Kink Culture: Your Ultimate Guide!

Doublelist Team

May 7, 2023 8 minutes read
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What images come to your mind when someone says “kink culture”? Do you imagine leather harnesses, ball gags and sexy outfits? Many people have a vague idea about what kink culture is.

Well, we’re about to take you through everything you need to know about this culture. By the end, you’ll have a better idea about why people like kinks, the most popular types, and how you can indulge in kinks safely and consensually.

What Is Kink Culture?

According to Merriam-Webster, kink is defined as “unconventional sexual taste or behavior.” To increase intimacy, some people engage in sexual activities different from what society considers normal (or vanilla).

What is kink culture? Is answered in more detail with examples below.

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Types of Kinks – You Might Be Kinkier Than You Think

BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism) is a subset of kink.

Kinks include fantasies, cross-dressing, unique sexual roleplaying, or sexual arousal from materials. This can include sports equipment, balloons, and pacifiers.

Some of the most popular kinks in kink culture are pain kink, humiliation kink, threesomes, orgies, suits/uniforms, Daddy kink, Mommy kink, voyeurism/exhibitionism and food sex play.

People indulging in kinks are kinksters or a part of the kink community. Kink culture has its own rituals and hierarchies, belief systems, values, social norms, practices, ceremonies, organizations and conventions.

Kink Culture in Mainstream Media

In recent years, mainstream media has exposed alternative sexualities and lifestyles to the public, especially focusing on the kink community. “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “The Piano Teacher,” and “S&M” by Rihanna are examples of references to kink culture in mainstream media.

These portrayals of BDSM and kinks aren’t necessarily realistic and often portray dangerous stereotypes surrounding the kink community.

Kink is more than the sexual encounters that pop culture openly displays and advertises. Kink is a vibrant culture founded on acceptance, communication, trust, empowerment, and fulfillment.

BDSM Kink Terms

You can create BDSM relationships with either a set end date/time or continue it over a longer period with a continuous dynamic. Everything must happen in a safe, negotiated environment during a certain period. This is the case for both temporary and permanent relationships.

  • Scenes are long, formal activity sessions in which kinky people come together in a planned session to practice BDSM.

  • Play is the actual sexual activity the participants are interested in. This could include erotic hypnosis, light bondage, slapping, caning, or casual spanking. Blood play, knife play, gun play, and breath play are all examples of play because they all involve pushing one’s physical and mental limits.

    ‘Playing’ or ‘scenes’ don’t usually involve sexual touch or engagement. Interactions with BDSM can be physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual.

  • Aftercare is incredibly important after ending a scene. This is the duty and responsibility of the Dominant towards the Submissive; this is not optional in kink culture. When you play with confinement, deprivation, humiliation, and power, things can get pretty emotional.

Make sure to leave time at the end to decompress.

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Sexual Consent & Safe Words 

Kink culture always focuses on one main concept, and that is consent. Even before people start playing, they discuss each sexual activity they’re about to participate in. Only go ahead and start when everyone gives their explicit and enthusiastic consent.

BDSM practitioners use a safe word or a safe gesture that helps their sexual partners know to either stop or go ahead with the play. If someone uses a safe word, all play should end.

Most people use red, yellow, and green to signal their consent. Like a traffic light, red means stop, yellow means slow down, and green means go. It’s best to use simple safe words that can be said and heard easily.

This is especially important in CNC (consensual-non-consent) as the person may say “no” but actually want you to continue. If you have a safe word, there will be no confusion about whether you should stop or whether it’s part of the roleplay.

This is abuse with consent. If someone tells you you aren’t permitted to use your safeword, that’s abuse rather than kink. One of the most important parts of kink culture is communication. Kink and BDSM are both forms of violence and abuse when performed without consent.

Common Roles in BDSM and Gay Kink Culture

There are several roles and terms when it comes to BDSM which can be confusing to the uninitiated. Below are the most common roles and what they mean.

  • Dominant (Dom/Domme)

  • Submissive (sub)

  • Service Top (Top)

  • Service Bottom (bottom)

  • Switch/Verse

The Dom/Domme has power and control over a submissive and can order them to behave in a specific way, obey their rules, or submit to various types of Sadism/Masochism. The sub voluntarily and explicitly gives authority to the Dom/Domme, obeys directives, and gets satisfaction from pleasing, taking care of, and serving the dominant.

Tops prefer to play a more active role in sex. In gay kink culture, tops are people with penises or strap-ons that prefer to penetrate rather than their partner penetrating them.

Similarly, a bottom takes on the role of a sub for a set amount of time and then relinquishes control when the scene or play is over. Gay men who prefer partners penetrating them refer to themselves as bottoms.

Meanwhile, a switch or verse is a term for a person who can switch from being dominant to being submissive.

Not sure what you are? You can take a free BDSM test to find out.

Why Do People Indulge in Kink Culture?

Kink culture provides people with exciting ways to achieve deeper connections and intimacy with others sexually. Kink relationships strongly depend on vulnerability and open, honest communication. Kink practitioners are encouraged and sometimes compelled to talk about the depths of their feelings, fantasies, needs and desires.

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Tips on Taking Part in Kink Culture

Want to be a part of the kink community? Take a quick look through our tips below to feel more confident about the process. Most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself along the way!

Find Out What Interests You

Print out a list of kinks and mark them with a tick, a question mark, or a cross. You could also rate them on a scale of -10 to 0 to +10.  If you’re new to kink culture, you might not know what you want, but you probably know what you don’t like. This may be a good place to start.

Talk, Talk, Talk

While having honest chats about sex can be awkward, kinksters believe they can also have fun with it. Always discuss topics beforehand, such as hard limits and triggers, level of experience, and who is doing what in the scenario. For example, it must be clear who’s doing the spanking and who’s receiving the spanking.

Kink culture also suggests discussing each person’s tolerance for mild damage, such as rope or wax burns, and the potential emotional consequences of play.

Discuss What Gives You Pleasure

Asking for what we want sexually may feel taboo or shameful, but this mindset needs to shift even for individuals who aren’t into kink culture.

It’s not simply about making sure that all people involved are at ease and agree with what’s going on. It all comes down to having good sex. You should feel confident to ask for what you want out of sex without being embarrassed about it.

Think of It as a Role

You might think it’s a cliche to see an “assertive CEO” as a submissive in a kink scene, but that’s how kink works for some people. If someone spends their entire day caring for others, they might enjoy spending time feeling completely helpless. Someone reluctant and cautious daily can enjoy feeling all-powerful in a dominant role.

Don’t Like Kink Culture? No Problem

Many people fantasize about kink but don’t want to engage in it in real life. It’s the same with sex. You may have fantasies you would never want to become a reality, but it doesn’t make them any less appealing.

Fantasies about kinks are pretty common, and having them and not wanting to act on them is fine. When people indulge in their kinks, they may not even orgasm. Instead, the kink heightens their arousal.

Indulging in Kink Culture Online

Have we piqued your interest in kink culture yet? If you answered yes but don’t know where to start, join a personal ads site like Doublelist. It allows you to meet people of different ages, genders, and sexualities in most American cities and meet your match (or matches) now.

Just looking for vanilla sex, relationships or love? Sign up for a Doublelist account anyway! You’ll find like-minded individuals providing you with the adventure you crave.

Unlock your wildest fantasies and connect with locals today!

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