Is It Normal To Be Curious About Sexual Kinks?

Asking for a mate… with Chantelle Otten

Each month, Men’s Health’s sex and relationship’s panellist Chantelle Otten assists you (or your mate!) with your most private and pressing bedroom concerns. This month: is it normal to be curious about sexual kinks?

“Dear Chantelle,

I’ve always been curious about the idea of exploring different kinks, like spanking or voyeurism, but find it’s something I can’t talk about with my mates. Is it normal to be curious about this?”

Absolutely, it’s completely normal to be curious about exploring different kinks. In fact, curiosity about kinks is more common than you might think. It’s just that not everyone feels comfortable discussing it openly, especially with their friends.

First off, let’s talk about what we mean by “kinks.” Kinks are basically any sexual preferences or activities that fall outside of what’s considered mainstream or vanilla.

The range of kinks spans from mild to wild, encompassing a diverse spectrum of sexual preferences and activities. Mild kinks may include playful role-playing, light bondage, or sensual sensory play, offering a gentle introduction to exploring sexual desires. Moving along the spectrum, moderate kinks like spanking, exhibitionism, or foot fetishism delve deeper into alternative desires, adding elements of power dynamics or sensory stimulation. At the more extreme end, wild kinks such as BDSM, edgeplay, or water sports involve intense forms of power exchange, risk exploration, or unconventional practices that push the boundaries of conventional sexual expression. What defines mild or wild varies from person to person, but we need to emphasise the importance of open communication, mutual consent, and respect for individual boundaries when exploring the diverse world of kinks.

Now, why might you be curious about exploring kinks? Well, there are a bunch of reasons. Maybe you’ve stumbled across something online that made you curious, or perhaps you’ve had a fantasy or two that got you thinking about it. Maybe you’re just curious about pushing your sexual boundaries and trying something new. Whatever the reason, it’s all good and as long as you are maintaining safety and consent, then it’s something to be excited about!

But here’s the thing—talking about kinks can be a bit of a taboo topic, especially among friends. Society tends to have some pretty strict ideas about what’s “normal” when it comes to sex, and anything outside of that can be seen as a bit, well, out there. So it’s understandable that you might feel a bit hesitant to bring it up with your friends.

That’s where I come in. As a sex therapist, I’m here to tell you that there’s nothing wrong with being curious about kinks. In fact, exploring your sexual interests in a safe and consensual way can be a really positive thing. It can help you learn more about yourself, deepen your connection with your partner(s), and even spice up your sex life.

So how can you go about exploring your curiosity about kinks? Well, first off, it’s important to remember that communication is key. If you’re in a relationship, talking openly and honestly with your partner about your interests and fantasies can be a great way to start exploring together. And if you’re single, there are plenty of ways to safely explore kinks on your own or with a trusted partner.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it’s okay to take things slow. You don’t have to dive headfirst into the deep end of the kink pool if you’re not ready. Start by doing some research, maybe reading up on different kinks like BDSM, role-playing, or sensory play, or talking to people who are experienced in the scene. And when you do start experimenting, make sure to prioritise safety and consent above all else.

Now, I don’t think I need to mention this, but not everyone is into kinks, and that’s totally okay, too. We’re all different, and what works for one person might not work for another. The key is to stay true to yourself and your own desires, whatever they may be, but remember to ALWAYS respect others desires and always ask for consent. I don’t like hearing horror stories of people who have had kink practices explored on them without being told beforehand.

So to sum it all up, yes, it’s totally normal to be curious about exploring different kinks. And while it might not be the easiest topic to broach with your friends, know that there are plenty of people out there—including yours truly—who are more than happy to talk about it with you. So don’t be afraid to embrace your curiosity and start exploring—who knows what you might discover along the way!


Asking for a mate with Chantelle Otten: hair loss

A list of 30 sexual kinks and fetishes we know you’re curious about

By Chantelle Otten

Award-winning ‘psycho-sexologist’, renowned sex therapist and published author, Chantelle Otten is our new resident sex expert. As the Director of the Australian Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine, Otten knows the ins and outs of what goes on in Aussie bedrooms. Otten has a passion for empowering people, and with her guidance, you’ll learn everything there is to know about sexual health, and of course, the secrets to better sex.

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