Fetishes: What They Are & How to Talk About Them

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How To Talk About Sexual Fetishes And Kinks


No matter how much we love our partners, sometimes we need a little something extra to take sex from good to great. But that extra something can be a little awkward to bring up, regardless of whether you're in the bedroom or not. The good news is that it absolutely doesn't have to be! If you have a sexual fetish or kink (or if you think you have one but aren't quite sure what it is), there's no reason to feel ashamed or uncomfortable — and there's no reason to avoid talking about it with your partner if they truly respect your needs and desires. But before we get into a few strategies for starting a kinky convo with your partner, let's dive a little deeper into what sexual fetishes and kinks are. 


Definition Time! What is a Sexual Kink? What's a Fetish?

Wait, there's a difference? "Kink" and "fetish" are often used interchangeably, and they do have similar definitions, but they aren't exactly synonyms. A kink describes sexual activities that fall outside the realm of what is traditionally accepted in society, such as BDSM and role play. Some kinks are more "mainstream" than others in that the general public is aware of them, although they still may not be accepted as "normal" (whatever that means). 

Sexual fetishes, on the other hand, are when sexual attraction or arousal is experienced toward an inanimate object, body part or behavior — a vibrator, feet or being tied up, for example. Often, people with sexual fetishes cannot become sexually aroused without that object, body part or behavior being present in a sexual encounter. As such, it can be pretty difficult to get into sex if the fetish isn't included in some way. That's why letting your partner know about your needs upfront is important for your sexual fulfillment — and for ensuring that their boundaries are respected. 


How to Bring Up Your Sexual Kink or Fetish with Your Partner

The first and most important thing you can do before talking with your partner about your sexual fetish or kink is to make sure that you're okay with it yourself. Kinks and fetishes are totally normal things that many people experience; it's just society that gives them a bad rep, stemming from the misconception that fetishes and kinks create distance between partners because of objectification. Usually, the opposite is true: when partners are open and honest about their desires, it can create an even stronger intimate bond. 

When you understand that your feelings and desires are normal (i.e. you're not a freak of nature for thinking well-pedicured feet are sexy), it becomes much easier to talk about them with your partner. Your comfort with yourself and your sexual kink will extend to them and (who knows?) they might reveal kinks or fetishes of their own.  

But how do you actually start the conversation?


Take a Sex Questionnaire 

We love using quizzes to find out which Harry Potter House we'd be sorted into or what kind of donut we would be (chocolate glazed, anyone?), so why not one that sheds some light on our level of sexual adventurousness? You and your partner can take the quiz separately and reveal your results to each other to see how well you match up. There are even quizzes designed for couples, like MojoUpgrade, which gives each partner the same set of questions but reveal only the results that you both said yes to. This can be a great way to gauge what's on and off the table for sexy time, and can help start conversations about different sexual scenarios and fantasies you both might like to try.


Watch Porn Together

Porn doesn't have to be enjoyed alone. Letting your partner in on the fun is a great way to introduce them to your sexual kink or fetish, or fantasies that you would like to enact. This also gives you some social proof — this porn exists, therefore it's enjoyed by lots of people. Plus, watching porn can get you both hot and bothered enough to make your internet dreams a reality. 


Play a Sex Game

Whether it's using Naughty Nights XXXtra Erotic Dare Dice or creating "menus" of sexual fetishes, playing games is a fun, lighthearted way to breach kinky territory. "Menus" could include categories like "green light," "yellow light" and "red light," with green representing things you both want to do, yellow representing things you're curious but hesitant about and red representing things that are off-limits. Menus can then be exchanged when you're finished, and you and your partner can discuss (and try out) the green and yellow items. 


Bring it Up from the Get-Go

Laying out your kinks or fetishes at the beginning of a relationship can help you figure out if you're sexually compatible with someone. Not everyone will want to indulge in your fantasies, and some people (jerks) may even shame you for them. While it's important to respect your partner's boundaries, you absolutely shouldn't put up with people shaming your sexual kink or fetish. Figuring out your compatibility and a person's true colors early on will save you a lot of time and effort.


Ease Into It

Maybe you've been in a relationship for a while, but you've never been sure how to bring up your fetish or kink. A good way to start if you're anxious about outright saying it is to ease into your fantasies. Like BDSM or bondage in general? Start with a blindfold and a feather tickler. You could even simply have your partner hold your wrists down while in missionary. Small changes can make a big difference for your sexual satisfaction and ultimately lead to conversations about other things you want to try — including your kink.


10 Common Sexual Fetishes & Kinks

Think you might have a sexual kink or fetish, or that your partner might have one? Here are a few of the most common and the reasons they get people all riled up.

1. Anal Play: the anus is loaded with sensitive nerve endings, so even folks who don't have a fetish can enjoy anal stimulation during sex. People who do have a fetish may need that stimulation in order to achieve orgasm, however. There are all sorts of anal play, ranging from rim jobs to butt plugs and, of course, penetration by a penis or dildo.

2. BDSM: this blanket term stands for many things, including bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism. Dominance and submission play an especially large role for many partners, and can range from spanking and dirty talk to breaking out the handcuffs and riding crops. PinkCherry carries a wide selection of bondage sex toys for all sorts of BDSM-related fun. Remember, full enthusiastic consent is crucial for safe, satisfying BDSM play!

3. Cuckolding: this kink describes one partner being turned-on at the idea of the other partner sleeping with someone outside of the relationship. Some couples will actually sleep with another person while others enjoy dirty talk related to being cucked.

4. Foot Fetishism: possibly the most well-known (and, unfortunately, mocked) fetish, foot fetishism is an attraction to feet. In the bedroom, there may be erotic foot massages, toe sucking and foot jobs, which involve quite a bit more coordination than a handjob but are just as satisfying.

5. Gagging: having some amount of air restriction or the sensation of gagging helps some people get off. On the flip side, seeing a partner gag or hearing them make gagging noises, especially from oral penetration, can be arousing. However, as soon as either partner feels sick or uncomfortable, the other needs to stop. Consent is what makes sexual fetishes and kinks feel the best.

6. Humiliation: taking dirty talk a step further, a humiliation kink or fetish involves getting sexual pleasure or arousal from name-calling or degrading situations. Engaging in "nontraditional" acts like humiliation can be empowering for some, especially women. However, it's important to discuss boundaries before engaging in humiliation play to keep the situation consensual.

7. Objectum Sexuality: refers to sexual attraction to an inanimate object or body part. A foot fetish falls under the umbrella of objectum sexuality, but a person could also be attracted to lingerie or a specific sex toy. 

8. Orgasm Control: often used in BDSM play, orgasm control or denial involves one partner bringing the other to the edge of climax and then forcing them to stop, often repeatedly. This is enjoyable for both submissives, who give complete control over their pleasure to their partner, and dominants, who take charge. 

9. Role Play: this kink involves you and your partner taking on personas for enhanced sexual pleasure. Common role plays are student-teacher, doctor-patient and boss-secretary. You can dress up in sexy costumes to add even more realism to the fantasy, too!

10. Voyeurism: this term refers to sexual pleasure derived from watching other people who are naked, or who are having sex. Going to sex parties or orgies is a great way to consensually satisfy voyeuristic urges. A voyeur could also watch their partner do a strip-tease through a cracked door as a couple's activity.


    Gear Up for Your Next Kinky Adventure with PinkCherry

    It's no secret that we carry lingerie, fetish gear and tons of other great products to make your sexual fantasies a reality. Add a new sexy surprise to your kinky collection, or look at toys and gear together with your partner to bring your sexual fetishes to life in a way that satisfies each and every one of your needs. Check out all of our high-quality adult sex toys today!

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