Kink 101

Model:  @karina_nocturna  (insta) Photographer:  @kvltrvbber  (insta)

Model: @karina_nocturna (insta) Photographer: @kvltrvbber (insta)

It’s January 18th, so all you kinksters out there can celebrate International Fetish Day.

What is International Fetish Day?

International Fetish Day is an annual event in celebration of the BDSM and fetish community. This event takes place on the third Friday of January. International Fetish Day is dedicated to BDSM/fetish culture.

The event supports members to be open about their sexuality and to fight social stigma surrounding sex that isn’t just cis hetero penetrative sex. In addition, members of the fetish community are encouraged to wear purple clothing to signify their affiliation with the fetish community (also known as “Perverts Wear Purple.”)

Here’s a little 101 on kink along with some fun products to try out if you are new and looking to explore or just looking for a peak into something unfamiliar (if you’ve been at this for a while this is maybe a bit too general for you):


Bondage comes from the “B” letter in BDSM. It’s about letting another person being in control of your body and movement. Bondage can involve any item like handcuffs, blindfolds and basic restraints. Also, for more advanced play, you can try rope play, gags, sex furniture, and cages.

People enjoy bondage for various reasons. Some enjoy being completely in control of their partner’s pleasure and some like someone else in control of their pleasure and like the idea of being “used.” It is also essential that all bondage play is consensual and follows kink ethics. 

It can be meditative, serene, and is a complete reset for my brain. Not all kink has to be executed during sexual acts.
Photograher:  Wren Thompson

Photograher: Wren Thompson

Personally, bondage is more than a sexual experience. It can be meditative, serene, and is a complete reset for my brain. Not all kink has to be executed during sexual acts. Of course adding other aspects of kink play into a bondage or suspension scene can be intense and thrilling too! What I like best is to be overwhelmed by what is being done to me and having the illusion of no agency over my body while pain play or sexual acts are executed.

Pain Play

Safe pain play is consensual. It is discussed before the act. It does not overstep personal boundaries and it always ends when one of the members indicates that it needs to.
Photo: @ prettyfilthy.vainglory  (insta)

Photo: @prettyfilthy.vainglory (insta)

Pain play refers to the S&M of BDSM. Sadism and masochism are the giver and receiver of pain. While it is extremely common for pain play to be included in sex, it still gets a bad reputation because of bad representation in the media. The thing you must remember about it is that it occurs with great care and intention. Safe pain play is consensual. It is discussed before the act. It does not overstep personal boundaries and it always ends when one of the members indicates that it needs to. There is a HUGE different between pain play and abuse.

Pain play, like bondage, can be sexual or meditative or both! It can be anything from a slap in the face to having skin pierced and cut (safety is key with the more intense forms of course). This form of kink, like all others, exercises a lot of trust between the S & M partners. A lot of preparation and research and practice go into pain play scenes.

Personally, I like to include some form or another of pain into all of my sex. I find that pairing pain with pleasure, you can stimulate more nerves and create more intensity of feeling. My favourite form of pain is impact play which refers to the practice of spanking, flogging or whipping. Obviously most are aware that spanking occurs with hands but there are a lot of tools you can buy for the rest! Here is a LELO flogger in case you are curious.

Another sadistic method includes endurance pain play which usually entails a pain giving device. One of the examples of this I use most frequently is simple clothes pins! Placed in the right spots, they can be very stimulating. You can pinch the undersides of arms, inner thighs, nipples, the stomach, the labia, and pretty much anywhere you can think of. For me, the worst for me is the inner thighs!

Pain play can get pretty intense and is definitely an acquired taste but it adds a lot of variety to your sex life. Chances are you know someone involved in the kink community and who enjoys some form of pain play. The ones I have touched on today are definitely just an introduction. We will save knife play and hook suspension for another time!

Model:  @karina.nocturna  (insta) Photographer:  @kvltrvbber  (insta)

Model: @karina.nocturna (insta) Photographer: @kvltrvbber (insta)

Dom / Sub Culture

The dominant and submissive culture within the kink community is exercised in and out of the bedroom. Couples that adhere to a dom/sub model can be extremely diverse in practices but the main similarity is the dominant partner creating the illusion that they are in complete control of the other. And the submissive allowing their partner to dictate their actions or control their pleasure.

As there can be various ways to execute this, it is hard to give just one example. For me, I enjoy my dominant partner to not only be in control but also be a caretaker of my needs. The submissive partner, although it does not appear so, is usually the one with the most control of the situation. Doms can dictate when their partner is allowed sex, when or if they can orgasm, and enact fantasies previously discussed without asking in the moment so that the submissive is not responsible for dictating their needs. Some relationships can be more immersed in the practice and even have rules and structure for the relationship itself.


it can be really freeing to pretend to be something or someone that you are not for a while

Roleplay is a huge part of the kink community’s identity and is anything from pretending to have a fun teacher fantasy to furry or animal caricature play. While this is definitely an area of kink that gets the most judgement from outsiders, it can be really freeing to pretend to be something or someone that you are not for a while. I love being a kitten. Wearing ears and a tail and curling up and being pet is a lovely experience! The daddy/caretaker fetish has been getting a lot of exposure in the media lately and it would also fall into this category. What’s not to love?? Getting sexed and then cared for as if you cannot take care of yourself is extremely relaxing and sensual in my experience.

Specific Fetishes

There is an extremely long list of very specific fetishes. The most exposure goes to costume like leather and latex, but literally everything and anything. Foot fetish, cake sitting, watching people eat, and having people watch you during sexual acts are just a few of the ones that come to mind. Rule 34, if you’ve thought of it, there is porn for it.

All in all, kink can be so extremely diverse that odds are you can find something that you are into within the community. The aspect of having people to relate to on the subject of sexuality is a huge part of kink and I love my kink family. Whether you are just starting in your fetish journey, or you are just curious to see what the possibilities are, there are many resources to help you with your specific interests. Never be afraid to ask questions!

On International Fetish Day, indulge in your sexual fantasies in a safe and ethical manner. Maybe there’s a local Munch you can attend or other type of fetish event - the options are endless these days.


Wren Thompson (Art Editor) is a queer visual artist, musician and writer living in Vancouver, CA. Their work focuses heavily on kink, gender studies, intersectional feminism and tattoo culture. Check out some of their visual work here and their current musical project here.