Is kink inherently sexual?

No.

 

Okay, that’s a pretty boring post on its own, I guess I could elaborate 🙂

Credit where it’s due, this post is inspired by an email from a reader ages and ages ago that I obsessed about until it had been so long since I got the email that it would just be weird if I finally replied. If you’re still out there reader, this is for you and I’m sorry I’m kind of a fuckup 🙂

Anyway, for some people, kink is sexual. For other people, it’s not. I kind of don’t understand how this is even a question because obviously kinky asexual people exist, so there’s definitely something going on there besides sexual turn-ons.

If you say that kink is inherently sexual for absolutely everyone, you’re being an asshole. Other people, asexual or not, can have very different experiences (I swear Andrea Zanin once wrote a post about how she discovered that non-sexual kink was still satisfying to her after a health issue made it painful to do anything sexual, but fucked if I can find it again). Just because you like things one way doesn’t mean everyone else does.

I mean, how is this even news if you’ve graduated from kindergarten? I can’t stand cilantro (it tastes like soapy green death to me), but I understand that other people love the stuff. I need large amounts of time to be left alone to play videogames or otherwise screw around on the internet, but I understand that other people need to be around people. I love fall, other people love summer, I love genre fiction, other people love non-fiction, I write a blog, many other people don’t even like reading them, etc, etc. It’s not any sort of surprise that different people like different things outside of kink, so why are we pretending it’s a surprise that different people like different things inside of kink?

Even if kink is sexual for you, that doesn’t mean you can’t also have fun doing not-explicitly-sexual stuff. For me kink is closely tied to my sexuality, but I still enjoy the hell out of playing with other women (I’m straight, in case that never came up) in a non-sexual way. Honestly, women are great to play with – I enjoy reactions no matter which gender of person they come from, and women are fucking great at recognizing that I’m a person too and not pushing to make the scene purely about what gets them off.

There’s just something deeply satisfying for me about getting to beat on someone. Pain noises are great and I enjoy those too, and obviously I’d feel like an asshole if my partner wasn’t getting anything out of the scene, but there’s something else, some nonsexual thing that I’m not sure I can describe, that I get out of topping. It’s a bit like having had a really great meal, where you got just what you were craving and now you don’t need any more.

Just like kink isn’t fundamentally about sex, it’s not fundamentally about pain either (although some jerks certainly do have trouble with that concept). For some people it’s not even about their connection with their partner, which is bizarre to me because if I don’t have some kind of connection with the person I’m playing with I just can’t be bothered. Other people aren’t exactly like me and that’s fine, we don’t have to play together if we’re not compatible.

Play how you want to play, and absolutely say no to things that don’t work for you, but please, be a fucking grownup about it. Just because kink is sexual for you doesn’t mean it’s sexual for everyone.

One thought on “Is kink inherently sexual?

  1. Yup!

    For me kink and sex are overlapping Venn diagram circles. Kink CAN be sexual for me, but it can also be pleasurable as its own distinct thing. BDSM stuff is very physical for me, maybe similar to what athletics do for some people. So I can happily play with straight women and quite likely gay men (though my bar for interaction with men in general is a lot higher) if we click on some level.

    I mean, I don’t even play Settlers of Catan with people I can’t stand, and I wouldn’t let someone I hated dye my hair either. But “comfortable enough to let you do stuff to my body” or “comfortable enough to trust that I’ll understand your responses and that I’m confident you trust *me* to do stuff to your body” doesn’t have to also mean “would like to knock silly bits.” Neither does trusting someone to rappel you down a mountain, y’know?

    tl;dr Friendly kink is pretty awesome. Kink with lovers, also awesome. Not always the same thing.

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