The importance of kinky sex

February 25, 2019 - by: Allison Leigh

About the author: Allison Leigh is a pornographer, producer, polyamorist, and professional kinkster. When sexuality is business, business is fun! 

Voyeurism. Bondage. Cuckolding. Feet. Almost everyone has some kind of kink in their sexual wiring. But where do these predilections come from? And how important are they in the grand schematic of our relationships and sex lives? What happens when you ignore your kinks?

While we can’t place a finger on exactly what creates a fetish or kink, evidence points to these feelings stemming from moments in our formative youth that “crystallize” as part of our identities. This means that we’re likely forming our ideas about sex long before sex itself ever comes into play in our lives.

According to a 2016 survey of over 2000 people in the UK, roughly 75 percent of people have a kinky interest. The importance we place on our kinks varies, of course, depending on how much of a role sex plays in our lives. Some kinks may be a soft interest, easy to brush off. Others, however, can become inextricably linked with our sex drive – sometimes so intensely that they become fetishes that our sex life feels incomplete without. Of course, one can have too much of a good thing; but medical science doesn’t consider paraphilia a problem to be dealt with unless these predilections harm others, or are so strong that they are detrimental to a person’s day-to-day life.

Although sometimes these “unusual” drives can become fixations, for most people sexual fulfilment is important to our relationships and our mental wellbeing. Sexual satisfaction has been repeatedly found to greatly impact people’s quality of life. Though it is unclear if the relationship is causative or corollary (or a combination of the two), people who report high sexual satisfaction also report higher satisfaction in their romantic relationships. What better reason is there to get busy?

Our sex drive is a physiological function that co-evolved to meet our psychological needs for security, self-esteem, and connection, and our kinks are a part of that drive. While sex isn’t a need in and of itself (no one dies from lack of sex, no matter what your high school boyfriend tried to tell you) it leads us to feel connected and secure with our partners, increases oxytocin and serotonin levels and decreases testosterone and prefrontal cortex activity. Moreover, people in consensual BDSM relationships were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and also reported greater feelings of relationship closeness and intimacy after their sexual play. In short, having a sex life that we’re happy with makes us happy – and happy people live longer, healthier lives.

The fulfilment of your sex drive is intimately linked to your psychological wellbeing, which is fundamentally linked to your physical wellbeing. This means that, if you look at it the right way, fulfilling your kinks is just as important to your mental health as say, hugging your family or petting your dog. Take time to share your interests with your partner, watch an erotic video, or read a sexy story. Of course no one is obligated to share your kinks with you, but exploring them – on your own or with a partner – is a task essential to your quality of life.

This post first appeared on MyErotica.com

 

REFERENCES:

Aaron, M. (2018, May 30). Growing Up Kinky: Research Shows How Kink Identity Is Formed. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/standard-deviations/201805/growing-kinky-research-shows-how-kink-identity-is-formed

Borresen, K. (2018, July 26). The Difference Between A Fetish And Kink, According To Sex Experts. https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/difference-between-fetish-and-kink_us_5b58a59ae4b0b15aba94749b

Emery, L. R. (2018, April 25). This Is The Most Popular Fetish In The UK. https://www.bustle.com/articles/190171-how-many-people-have-a-sexual-fetish-its-more-common-than-you-think-but-its-still

Flynn, K. E., Lin, L., Bruner, D. W., Cyranowski, J. M., Hahn, E. A., Jeffery, D. D., Reese, J.B., Reeve, B.B., Shelby, R.A., Weinfurt, K. P. (2016, November). Sexual Satisfaction and the Importance of Sexual Health to Quality of Life Throughout the Life Course of US Adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5075511/

Gray, E. (2017, December 07). Is This Type Of Sex Pathological? https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/03/sexual-fetishes-dsm-v_n_3008421.html

Manson, M. (2018, July 08). Sex and Our Psychological Needs. https://markmanson.net/sex-and-our-psychological-needs

Oaklander, M. (2016, February 11). Do Happy People Really Live Longer? http://time.com/4217052/do-happy-people-really-live-longer/

Sagarin, B. J., Cutler, B., Cutler, N., Lawler-Sagarin, K. A., Matuszewich, L. (2009, April). Hormonal changes and couple bonding in consensual sadomasochistic activity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18563549

Shpancer, N. (2014, February 16). Sexual Satisfaction: Highly Valued, Poorly Understood. (n.d.). https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-therapy/201402/sexual-satisfaction-highly-valued-poorly-understood

 

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Tickle my pink

October 17, 2016 - by: Jilian

Laughter is infectious, but it affects some of us differently to others. Tickling turns me on. In fact, I had my first orgasm fantasizing about being tickled. Personally, I think having a tickle fetish is no stranger than being into massage, since the mechanics of it are all about being touched in a particular way, except that usually in the tickling scene the ticklee is bound or tied in a way that gives complete access to their most ticklish parts.

In the tickling scene – and thanks to the internet there is such a thing – you are either a ticklee or a tickler. But unlike BDSM, a fetish that has certain similarities, everyone is usually happy to be both. I have yet to meet a person who likes being tickled but isn’t willing to be a tickler themselves when the time comes around.

I get wet within a few minutes of starting to be ticked, probably because I’ve attached a deep sexual desire to it. My favorite thing is to have my hands tied to the bedhead above me, but my feet free of constraint, and only be wearing panties – I like that small layer of protection because it leaves a trace of doubt about how far this is going to go. Then my boyfriend, who knows my entire body map of tickle spots like the back of his hand by now, will tease me with a feather. That quickly escalates to fingers and by the time he’s reached my belly, I am wild with desire and laughing myself hysterical.

Sometimes, it’s purely playful – for instance, I’m in the kitchen cooking and he’ll jump out on me and tickle me mercilessly. Other times he’ll tickle me for a half hour without removing my underwear and it never goes further than that. These are rare occasions for us since my boyfriend isn’t actually a tickle lover himself, this is just for my own personal gratification. But for the main, in my life, tickling is a precursor to sex.

This is not how it is for everybody, I’m more than aware of that. Before I met my current boyfriend, I was a member of some small tickle groups, and we would all meet up in twos or threes and indulge in some tickle sessions, just pure tickling, nothing else. It was a good mix of people, a good balance of ticklees and ticklers, and a great way to while away an afternoon. When you have three people in a hotel room together and each of them just loves to be tickled, the time flies by in a chorus of laughter, giggling and straight up cackling.

Some of the people in the group had some embarrassment about what they were into, and I can understand that. There’s always a stigma to anything that’s out of the ordinary. I’ve tried reasoning with some, but at the end of the day, you can’t reason away a person’s shame, that’s something they have to do for themselves. The good news is, though, that since they’re into tickling, they’ll always be able to laugh about it.

 

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Kinky is the new normal

June 06, 2016 - by: Rose

Here at The Life Erotic we like to celebrate the edgier side of arousal – and it seems we’re not alone. A recent study from the University of Montreal, published in the Journal of Sex Research, suggests that almost half of us have sexual fantasies that are considered ‘deviant’ or ‘atypical’ under current psychiatric criteria.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) – the principal reference book of psychiatric diagnosis – categorizes sexual behavior as normophilic (normal) or paraphilic (‘deviant’ or ‘anomalous’). Of the 1,040 Canadians of both sexes questioned for the study, 45.5 percent said they were interested in at least one behavior considered paraphilic, and 33 percent said they had acted out these fantasies.

The most popular ‘deviant’ behavior was voyeurism (35 percent), with 26 percent saying they enjoyed fetishism, the same number going for frotteurism, and 19 percent saying they were masochistic.

Results were similar for men and women. According to the study’s lead author, Professor Christian Joyal, “Women who report an interest in sexual submission have more varied sexual interests and report greater satisfaction with their sex lives. Sexual submission is therefore not an abnormal interest.”

So are ‘normal’ people are a lot kinkier than previously thought? In statistical parlance, a trait found in less than 16 per cent of the population is considered atypical. But with as many as 60 percent of respondents indicating interest in certain sexual behaviors (the percentage of men with an interest in voyeurism), they can’t be considered abnormal. “People want to be tied up,” said Professor Joyal. “As long as it’s with a consenting partner, people will be relieved to know that their desires are not necessarily abnormal…. One hundred years ago, oral sex was considered gross, 50 years ago it was illegal and now it is the number one fantasy. In 30 years from now, I would be surprised if BDSM wasn’t part of normal sexuality.”

It’s to be hoped that the results of this study will help challenge what is perceived as ‘deviant’ tastes – especially since so many of apparently share them! Let’s hope this will encourage recognition and acceptance of the diversity of sexual preferences.  

References:

American Psychiatric Association (2013) The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Joyal, CC and Carpentier J (2016) The Prevalence of Paraphilic Interests and Behaviors in the General Population: A Provincial Survey. Journal of Sex Research. March 3: 1-11 [e.pub].

 

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What’s Your Kink?

December 15, 2015 - by: Rose

We like a bit of kinky play here at The Life Erotic. Nothing too serious or heavy, just a little naughty titillation to stimulate, surprise and stir the senses… they do say variety is the spice of (sex)life, right?

So, what is kinky? The dictionary definition is: ‘bizarre or deviant tastes of a sexual or erotic nature.’ I guess that’s me then, because I find the definition itself a bit of a turn-on! Of course everyone differs in what they consider ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’; the very fact that you’re here at TLE suggests you’re a pretty open-minded individual who’s interested in the less vanilla side of sexuality. 

A kink can be a private thing – maybe something you’ve never confessed to anyone – or it can be something you share in sexual play with a partner (or several partners!). Indeed, it has been said that kinky sexual practices actually enhance the bond between like-minded partners, whereas fetishes tend to replace intimacy.

Recently we’ve started experimenting with different kinky themes and scenarios, and we’d love to know what you think so far. What have you liked best, what would you like to see more of, and what can we feature that would really float your boat? (Please keep it legal; don’t go suggesting anything that will get us – or you – into trouble!).

I’ll get the ball rolling with a few purely personal reflections of my own…

Spanking. Okay, I’ll admit it… this one’s my personal favorite! I like to see girls having their panties pulled down and getting spanked… over a desk or over the knee… with the hand or a paddle… it’s all good…!

Dressing up, or ‘cosplay’ (costume play). Of course like all naughty girls, I’m powerless to resist a man in a firefighter’s uniform. What do you like – uniforms? Lingerie? Superhero outfits? Please don’t tell me it’s plushies… I’m not judging, but it looks awfully warm in there.

Rubber, latex, masks, fetish wear: Can look very arousing stretched over an hourglass figure, don’t you think?

Panty play. Oh yes! See-through panties, frillies, white cotton panties… I love ‘em all. ‘Total Privacy’ is one of my favorite movies here, because it features some rather kinky panty-stuffing.

Toes, feet, legs, high heels. Yes, I’m right there with you on the stockings and heels thing. Nothing frames a pretty pussy better than sheer black stockings and a garter belt!

Messy fun: oil, honey, milk, chocolate… I’m going to come right out and admit I hate that stuff! Convince me I’m wrong.

Domination and submission. Now, that could be fun…! I do have a thing for very dominant, powerful women… do you?

Bondage and Shibari. This is something we’ve been exploring recently; what do you think so far?

Wet play: I think this might be a ‘love it or hate it’ one! I don’t like it when it’s crudely done, but a few TLE movies recently – ‘The Stop,’ ‘Rope Fetish’ and ‘Lost’ –have included it in a very erotic way. Pretty hot stuff!

Role playing: Secretary and sexy boss; personal trainer and gym bunny; harem girl and evil empress. Don’t get me started! Do you want to see fanciful stories here at TLE, or do you prefer to keep it real?

So what have I missed? Here’s your chance to have your say about the way TLE evolves, and get your most private fantasies indulged! Please add your comments and suggestions below… and if you’re feeling inspired to write a kinky story for TLE, you can send it to me at fanfiction@metart.com.

 

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Why strong women like bondage

November 23, 2015 - by: Rose

Here at the Life Erotic we’ve been taking a walk on the wild side lately, with more emphasis on the kinkier side of female sexuality. One feature of this has been some beautiful and daring bondage photosets and movies, featuring gorgeous girls in various types of restraint – chains, handcuffs, Shibari (Japanese rope bondage) and the like. And while it’s undeniably exciting – and it’s always made very clear here that the girls are in charge – it may have you asking the uneasy question: Is bondage anti-feminist?

Well, it depends who you believe.

If you study the feminist literature, you’ll find a wide range of opinions. In the seventies, the prevailing view was that BDSM was a form of women-hating violence; proponents of this viewpoint suggest that women who enjoy being submissive only like it because they have been led to believe it is expected of them by sexist power structures. However, since then other theories have emerged. Some feminist writers believe that BDSM is an expression of sexual freedom, and therefore is actually an empowering act.

So here’s the thing: I consider myself a free, confident, liberated bisexual woman; and yet I do enjoy a little domination and rough play – spanking, being held down, disciplined… you know the kind of thing. It makes me feel naughty, dirty and desired. Does that make me a hypocrite, a bad feminist?

I’m no psychologist, but I suspect that because I spend all day being strong, efficient and capable, making decisions, getting things done, it’s a major aphrodisiac to surrender control to someone else. It’s a pure jolt of sexual adrenaline that doesn’t translate to any other area of my life. In other words, I find it thrilling to be told what to do in the bedroom, but you’d better not try it in the boardroom (unless you're fucking me on the desk… that would be hot!).

BDSM, to me, is about desire. It’s about somebody knowing, very clearly, exactly what he or she wants from me. It’s about the fierce pleasure that lies in giving pleasure. It’s about trust, risk and being brave enough to relinquish control, to open oneself up to whatever comes next.

In fact, it has been argued that in BDSM play, the submissive person is the one with the power, as they actually control what happens – for example, by using a ‘safe’ word. Power games take place in a safe psychological space, where authentic desires are acknowledged, rules are observed and external pressures to behave in a certain way can be escaped.

Do we really have to reconcile our sexual self to the self we present in other areas of our life – or can we allow ourselves the freedom to experiment, to experience pleasure without limits, and without shame? Ultimately, I think defining female sexuality in terms of dominant/submissive is as limiting and stereotypical as lesbian/straight or butch/femme.

I’ll just do what turns me on. 

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