Kink vs. Fetish

Am I kinky, or do I have a fetish?

I am aware of dictionary definitions, and despite my literary tendencies, I choose to ignore them right now and work with community generalities instead.

Fetishes tend to focus more on an item whether it is clothing, toy, furniture or any object at all. In that realm, I don’t believe that I have fetishes. There are objects that stir up my imagination and inspire some daydreams or actions, but for the most part, just mentioning the presence of an item is more about focusing my thinking rather than needing the object. I love the clothing I wear on the occasion that I consider to be inspirational, primal, luxurious or fun, but I still have my thoughts, plans, and a solid identity when I haven’t broken them out of the closet in years. I do enjoy working with the tools in my bag of tricks, but I can still have some sadistic fun with nothing more than a finger or two. Sometimes my (fun) sadistic tendencies are strictly situational, mental, or intellectual challenges presented to a playmate. While object-oriented kink is perfectly acceptable, and fun to see others enjoying, it does not define me accurately.

The term ‘kink’ is hardly defined at all, and its usage is often merely to describe unusual sexual practices or sexual behaviors. How that relates to my personal behaviors is complicated in so many ways. My sadistic activities with playmates are often quite emotionally and intellectually stirring. Many times I experience a surge of physical energy and increased stamina to stay up longer, play harder, get more deeply involved in the activities at hand. Where the hitch comes in is that I’m not talking about sex. I am not referring to intercourse or even the pretense of it. If a fully negotiated intimate relationship is not previously in place, sadomasochistic play will not make it happen. With my established intimate relationships, sex may be an activity that is pursued because of the increased physical and emotional energy, but I see that as a more circuitous benefit rather than an agenda.

Many people have defined “sexual” as “anything that makes you wet” (for women, or “hard” for men). In that case, most people on the planet are having sex constantly, and I do not follow that thinking. Our human bodies response to the stimulus. Anything from a warm breeze to a happy memory can cause physiological responses, and they are not always sex. Because I feel energized by sadomasochistic activities does not mean that it’s about sex for me. I do fully understand and accept that for some other people it is. If a playmate requires sexual release when playing, they probably won’t be a playmate. If the body follows it’s own path and ends up close to orgasm, I’m not going to freak out, and I’d probably continue whatever I happened to be doing to let them enjoy their part in their own way.

What thrills me may not be defined by either term. Bearing witness to acts of service in a negotiated-role relationship that displays the intensity of an intimate connection can give me as much inspiration as being served myself, or having a good time with a long flogging session. What I do with my energy is a choice. Frankly, having sex with a playmate or partner is not often at the top of my list. The parts of the Alternative/Kink/Leather/Fetish/B/D/S/M community that I enjoy do not define me, but I enjoy nearly every part. When I am categorized by what I enjoy by frequency or priority, I tend to find myself wondering about my own definitions and if I should define myself within the community or as a long-term associate. I am a practitioner of most “kink” and “fetish”-related activities, but neither term defines what I do with the energy they provide.

My kink is in how I think about these activities.

Frankly, it’s all fun. Non-mainstream activities often provide an opening for great conversations and relationship attachments. The presence of other non-mainstream thinkers provides my life with a pool of valuable individuals unwilling to define themselves by other narrow definitions. What I get out of the community is the ability to blur some negotiated lines, while still considering other lines as immovable objects. That simple concept is enough to relieve my psychological needs and remove some unnecessary inhibitions. That’s enough for me. If I can increase my personal relationships while having fun, I’ve gotten what I need whether or not I have a label to put on it. ‘Happy’ is the only word I’m looking for.