Kink can develop innately in childhood, or be adopted later in life

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The word kink has myriad associations – leather, spanking, corsets, whips, maybe even a ginger root. While its depictions in popular culture are abundant and eager, they are hardly ever accurate. Fifty Shades of Grey, for example, is the most recent, and perhaps the most famous, example of kink, specifically Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, and Sadism/Masochism (BDSM), in mainstream pop culture – except it gets kink wrong. BDSM practitioners have called the movie more vanilla than BDSM, or dangerous, because of its superficial understanding of violent sex, glorifyingly portrayed without context.

The kink sexual preference is a greatly stigmatized one, and the psychology behind it misunderstood. Kink is believed to stem out of trauma, which is false; it’s perceived to bastardize the tender idea of making love, again false; and it’s considered freaky’ and not normal,’ guess: false. Understanding how kink develops and what kinky people get out of it are initial steps toward normalizing an integral aspect of human sexuality.

Kink is defined as consensual, non-traditional sexual, sensual, and intimate behaviors such as sadomasochism, domination and submission, erotic roleplaying, fetishism, and erotic forms of discipline, psychological researcher Samuel Hughes, who has determined the five stages of kink identity development, writes in Psychology Today.

Individuals may gravitate toward kink in two ways; the journey is either innate and realized as a child grows up, or an acquired taste later in life for others wanting to explore their sexuality. Children, even before age 10, can develop initial engagement in kinky behaviors, such as wanting to be captured while playing cops and robbers, or seeing television shows with superheroes in peril and feeling absorbed by the show, Hughes writes. For some, these initial excitements could graduate to exploring those desires with their bodies, through fantasizing, seeking out erotic media, masturbating, and exploring material sensations on their bodies.

Between ages 11 and 14, kids come to terms with their interests. It can involve feeling stigma over their kink interests, feeling generally different, realizing that not all of their peers share their interests, worrying there might be something wrong with them, and sometimes actively engaging in research in order to try to label and understand their interests. Once they realize there might be people like them out there, they can attempt to find others who share their interests, through the internet and popular culture. The last stage of kink development includes engaging in kink interests with others, which usually happens after a kinkster surpasses 18.

If this identity development doesn’t occur early on, then it leads https://hookupdate.net/de/fling-review/ to internalized shame, causing anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation, Hughes says. He adds that young kinky people often feel like they are freaks, sick or evil for entertaining their desires. This is mostly due to the stigma and silence around kinky behaviors, which leads to rampant pop psychology pathologization of kink in media and the law. Studying the identity development of kinky people can help us to better understand how kinky people develop resilience in the face of a world that often thinks of them as, at best, a joke, and at worst, violent criminals or mentally deranged, Hughes writes in Psychology Today.

Social stigmatization of kink can be a detriment to kinksters’ mental health

Let’s take the example of age play, one of the most stigmatized kink expressions, as it can involve adults dressing up/behaving as babies or toddlers in a sexual situation. It is classified into ephebophilia, or attraction to older post-pubescent adolescents; hebephilia, or attraction to pubescents; pedophilia, or attraction to prepubescents; infantophilia, which is often considered a sub-type of pedophilia, used to refer to a sexual preference for infants and toddlers (ages 03, though some raise it to 5), sex therapist David Ortmann writes for Alt Sex NYC Conference, an annual event that brings together scholars from the kink community to expand popular discourse around kinky identities.