Kink & Fetish Terms: Kink and Fetish
The terms “kink” and “fetish” may mean different things, and hold different meanings within popular culture and in psychosocial discourse. In colloquial terms, both kink and fetish can mean anything that is outside of typical, ‘vanilla’ sex. LGBT sex, BDSM, and gender bending, as well as too many to list, all fall under these kink and fetish umbrellas.
These words have a slightly different meaning when they’re put in context of psychological discussion. Fetish has a very specific meaning relating to a diagnosis of a mental disorder. Kink relates to any non-normative sexual behavior.
These are the definitions that I’ve adapted from several Human Sexuality books, and I feel like they combine both the colloquial definitions with the harsher, clinical ones.
Kink - any common non-sexual object or act that holds erotic or arousing power for the holder of the kink.
Fetish - The inability to become aroused or reach orgasm without the object or act that makes up the kink.
Example: Becoming aroused by thinking of, seeing, or touching high heel shoes would make high heel shoes a kink. However, if someone was unable to become aroused or reach orgasm unless there was a heel in physical presence, or until that person imagined a high heel, that would become a fetish.
Some fetishes do not pose psychological problems, especially if its something that is easily imagined during sex, but some may be crippling to a person’s sexuality, especially if they involve socially unacceptable objects, and the person is made to feel ashamed of their fetishes.
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