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Kink vs. Fetish: What’s the Difference?

March 14, 2018
By, laura

There are a lot of terms relating to sex and sexual relationships that can have more than one meaning or more than one use. Two words that get mixed up and people often misunderstand are kink and fetish. A kink isn’t a fetish, but a fetish can be kinky.

So what does that all really mean?

What is a kink?

Let’s start with some basic definitions to help us understand the difference and see where our own preferences lie.  A kink can be one of two things:

  • Something that turns us on

  • Something that is seen as outside the predetermined social ‘norm’

As you can imagine that means there are a lot of things that can be considered a kink.  It can be anything from getting excited by someone wearing stockings to be nearly having an orgasm when smelling a partner’s sweat.  Nearly everything in the bondage seen as seen as a kink. Of course, the confusing part is what exactly is ‘normal’ sexual behaviour?  It is a very small box and means that almost everything we like is technically a kink.

What is a fetish?

A fetish is like a kink only in a more exclusive way.  The main reason that a fetish is different from a kink is that it is more demanding in its nature – a person isn’t going to enjoy themselves without their fetish desire being met while you can enjoy yourself without your kink being met.  It means that a fetish is integral to someone’s sexuality where a kink is something you might try, enjoy or do some of the time. You can still have enjoyable sex without that kink but often a person can’t have it without their fetish.

So you can imagine that there’s ‘normal’ sex (whatever that happens to be) then there are kinks which add something a little different some of the time and then there are fetishes which are impossible to ignore and have to be included in the sex.

Kinks and fetish examples

As you can imagine, there is a near endless list of the types of kinks and fetish that people have said they favour.  For example, the whole Bondage & Fetish area has as many subdivisions as there is imagination.  BDSM in all its many varieties can be either a kink or a fetish, depending on how necessary it is for you to enjoy sex.

Fetishes around feet are probably one of the most mentioned and least understood (apart from by people with a foot fetish) but people have a fetish for all other parts of the body.  Then there can be a fetish for certain things such as sex toys – looking for the Best Male Sex Toys, for example, to ensure that you get what you need and not enjoying sex without it.  that would make the sex toy a fetish. But if it is used occasionally for a little extra fun, then it is a kink.

Should you be worried by a fetish or kink?

We still have a lot of strange ideas about sex for a wide range of reasons.  But the truth is, as long as both parties understand what is going on, what will happen and are happy to go with it, then you shouldn’t be afraid of enjoying kinky sex or even having a fetish.

In fact, kinks, in particular, can be a great way to spice up life in the bedroom.  Why do you think books like 50 Shades of Grey became so popular? Because it legitimised the kind of stuff that people had always wanted to try but had never dared because they thought it was ‘wrong’ in some way.  The only way it is wrong is if you force it onto someone or don’t explain what is going on and don’t listen when they say they don’t want to do it. And that applies to completely ‘normal’ sex just the same.

Can you stop a fetish?

Sometimes people get concerned that they have a fetish and look to see if they can ‘stop it’ and no longer experience it.  But in most cases, a fetish is a part of you, with deeper roots in both the psychological and physiological levels of the body.  You can’t just switch off a fetish and if you try to ignore it completely, you may find that you no longer enjoy sex or can’t orgasm.

Therefore, rather than trying to bury a fetish and avoid it, the best approach is to find ways to engage it, even if that means doing it alone and not involving your partner if they don’t cope well with it.  That way you can get the satisfaction you need by handling your fetish and can find other kinky ways to have sex with your partner that is good fun for both of you.

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