Why Are People Kinky?

Are Kinky People Crazy?

NO! Kinky People are not Crazy!!!!

Kinky sexual practices go beyond what are considered conventional as a means of heightening the intimacy between sexual partners. Sexuality is not a binary concept of normal vs. kinky. Sexuality, relationships, gender, and eroticism are all on a spectrum and, as many biological concepts do, they fall among your typical bell shaped curve. Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis and known for his sexually focused theories, was the first to discuss fetishism and considered it to be a product of castration anxiety in men bleeding over from childhood (Weiderman, 2003, p. 318).

People explore Kink for a number of reasons. There is a popular myth that people who participate in Kink are all traumatized. Thaddeus Birchard (2015) examines a number of etiologies for paraphilias. He notes that an examination of etiology must be multi-dimensional as there is no evidence of a single etiological factor. Studies must include biological, behavioral, environmental, and genetic factors. Birchard (2015) states that he believes that a development of a paraphilia is determined by one’s life history. He reports that the brain has an uncanny ability to reframe trauma into triumph and in turn can turn an item or behavior of trauma into a sexualizing object (Birchard, p. 118, 2015).

Although in my own clinical practice and in my correspondence with other mental health providers, I can see some correlative data aligning trauma histories with Kink, correlation does not imply causation and I have not discovered clinical research that implies this is the norm. However, in my personal practice, this is not the vast majority of my Kinky client base as the majority of my Kinky clients, 67%, are your every day, educated, and professional individuals.

people kinky

Hébert and Weaver. (2014), examined the personality characteristics of individuals who participate in the BDSM lifestyle. Their findings of 270 participants reported that dominants, the power holder of a power exchange relationship, scored significantly higher than submissives, the partner being controlled in the dynamic, on the desire for control, extraversion, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. Submissives scored significantly higher than dominants on emotionality. Dominants and submissives did not differ on empathy, honesty-humility, conscientiousness, openness to experience, altruism, or agreeableness. These characteristics are important when examining and understanding your patients who may identify in these roles.

They concluded that there are some personality characteristics that do correlate with the preferred role in a BDSM relationship (Hébert and Weaver, 2014).

  1. Kink can be fun and can offer a way to make sex more exciting or stimulate a flat sex life. Where did this come from?
  2. There are some that consider BDSM and various forms of Kink a spiritual activity.
  3. Some report the healing of previous psychic wounds.
  4. Some Kink practitioners use Kink as another form of intimacy outside of the sexual element. This has been reported by Asexuals and those who have lost traditional sexual function.
  5. BDSM can increase bonding and connection both chemically and psychologically.
  6. Power Exchange is an excellent way to reinforce trust in a relationship.

References

Birchard, T. (2015). CBT for compulsive sexual behavior: A guide for professionals. Hove, East Sussex: Routledge.

Hérbert, A., & Weaver, A. (2014). An examination of personality characteristics associated with BDSM orientations. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 23(2), 106-115.

Weisman, J (1996). SM 101: A Realistic Introduction. San Francisco, CA: Greenery Press.


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