Kinks and FetishesPosted: 08/29/2011
So let’s talk about sex. I know, I know, I’ve been cruel to you by teasing you about this for awhile now. Let’s get down to business.
Kinks are little twists that someone has, a little bit of an unusual thing someone likes to do in sexy situations. This can range from something as simple as light spanking to full-on bondage and potentially a taste for BDSM. Let’s be clear though, there’s a separation of kinks and fetishes. I’ve been preparing this post for awhile, so I’ve done some homework here. There IS actually a difference! What is it? Some students at the Connecticut College Voice had the following to say:
“Sexual fetishes are sexual responses to objects, or objectified body parts, that are not usually considered sexual in nature… Kinks on the other hand, are enjoyable activities that do not have to be practiced for sexual gratification (however, if you always indulge your partner’s kink, they will probably be eternally grateful). They can involve objects or objectification, but certainly don’t have to, and don’t have to be the main focus of a sexual encounter.”
I really couldn’t have said this better myself. A fetish is a sexualized response to any non-traditional thing – feet, latex, certain fiber materials, bodily fluids not normally associated with sex – take your pick. People might have a fruit fetish or something. Whatever, that’s their thing. Like I said before, kinks are just like the icing on the cake – sex is awesome but sex with kinks is even better.
This all being said, it’s important to know how to discuss a kink or fetish with a sex partner, but especially with a ladyfriend. With the advent of the internets, it has become oodles easier to find people with common sexual interests. You can google your particular kink or fetish and probably find at least one other human being that’s into the same thing. In fact, a certain nameless friend of mine says he’s more likely to talk to people that are more open about their kinks. That makes stuff a whole lot easier for finding a partner to play with, but what do you do if you’re dating someone and she doesn’t know?
Columnist Dan Savage tackles questions like this on practically a weekly basis (seriously I checked the archives), and by and large he gives the same advice to people: be up-front about it and if the don’t like it, dump them.
However, I don’t think things ever get to be that simple. It sucks, I know, but here comes the explanation. If you’re with an awesome lady and you haven’t discussed the potentially odd particulars of your sexual appetite, then you do need to drink a glass of water, take a deep breath, and dive into that subject. It might end up being a really, really difficult conversation. You may have to endure an upset girlfriend, and it may even be that she’s weirded out by your particular interest. She could very well call you a pervert, depending on how depraved she thinks your interest might be (your kink or fetish could also be illegal in your state, you might want to check that out first too). I really think you should err on the side of a better sex life. Because really, aside from companionship and emotional bonding, why do we get together with other people? It’s the sex. It’s always the sex.
Disclaimer aside, how do you actually sit down and have this conversation? Well, I polled the advisers, and two responses really stuck out to me. Rachael said that it all comes down to trust. “It’s tough because it’s a trust thing, so if you’re not confident in your relationship or comfortable with your partner it’d be tough”. I responded that it can be like admitting you love a horrible song (which in some ways, it is – you can endure the laughter and ridicule for that too!)
Once again my awesome ladyfriend came to my rescue with a great little “how-to” for this conversation. So here it is, boys, the Gay Girl’s Semi-Definitive Guide to Talking About Kinks and Fetishes.
1. Be absolutely certain you need this thing for a better sex life. If it helps you get off, great, but if it’s standing between you and an orgasm and thus disabling your sex life, then you should probably have the talk.
2. Discuss this in a totally non-sexual situation. If you’re in bed and could be in a sexy situation soon, I’d say don’t do it. This could cause confusion and be seen as a creepy way of forcing her into trying whatever you’re talking about, and that is just NOT cool.
3. Follow the script. Be sure to make a point of starting out the statement with, “If you’re not into this, I am willing to work on that, but…” This helps take that confusion and pressure off the lady, and lets her know that she is free to make the choice to say no.
4. Be prepared to accept a negative answer. I’m not talking about a drink thrown in your face or a break-up, but be prepared for the woman to say “no way, Jose!” If she doesn’t want you sucking her toes or doesn’t want to poop on you or tie you up or whatever, let her have the room to say so.
5. Have a back-up plan. Obviously the ideal outcome is that she accepts your kink or fetish and is willing to try it. In the unfortunate event that she doesn’t, have a back-up plan. Is it a dealbreaker? Can you work around it? (Notice this ties in with step 1…)
The extreme negative response (being called a perv, screaming, a break-up, etc.) is going to be a harsh thing to deal with, but fear not, there are other people out there. Chances are you’ll find someone just as willing to get freaky as you are. It’s really important to not be bitter about that; always remember that your kinks aren’t going to be some other person’s kinks, just like your fetishes aren’t always going to be another person’s fetishes. And that’s all okay.
There’s a ton of trust that goes into a relationship, and talking to another person about your innermost sexual desires and secrets is a big nod to how much you trust them. If you know them well enough to trust them, hopefully you can gauge their reaction. I mentioned before that there’s the option of dumping. Well, yes, but if she’s cool enough to have earned your trust and you’ve talked to her about this thing, and she respectfully and politely declines, what do you do? Do you dump her anyway because you can’t get off with her?
Psh, no way. You already have the fetish, why not go ahead and have a talk with the lady about multiple (safe!!!!!) sexual partners? At this point, if your thing is your thing and you can’t work around it any other way, follow the script again, only with the concept of taking lovers so that you can all stay happy and get off and such. It IS possible to have a stable relationship like that – just give it a chance.
Remember guys, that there is always an alternative, and always a way to be happy. It might not be traditional or “right” in some people’s opinions, but hey – fuck ’em, it’s your sex life.