Kink is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of sexual activities that are considered to be unconventional or unorthodox. Many fetishes are considered “kinks”, but not all kinks are fetishes.

Where a nice juicy steak is a very enjoyable entree on its own, a variety of seasonings can make it very different taste experiences. For many sex is like that steak and their kinks are the seasonings. Something to spice up their sex lives but not necessarily required to achieve arousal. However, a true fetishist must always have their individual kink present to reach a state of sexual satisfaction.

Realistically anything can be turned into a fetish. It depends on the level of intensity of a person’s desires and preferences. What starts a fetish? According to Barnaby Barratt, Ph.D., a sex therapist and President of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, “experts theorize that an experience with masturbation as a young child – often one that has long been forgotten – could develop into a fetish for an object or scene that serves as a reminder.”

Is having a kink harmful? Most experts agree that as long as you aren’t placing yourself or anyone else in danger (or breaking the law) that it’s harmless to indulge in a kink to achieve release. On the other hand, if a true fetishist needs his or her obsession every single time they have sex to achieve an orgasm, it may not be very practical. Depending on what the fetish is, it may be a real obstacle to developing any real intimacy with another person. Our Society once placed a very negative stigma on most kinks and fetishes. However, today we’ve become more accepting of individual preferences. Many people are embarrassed about their fetish and don’t necessarily discuss it outside of a specific circle that may be dedicated to it such as a club or group they belong to.

What are the most popular sexual fetishes these days? Technically, some on this list might fall under kinks or preferences and not the specific category of fetish, but it seems these days it’s all a “grey” area. Suffice it to say, the list covers some of the most popular “kinks”. Many people with kinks enjoy more than one of these elements individually or together.