I’ve previously written here about some of the questions asexuals receive about our sexuality (or lack thereof).
One I didn’t cover was the responses we receive when we come out as kinky. Kinksters are generally considered to be people with a PhD in sex, so it’s understandable that when the average person finds out someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction is kinky it would cause gears to grind to a halt in their head and the words: ‘But, I thought you were asexual?’ to come flying out of their mouths with great haste.
Kink can be about anything you want it to be about. Power, control, trust, creativity. Even for sexual people, some kinks aren’t sexual. Sploshing (playing with food, mud, paint, etc), for instance, can just be about having fun and making a big mess like you’ve been told not to since you were a child.
Some kinks are sensation based. Being tickled or caressed with silky fabrics or having warm (not hot) wax dripped on the body can be about the specific feeling occurring and can be meditative when it’s not being used as a way to get from point A to point Sex.
Allowing a person to do these sorts of things and trusting they aren’t using it as a way to initiate sex is incredibly intimate and, for asexuals, a relief. BDSM encourages communicating and respecting boundaries, as well as enjoying specific activities for what they are in a way that non-kinky sex doesn’t always, where penetrative sex is often seen as the ultimate goal of any sort of affection.
There are also fetishists that simply like the feel, sight or smell of wearing latex, rubber, leather, silk, or any other textile or texture you can think of. It may be sexual or it may just be sensual.
Another non-sexual way to enjoy kink is heavy bondage—where a person is completely encased in what’s called a body bag or something similar. This sort of equipment makes sex impossible. Some people find the experience sexually arousing while others find it comforting and relaxing. Finally, they can stop worrying about answering every text—they literally can’t see, hear or reach their phone! It gives them permission to forget about work for the hour or so they’re being restrained.
Kink can be used to trigger neurochemicals that give a person a natural high—this is usually achieved by administering pain in carefully orchestrated ways (not just hauling off and having a go at someone). This feeling is called ‘subspace’. One of the best parts of subspace is there’s no hangover. It can be triggered by intense psychological domination in some cases, as well.
Role play is about, well, play. Once we’re over a certain age we’re no longer allowed to make up characters and pretend to be anything other than who we are. There’s no rule that says the only time you can pretend to be another person is when you want to get your genitals out. Kink is about finding people who want to be creative—who celebrate creativity. You can create characters for one scene or discover an aspect of yourself to bring back again and again. Costumes and props not required.
Above all, BDSM scenes are collaborative and require communication. The bottom (person receiving stimulation) has to know themselves well and be able to communicate what they need and want from various types of scenes and the top (person running the scene) has to take that information and use it to create something they’ll both enjoy. As the people involved get to know and trust one another more, scenes can become more involved and intense and emotionally intimate.
This one gets its own heading because it’s a bit more complicated to explain. (And it’s my favourite.)
Service is more about identity—it’s about the DS in the middle of BDSM, or the people who identify as Dominant or submissive.
Some people find a deep sense of satisfaction in being useful to their leader type, which can be a Dominant, Master, Owner or other person they’ve allowed to have a consensual leadership position in their life. Doing things for that person is called ‘providing service’ and can literally be anything. Cleaning the house, grooming the dog, running errands, handling taxes. Whatever the follower type (submissive, slave, pet, property, etc) is good at.
It’s important that the follower be good at the service they’re providing, as both members of the power exchange (or authority transfer) want the relationship to succeed. Followers want to make their leaders happy and leaders want to provide opportunities for their followers to make them happy. Assigning someone a task they can’t accomplish is called setting someone up to fail and it’s a sign of the bad kind of sadist who’s on a serious power trip.
People who derive great enjoyment from making life easier for their leader type are called service-oriented submissives. This is the title even if you identify as a slave or property or human puppy. Sexual service is a type of service some people provide, if you’re wondering, but it doesn’t have to be and it’s not a given.
Not everyone who is submissive enjoys providing service. They may do as they’re told because it makes their leader type happy and they like that part. Some of us are lucky and we genuinely love doing chores (no, a service-oriented submissive cleaning service doesn’t exist.)
People who provide service may get everything they need from the service itself and may not even engage in kink play with their leader type.
Or they may have full on kinky monkey sex with them. That’s to be decided between each couple or group just like any other consensual relationship.
There are myriad ways to connect with and be attracted to other people—intellectually, romantically, physically, sexually, emotionally, and so on. Kink scenes and relationships provide an entire playground of ways to explore those connections, deepen your intimacy and learn about your partner(s) and yourself.