of car drivers do not have any accidents. Risk aware is the same in kink where we identify the risk and plan accordingly to best avoid them!

Last but not least, consent in kink is ongoing and can be revoked at any time. There are systems in kink that allow participants to stop the scene immediately. This leads us into the topic of communication in kink.

What about communication?

Communication is vital in kink as it allows for a better understanding of how the partner is feeling throughout play, as well as when the scene needs to stop. 

Kink dictates language differently, so communication is needed to understand what is kinky dirty talk and what is not. In some scenes, saying the words "no" or "stop" can be a part of play, so it is essential to create a word that is outside this realm that both partners can say to immediately stop everything. 

This is where safewords come into play! Safewords are predetermined words partners have picked that, if said, means everything must stop immediately. 

But what if one can’t speak because of a ball-gag? Safe-gestures or signals are nonverbal safewords. Some examples are when the partner can shake their head, tap on their partner's body in a certain manner or move a visible part of their body to signal to stop. 

Communication in kink can also function through the stoplight system! The stoplight system is a popular safeword system where one partner can ask "What’s your color" and the other partner can say either green, yellow, or red! Green means "keep going," yellow means ``slow down" or "I may want to stop soon," and red means "stop now!"

Negotiation sounds like a business meeting, what is it?

Negotiation is when partners have a conversation before play to talk about which kinks they really want to explore, which they are open to exploring, and which they are not willing to engage in. 

Negotiation is also used to establish safe-words and what consent systems will be used.

Negotiation, simply put, is used to clarify expectations, discuss any risks that may occur, figure out systems and procedures for play, and sort out which activities will be on and off the menu during the scene.  

And last but the most important, what is aftercare? 

Shocker: aftercare is another vital part of kink!

Aftercare is the time after play where partners recover and take care of each other. This is a time to focus on both on emotional and physical needs as scenes can be both physically and psychologically taxing.

Aftercare can involve communicating the positives and negatives of the scenes, addressing any wounds or marks that could have occurred, or engaging in comforting activities like cuddling. 

This all sounds great, but where do I begin?

Getting into kink 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 engage in.

Reflect on if some of your fantasies have kink activities within them and 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 easy introduction to kink are: dirty talk with the usage of honorifics like daddy, sir, mistress, etc. to establish power dynamics; role-play; wearing a blindfold; or using ice for some low-risk, high pleasurable temperature play.

And as always, remember: education before exploration!