Maintaining Long Term Desire: Introducing Kink

Sexual variety is key to satisfying partnerships, but doesn’t require multiple partners. For those in partnered relationships (monogamous or polyamorous), adding kink to your sex is an easy and safe (yes, safe!) way to energize your sex life. If you’re new to kink or simply curious, don’t worry! Kink doesn’t require a down payment on a dungeon. With just an open mind, you can turn the ordinary into an excitement that you may not have felt since the start of your relationship.

Why Kink Enhances Relationships
Kink allows us to explore parts of ourselves that we often must keep hidden in our day to day life. For instance, let’s say you have submissive fantasies (a partner spanking you, name-calling, or “forcing” you to lick their fee). During the day, you might operate from a more dominant position: you tell people what to do at work; perhaps you have children that need parenting. By adding kink into your relationship, you are enhancing not only sex, but your entire life.

You also get to see sides of your partner that may be foreign to you. Some partners take a more of a “submissive” role in their daily routine. They like it when you handle finances and travel planning. Yet in the bedroom, there may linger a secret side that wants to sit on your face and bark orders - hot, right?

Kink allows us to have sexual experiences that get our adrenaline going both mentally and physically. It allows us to act out scenarios in the bedroom that couldn’t exist in our everyday life (except for folks who live in a 24/7 dynamic). What about that fantasy of doctor/patient role-play? “Playing doctor”, performing an inappropriate medical examination? Hot!

When you’re New to Kink
As kink becomes more mainstream, more vanilla folks (non kinky people whose sex life is deemed “traditional”) have either recognized that they’re possibly more kinky, or have more interest in kink than they realized. Previously, kink often seemed like a dark and daunting sexually-awakened dungeon. For some it felt intimidating, and it might still feel that way. Small steps are often a great way to add kink to your sex life. An activity for those exploring is to create a spreadsheet with a column for “yes,” “maybe,” and “no.” The “maybe” represents what the kink community refers to as your “soft limits,” and the “no” your hard limits. (Some use “green,” “yellow,” and “red” when creating these lists.) Yes, or green, means things that you absolutely want to try. Maybe, or yellow, refers to what you’re curious about, but a little unsure of. And No, or red, is anything that’s off limits.

Whether it’s dirty talk, slapping, watersports…everyone’s limits are acceptable! Exchanging kinky spreadsheets (who knew Excel could be hot?) is an excellent way to share fantasies with your partner. And, if you need a guide, check out our recommended Yes/No/Maybe List

How to start
Once you’ve hashed out what turns you both on, it’s time to play.

Let’s start with bondage: does the more dominant partner want to tie up the submissive? Once you’ve decided, get to shopping. Now, while online retailers such as Babeland or the Kink Store sell top-notch products (and the employees at local adult shops tend to be extremely knowledgeable), you don’t have to break out the wallet yet. You can get kinky with what you have at home. A belt often works as great as handcuffs (and the act of removing a belt can be just as hot as handcuffs). Pro Tip: this works wonderfully with teacher/student or boss/secretary roleplay.

Likewise, if you’re curious about impact play, before you buy paddles or whips, try spanking with your hand, or a wooden kitchen spoon or spatula. Turning thoughts into reality before you go all-in with your money and products can help ease you into finding your kink.

For more guidance:

  • Watching youtube instruction videos (such as “guide to spanking”)
  • Reading kink or BDSM 101 books (such as The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge by Tristan Taormino)
  • Consulting with a sex therapist or sex educator


Kink Is Healthy
A note about consent and mutual care: At first, especially if you’re exploring D/S (dominance and submission), kink can seem counterintuitive for some with progressive views about how to treat someone. In particular, a common concern is something along the lines of, “How can I be a feminist and also want to be slapped and called a slut in bed?”

Sexuality has been so repressed by society that taking control of your desires and fantasies is really as feminist as it gets, regardless of your gender. We live in a sex-negative patriarchal society in which religions and customs have affected the way we view sex. Those systems want us to view sex in a rigid, controlled way (only between a cisgender man and a cisgender woman, in the dark, in missionary position, for the sole purpose of procreation).

Even if you challenge parts of that narrative, others problematic aspects may live and thrive within your beliefs about your own sexuality and sexual desires.

Regardless of if you want kids or your gender or sexual orientation, very few of us would be satisfied if that’s the only way we had sex.

Claiming your sexuality and kinks is more than simply a rebellious act. It’s brave, and it’s your right. You deserve to have the sex life of your dreams. To do so is not only sexually fulfilling, but it can make your relationships stronger than ever.

Blog authors all hold positions at the Gender & Sexuality Therapy Collective (G&STC). For more information about our therapists and services please contact us.