What’s the difference between a kink and a fetish?

What’s the difference between a kink and a fetish?

By Janna, 22.04.2024

People have different preferences in the bedroom, varying from the more traditional to more adventurous. While kinky sex is getting more and more normalized, there are still misunderstandings about the differences between kinks and fetishes.

So what is a kink?

A kink is a sexual preference that deviates from what is considered to be ‘normal’, but is still arousing. Variations depend on individual and social context. Common kinks are those of dominance and submission, and bondage and sadomasochism.

There’s a lot of overlap with rough sex, but kink is more about creating an atmosphere or a vibe where people play with power. Rough sex is simply executing various rough sexual activities. 

And what is a fetish?

A fetish is actually a kind of preference; it’s a profound, almost inescapable attraction to specific objects or body parts. Whether it’s about the sensual feeling of leather on skin or the fascination for the smell of certain body fluids, fetishes are an integral part of someone’s sexual experience. What’s considered an essential element of arousal by one person, can seem completely incomprehensible to another person. 

Difference between kinks and fetishes

Because of the overlap, it can be tricky to make a distinction between kinks and fetishes. A kink is sometimes described as a preference, while a fetish is considered more like a need. For example, if a person gets turned-on by wearing high heels during sex, that’s a kink. But if someone really needs those high heels to get turned-on, it’s likely to be seen as a fetish. Another way to make the distinction is by looking at what exactly turns you on: whether it’s an action (kink) or a specific object or body part (fetish).

Understanding the nuances between kinks and fetishes can help to get a better understanding of our sexual preferences and embrace them. Whether it’s about exploring new aspects of our sexuality or discussing our desires with a partner, it’s essential to be open to the diversity of human sexuality. By being honest about our needs and desires, we can establish a deeper connection with ourselves and others, through which we can lead a more satisfying, fulfilling love life.

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