4 Misconceptions About Kink: Observations From a Recovering Vanilla

Remember that time a few years (months? decades?) ago when you discovered kink. You jumped straight in to experience new sensations and explore your preferences.

The beginning of your kink journey gives you a unique view point. You are already connecting with the various aspects of the fetish-kingdom, but it’s still easy for you to identify with the vanilla mindset. In the eyes of seasoned pros — and there will always be people more seasoned than you — you are always a beginner. But there is nothing bad about it, on the contrary, such fresh outlook should be cherished!

During the pondering at the beginning of my kink journey it turned out I held a few pre (and mis!)conceptions about the scene. Through chatting to different people, both online and offline, my understanding has expanded exponentially. Now, when I talk to the receptive vanilla friends, I often find myself explaining the same few points over and over. If you too find yourself in the same position, here is your refuge. Next time it happens, you can simply share a link to this post with your friends 😝

This list is intended for kinkster at all stages of their journey. It will:

  • connect you with your pre-kink-enlightened selves,
  • help you organise your thoughts if you’e new to the scene,
  • give you ammunition for the occasion of talking to vanilla people. Especially the kind that says “I’m normally very open-minded, but…”

1. Kink is only about sex.

We have to admit a lot of activities in the scene are about sex, however defined [1]. Kink is about experiences, physical and emotional – if they lead to sex, so be it, but they needn’t have to.

Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.” — Oscar Wilde.

In kink we give ourselves permission to explore power dynamics between people in a safe and consensual space. Sex is just one of the tools to experience interactions.

In kink, we pick one of our unexplored character traits. Rather then hide it, we express it.

Kink is like theatre. We take a defined part of our personality as a prompt, take it out, and examine from all possible angles. We become a person who exhibits a specific feature, and explore how it feels for us. For instance, being a baby girl requires a lot of femininity — a trait many women try to mask, aiming to appear stronger. Playing a baby girl allows to get in touch with a part that desires to be feminine. Such practice helps to learn to manage all of our inner desires.

Kink is *not* only about sex. It is about self-exploration.

2. All kinksters are full time pervs.

You’d be able to recognise one on the street if you saw one because they wear latex hoods and hold a whip.

Well, not really.

The variety of people who are a part of the community is heartwarming (it means a lot when I say that, as I have no heart): it spans all genders, ages, professions, preferences… Kink scene is open to everyone, and everyone is welcome 😍

Perhaps it is because kinky people give themselves permission to fully explore their preferences, it’s easier for them to function in a regular, vanilla life. Once the desires have been met, it’s not such a big deal to resume one of the vanilla roles all of us have.

3. Kinky people are sex obsessed.

Well… we are 😂

But, in the same sense that you’d could say people are food-obsessed: “There is no day they would not eat it or think about it, give me a break, everything is just food, food, and food 🙄”

While food is just a means of maintaining the mechanics of the body [2], while sexuality is a part of our identity.

Have you ever encountered a question “whats your food preference?” in any survey? No. But questions about gender/sexuality are commonplace. The wider vanilla world understands sexuality as something that defines us, yet doesn’t allow us to explore it. Pretty strange 😐

In kink we recognise that sexual expression is a part of our identity and self-expression. Isn’t that much healthier?

Discovering kink is like moving from a stereotypical, frozen-foods-subsisting American suburbia to France. It’s discovering the plethora of different options we’ve been missing out on, and learning to take pleasure from them.

4. Only men have kinky minds.

Let’s not get into the discussion about gender non-binarity here. Some people still hold very Medieval Age views regarding female sexual drive — one that says men are savages, and women are ephemeral princesses. As much as some of us are princess (ekhem, ekhem…), that does not prevent us from waking up horny and acting upon it.

If sex is about power and self-exploration, we all have the right to be curious about it, regardless of gender or age. In fact, it would be pretty narrow-minded to dismiss this interest.

Bottom line, for kinksters sex is just one element of the kinky self-exploration toolkit. There are many more to explore.  

Happy kinking everyone!


[1] I hope you don’t ever have to deal with people for whom the only activity that counts as sex is PIV.

[2] I know, I know food is also an expression of our cultural belonging, and can be an expression of one’s identity, for example if you’re vegan or Jewish.

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