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Navigating The Unknown: A Beginner’s Guide to Exploring Kinks With Your Partner

Once a taboo subject, kinks are officially here in all of their glory. The days of vanilla relationships and missionary positions are long gone, with people being more open-minded than ever. Sure, kinky sex is nothing new, having originated in ancient times, but we can now proudly wear our fetishes.

If you're new to kink or want to explore with your partner, navigating the unknown can be scary. There's a certain etiquette to kinky sex, and both people have to be on the same wavelength.

In this guide, we'll reveal everything you need to know about exploring kinks so you can go into every session with confidence.

What exactly is kink?

In simple terms, kink is anything out of the norm - but that doesn't explain it. When most people talk about kink, they're referring to activities that don't fall under the 'vanilla' category. For example, kissing, penetrative sex and oral sex are all classed as vanilla.

Kinky sex can involve power play, submission, fetishes and group sex, but each person has unique preferences. Is it popular? Absolutely.

Let's take a look at the statistics on kink.

  • People in the UK are the kinkiest in Europe, with bondage being the most popular form of exploration among couples (Daily Express).
  • Google search on kink increased 800% over five years (The Mirror).
  • Women's favourite kinks are outdoor and blindfolded sex, while men prefer role play, DIY porn and bondage (Metro).
  • Wales is the UK's threesome capital - yes, really (The Mirror).

Fetish play

Fetishes are different from kink, but they often fall under the same category due to their non-vanilla nature. A fetish is the sexualisation of a body part or object, such as feet, latex, underwear and even ice cubes. There are so many fetishes around, and someone might want to experience them to push boundaries.


As the most popular kink around, many people enjoy engaging in BDSM. Also known as Bondage, Discipline, Submission, Sadism and Masochism, the term encompasses a variety of activities, including bondage, spanking, domination and submission.

Exhibition and voyeurism

Also known as the desire to let others watch you engage in sexual activity, exhibitionism can occur in numerous forms, including making DIY porn, dogging and going to sex parties. In contrast, voyeurism is when someone gets aroused while watching other people have sex.


Roleplay can go hand in hand with BDSM or involve fantasies, where both people dress up in fun or sexy costumes. Popular fantasies include:

  • Exploring power dynamics such as boss and secretary.
  • Meeting as strangers, with each person taking on a different character.
  • Someone taking the dominant or submissive role.

Group sex/swinging

There can be numerous parties involved with group sex, including people from a regular meet-up group or stranger gatherings. Swinging is where couples swap partners to engage in group sex together or alone, depending on the agreement.

How to begin exploring kink with your partner

If you want to rev up your sex life and begin exploring kink with your partner, there are plenty of things to consider. For a start, one person might want to try new things while the other is perfectly happy, which can cause relationship problems.

All sex acts require a great deal of understanding, which is why it's important to approach them safely and ensure both people are happy.

Get an education

While kink seems like it's all about letting go, certain things are off-limits and engaging in it requires a lot of communication. Partners should treat one another with respect at all times, learning about the ethics of kink from members of the community.

Understanding what you're getting into can also ensure safety - especially when it comes to BDSM. The Reddit Kink community has plenty of helpful members, and you can find various resources online.

Learning with your partner can also establish what you're happy with, ensuring an enjoyable experience.

Discuss kink openly

Regardless of the type of kink you're interested in, it's essential to have an open discussion with your partner. They might not have the same interests as you, which could mean compromising on activities or accepting that you both like different things.

Ethical kink is all about communication, and pushing your partner into something they don't want to do is going to have a severe impact on your relationship.

If you have a fetish and can't find anyone who wants to explore it willingly, there are ways to expand your horizons with specialist fetish escorts, which can also help you - and even your partner - learn the ropes.

Know your limits

When engaging in kink, knowing your limits can make the experience more enjoyable. For example, you and your partner might rule out specific body parts or discuss the intensity of any spanking to ensure comfort.

Anything that involves power dynamics or bondage can be potentially dangerous, and you should always have a set safe word that stops the entire session.

If you're both new to exploring kink, safe words are a valuable tool for setting boundaries while still experimenting with different things.

It's not just about your sex life

Kink can open up a whole new world of possibilities, but it's not all about pleasure. Communicating intimately with someone can make you feel more free, bringing couples closer.

Engaging in fantasy and discussing feelings surrounding kink can turn an ice-cold sex life into a red-hot passion - if both people enjoy it. Discovering kinky sex can be invigorating, but remember never to be selfish.

Your partner should have as much fun as you. If they're not, it's a sign that something isn't working.

Important things to remember about kinky sex

Whether it's your first time or you're ready to up the kinks and find new adventures, knowing your limits and understanding the ethics behind BDSM, roleplay, and group sex ensures you're safe at all times.

Remembering the following things can help you enjoy the experience.

Use common sense

Knowing what you're getting into and having a conversation with your partner is central to kink. Some acts are more dangerous than others, including bondage, latex and breath play (which restricts oxygen). Communication throughout a session or scene protects both parties.

If you need help with how to do something safely, tell your partner and get an education. That way, you're always prepared for some bedroom fun.

Join a community

There are a couple of dedicated places for kink fans to explore. However, if you're new to the scene, FetLife is ideal for talking to like-minded people and getting helpful guidance. Dating apps such as Feeld can be beneficial if you'd like to meet up for group sex, but caution is vital.

You should always meet in a public place and ensure you're comfortable.

Attend kink events

Kink events are a great place to push boundaries and meet more experienced people. They're not all about actively engaging in play sessions, as some focus on performances or general mixers. However, if you are heading to an event, ensure two things:

  • NMIK: No minors in kink.
  • RACK: Risk-aware, consensual kink.

Events that advertise these things are ethical because they take steps to ensure safety at all times.

The bottom line

Exploring kink can open up new experiences and help you develop a closer relationship with your partner. Whether it's power dynamics, latex or anything else, remember always to set boundaries and respect your partner's wishes.

Enjoying the scene ethically also makes you a great partner that people will naturally want to explore with. Now, all you need to do is have a conversation and prepare to embark on a journey of newfound pleasures.

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