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10 Sex Kinks That Prove There's No One Way To Do It

The new book Deviant Desires explores the vast and complex facets of human sexuality. NSFW, obviously.

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In her new book, Deviant Desires: A Tour of the Erotic Edge, researcher Katharine Gates explores the vast and complex facets of human sexuality. At the center of the book is her "kink map," a visual outline as complex as the human psyche which connects every kink from feet fetishes to superhero bondage. Still, each kink is always explored with mutual consent among like-minded adults and a shared excitement for breaking sexual taboos.

Here, Gates speaks with BuzzFeed News on her new book and shares insight into the psychology behind into some of the more curious kinks. Warning: Graphic images ahead.

I’ve always been fascinated with the ways in which anything and everything can be sexualized. I come out of the punk/DIY ethos of the 1980s, so I was drawn to these fellow misfits who had a drive to create their own erotic materials because mainstream porn just wasn't doing it for them. I wanted to understand what makes certain objects or scenarios exciting to their fans, and whether the most exotic or seemingly bizarre kinks might offer up some clues to the nature of the erotic imagination in all of us.

Deviant Desires is about the nature of the erotic imagination. I interviewed creators and participants in various scenes and tried to capture the idiosyncrasies of each person while going for an overall picture of what makes a particular turn-on appealing to its fans. I wanted to celebrate authentic people doing what moves them both erotically and emotionally. It's my hope that people will stop kink-shaming and come to appreciate the bravery, creativity, and humor of the people I profiled. I hope readers will develop new respect for their own oddities and maybe get some insight into the erotic imagination in general. As long as everyone is giving their enthusiastic consent, why shouldn’t adults get to have imaginative playtime, too?

People often ask me, what is the most common kink? The answer is definitely feet. In fact, the love of feet is so common that we probably shouldn’t consider it “kinky” at all. We’re probably wired to respond sexually to feet — after all, they have the same apocrine sweat glands you find near the breasts and genitals. The hormones from these glands almost certainly triggered sexual response in our prehuman ancestors, but now that we are “civilized,” we are told to reject feet as objects of erotic attention.

In the world of kink, feet may become the protagonists of complex erotic plotlines. One of these is "gas pedal pumping" — fans of pumping enjoy watching their partners press on the gas pedal of a car in a simulacrum of sexual intercourse. Most pumpers have a preferred type of footwear and make of car. Some want the scenario to be filled with anxiety, such as a car that refuses to start. Others want to see their partner display mastery over sports cars. Some prefer seeing someone stomp on failing brakes, in a drama of peril that ramps up excitement.

Ponyplay is a variation of BDSM in which one partner takes on the role of horse and the other takes on the role of trainer. There are few rules to the play, but in general the horse may not speak or use their hands. Usually, the human pony is treated as a beloved pet and role-play can involve the trapping of "real" equestrian activities, such as saddles, bridles, show gaits, riding, cart-pulling, etc. This is NOT bestiality! For the human pony, the excitement derives from the sense of freedom in becoming something else, something free to be sexual, playful, and affectionate.

Related kinks: puppyplay, piggyplay, etc.

Balloons combine the touchy-feely and smelly power of latex with the excitement of growth and the fear of explosions. Balloon fans may enjoy watching their partners orally inflate them, or they may want to pop the balloons in a variety of ways using other core kinks such as cigarettes or feet. Partner play can involve bouncing on large balloons.

Core kink: Latex

Related kinks: Inflatable clothing

Macrophiles like to fantasize around extreme size discrepancies between partners. One might be a 50-foot woman and the other an ordinary-sized man. One might be an ordinary-sized man and the other a tiny woman. The tiny might be at the mercy of a cruel or kind giant who keeps them as a pet or tortures them mercilessly with feet or by engulfing them in a giant mouth or ass. It’s an imaginative form of extreme power play.

Core kink: Sometimes feet, sometimes mouth

These are extreme variations of footplay, wherein the foot lover wants to be crushed under the weight of their partner’s feet. In the case of “crush freaks,” the drama unfolds as a helpless creature such as a bug or worm stands in for the foot fan. The creature is tortured and trampled underfoot as the crush freak imagines themselves orgasmically exploding under the pressure. This kink in particular can be ethically challenging for even the crush freak to accept.

Wet and Messy covers all sorts of play that involves gooey, liquid substances being poured over the body. In general, we’re not talking about bodily fluids (that’s another kink), but rather ordinary substances such as mud, baked beans, or pies. Sploshers often prefer to do this clothed, as “ruining” a nice set of shoes or outfit intensifies the sense of abandon and freedom from social taboos. There are WAM subsets for people who prefer mud (mudlarkers) or water (wetlook).

Core kink: Goo

Related kinks: Quicksand, pieplay

Some fans of erotic power exchange find the trappings of conventional BDSM boring — paddles, whips, and chains are part of some distant historic period tainted with the aura of slavery. Instead they play with the props we all know from doctor visits; objects like catheters, enemas, speculums, needles, and retractors are all ways of pushing against the bodily boundaries while feeling as if we are being cared for by a loving professional.

Core kinks: latex, PVC, steel

Related kinks: Adult babies

In cannibal play, one partner is transformed into a “piece of meat” for the mutual enjoyment of both. Meatgirls and meatboys love the idea of being the center of attention, the object of their partner’s voracious sexual and oral appetites. Consensual role-play usually involves bondage, and sometimes fire play, knife play, and biting. Oral sex, or “eating out,” is often the dessert. While the fantasies can get quite dark, actual role-play is often more lighthearted.

Core kinks: Skin, mouth

In superhero play, partners wear spandex costumes based on real or invented superheroes. It’s a variant of BDSM employing the excitement and clichés of popular culture entertainment. The costuming, or transformation into a superhero, is erotic in itself, but role-play usually also involves predicament bondage and can be combined with mess or growth play. This kink is currently primarily found in the gay male community.

Core kink: Lycra, spandex

Related kinks: Slash fanfic

Smoking fans want to see their partners casually and masterfully inhale deeply from a cigar or cigarette. They enjoy watching the oral skills of a smoke-ring-blower or French inhaler. Part of the excitement comes from seeing a partner indulge in a guilty pleasure without regard for social rules. “Naughty” smokers might be naughty in other ways. Cigars and cigarettes can also be tools for BDSM or humiliation play, where one partner blows smoke in the other’s face as a form of domination.

Deviant Desires: A Tour of the Erotic Edge is available everywhere on Dec. 19, 2017. To pick up your copy, visit powerhousebooks.com.


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