Us kinksters are all a little on the outside of societal norms, which helps bind us as a community. It’s great to feel supported by others who understand what we love, and while being kink positive makes everyone feel better about themselves, sadly this isn’t how all fetishists think, sometimes kink shaming happens. Find out why kink shaming isn't cool - and how kink positivity helps make us stronger. 

 

What is kink shaming?

Kink shaming is when someone talks negatively about a person’s particular kink, especially when this is designed to put them down and make them feel bad about themselves. Kink shaming can be brutal and purposeful, but other times people do it without even thinking. 

For example, telling someone who is sharing an exciting experience with water sports that peeing on people is gross and disgusting is very definite kink shaming. More subtle kink shaming comes when people talk about certain fetishes making them uncomfortable. Often prefaced with the words ‘whatever they want to do is fine, but…’ there is always a negative connotation involved. 

“The dude in a diaper, I mean, all power to the guy but it’s kinda weird isn’t it?”  - Is kink shaming too, even if it’s a little bit more subtle.  

 

What's so wrong about kink shaming?

You have your own kinks, right? You’re attached to them. They’re an intrinsic part of who you are. You enjoy them, they make you feel good. Okay, now imagine someone telling you that your fetish or kink is disgusting. That it’s weird or wrong or just icky. How would that make you feel? 

It could make you sad or angry, it might even make you feel that what you love so very much is wrong or disgusting. It could prevent you indulging in something you love. It could make sure you never go back to that same venue again. 

And that is why kink shaming should be discouraged. The fetish community is a welcoming space for all people to indulge in their own kinks in a safe, friendly and positive environment. There isn’t room to be welcoming and also judgemental of people’s kinks. 

People at the Folsom Street Fair San Francisco
Kinksters at the Folsom Street Fair,  San Francisco. 
 

But what if it’s dangerous?

If you see someone indulging in what is clearly dangerous play, or hear someone talking about it, it’s fine to point that out. However, try to do it in a non-judgemental way. Give suggestions how it could be done more safely, or alternatives that aren’t so dangerous. Being concerned about fellow kinksters is to be encouraged. Just remember, everyone has different levels of play, just because it’s not something you’d do doesn’t mean it’s wrong. There are many risks in kink but as long as the people playing are risk aware then it’s okay. 
 

How to be kink positive

Have you seen the letters YKINMKBYKIOK and wondered what the heck it meant? 
 

Your Kink is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is OK
 

This kink positive acronym is a handy way to remember a long sentence that essentially says don’t be judgemental. We are all individuals and have our own likes and dislikes. Just because we don’t like or agree with something doesn’t mean it’s wrong. 

It’s completely okay not to like something. Asserting that you don’t like needle play or don’t want to be a Pony girl is fine. That is your personal opinion. We all have those, we all have our limits. Being kink positive means simply to let others do what they want to do without passing judgement about it. 

It’s okay to say: 

  • I don’t personally like that kink
  • It’s not my thing, but you go ahead
  • I don’t want to watch that happening (I’ll go somewhere else for a bit) 
  • Wow there’s so many kinks and fetishes, it’s so cool 
  • I don’t really get it, but I’m glad you enjoy it 

It’s not okay to say:

  • I think that’s weird 
  • Seeing that makes me feel sick 
  • That shouldn’t be allowed 
  • It’s wrong
  • I can’t believe you’re allowed to do that in here
  • That should be stopped


If we are all kink positive, we’ll create a community that many, varied people love to be part of.  It doesn’t take much to make a difference in our community. Be kink positive, encourage people to do what they love and do it as safely as possible and challenge anyone who is kink shaming. Let’s lift each other up… and tie each other up there, if that’s our kink! 

 

Add to the beautiful tapestry of our kinky world, start a post in our forum about your particular fetish and why you love it!


Say something in the BDSM forum on fetish.com
Article image: Torbakhopper Flickr Creative Commons


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