1. Kink vs. Fetish: What's the Difference?

    What's the difference between a kink and a fetish? Aren't they the same thing? Well actually, no.

    I remember reading somewhere that a "kink" is like salt, while a "fetish" is like the main meal itself.

    What do I mean by that, and why are these meanings so tricky to grasp? Don't worry, I'll elaborate.

    Firstly the English language is hella confusing and contains dozens of words which have several meanings.

    Secondly, over the years, people have used words like "fetish" and "kink" interchangeably, which over time muddies the waters when it comes to their true meaning.

    Why is it important to know the difference?

    Because a partner with a fetish vs a partner with a kink are very different, and knowing what they mean can really help you communicate properly.

    Read on to learn what "Fetish" and "Kink" really mean...

    Let's start at the beginning (a very good place to start)

    As I said earlier, words like "kink" and "fetish" often get used interchangeably, and it's easy to see why. They mean very similar things. After all, a fetish is often kinky, and kink can become a fetish. Confused yet? Us too.

    In order to truly understand the meanings of these words, we need to look at their history (aka the etymology).

    So the orignal dictionary definitions for these words are as follows:

    1. Kink:

      • Definition (noun): A sharp twist or curve in something that is otherwise straight. A quirk of character.
      • Synonyms: bend, twist, distort, crook, quirk
    2. Fetish:

      • Definition (noun): An object worshipped for its supposed magic powers or because it's believed to be inhabited by a spirit.
      • Synonyms: charm, amulet, talisman, totem, object of worship

    But how does that help me understand kinky sex?

    Well, the interesting thing is that, although the above definitions aren't the ones you expected to read, they're not all that different from their sex-based meanings. Let me explain.

    Generally speaking, in the sex world:

    • a "kink" is something which turns us on, and is a deviation on the predetermined sexual norm*
    • a "fetish" is a sexual act/object which holds great power over the fetishist's ability to reach resolution

    See the similarities between the original meanings, and their more modern, sex-based counterparts?

    In more straightforward language (and reusing the salt/main meal analogy again):

    • For a person who's "kinky", sex can be enjoyed with or without their kink (the same way a meal can be eaten with or without salt).
    • For a person with a fetish, their fetish IS the sex (aka the main meal). No matter how kinky play gets, if their personal fetish isn't involved, there's a good chance they won't feel fully satisfied by the end.

    Hopefully this blog has helped you get your head around the differences between kinky sex, and fetish fun.

    Remember, if someone asks you to try something sexually but you don't fully understand what it means, always ask. And if you're the one asking to try something new, make sure you explain in no uncertain terms what it is you want from your partner.

    And finally, always be open-minded and never "yuck" someone's "yum". There's a good chance you're already having kinkier sex than you realise! (See footnotes).

    In Western culture, *"Normal" sex is between two cis-gender, opposite-sex, married people for procreation.
    Fun fact: ALL sex for pleasure is technically kinky... You kinky devil you!

    Must-have kinky accessories

    1. Fifty Shades Freed Want to Play? 10m Silky Rope


      Ideal for those used to a little restraint play, this silky rope opens up a world of bondage opportunities.

    2. Fifty Shades Freed Cherished Collection Feather Tickler

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    3. Fifty Shades Freed All Sensation Nipple and Clitoral Chain

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      Though they might look a little scary, these combined clit and nipple clamps are fully adjustable to give either a gentle pinch, or a firm squeeze.

    4. Fifty Shades Freed Cherished Collection Leather Wrist Cuffs

      Fifty Shades Freed Cherished Collection Leather Wrist Cuffs

      No BDSM collection is complete without a sturdy pair of cuffs, and these padded leather restraints are super comfy to boot.

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    Comments (8)

    • CoupleLTSTU: November 10, 2017 15:54
      Great, very informative post! Thanks Jess.
    • Lovehoney - Jess Wilde: November 10, 2017 16:04
      Thanks CLTSTU!
    • Nina: November 11, 2017 09:44
      I love seeing pieces like this on the blog. Information is great.
    • Rosy cheek.: November 12, 2017 02:10
      Beautifully written Jess. Informative yet easy to understand, thank you ??
    • kittencat: November 14, 2017 02:29
      love this. great info :)
    • Jim taylor: November 16, 2017 19:12
      Great piece as usual jess loved your splosh piece
    • Lovehoney - Jess Wilde: November 22, 2017 09:09
      Hey everyone, thanks for your lovely feedback - it's great to know this stuff is helpful :)
    • Substevie: August 31, 2020 12:58
      This isn't how I understand the difference.
      A kink is a sexual preference or predilection which differs from the "norm" as defined by vanilla folk. So things like restraint, teasing, anal and impact play would fall into this category.
      A fetish though is centred on an object that in itself creates arousal in the individual while not of itself necessarily sexual to others. Feet, stockings, articles of clothing, leather - basically, you name it.
      Whilst not the same, kinks and fetishes are IMHO best when combined in the same sessions.