The A-Z of Kinks

Written by Hannah Lovegrove, 15th February, 2022

Updated 30th January 2023

Whether you’re curious about cuckolding or you want to know more about the art of BDSM, we’re here to lay bare the different types of kinks and fetishes and the difference between the two erotic proclivities.

In the wonderful world of kink and fetishes, there’s something for everyone! If you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of these sensual quirks, we’ve put together an A-Z kink dictionary to take you from newbie to risqué X-pert!

But before we get stuck into it, now is as good a time as any to cover the basics, from the difference between kinks and fetishes through to the various types of kinks themselves and even the most common fetish. If you really want a blow by blow on the difference between kinks and fetishes, you can check out our blog on exactly that.

And if you find yourself a little more than curious about some of these racy fads, we’ve got all the gear to help you explore this erotic new side of yourself. Our bondage category is packed to the brim with a whole bunch of fun bondage and BDSM toys and accessories to check out. From bondage kits to cock and ball toys and even medical fetish gear, we’ve got the goods to keep you covered behind closed doors. And if you want to look the part while you dabble in your newfound kink or fetish, we even have a section dedicated to fetish wear and clothing. But if you’d prefer to just dip a toe before diving headfirst into the deep end, then our bondage for beginners range features a selection of toys and accessories that are ideal for BDSM newbies.

What is a kink?

First things first, what is a kink? “A kink is something sexual that someone likes to do with themselves or consensually with partners,” says Rosara Torrisi, PhD from the Long Island Institute of Sex Therapy. “This is usually something considered outside of mainstream sexual activities.”

When we’re talking about kinks, we’re starting to add a little more flave to the regular old vanilla bang… Not that there’s anything wrong with keeping it simple. Think Salt Bae sprinkling a bitta that spicy goodness over your next romp before you indulge. It’s worth noting that people with kinks can still enjoy having a sex sesh and lifting the trophy at the end of it regardless of whether or not their kink is involved in the action.

Types of kinks

So, what exactly is a kink? Kinks are things that get you feeling a little hot under the collar. Think bondage, role playing, blindfolds, spanking and floggers to name a few. Are these starting to sound familiar?

While we’ve covered a whole stack of different kinks in our A-Z list, here are a coupla cheeky extras that didn’t quite make the cut...

Exhibitionism

Exhibitionists get a kick out of the thought of being seen starkers or while getting hot and heavy. If you get off on the idea of being seen, then treating your lover to a bit of a show can be a great way to get the heart racing. Whether you indulge in a little mutual masturbation or you prefer to be the start of the show and fly solo, it can be a real treat for the two of you.

Chastity play

Sometimes, the only thing hotter than sex is abstaining completely. Which is why chastity play is such a big hit amongst kinksters out there. Chastity play involves using some sort of chastity device to lock up their lover’s bits to prevent them from doing the deed. From chastity belts to cock cages and plugs, there’s a whole bunch of different types of chastity devices out there to help you dial up the heat in the bedroom.

Orgasm control

Whether it’s Big O denial or forcing your partner in crime to cum on command, orgasm control is often used in dom/sub scenarios and has an element of masochism or sadomasochism about it. Orgasm control can also involve chastity play by using a device to deprive someone of getting their kicks. In other instances, it can involve stimulation to the brink of satisfaction and denying the gland finale. This is also known as edging.

On the flip side, orgasm control can involve (consentingly) forcing someone to have multiple climaxes until they’re begging for it to stop. As it turns out, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing and an overload of erotic finales can sometimes be too much to handle.

Pregnancy kink

For many people, getting pregnant doesn’t come without knocking boots at some point early on in the picture. And while pregnancy and sex are intrinsically linked, some people take it a step further with an actual pregnancy kink.

For some, it’s the beautiful round baby bump that gets them going. For others, it’s the act of breastfeeding or lactating itself. Some people just find the whole shebang a big old turn-on.

What is a fetish?

Whaddya mean there’s a difference?! If we’re going to get technical here, there is actually a difference between a kink and a fetish, so allow us to clear things up for you.

While a kink is something that turns people on, a fetish is something you need to ignite that fire in your loins. It can be a sexual act, an inanimate object or even a non-sexual body part (hello foot fetishes) that holds great power over the fetishist's ability to get their kicks. So for someone with a fetish, if their personal fetish isn’t involved when they’re fooling around, chances are they’re not going to reach explosive result at the end of their romp.

To cut a long story short, fetishes tend to go above and beyond your run-of-the-mill kink.

Types of fetishes

As it turns out, there’s a whole bunch of different fetishes out there, and unless you’re a fetishist yourself there’s a good chance that you had zero clue they even existed. So, if you’ve ever wondered what the most common fetish is, we’ve pulled together a few fetishes of different calibres to give you an idea of exactly what’s out there.

Podophilia

Surely the most common fetish of all is the foot fetish. From purely looking at feet to massaging them and even appreciating a good pedi, everyone’s preferences are different.

Often, people who have a thing for feet are often into shoes, sock and hosiery too. The specifics of the kink really come down to the individual themselves.

Spectrophilia

While most people are terrified at the thought of ghosts or paranormal activity, spectrophiliacs are sexually attracted to ghosts or spirits. Just like that scene from Scary Movie 2, spectrophiliacs can only dream of getting steamy with a spirit themselves. But there are a lucky few who claim to have had sexual encounters with those who have crossed over.

And just to confuse you even more, the term ‘spectrophilia’ is also used to describe people who get off on looking at images in mirrors.

Kleptolagnia

Most of us are probably familiar with the term kleptomaniac, but did you know that some people crack a fat over the act of stealing? Whether it has to do with the thrill of getting caught or the act of taking something that doesn’t belong to them, kleptolagnia is probably one kink you had no idea existed.

Ursusagalmatophilia

Try saying that three time fast… This one refers to people who get the horn from teddy bears, stuffed animals or even dressing up as them. Bet you didn’t guess that from the name.

And while we’re still trying to wrap our tongues around the pronunciation of this one, this fetish is actually surprisingly common. Ever heard of plushies or furries? These are the individuals who dabble in ursusagalmatophilia.

Climacophilia

There’s no doubt that some people get a real kick out of other people’s misfortune. But for climacophiliacs, they get their rocks off to seeing someone fall down the stairs. You read that right. Some climacophiliacs even get toey when they fall down the stairs themselves. There really is a kink or a fetish for everyone out there!

No matter what kink or fetish tickles your pickle, communication and consent are always key and all parties involved need to give it the green light before you get down to business. Whilst exploring your spicy side, whether that be through research, chatting to your lover or fulfilling your fantasies, it’s important to note that there’s always a running dialogue about what you find hot or not that will evolve and change throughout your journey. We recommend setting clear boundaries and limits as you go. Introduce a safe word (or gesture if someone’s mouth is full) so that you can both stop play immediately if it’s getting a little too much for one party.

So, if you’re keen to start exploring your kinky side, check out our A-Z to get your kink vocab up to scratch...

A is for Aftercare

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Kink and fetish play can be a bit more intense than your no-frills shag, and while it can be an absolute blast and a half, in any scenario where power is exerted over an individual, it’s critical to check in with the submissive before, during and after play to make sure they’re a-ok.

Everyone is different, so it can take a little while to adjust back to regular programming after an intense dom/sub scenario.

Oh, and don’t forget - flogged or spanked patooties also need a little TLC, so have a soothing cream or some ice on standby to calm those blushing cheeks.

B is for BDSM

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BDSM is an all-inclusive term for any sexual behaviour that might be considered a little kinky. Pain, physical restraint and servitude are widely known as facets of BDSM but wouldn’t exactly be accepted in everyday life… In BDSM circles, however, it’s a different story completely! These practices are executed with the consent of the involved parties for mutual satisfaction, excitement and enjoyment.

And in case you’ve ever wondered, the acronym BDSM can be divided into the following categories:

Bondage: Restricting a partner’s freedom of movement with handcuffs, ropes and other restraints.

Discipline: Pre-agreed rules and punishments for the dominant partner to exert as a form of control over the submissive partner.

Dominance: The act of exerting dominance over a partner during sexual interaction or in everyday life.

Submission: A display of submission to the dominant partner’s rules, actions and wishes.

Sadism and Masochism (Sadomasochism): Pleasure that people may feel from inflicting pain (sadism) or receiving pain (masochism), either through a physical or emotional act.

C is for Cuckolding

Cuckolding

Cuckolding is a specific kink where one partner is aroused by the thought of their boo getting slammed by someone else. Historically, cuckolding referenced a man who was cheated on by his wife without his knowledge or consent.

These days, cuckolding can refer to a partner of any gender or sexuality who is fully aware and approves of their partner hitting a home run with someone outside of their relationship.

D is for Dominance

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As we touched on for the letter B, dominance falls under the BDSM category. It’s a consensual exchange where the dominant partner gets sexual satisfaction from being in control and the submissive partner ‘submits’ to being dominated.

Consent is an absolute must, but there’s no need to go so far as a written contract, à la Fifty Shades of Grey - unless that’s part of the scenario!

E is for Electrostimulation

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As the name suggests, electro sex, electro play, electrostimulation or estim uses a safe amount of electrical energy to stimulate the genitals and other erogenous zones.

As the human body is mostly made up of water, it makes for an excellent conductor of electricity, so when you apply an electro sex toy or conductive pad, electricity easily passes through the nerve cells to create a pulsating, vibrating sensation!

And the best part is if you manage to blow your load from estim, it’s called an electro orgasm!

F is for Fisting

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Not one for the faint of heart, fisting involves using all of the fingers on one hand to penetrate and pleasure an orifice. Vaginal fisting involves vaginally penetrating something with a whole hand and the same logic applies to anal fisting.

Vaginal and anal fisting is a great way to achieve that ‘full’ feeling that many people chase. It’s also a great way to hit those internal sweet spots like the G-spot or P-spot.

Although hands and fingers may seem like an obvious choice for fisting, there’s a whole range of beautiful, big dildos and fake hands that have been designed for a good fisting. Just don’t forget the lube!

G is for Gagging

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Silence is golden and gagging is designed to keep subs quiet during play, usually with a ball gag.

Secured around or over the head with a rubber ball that sits between the wearer’s lips and teeth, a gag is the perfect accessory to instil a sense of submission.

Because the sub can’t talk, they have to be a little more creative with their communication and their partner needs to be able to interpret their signs. In this instance, it can be worth having a safety gesture rather than a word for obvious reasons…

But that's not all when it comes to gagging. Penis owners often get off on the thought and sound of their kinky companion gagging on their donger… It has something to do with the feeling of having a big enough wang to be able to induce gagging. On the flip side, sometimes the person playing the flute enjoys the sensation of gagging on a big old schlong. There’s no doubt these two would make the perfect pair.

H is for Humiliation

Humiliation

Humiliation kinks come in many forms, from gentle teasing to objectification. The act of humiliation is commonly desired by subs and can be a source of entertainment for doms. Humiliation kinks illustrate that not all BDSM acts have to have a physical element.

According to Tina Horn, sex educator and host of the podcast ‘Why Are People Into That?!’, “Intense language as a use of force can be just as intense, or even more intense, as consensually degrading physical sensations, such as impact play.”

Humiliation play can be intense for all parties involved, so it’s important to explore it gradually with an agreed safe word in place before you get stuck into it.

I is for Impact Play

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Impact play is pretty much anything you can lay your mitts on to slap or spank, whether that be hands, whips, floggers, paddles or anything in between. Impact play might start with a playful spank of your plaything’s booty during a bang and eventually develop into a more deliberate spanking with an accessory.

Consent and communication are essential during impact play, as is the case with any form of BDSM, so be sure to establish a safe word before play commences.

If you’re the spanker, make sure to aim for the fleshier areas of the bod, like the butt cheeks and thighs, to avoid any serious damage to internal organs. Start with your hands to get a gauge of your strength before progressing to specific impact play accessories.

J is for Japanese Rope Bondage

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Also known as Shibari or Kinbaku, Japanese rope bondage is an incredible mix between sensual bondage and Japanese art. In Japanese ‘Shibari’ means ‘to tie decoratively’ and ‘Kinbaku’ translates to ‘tight binding’.

Japanese rope bondage requires skill and patience, so it’s usually a progression for BDSM players who are looking to evolve their bondage experience.

Traditionally, jute or hemp rope (non-stretchy) would have been used for Shibari, but nowadays softer, stretchier types of rope are commonly used.

K is for Klismaphilia

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Here’s one for the trivia bank! Klismaphilia is a Greek term that refers to arousal by enemas.

An enema or douche is a device that uses water to flush out impurities in the anus and colon. This is generally done to prep for a medical procedure or to ensure a clean, fresh deep diving experience.

While Klismaphilia usually refers to those who crack a fat over receiving an enema, it can also refer to individuals who get the horn from administering enemas too.

L is for Limits

limits

You can’t talk about kink and BDSM without having a chat about the topic of limits, particularly when dom/sub relationships are involved.

Having limits in place is absolutely essential for submissives to be able to explore their sensuality in a safe environment. It’s also super helpful for the dominant to have limits in place too so there’s zero confusion about what their sub is willing to do.

When it comes to BDSM, there are often ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ limits. Soft limits are things that the sub may be interested in but they’re hesitant to explore, so it’s up to the dom to lead the way with a flexible and gradual approach.

Alternatively, hard limits refer to boundaries and rules about what a dom and sub won’t do under any circumstances. Hard limits can be dynamic and change as time goes on, which is why it’s so important to continually check-in and discuss the limits before engaging in any dom/sub scenarios.

M is for Masochism

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As succinctly summarised by philosopher Mokokoma Mokhonoana, “Masochism is the art of turning punishments into rewards.” so if you vibe off a good spanking or get toey from a bit of humiliation, chances are you’re a masochist.

Masochism refers to an individual who gets pleasure from their own pain or humiliation, whether physical or emotional. Alternatively, sadists are those who take gratification from inflicting pain or humiliation.

N is for Nylons

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You read right! There are so many fabulous fetishes and having a thing for nylon is one of them. Arousal by nylon can include simply wearing hosiery while you have a naughty, the act of ripping or tearing hosiery or simply watching someone else wearing nylon hosiery.

O is for Objectum Sexuality

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According to Mark D Griffiths on Psychologytoday.com, “Object sexuality refers to those individuals who develop deep emotional and/or romantic attachments to (and have relationships with) specific inanimate objects or structures”.

No object is off-limits when it comes to fetishism, but a few common sexual objects include lingerie, sex toys and sex dolls.

P is for Pet Play

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Pet play involved similar roles to that of a dom/sub relationship but instead, the roles are usually the ‘owner’ or ‘trainer’ and the ‘pet’.

The pet play scenarios themselves depend on the kind of pet the individuals choose to play. For example, those who play as domestic animals may enjoy drinking or eating out of a bowl on the floor. Kitten play will have a more gentle approach, whereas puppy play might have an element of training involved, like sitting for a treat.

There are a number of props and accessories that can be used to elevate this type of play, like collars and leads for puppy-style play or whips and crops if you take the pony route.

Q is for Queening

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The act of Queening involves sitting on or straddling your kinky companion’s face to receive oral stimulation.

Known as Queening due to the element of control (or maybe their face is a throne?), this possie is both incredibly pleasurable and a great way to explore the dom/sub relationship.

R is for Role Play

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Kinky role play usually involves two or more individuals acting out a scene or fantasy, which normally features at least one of the players having dominance over the other/s.

Some role play scenarios are simple, whereas others are a lot more complex, requiring a higher level of planning with scripting, props or costumes. Some role play scenarios that you might be familiar with involve a boss and employee, doctor and nurse, teacher and student and homeowner and maid among others.

S is for Spanking

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Spanking involves slapping an object or hand against skin to provide sensation and bring circulation to the surface for better sensitivity. Spanking doesn’t always have to inflict pain and can actually be used to complement other pleasurable sensations.

You can add a dash of spanking to any sensual scenario to elevate your play. Enjoy it as part of a role play, as a punishment for a dom/sub scenario or while you’re dancing the mattress mambo to increase the endorphin rush.

Before you get to slapping, make sure you discuss it with your partner or risk giving them a fright. Beyond giving the recipient a start, a surprise spank could be a major turn-off or even bring up past traumas which could lead to a very different outcome than you anticipated… Moral of the story, no surprise spanking!

T is for Tentacles

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You heard it here folks, we’re talking about getting off on watching tentacle porn or indulging in the act itself with a specially designed object. If this sounds like a bit of you, you can get your very own tentacle-inspired dildo at Lovehoney!

If you’re struggling to wrap your head around this one, there are a number of reasons why people might be turned on by tentacles. Think multiple penetration fantasies combined with the element of it being foreign, forbidden and a little extreme and it might start making a little more sense.

U is for Urophilla

Uerophilia

Also known as a golden shower, wee or pee play, urophilia refers to people who find urination sexually stimulating.

Generally, Urophillia involves peeing on someone or letting someone pee on you. If you’re new to pee play, we suggest trying it in the shower for obvious reasons…

V is for Voyeurism

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Voyeurs get off on watching unsuspecting people in the nuddy or dancing the mattress mambo. In some instances, just hearing people doing the dirty is enough to leave voyeurs feeling ready to rumble.

Nobody likes a peeping Tom, so if you’re into voyeurism there are other ways to enjoy your kink without violating anyone’s consent or privacy. One of the best ways to indulge in a little voyeuristic pleasure is by watching porn. In fact, there’s a whole genre of porn dedicated to voyeurism. Otherwise, you can try role playing or even listening to erotic podcasts or audiobooks and letting your imagination run wild.

W is for Whip

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In the world of BDSM, the term whip can cover everything from floggers and crops to canes, which can all be used in impact play.

Before introducing a whip, cane or crop to the bedroom, it’s essential to ensure it’s engaged in safely. This involves open communication before, during and after and only aiming for the fleshy parts of the bod to avoid injury. A peachy patootie is the perfect place for a lil' whip!

X is for Xenophilia

xenophilia

A penchant for the foreign and unknown, xenophilia also extends to a preference for partners from different countries and cultures to your own. It can also stretch to a sexual attraction to other-worldly notions or beings such as aliens. Xenophilia is an extremely broad term that essentially covers everything that counts as a different culture to your own.

Y is for Yeastiality

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There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh-baked bread, but for some, their mouth might water for a different reason entirely… Yeastiality is the sexual arousal to baked food which has risen with yeast, so think bread, pastries and similar deliciousness.

While some people genuinely engage in fornicating with baked goods, we wholeheartedly recommend that a ‘fresh out of the oven’ approach is avoided at all costs.

Z is for Zelophilia

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Jealousy is usually associated with negative feelings and emotions, however, that’s not always the case. A zelophilia fetish refers to people who get the horn through feelings of jealousy. Although the fetish can be managed within a healthy sexual relationship, this can often be a tricky one to navigate.

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