What Do Kinks and Fetishes Have in Common?

There are important differences between kinks and fetishes, but they have more in common than you may think.

Demeter deLune
Dec 1, 2020 · 5 min read
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Photo by Deon Black via Let’s Talk Sex

Fetishes

A fetish is chiefly characterized by the fact that the individual needs something — whether during the sexual act or simply in their imagination — in order to get off. That thing is often either an object or a body part. Feet, leather and heels are common fetishes. You may need, for example, to be in contact with feet, to be looking at them or at least to be picturing them in order to achieve sexual gratification.

Kinks

Unlike a fetish, a kink is something that a person enjoys very much sexually, but that the person doesn’t need in order to achieve sexual satisfaction. Some kinks may have the same objects as fetishes, such as leather or feet, but the desire is less intense. Acts like hair pulling, spanking, dirty talk and consenting voyeurism or exhibitionism are other examples of kinks.

How Do They Overlap?

Fetish is heavily tied to having a psychological need for those specific objects or acts in order to experience pleasure and or orgasm, whereas kinks can add to a sexual experience but aren’t necessarily needed to achieve sexual release.

The Bottom Line

In the sex-positive community, you’ll likely find others who understand your kink or fetish without fear of shame stemming from it. Labels are less important than understanding your own sexual proclivities and desires, and being able to talk about them openly.

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Demeter deLune

Written by

Sex educator working toward a more sex positive world, one word at a time. Contact: demeterdelune@gmail.com YouTube: bit.ly/3n5LpC5

Sexography

Conversations about sex from all around the world

Demeter deLune

Written by

Sex educator working toward a more sex positive world, one word at a time. Contact: demeterdelune@gmail.com YouTube: bit.ly/3n5LpC5

Sexography

Conversations about sex from all around the world

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