“Missionary accomplished,” states the banner above the headboard of Stan Smith’s bed in “The Missing Kink.” – the latest episode of the TV series “American Dad”. His wife Francine looks less satisfied, and as the episode progresses, she confesses to Stan that she is looking to spice up their love life with something a bit kinkier. Stan initially refuses to believe he has a kink but is into them all by the show’s end.
Exploring each other’s fantasies is a great way to build a stronger relationship, so why are some people so ashamed or even frightened to talk about them?
The most likely answer is that they are worried about being ridiculed by their partner and the relationship taking a backward step.
But shaming is often the by-product of an issue with the person doing the shaming rather than the person it is aimed at.
So, let’s figure out how to express and explore your kinks safely and why you must leave kink-shaming in 2022.
What is kink shaming?
Urban Dictionary simply states, “When someone judges someone else’s kink/fetish”.
Kink shaming is when you use someone’s sexual fantasy to make a moral judgment – or attempt to embarrass them for what they like to do in bed.
The problem with this is that your ability to communicate with your partner could be severely damaged if they feel you are not taking them seriously, or worse still, they are mocking you for opening up to them.
Being empathetic to your partner’s needs is essential to any relationship, including the bedroom. It’s a big issue for many, but not one that can’t be overcome.
Why has kink-shaming become ‘the norm’?
As a nation, we’re a bit sexually repressed, joking about it as we did in school when the relationship teacher showed us how to apply a condom by pulling it over the end of a broom handle.
And that carries over to discussing bedroom kinks. The more obscure the kink, the more likely someone is to be teased about it.
Shutting down someone when they’re opening up about their innermost desires will almost certainly pave the way to a non-communicative and non-responsive relationship.
But all is not lost!
Fantasies are there to be explored, and with a bit of communication and firmly set boundaries, you and your partner can take your sex life to new heights.
The top sexual fetishes.
This is the point in the article where we could go with “20 weird fetishes you never knew existed”, but let’s stick to the most popular for now.
The sexual wellness experts at Sinful surveyed to find out when folk in the UK wanted in the bedroom, and some exciting results are reflected across much of the Western world.
The top three were, having sex outside, mutual oral sex, and participating in a threesome.
Related content: The ‘ick’ factor – what is it and how to avoid it?
The full list:
- Sex outside, 21%
- Mutual oral sex (69ing), 20%
- Having a threesome,18%
- Lingerie, 17%
- Using sex toys with a partner, 17%
- Sex with a stranger, 16%
- Role Play, 14%
- Sensual massage, 12%
- Spanking, 10%
- Light BDSM (blindfolds, hand ties), 10%
Women’s top five sexual desires:
- Sex outside, 17%
- Using sex toys with a partner, 17%
- Lingerie, 16%
- Using sex toys solo, 12%
- Sex with a stranger, 12%
- Role Play, 12%
Men’s top five sexual desires:
- Mutual oral sex (69ing), 24%
- Having a threesome, 24%
- Sex outside, 23%
- Sex with a stranger, 21%
How to explore your kinks without embarrassment.
Whether short-lived or long-term, relationships rely on one key area- communication; without it, the relationship is doomed from the start.
Talking about your fantasies and opening up about your sexuality with your partner is essential, but it must be done non-judgementally to avoid kink-shame.
If you don’t take your partner’s needs seriously, it can be a big backward step in the relationship. This doesn’t mean you have to agree to everything, of course, and you have to respect each other’s boundaries.
If there’s an “act” you’re not too keen on doing but are happy to talk about, bring on the dirty talk! Communication, compromise and improvisation are essential ingredients if you are to make it work.
Be sensitive and, indeed, sensible when you discuss your fantasies. Yes, we realize they are fantasies, but saying something like “I think about your sister all the time” will probably not get you the result you’re looking for.
Remember that we all have different personalities. Some people can converse about anything and everything inside their head, while others can be shy and find it difficult to open up, even to their partner. Small steps will take a long way if you’re in the latter category.
Opening up about one or part of a fetish and finding your partner eager and responsive will go a long way to opening up the kink communication channels, and you’ll feel far more confident about exploring further. They may even be flattered that you have opened up to them in this way, and if your fetish is talking about kinks, well done you- you’ve made it!
Also, remember- it’s not just about you. Sex is a two-way street (unless you’re on your own), and exploring each other’s fantasies is a great way to bond more tightly together (not just in the BDSM way), both physically and mentally.
Time to share those kinks with your partner
It’s time to remove the stigma attached to kinks. People described as having ‘weird’ fetishes are far from strange.
On the contrary, they are mentally strong enough to air their desires, whereas someone who keeps it all to themselves is perhaps not so mentally healthy.
We all have different turn-ons, which makes us unique, and what we do in the fantasy world doesn’t define who we are in the real world.
The moral of the tale is that it’s good to talk about kinks, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. They are a healthy part of any sexual relationship. Be honest and respectful, and take ownership of your sex life and sexual freedom.
Once you open up to your partner and the communication channel is in full flow, the sky’s the limit.
Just don’t go overboard like Stan Smith.