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Ossiana Tepfenhart

How to Figure Out What Kinks You Like



Having been into BDSM for as long as I have been, I’ve pretty much become convinced that everyone has at least one kink or fetish that they can get into. Contrary to what some people might initially believe, BDSM is actually a pretty healthy practice—as is learning about your sexual side. 


Learning about your kinky side is a good way to become more emotionally intelligent and skilled in the bedroom. It also can improve your relationship and help you determine whether or not you are truly sexually compatible. It’s a part of your own self-exploration, and a great way to improve your understanding of both your body and mind. 


To have a good time with your kink exploration, you need to actually find the kinks that you’re into. Here’s how to learn about which kinks interest you–and actually figure out which you’d want to explore. 


Check out some porn. 


Porn is the easiest way to discover what kinks you’re interested in, and no, it’s not all whips and chains. Kinks can include anything from cuckqueaning to feet, to group sex and humiliation. Casually checking out different types of porn is a good way to determine what you find attractive. 


If you notice yourself drawn to movies with a specific theme, be it blondes or whips or whatever, you might have a kink that deals with that theme. The more porn you watch, the more you will understand what you’re into. 


Or, go on Wikipedia to learn about each fetish and see what piques your interest.


If you’re not a porn person, don’t worry. There are other ways to learn about kinks and fetishes—or as they’d sometimes say in the more scientific way, paraphilias. Wikipedia has an entire list of paraphilias that allow you to learn the concepts and figure out what sounds appealing to you. 


Even perusing the list alone can be an extremely educational experience that helps you learn about sexuality as a whole. The more you know about kinks, including ones you’re not into, the more you can understand your sexual partners and appreciate how unique sex really is.


Think about the fantasies you have, and match them to kinks you find online. 


Sexuality is a bit weird. A lot of human sexuality is innate, and to a point, it’s difficult to determine where our tastes in kink come from. Sometimes, it really feels like you’re born with certain kinks. 


I liken my love of kink to my pansexuality and my genderlessness. I knew I wasn’t straight way before I hit puberty, even though I was in denial of it. Similarly, I never “felt” like a girl, nor did I feel like a boy. It took me decades to match a name to my non-binary identity, too. 

My kinks were no different. I always knew I had certain fetishes, even though it literally took me years to accept them as part of me.


One thing I learned is how important it is to educate yourself about proper fetish play. The more you learn, the healthier your sex life (and emotional wellbeing) will be. Learning about your kinks is how you will best figure out how to accept them. 


A good example of this is my love of cuckqueaning, group sex, and partner swapping. It took me ages to figure out how to experiment with these potentially relationship-destroying kinks, and it took me even longer to accept that they were okay fetishes to have. 


Attend some local BDSM meetups or kink conventions.

Rope Bondage


The easiest way to get into kink is to link up with people who are experts in the field. Obviously, this can be very intimidating, particularly for those who live in conservative areas or who were raised in a very sheltered environment.


Trust me when I say that you don’t have to worry about judgment in kink circles. Most people are very welcoming and respectful. Those who are not will typically get ejected from meetup groups after a complaint or two. 


Going to kink meets is a good way to find professionals who deal with fetish work. They can offer guidance, advice, and yes, the opportunity to actually live out your fantasies in a safe, sane, and consensual way.

[Editors Note: Fetishcon is one of the largest national conventions devoted to the subject of fetish and kink]


If you’re not ready (or able) to attend live meets, go online.


Online sites like Fetlife exist solely for the purpose of helping kinksters explore their sexuality, link up with like-minded people, and educate themselves. These sites are great for learning about BDSM in a safe way without being forced to show your face or meet up with others. 


You can use Fetlife to attend meetups, hook up with kinky people, find dominatrixes, and also ask experts questions about the life. Like with any other resource, it’s important to look for sex educators that are safe, body-positive, and emphasize communication. 


Experiment with your significant other.


If you have a loving partner, you already have a great opportunity to get closer to your partner and also learn about your kinks. After you have spent time learning about how to perform your fetish safely, talk to your partner about experimenting with fetishes that have gotten you hot under the collar. 


What I’ve found is that most people want to please their partners in bed and will be open to experimenting once in a while. That being said, if your partner says no or is clearly uncomfortable with it, don’t push the subject. 


Part of having a healthy sex life is understanding others’ boundaries and respecting them. You don’t want to hurt your partner by forcing them into something they don’t want to do. Consent is about an enthusiastic yes, not badgering someone until they give in. 

(Note: Make sure that you have safe words before you start doing kinky stuff, especially if it involves dangerous deeds. If you or your partner say the safe word, stop play and immediately look to see if your partner needs help.) 

Once you’re done experimenting, hash out how you felt about it with your partner. Did you like it? Did it just feel unimpressive? Would you do it again? The more you talk, the more you two can bond through new experiences. 


Experiment (or even just talk) with a pro. 


I’m a huge fan of seeing newbies talk to professional dominatrixes as a way to learn about kinks and experiment with them. Professional dommes are trained in BDSM and a wide range of other fetishes. They know their stuff and are brilliant when it comes to keeping things safe for you on all fronts.


Unlike random play partners, they don’t come with drama. They don’t judge. They are there to educate you and let you experiment with your fantasies. That alone is priceless when it comes to getting in touch with your sexual side. 


If you find yourself struggling with your sexuality, talking to a sex-positive sex therapist is a good idea. It’s a journey, and nothing is wrong with having a guide!

{Photos courtesy of Don Juan DeMarko and photography by Peter Dunn unless otherwise noted}

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