Kink vs Fetish


As part of #SexSaturday, today’s article is about What BDSM is.

According to Merriam-Webster, the term BDSM means “Bondage and disciple consist of using physical or psychological restraints, domination and submission involve an exchange of power and control, and sadism and masochism refer to taking pleasure in others’ or one’s own pain or humiliation.”

 But, what does the acronym really mean?

There’s numerous definitions of what BDSM is, such as:

BDSM: “An overlapping abbreviation of Bondage and Discipline (BD), Dominance and Submission (DS), Sadism and Masochism (SM).” Urban Dictionary

In a simple chart:

B/D = Bondage and Discipline

D/s = Dominance and submission

S/M = Sadism and Masochism

Also: Bondage and Domination or Bondage and Discipline and Sadism and Masochism.

What does BDSM mean in everyday language? BDSM can mean anything having a fetish or simply having a kink. Merriam-Webster defines kink (in the BDSM context) as “an unconventional sexual taste or behavior.” And, fetish as “an object or bodily part whose real or fantasied presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression.”

 Kink versus Fetish


A well-known and somewhat accepted kink is foot worship. There are individuals who simply love feet; the smell, the shape, the feeling of feet on their face or other body parts, the taste, etc. I’ve personally known men who simply wanted to lay on the floor with my feet on their face and my toes in their hair. The smile of bliss on their face was priceless. They were in their personal heaven. As you can tell from this example, a kink isn’t necessarily related to sex.

 Using the above example in a slightly different way, we’ll use that as a fetish. Individuals with a foot fetish NEED to play with, smell, or worship someone’s feet as a means to become aroused for sexual activity. Some may even become erect and orgasm from playing with someone’s feet. That’s the difference between a kink and a fetish. Simply put: a kink is something unconventional that brings joy to a person, while a fetish is something unconventional that a person needs to receive sexual gratification.

You Think You May Have a Kink or a Fetish? There’s some overlap between the two terms (kink and fetish) as you can tell from the example, both being about feet. And, neither one is something to be ashamed about. If you have a kink or fetish and aren’t sure how you feel about it, I suggest seeking out a kink-friendly therapist to help guide you along better understanding AND accepting who you are and what you like and why. The bottom line is to love yourself for who you are and not to let anyone cause you to feel you need to hide your feelings or desires.

Do you have kinks and or fetishes, or know someone who does? I’d love to read your stories either as comments below or on Twitter or Facebook.

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I journeyed from GED to a PhD in Psychology. I decided to focus on my writing once I retired from the clinical field. I write in various genres and have several WIPs for publication once edited. I post articles on this website for intellectual and entertainment purposes.

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