What People Get Wrong About Kinks, Because The Shaming Needs To Stop
Ashley Batz for Bustle
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Although movies like Fifty Shades of Grey have brought kinkiness into the mainstream, there's still a lot of aspects of it that many people don't understand. In fact, if you ask people in the BDSM community their thoughts on the E.L. James' trilogy, some will even say that the franchise got a lot of what it means to be kinky wrong. And, because of this, kinky sex and kinks, in general, remain not fully understood.

Then came Donald Trump's golden shower party allegations, which, despite everything else that should have been taken from the unverified memo BuzzFeed published on him, resulted in kink-shaming. While this should have been an opportunity to discuss, oh, I don't know his alleged treason, it ended up in Trump being a laughing stock, as social media had fodder for every possible pee-related joke under the sun.

Because that's where the focus of this alleged incident was centered, those who indulge in kinky behavior, Urolagnia (the fetish for urine), or otherwise, were conveniently lumped into a group that further separated them from those who don't have any kinks, leading to more confusion and outright judgement. Basically, when it comes to kinks there's so much that people get wrong. Here's what you should know:

1Kinks Aren't All That Rare

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“There are many people, more than you think, who are not vanilla,” sex expert Dr. Logan Levkoff tells Bustle. “We’re not all supposed to experience our sexuality the same way… and we’re understanding that more than ever."

A March 2016 study proved this to absolutely be the case. According the results of the study that were published in The Journal of Sex Research, 45.6 percent of people are interested in “at least one type of sexual behavior that is considered anomalous." That's almost 50 percent! Not only that, but one-third of those who participated in the study had experienced an "anomalous" behavior at least once in their life. These percentages speak volumes, confirming that kinks are hardly a rarity.

2Being Kinky Doesn't Mean You Need To Be Kinky All The Time

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Just because someone enjoys their kinks, it doesn't mean they can only sex when those kinks are involved. It's like suggesting that someone can only have sex in the same position forever and ever, in order for it to be enjoyable — it's just simply not the case.

"Participants can say no to it," Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, noted psychotherapist and author of Smart Relationships: How Successful Women Can Find True Love, tells Bustle. "People can still have satisfying sex without participating in what others regard as kinky."  

3Being Kinky Doesn't Mean There's Something "Wrong" With You

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When I asked a sexual partner years ago to spank me and he responded by telling me that I needed to double up on my therapy, I was mortified. Not only did his response make me feel bad about my sexual desire, but it confirmed his thinking that there's something wrong with those who engage in behavior that's outside the "norm," or at least his version of the norm.

“The truth is there is no place for shaming anyone for things that our bodies and minds enjoy,” says Dr. Levkoff. “Consenting adults are allowed to make whatever decisions they want, to try anything they want… as we grow up and evolve we try out a lot of things in an effort to find out who we are."

In other words, there's nothing wrong with you if your sexual interests include a kink or two (or 10).

4Kinks Are Actually Quite Safe

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When some people think of kinks, their brain immediately goes to The Red Room of Pain. While such rooms can be a component for some sexual kinks, they're not always the case. Furthermore, even when they are the case, BDSM, as well as all kinky behavior, is about playing by the rules and, more than anything, communication.

"[Kinky sex] does not jeopardize the person's safety or health or well-being," says Dr. Wish. "It is not coercive or denigrating." In fact, those who engage in kinks may be more communicative than those who do not, simply because they have to be.

5It's Not Just About The Physical Aspect

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For those who don't truly understand kinks, it's easy to dismiss it as all action and no feeling, as if suggesting that only "making love" can result in mindfulness, but that's not the case.

According to a September 2016 study published in Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, kinks like BDSM make you far more mindful in bed than vanilla sex. As the study's lead author Brad Sagarin wrote of his findings after having participants engage in BDSM with their partners, "the rest of the world drops away and someone is completely focused on what they’re doing." This also resulted in the participants being less stressed and happier afterward because, unlike vanilla sex, they were able to get out of their heads more, which allowed them to relax in ways that sex void of kinkiness could not.

It's very easy for people to judge what strays from their idea of what's normal. But, as research has found, kinks are becoming more and more prevalent, probably because people are more willing to embrace that part of themselves. Kinks are not the result of a damaged childhood or some sort of perversion. Instead, they're just a sexual preference, and as long as it involves consenting adults, there's no reason to judge them.