Someone asked me “What is the difference between a kink and a fetish?” These concepts are used by some people as if they mean the same thing, but it is important to know the difference.
So what is a kink?
A kink is normally sexual behavior considered to be outside the normal parameters of a sexual encounter. So what is normal? Think normal sexual behavior as being vanilla sex with a willing partner. The kink will be adding something not normal to the act in order to enhance the sexual experience. Normally you also would have two people engaged in the kink, but it can also be just one (or several).
Here is an example: You engage in touching your partner everywhere while having sex, soft touches as part of foreplay, using your mouth and hands on them. This would be considered normal behavior, but your partner (or you) grow bored with this vanilla sex and introduce spanking, or biting, or using objects to stimulate the touching, you are now engaged in a kink because it enhances your sexual experience. How does spanking enhance the experience? As those of you that have experienced it know, the blood flowing to the butt cheeks begins to accumulate and flow with each spank, this pool of blood makes them red and starts to put pressure in the genital area from the inside and the sexual enhancement takes place.
Kinks help the growth of a sexual relationship between partners, and help in heightening the physical and mental parts of the sexual encounter. One thing to always remember about engaging in kinks is that they must be safe, sane, and consensual between all the parties involved.
Some people argue that safewords and consent are not really needed in SL since it is just pixels, but for those of you that have experienced the powerful feelings in SL you know safety and consent are paramount for both parties.
So what is a fetish?
Whereas a kink is something done to enhance a sexual encounter between people, a fetish replaces the sexual enhancement with an object, a ritual, or even a particular person. Normally, the subject of the fetish is some kind of object and the person that has the fetish can’t become sexually aroused without the object, ritual, or person (or type of person) being involved.
An example of a fetish can be a fascination with leather, or hosiery, or high heels (infinite list). It can also be the fascination with some kind of ritual (doesn’t have to be sexual), like being treated like a bride, or being a maid. The sexual arousal happens only if the ritual or action is happening as the person expects or the fetish object is present and being used the correct way.
As you see, there is some overlap but the terms are very different situations. Your sub may have a fetish for being spanked only with a cane, or a paddle, but definitely not with a hand. Or your sub likes being spanked because of the sexual enhancement, but it is not required for sexual arousal. You could do other things with your partner. If spanking is a fetish and not a kink for your partner, she may become dissatisfied with you if you don’t do it every encounter.
The number of kinks and fetishes is probably unlimited so how do you communicate what you like and don’t like?
How about just trial and error using safe words? This approach is appropriate for a new relationship with a sub that may not know her limits but it will take time and patience from both of you.
Some avatars in SL carry a fetish/kink list which someone made up and they grade their willingness to participate in certain fetishes. The list is in a notecard and they will probably tell you that they have it and give it to you. If you contact Nubia Renfold in SL she has volunteered to hand them out if you need one.
Another option (that is becoming very popular), is the use of f-list as it can be shared with anyone (that the person wants), and it has several hundred (yes hundred) fetish and kinks in the list. A Mistress or sub can easily look at it and search it to get acquainted with the person’s preferences.
The bottom line is to know whether your sub (or you) is engaging in a kink or a fetish. If you can tell the difference between the two, then your overall relationship will grow and be much more enhanced.