From voyeurism to cuckolding.
If your knee-jerk association with the term, “kink culture” involves a leather harness and a riding crop, you’re not alone. For decades, BDSM has operated as the poster child for kink writ large—while in reality, that particular realm of sexual deviance is far broader and more fluid. Which is to say, even if you’re not into pain and/or leather bodysuits, you may be plenty kinky, yet.
Broadly speaking, when we talk about kinks, we’re referring to some sort of sexual desire or propensity that falls out of the mainstream—or “vanilla”—appetite. Colloquially, the term is typically used interchangeably with “fetish,” but most experts will tell you that the kink umbrella is a bit broader. Fetishes, which typically involve an attraction to something that is not inherently sexual—like, say, feet—fall under the broader category of kink. But kink culture also leaves room for things like cuckolding or role play.
Thus, in the interest of aiding you in your future kink exploration, we’ve culled together a list of the most popular, commonplace kinks (according to the internet). May they broaden the scope of sexual deviance in your brain.
There is, indeed, a reason BDSM remains our most standardized association with kink culture on the whole. This particular version of dominant/submissive play—which can involve anything from bondage to rope play to asphyxiation—is generally popular both for the garb involved and for its pop-culture affiliations. The acronym stands for “Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadochism and Masochism”—which, well, just about covers it.
Perhaps less popular socially than BDSM, voyeurism is oft-cited as a rather prevalent kink fixation. The idea here is simple: The person in question enjoys watching someone else engage in some form of sexual activity either alone or with a partner. While of course, the subject of voyeurism must give consent here, the idea here is that pleasure, for the voyeur is derived purely from watching someone else enjoy a form of sexual pleasure.
On the flipside is exhibitionism. While adjacent to voyeurism, the idea is that, rather than enjoy the project of watching someone else, one is turned on by the knowledge that someone else is watching them engage in sexual activity. In short, both the exhibitionist and the voyeur make for excellent sex party attendees.
Not only is cuckolding great fun to say, but it’s also one of those quiet fantasies that lingers under the surface for plenty of couples—often without proper exploration. Simply put, cuckolding fantasies involve watching your partner have sex with someone else. There may be any number of explanations here: From a BDSM perspective, perhaps you enjoy the humiliation, or more traditionally, it may have something to do with the allure that comes from knowing your partner is attractive to other people—which can operate as an indirect self-esteem boost.
Naturally, this one is pretty self-explanatory. If your go-to sexual fantasy involves more than one simultaneous sexual partner, you’re into group sex. Of course, “group” is a pretty ambiguous term—so this one could refer to anything from a couple seeking a third to a full-on orgy. And at present, the proliferation of “dating apps” for folks looking to engage in *community sex* speaks to the normalization of this particular proclivity.
To be clear, role play need not involve some kind of full-scale Halloween costume-Esque get-up (nor does it require that any of the participating parties adopt a British accent). That said, any version of inhabiting a different “character” can often be a productive, exciting form of sexual escapism. That could involve dressing as two of the founding fathers—or it could merely involve picking up your partner at a bar, and playing the role of “stranger.”
Orgasm Control (or: Edging)
Also sometimes classified under the umbrella of BDSM, orgasm control involves the practice of bringing your partner to the brink of orgasm—and then withholding. The idea is that one is relinquishing control over to your partner re: when, exactly, you’re permitted to cum.