A Deep Dive Into the Most Common Kinks, From Restraint Play to Foot Fetishes
A Deep Dive Into the Most Common Kinks, From Restraint Play to Foot Fetishes
Sex is a funny thing. It’s both everywhere in the media and our culture, and also somehow taboo. That’s especially true about our secret sexual desires, our kinks and fetishes. In the privacy of our own homes, when we’re exploring the Internet, we can be free to explore our sexuality, but when it comes to sharing these same fantasies with a partner or even discussing them among friends, a sense of shame often shuts us up.
To a degree, that is understandable — it can be hard enough to understand how your own arousal works, let alone to feel confident enough to discuss it — but the result of that leaves so many people reaching adulthood without ever having received solid information about sexual desire.
Maybe they were told that their desires, whatever they are, were dirty or bad when they were younger. Maybe they just got the impression that it was easier to ignore sexual desire than to open up about it or confront the reality of it head-on.
But what if people came to realize that their desires were actually much more common than they thought? What if people were given permission to feel OK about the things that aroused them, even if they weren’t considered perfectly mainstream?
To get a sense of what it is that arouses people, we spoke to eight different sex experts about the most common fetishes, fantasies and kinks that get people aroused — so keep reading to find out if your biggest turn-ons are listed below.
What Is a Fetish or Kink?
Top 10 Most Common Fetishes & Kinks
1 Foot Fetish
2 Impact/Sensation Play
3 Role Playing
4 Psychological Play
6 Restraint Play
7 Anal Play
8 Sex With Other People
9 Non-Human Entities
10 Fetish Objects
What Is a Fetish or Kink?
A fetish or kink is a sexual desire or fantasy that you have that’s specific. It’s not shared by most people, and not related to physical pleasure as much as it is a reflection of what you think is sexy. That being said, even if a given fetish isn’t something the majority of people are into, it can still be quite popular.
If you have a fetish, there’s not necessarily any way of knowing why, but it’s typically something that you don’t intentionally choose to find arousing. Rather, it’s something you start to find arousing involuntarily or even despite your best efforts not to.
“[Fetishes] can come from and develop from anything,” says sex educator Marla Stewart. “A lot of time, we can trace these developments through childhood and the teenage years.”
While it can feel scary to develop strong feelings you have no real control over, having a fetish isn’t a bad thing. Not only shouldn’t you feel guilty or ashamed, you’re definitely far from alone.
“Most people are turned on by something that would be considered a fetish or kink,” says Dr. Jason Winters, founder and director of the West Coast Centre for Sex Therapy. “Research has shown that if you add together all the kinks and fetishes, the majority of people (approximately two thirds) are at least a little freaky. Some fetishes are very common, such as a preference for submission and domination. Others are very rare, for example a sexual interest in mechanical objects. When it comes to sexual interests, the only real limit is the imagination.”
One way to deal with the feelings that can arise from having a fetish is to talk to other people who experience a desire for similar things.
By using the internet, Stewart says you can “find a community and talk about the desire with folks who have the same desires.”
However, if you’re concerned about talking to strangers online about your desires (a potentially bad idea if you’re not an adult yet), it might feel safer to discuss them with a romantic partner, like a boyfriend or girlfriend.
“In general, you have to understand what is arousing about the scenarios for you specifically,” says sex educator Kenneth Play. “Describing what’s arousing for you about the fetish helps your partner understand it better. There’s always going to be a risk to being vulnerable and sharing a sexual fantasy with a partner, because you aren’t sure how it’s going to be received. This, though, is exactly why it’s so important to start with a foundation of building a sex-positive culture of communication in your relationship.”
And if your partner doesn’t feel the same way as you do about sex, it’s not necessarily the end of the world.
“Your partner may not be interested,” warns Winters. “If that’s the case, you have a few options. You can accept that you’ll never scratch that itch with that person, and focus on other types of satisfying sex. Alternatively, you could try to negotiate other ways of meeting that sexual need without your partner. And finally, you may have to make the hard decision to leave the relationship, if kinky sex is non-negotiable for you.”
Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Fetish or Kink
While some people will try to tell others that any sexual desire is wrong or proof of a person’s poor character, everyone experiences desire differently, and your fetishes or kinks don’t make you a bad person.
“Sexuality isn’t the same from person to person, and what turns everyone on isn’t either,” says Mackenzie Riel of adult novelty and romance retailer TooTimid.com. “What matters is developing a trusting and comfortable environment within your relationship to practice these sorts of things. Consent is the most important part of going forward with any sexual act.”
Winters agrees that building trust with your romantic and/or sexual partners is incredibly important — as this can mean you get a lot of support, rather than judgment or criticism, when it comes to exploring your sexual fantasies.
“In my practice, I’ve yet to encounter a partner who responded poorly to the other partner introducing a kink into their sex lives, and these aren’t your garden-variety fetishes,” he says. “People generally are quite accepting, if you give them the chance. It might take a few conversations, and a little time for them to become comfortable, but the majority of people will likely come around and many will end up finding the kinky experiences enjoyable.”
Top 10 Most Common Fetishes & Kinks
So what are the most common forms of kinky sexual desire?
Of course, there’s no way to know with 100 percent accuracy, but it is possible to get an idea of what is more and less acted on most. Some studies have been done, and sex experts can speak to their experiences talking to people about desire to get a picture of what’s more popular.
We scoured a number of different sources to put together a list of 10 common areas that come up over and over again when discussing people’s fetishes.
1. Foot Fetish
Includes: Feet worship, footjobs, sexualizing shoes, nylons, stockings
When people think about sexual body parts, they often discuss the erogenous zones or the genitalia — penises, vaginas, breasts and nipples, even butts. But for many people, feet are one of the sexiest parts of the human body despite playing no obvious role in traditional sex.
How Common Is a Foot Fetish?
“I can say without a doubt that foot fetish is by far the most popular and pervasive in the kinky culture community,” says Coleen Singer, a BDSM/fetish expert for Wasteland.com, noting that “there are literally thousands of members and forums dedicated to everything from foot worship to nylons and footjobs” on fetish sites like fetlife.com.
What Will Your Partner(s) Think About a Foot Fetish?
It’s not only a very common one, it’s also a relatively well-known one — meaning your partner might have heard about it before.
“Although partners new to the kinky side of things might be taken aback by this with a new partner, usually this is a passing reaction and once the fetishist negotiates boundaries and activities, it generally can be integrated into their relationship,” says Singer. “The bonus is that the recipient often gets a nice foot massage or has their shoes polished and organized in their closet!”
How to Work a Foot Fetish Into Your Sex Life
“The degree of ways this can be brought into a relationship ranges from mild (massages, etc) to wild (trampling being the extreme variation),” says Singer. “Whatever the level, like with any fetish activity, it all starts out with clear communication and establishing boundaries and safewords to use for when the recipient needs it to stop for a breather.”
Lovehoney sexpert Annabelle Knight agrees that foot massages are a great way to incorporate foot fetishes into your sex life.
“Everyone loves to feel pampered, especially if they’ve spent a long day on their feet,” she says. “Start off by bathing their feet in warm water. Once your lover’s feet have had a good soak, dry them off with a fluffy towel and move into giving them a heavenly foot-rub,” potentially with some massage oil to enhance the sensation.
“If you both feel comfortable, you can move from massaging to kissing your partner’s feet, or perhaps sucking gently on their toes,” adds Knight. “If you aren’t ready to progress to that yet, why not keep things flirty and fun? You can use a feather tickler on the soles of your partner’s feet to keep the mood light and cheeky as you explore this fetish together.”
If your partner is game to up the ante, you could consider trying out things like footjobs, the act where one partner uses their feet to stroke the other’s penis, trampling and other foot fetish-friendly fun.
Things to Be Cautious of With Foot Fetishes
While most foot fetish-related activities are unlikely to be dangerous, trampling — where one person walks on the other person while they’re lying down — can get tricky.
“In general, foot fetish behavior is quite safe, with the major exception of trampling which, if not done correctly and carefully, can cause physical injury to the submissive receiving it,” says Singer. “General rules to keep it safe include trampling in bare feet only, and that the trampler has some sort of stationary physical support (such as the edge of a kitchen counter) to be able to control the amount of body weight being applied.”
2. Impact/Sensation Play
Includes: Spanking, hitting, tickling, pinching, shocking, hot wax, ice cubes
So much of sex is about physical sensation — the intimacy of kissing, the touch of your lover’s hands on your skin, the friction of private parts rubbing against each other — but for some people, pleasant sensations are only half the puzzle.
If you’re into impact and/or sensation play, you’ll love more intense and possibly even painful sensations, too. That can include things like being smacked or spanked, having your nipples pinched, having hot wax poured on you or simply being tickled.
How Common Is Sensation Play?
While some aspects of sensation play, like erotic electo-shock, are relatively rare, basic impact play like spanking and biting are much more common, particularly for people or couples who have any BDSM leanings.
“Sensation play plays a major part for those who love BDSM,” says Knight. “It is common to experiment with sensation play on your own and at your own pace, or with the help of a partner.”
What Will Your Partner(s) Think About Sensation Play?
Beyond your partner’s specific tastes, it really depends on what sensation in particular turns you on. If you’re aroused by a little spanking during penetrative sex, that’s unlikely to raise many eyebrows.
However, some partners might balk at the idea of hitting or being hit in the face, and nipple pinching with your fingers might be easier to swallow than using full-on nipple clamps.
“Depending on if your partner is also interested and/or comfortable with BDSM, they may be more open to the idea of impact of sensation play,” explains Knight. “If BDSM is something they haven’t tried before, be sure to talk this through with your partner and take it slow to ensure they’re completely comfortable with introducing sensation play to the bedroom.”
How to Work Sensation Play Into Your Sex Life
Taking it slow and building up to more intense things is a better bet for success than asking someone with no experience to hit you in the face. Kayla Lords, a sexpert for JackAndJillAdult.com and the founder of LovingBDSM.net, points out that sensation and impact play don’t have to be outright painful.
“It can be a little uncomfortable, or it may be warm and sensual,” she says. “What someone feels is tied to how intense you (or a partner) make the sensation for the other.”
As for impact play, it doesn’t begin and end with your hands.
“If you’re looking for more impact play options, try out paddles or whips,” suggests Knight. “Most paddles are made from leather, which is much softer against the skin than wood and provides an audible ‘thwack’ that accentuates the experience of being paddled or spanked for both partners. On the other hand, a whip has a singular surface with which one can hit another person to inflict pain. They come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and styles.”
Things to Be Cautious of With Sensation Play
As sensation play often involves one partner asking the other to hurt them or cause some form of discomfort, it can be dangerous if not done properly.
“Making sure that you and your partner are safe and comfortable during any activity, specifically hot wax play, is of utmost importance and will make sure that no one ends up burned or scalded,” says Knight. “Also, don’t use ordinary candles! Regular candles have a high melting point for safety and these will burn or scald the skin.”
A good practice for this involves testing things on yourself before inflicting them on a partner.
“Never, ever, ever hit, drop hot wax or use anything on your partner until you’ve practiced and/or tried it out on yourself, notes Lords. “A common technique for those into impact play is to smack their forearm or thigh with a paddle first. If they’re satisfied with the impact (and weight of the paddle), then they may test it on their partner — a test only, not a full blown spanking. This gives your partner the information they need to know whether they consent or not.”
3. Role Playing
Includes: Acting out scenarios, ageplay, raceplay, consensual non-consent, power dynamics
Do you think it’s hot to imagine a student seducing a teacher? Would you ever want to pretend you and your long-term partner were lovers having a secret affair? Could you see yourself donning a doctor’s uniform and performing an “exam” on your significant other?
If so, you’re probably into role playing.
How Common Is Role Play?
If you think playing dress-up or make-believe goes away once you grow up, think again. Some variety of roleplay is a pretty common fantasy, according to Riel.
“Roleplay is a much more accepted kink, especially with the growing variety of lingerie and costumes out there to explore,” she says.
What Will Your Partner(s) Think About Role Play?
As a result of it being relatively common, finding role play erotic in and of itself is unlikely to raise many eyebrows. However, it depends on what kind of role-play scenes you want to engage in with your partner.
“Roleplay is a creative and experimental kind of sexual experience that can be fun for both partners,” notes Riel. But if you’re most into a particular kind of role play that your partner finds uninteresting or even shocking, fully exploring it together might not be an option.
How to Work Role Play Into Your Sex Life
“Try to look into scenarios that would turn you on and run the ideas by your partner,” says Riel. “Being outward and honest about it is the best way to get your partner to want to practice it with you. If you already have an idea of what you want to do, map out how you want to do it and what your partner will have to do in the scenario. When you talk to them, bring it up like a proposal.”
Once you have a scene in mind that you both like the sound of, don’t rush into it.
“Talk about it, talk about it, talk about it,” says Lords. “What do you envision happening in this scene? What turns you on and what turns you off?”
This can include things like what to do if your conversation hits a snag, how elaborate your costumes will be (if you’ll have any at all), how long you want to stay in character before things turn explicitly sexual and so forth.
Things to Be Cautious of With Role Play
If the role playing is primarily your idea, make sure you don’t get caught up in your excitement and ignore your partner’s comfort levels.
“You need to hear how your partner feels about the scene,” notes Lords. “You want to avoid things that actively make them cringe or take them out of the scene. You can use costumes and gear if it helps you get into the mindset, or you can use nothing but your words and your body. People tend to overcomplicate role play, but much of the action is in the mind before you ever do anything physical.”
Another potential negative outcome of role play involves boundaries of consent being pushed, also known as consensual non-consent (CNC) or rape play. While some partners might be into this kind of dynamic, opting for the use of a safe word, many people will not.
“Rape play is controversial, and for good reason,” says Riel. “Before you bring it up specifics like this, see if there is even an interest in roleplay-type sex, at all. It can be off-putting at first to hear that a person wants to experiment with power dynamics and rape play, but if you establish boundaries and promise safety, it will give your partner more trust in you to try it.”
4. Psychological Play
Includes: Domination/submission, power dynamics, punishment, humiliation
If what gets you going involves being either in control or being controlled, you’re likely into psychological play, most commonly expressed through domination and submission (the D and S in BDSM).
How Common Is Psychological Play?
Sex and its relation to power is a pretty broadly understood concept. In fact, much of role play centers implicitly or explicitly on power dynamics, but domination and submission can still be incorporated without ever pretending to be someone else.
“As a broad definition, ‘psychological play’ is often more common than we realize, but the degree of the fetish varies wildly,” says Lords. “Power play (whether as a dominant or submissive, doling out ‘punishment’ in the form of spankings, or using dirty talk and kinky scenes as a ‘humiliation’ fetish) is not new or uncommon. In the bedroom, you can let go of the control and power that you have to carry with you in your day-to-day life, or you can finally have the power and control you crave that you may not get from your daily life.”
What Will Your Partner(s) Think About Psychological Play?
If this kind of thing is what gets your heart racing, there’s a good chance it won’t shock your partner.
“Today’s ‘average partner’ has likely at least heard of ‘50 Shades of Grey,’ so some of this may not come as a surprise,” says Lords. “But that doesn’t mean everyone is immediately comfortable with it.”
She notes that some of the aspects of psychological play — hitting, insulting or making demands — may seem deeply unpleasant to some people. That being said, if you’re willing to start with less intense versions, your partner might be able to get comfortable with the idea over time.
“All fetish and kink requires a certain amount of getting over whatever societal hang-ups or cultural teachings you’ve experienced, but D/s seems to be the most beginner-friendly — one person is in charge, and one person isn’t,” she adds.
How to Work Psychological Play Into Your Sex Life
You might already be using it, at least to a degree, without even realizing it.
“If you’ve ever had the urge to ‘let your partner do what they want with you’ during sex or the urge to ‘take control’ and find that hot, you’re already considering or playing with power dynamics,” says Lords.
Particularly in penetrative sex, the person doing the penetrating is often cast as the dominant partner, making the person being penetrated as the submissive. That doesn’t need to be the case, but if that dynamic feels right to you, you can continue to explore it by slowly tweaking the sex you’re already having.
“When adding an element of power into your sex, it’s always best to start small, move slowly and do a lot of communication,” advises Lords. “You need to talk about what you’re into before you try it, and then check-in in the middle of it. Depending on how power dynamic flow between you and a partner, it can even heighten the anticipation and the eroticism of the moment.”
Things to Be Cautious of With Psychological Play
Lords notes that even if the submissive enjoys being bossed around, it’s important for there to be rules that are supported by communication.
“If you’re the partner in control, your submissive partner always has the right to withdraw their consent or ask questions about what’s going to happen or what you’re doing,” she explains. “If you try to ‘trick’ them into it, you may cause serious harm, and you definitely aren’t practicing safe, sane and consensual kink.”
Includes: Watching or being seen by others in a sexual way, in real life or online
Sure, most sex happens in private, but not all of it. Sex can happen in the heat of the moment — in a movie theater, in a car seat, in nature. For some, the sex is more fun when being seen (or seeable), both for those engaging in it and for those seeing it.
How Common Are Voyeurism and Exhibitionism?
Having sex while being watched might not be on your immediate to-do list, but if you’ve ever watched porn, taken nudes of yourself or made a sex tape, you understand the basic urges at work in the realm of this kink.
“I like to think there is a little of both the voyeur and exhibitionist in all of us,”says SKYN Sex and Intimacy Expert and author Gigi Engle. “There is something very sexy about watching people have sex — just look at how we consume pornography! There is also something hot and dangerous about the possibility of getting caught while having sex.”
What Will Your Partner(s) Think About Voyeurism and Exhibitionism?
Because of the visual aspect of pornography and other erotic material, the act of watching sex itself isn’t likely to shock many people. What might be trickier, however, is convincing a partner to engage in acts of voyeurism or exhibitionism with you.
“This is pretty subjective, and will depend on the specific relationship dynamic you have with someone,” notes Engle. “It also depends on how far you want to take the fetish. If you need to be watched or need to watch people having sex to get off, that may turn out to be problematic in a relationship if your partner doesn’t share that fetish or interest. With all thing sex-related, you may need to find a happy compromise that allows you to explore this fetish without infringing on your partner’s happiness.”
How to Work Voyeurism and Exhibitionism Into Your Sex Life
According to Play, sex parties are a great way to experience the thrill of both exhibitionism and voyeurism, since there, he notes, “you can either watch or show off.”
“Just make sure to negotiate your relationship boundaries with your partner first, if applicable,” he says. “You should both chat about what you’re comfortable with doing or being a part of (particularly related to the next fetish), and try to get on the same page about your interests.”
If you’re not up for full-on sex parties, you can explore exhibitionism digitally.
“There’s a growing market for amateur porn on most tube sites, and plenty of ways to hide your face and stay more anonymous,” adds Play, but he cautions that “with anything that will be uploaded to the internet, make sure you’re getting explicit consent to film and share.”
Things to Be Cautious of With Voyeurism and Exhibitionism
While exploring exhibitionism can make for relatively tame sex between you and your partner — at least in terms of what you’re doing with your bodies — there are still potentially tricky points.
“You can have sex outside,” says Engle. “Just be sure you’re doing it safely. Keep in mind that it is illegal to have sex in public, so be sure you’re secluded enough to not get caught. I suggest somewhere semi-private like a hotel room balcony or in a wooded area behind some trees.”
As for voyeurism, Engle notes that you can get into even trickier situations if the person you’re watching feels deeply unsafe and violated.
“For voyeurism, consent is really key,” she explains. “It’s not OK to watch someone without their knowledge.”
With a willing partner, you can play with aspects of watching and being watched within the context of role play in the confines of your own home.
“If the ‘not knowing’ aspect of this fetish is important to you, it’s easy to pretend you don’t know someone is watching you,” suggests Engle. “Make it a role play scene. Have your partner sit in a corner of the room (or hide somewhere). Do a sexy strip tease out of your clothes and masturbate, pretending you don’t know someone is watching. It can be very sexy for everyone involved.”
6. Restraint Play
Includes: Bondage gear, leather and latex, Japanese rope bondage, handcuffs
Ask people to name stereotypical kink items and it won’t take long before items like “fuzzy handcuffs” or “leather masks” come up.
Those are firmly situated within the realm of restraint play, which focuses on one partner being tied up or having their movement otherwise restricted, typically while the other partner is free to do what they please with them.
How Common Is Restraint Play?
“Bondage is as simple as holding your partner down on the bed and as complicated as doing beautiful Shibari rope work,” says Lords. “No one starts out tying complex knots.”
As a result, restraint play in one form or another is quite common.
What Will Your Partner(s) Think About Restraint Play?
Beyond just what type of person your partner is, another factor that can influence their reaction is what you find arousing.
“There are many levels for how intense or rough one person’s fetish for BDSM goes, and depending on their partner’s personal comfort levels and past experiences with restraint play, it may make someone’s particular fetishes feel more risqué than others,” notes Knight.
Some people might be comfortable having their arms pinned, but won’t be comfortable being tied to the bed. Some might love a full-on Japanese rope bondage set up, but get squeamish around handcuffs or spreader bars. If restraint play is a big deal for you, see if you can find a version that your partner is most comfortable with or aroused by.
How to Work Restraint Play Into Your Sex Life
While there are so many different ways to engage in restraint play, starting small is probably a good idea.
“If you’re interested in bondage, start with simple gear like under-the-bed restraints or bondage tape,” says Lords. “They require no skill and are easy to get in and out of. If your partner isn’t sure how they feel about restraint, do a small experiment (with their consent) and hold them down on the bed. If they’re comfortable with that limited mobility and loss of control, they may be OK with other forms of restraint.”
What might that look like? Knight suggests handcuffs (“they can give you a feeling of being powerless while still having the ability to move around”), spreader bars (“spreader bars keep your limbs wide apart so you cannot flinch or prevent access to your body, making the submissive partner completely open to the dominant partner”) and Shibari Bondage Rope (“this can be used to restrain every part of the body and can be very beautiful when tied correctly”).
Things to Be Cautious of With Restraint Play
Depending on how intense your restraint-related desires are, you might be dealing with relatively harmless stuff, or you could be in a position where you or your partner’s life could be in danger.
As a result, it’s important to educate yourself on the basics in terms of how certain restraints can harm the person they’re being used on — from rope burns to more serious injuries, particularly if you’re playing with choking — and to work your way up towards more complicated restraints.
It’s not a bad idea to have a safe word at the ready, too.
“No matter what type of bondage you are doing, make sure you have a safe word and that you stop whatever you are doing as soon as it is said,” notes Knight. “Taking safety precautions before you start playing helps make sure everyone enjoys their bondage adventures.”
7. Anal Play
Includes: Anal sex, fisting, fingering, rimjobs/anilingus, butt fetishism, scat play
The world is full of people who love breasts, penises and vaginas. But there’s one sexual feature that everyone has, and that’s a butt. What’s that, you say? Butts aren’t sexual? Well, that’s where you’re wrong, my friend. That’s where you’re very wrong.
How Common Is Anal Play?
“Anal sex has become much more common in recent pop culture and certain sub-genres of pornography,” says Riel. “If it is something you wish to explore, you’re a part of a bigger group than you may think.”
What Will Your Partner(s) Think About Anal Play?
Over the past decade or so, anal play has become much more commonplace, so there’s a good chance your partner won’t be grossed out by it if you bring it up. However, getting them to agree to exploring it in bed with you might be a different story.
Rather than making demands, Riel suggests bringing it up slowly,
“When you and your partner are alone, you can ask light questions to get a better idea of their feelings on it,” she says, recommending questions like:
‘Have you ever tried anal?’
‘Have you ever thought about anal?’
‘Have you ever thought about trying it?’
You can judge a lot by their immediate reaction alone. Trying any new fetish or kink has to be met with mutual consent, so having an in-depth conversation about it before trying to jump into it will make the experience better for both of you.”
How to Work Anal Play Into Your Sex Life
If your partner is also open to exploring anal play, there are many things you can do together.
Anilingus (licking the anal opening) is a smart way to start if you’re hesitant about penetration. Alternatively, fingering or using anal beads is another good way to explore anal play for beginners. Ideally, one of these options should be tried before proceeding to full on penis-in-anus penetration, as the receiver is likely to find that much more painful without any practice or preparation.
And if you haven’t guessed, you need lube — lots of lube.
“When you’re beginning with any sort of anal play, it’s important to note that using a lubricant is not only recommended but borderline essential when it comes to avoiding unnecessary pain and friction,” says Riel.
Things to Be Cautious of With Anal Play
Though anal play can be a lot of fun, it can also be very painful. Depending on how you’re playing, you could be exposing yourself to potentially dangerous bacteria if you come into contact with any feces through anilingus, scat play or failing to properly wash whatever is being used for anal penetration.
As well, Riel notes that the butt is a complete no-go zone for some people. If that’s your partner, you’ll have to either accept that or try to find another partner who’s up for anal exploration.
“You don’t have to be on the same sexual page as your partner all the time, but in this case, you may find yourself wanting to move on and find a more accepting and sexually open partner,” she says.
Whatever you do, don’t pressure your partner into accepting anal play against their wishes, and don’t try to “accidentally” penetrate someone anally. For starters, this is a violation of consent; it’s going to be a very painful one, since pleasurable anal sex requires extensive preparation.
Finally, if you’re putting anything into an anus, you should know that the sphincter muscles can sometimes suck objects upwards into the anal canal. Meaning, stick with sex toys designed with the anus in mind, which will have flared edges, so you don’t get anything lodged in your colon.
8. Sex With Other People
Includes: Group sex, threesomes, non-monogamy, cuckolding, cheating
A lot of people get off on the idea of having not just one partner, but two, three or many — potentially at the same time.
How Common Is Sex With Other People?
The good news? This is so common that some people might not even count it as being kinky.
“Group sex is regularly cited as the most common fetish people have,” says Engle. “It makes sense. There is something very hot about having another person in the room with you and your partner. It’s totally normal to think about threesome and group sex scenarios. Fantasy is the stuff that makes life interesting.”
What Will Your Partner(s) Think About Other People?
“I think most people have had a fantasy like this at some point,” says Engle, but notes that you should “be ready for negative feedback, as this can stir up a lot of feelings.”
Some partners will find the idea of a threesome or swinging to be extremely hot, but others might feel insecure or jealous. They might assume your desire implies that they’re not attractive or good enough in your eyes.
How to Work Other People Into Your Sex Life
For starters, you should know that this is a fantasy that you might have to keep in the realm of fantasy. If your partner’s not OK with you having sex with other people, whether they’re present or not, doing so anyway would be a huge breach of trust.
However, this is definitely something you can explore through dirty talk and sexting each other rather than making it happen in real life. If you are going to bring others into your sex life, however, Riel insists on the importance of communication.
“If you’re able to set boundaries with your partner, i.e. talking ahead of time about limits and any behavior either of you would be uncomfortable with, the experience will benefit both of you,” she says. “Kinks like swinging and having threesomes can actually bring two people together even closer rather than pushing them apart.”
One easy way to get started? Watching it happen before you try to make it happen.
“Start with watching porn together,” suggests Engle. “Porn is one of the safest ways to make group sex feel real. You can have sex while watching it or masturbate together.”
Things to Be Cautious of With Other People
Make sure you talk everything through extensively. Couples often attempt to bring a third party into bed prematurely, and it can have relationship-ending impact if you’re not careful.
“If you genuinely want to make a threesome happen, you need to be in a secure relationship,” notes Engle. “Threesomes are not a last ditch attempt at intimacy. You need to be really solid in your bond and have a lot of trust.”
Apart from the potential danger of hurting or offending your partner, there’s also the question of the other person or people that you involve in your sex life. In particular, bringing someone you both know well into the bedroom can get complicated real fast.
“A huge recommendation for couples wanting to try a threesome is to involve a person neither person knows well,” explains Riel. “This eliminates the possibility of seeing them again or having to be around them in a social setting on a regular basis.”
On a purely physical note, if you or your partner is having sex with other people, the possibility exists that one of you catches a sexually transmitted infection. So even if you’re used to not using protection on a regular basis, be sure to use condoms when having sex with other people.
9. Non-Human Entities
Includes: Furries, petplay, tentacles, monsters, bestiality
This kink can take on many different forms, whether full-on furryism — people dressing up in elaborate animal costumes and often having sex while wearing them — to petplay, where people role play as animals, to fantasizing and reading, writing or illustrating erotica around animals.
At the far end of the spectrum, you have a small number of people who take this kink to an illegal place — bestiality, or literally having sex with animals.
How Common Is Attraction to Non-Human Entities?
Despite the intensity of the cultural taboo on full-on bestiality, milder versions of this kink are pretty common.
“[Furryism is] far more popular than one would think at first glance,” says Singer. “It is part of the CosPlay genre (Costume Play), and has a wide variety of practitioners that enjoy collecting and wearing furry costumes, animal head masks and even monster with tentacle costumes for fetish play.”
What Will Your Partner(s) Think About Your Attraction to Non-Human Entities?
Despite the ease with which many people might joke about finding certain animated animals or non-human fictional characters attractive, if you find yourself deeply aroused by animals or other non-human entities, it’s possible that you’ll meet with some resistance from partners.
“Let’s be honest here: Furry folk tend to stick together,” says Singer, “as this is not the sort of thing that is easily taken as normal in a traditional relationship.”
However, perhaps in part because this fetish is poorly understood by the general population, there is a vibrant community of Furries out there. Singer notes that they “often meet online and at CosPlay and Furry conventions,” so if this sounds like you, don’t fear — you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding other people who share your tastes.
How to Work Your Attraction to Non-Human Entities Into Your Sex Life
The first thing here? Finding someone (or multiple someones) who you can explore your kink with, whether that’s simple pet play or by developing a fursona (an animal you feel represents you who you might often dress up as) or more.
“As said before, furries and non-furries generally don’t mix easily,” says Singer, “but when two furry fetishists meet and start a relationship, there are a wide variety of community events, parties and even regional conventions that they can attend together to enjoy meeting new friends, watching unusual stage performances and shopping for new hand-crafted costumes.”
Things to Be Cautious of With Your Attraction to Non-Human Entities
As long as you don’t attempt to have sex with any real animals — aside from being deeply taboo and illegal in most of the world, it could lead to injury or death on both your part and the animal involved — there’s not too much to worry about when it comes to this kink.
“Aside from making sure that your costume has good ventilation to avoid overheating, this is in general a very safe form of fetishism,” says Singer.
10. Fetish Objects
Includes: Attraction to/arousal from/sexualization of all kinds of inanimate objects
Last but not least, we have fetish objects — when people impart a sexual energy onto an inanimate object with a desire to bring it into a sexual context.
How Common Are Fetish Objects?
Despite getting relatively little airtime, it’s not as rare as you might think.
“Fetish attraction to inanimate objects is quite common, in fact,” says Singer. “For males, it tends to favor tactile objects such as rabbit fur pelts, and often use as an aid for masturbation. For women, the most common is having a shoe fetish. While not particularly sexual in nature, the art of collecting designer shoes is an impassioned practice for many women around the world.”
What Will Your Partner(s) Think About Fetish Objects?
How your partner will respond to you admitting your kink is around a specific physical object will vary. Some people might be glad that you’re into a fetish that’s relatively simple, while others might be confused or turned off if they don’t understand your attraction to the object or objects in question.
“Depending on the level of extremity of the objects, this one is pretty easily integrated into many sexual relationships,” notes Singer. “Women: Get your guy a fur pelt if you suspect he likes that sort of thing, and be prepared to give him a furry handjob with it if that turns his crank. Men: Take your gal out shoe shopping, and then let her wear her new high heels to bed.”
How to Work Fetish Objects Into Your Sex Life
Depending on what kind of objects you fantasize about, bringing them into the bedroom could be easy — say, if they’re not too big — or difficult, in the case of larger object or ones your partner has difficulty accepting.
“As with integrating any fetish play into a relationship, the key is open communication from the start and negotiation of any boundaries that need to be agreed upon,” says Singer. “A relatively non-threatening starting point for this is to rent a couple of costumes and go to a furry fetish party or convention. These are highly entertaining and a great way to explore if this is right for you as a couple.”
If actually incorporating your fetish object into your sex life proves tricky, you could work it into your dirty talk instead. If that fails, you might have to leave it in the realm of fantasies until you find a partner who’s ready to support your desires more fully.
Things to Be Cautious of With Fetish Objects
If your partner is comfortable and accepting of your fetish object, Singer says there’s a good chance you’re in the clear as long as it’s not an object that could easily cause harm.
“It really depends on the object,” she explains. “People with a fur fetish can’t get into much trouble, but ones with a blender or knife fetish certainly can! Golden rule of all fetish and BDSM play applies here: ‘Play safe, sane and consensual.’”
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