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How to talk about kinks and fetishes with your partner

Have you ever discovered a new sexual desire?

Exploring your kinks and fetishes can take your sex life to a whole new level. But you might miss out on some fulfilling fun if you don’t have anyone to explore with.

Talking to your partner about your sexual interests can be a nerve-wracking thought. While many kinks and fetishes are accepted in the mainstream, some aspects of sexuality are still taboo. Kinks and fetishes are normal, and sexuality is personal, but why is talking to your partner a fear-inducing decision?

Keep reading if you’re ready to talk to your partner about your sexual desires. We’ve sourced the top tips and advice to prepare you to talk about kinks with your partner. Maybe you’ll try out that one sexy scene in real life very soon.

Scroll down to find out more.

What are kinks and fetishes?

We all know kinks and fetishes, but do you know what they really mean?

Though kinks and fetish are sometimes used interchangeably, they have slightly different meanings.

Sexual kinks refer to a consensual sexual activity outside of mainstream sexual desires. The meaning of kink can change from person to person. For example, you might think sex toys are kinky, but they’re standard sexual practices to another. Typical kinks include BDSM, rope play, and more alternative desires.

On the other hand, a fetish refers to a strong sexual desire. For most fetishes, this object or act must be present or in the person’s mind for them to feel aroused. If the fetish isn’t present, the person can’t become turned on. Examples of fetishes include feet (an object) or having sex outside (an act).

Is there a difference between kinks and fetishes?

These two terms are very similar, and it’s easy to see how they are often confused.

The key difference is a need versus enjoyment. If you like to participate in a sexual act but don’t need it to become aroused, it’s a kink. If you need to engage in a certain act to become aroused, it’s a fetish.


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How to talk about kinks to your partner

So, you’ve realised you have a kink or a fetish. But how can you talk about kinks with your partner?

Be honest

Communicating with your partner can be more difficult than exploring your kink solo. But an honest conversation can open your sex life to better orgasms and more pleasure.

Remember that honesty is always the best route when talking to your partner. There will likely be questions, so be prepared to answer what you truly like and dislike. The clearer you are, the better the experience will be.

Sharing more is better than less. This will create an honest communication channel and will likely lessen any strong negative reactions from your partner.

Opt for I-statements

The best way to discuss your desires is with “I-statements”, but what are these?

I-statements are here to explain how your fetish or kink makes you feel. For example:

  • I think it’s hot when…”, or
  • “I love how X makes me feel.”

This highlights how you’re focusing on your pleasure and not pressuring them into anything they don’t want to do.

Try not to come across as forceful with “you” phrases. “You must”’ or “you have to” could make your partner uncomfortable and reluctant to try anything new. These phrases could also feel like critiques to some, so focus on your pleasure and feelings.

Use affirmations

Affirmations can be very helpful when discussing new kinks. And no, we’re not talking about the “I am love” positive morning affirmations. We’re talking about using phrases such as:

  • “I am turned on by you.”, and
  • “I love our sex life, and I’d like to add more pleasure.”

Your new desires might take your partner by surprise. Remind them that your kinks and fetishes are a fun addition to your current sex life and not an admission that you’re currently very unhappy with it.

Some partners might feel insecure about their performance after hearing about your kinks. Take time to reassure your partner that you love them and that your kinks are about exploring new sensations. Combining your desires and your relationship can open a space for more trust and intimacy.

Keep the conversion sex-positive

Ideally, you’ll want to have a sex-positive conversation with no kink-shaming. Some couples might find talking about kink easier than others. If this sounds like your relationship, you’ll be able to jump into the conversation with ease.

However, if your partner isn’t open about sex, you might take the conversation slower – especially if your kinks and fetishes are more uncommon. Perhaps start with “tamer” ideas and build up to your true desires. While this isn’t ideal, it’s important to understand that your desires are new to the other party. Give them the benefit of the doubt before plunging them into the deep end.

Throughout your discussion, keep the conversation sex-positive and ask your partner to be open-minded. There’s no room for negativity here.

Talk consent

Consent is, and will always be, the top priority in sex. Whether you’re engaging in vanilla sex or something new and exciting, without enthusiastic consent, you can’t proceed.

When discussing your fetishes and kinks with your partner, ask for their consent and only continue if you have an enthusiastic yes. Additionally, if you engage in sexual acts, communicate throughout the play to ensure they’re having a great time.

Consider boundaries

Boundaries are an important aspect of a kink conversation too. We don’t all have the same preferences, so make sure you are both clear on how far you’re willing to go. This will ensure both parties are comfortable and on the same page.

What if they’re not into it?

When getting ready to talk about kinks with your partner, you must accept that they might not be into your desires. They’d be 100% on board with your desires in an ideal world. But we’re all different, and sexual desires are very fluid.

Don’t feel attacked if your partner doesn’t consent to your kinks. This isn’t a critique of you and your personality. Desires are normal and part of life. Your sexual preferences will always be valid.

To reduce the chance of awkward moments:

  • Explain your kinks in as many details as possible
  • Talk about boundaries, expectations, and any fears about exploring the acts
  • Show your vulnerable side and remind them that it’s okay if they don’t want to try the sex out

If it’s a strong no, consider your options. Are you okay with exploring your kinks alone or keeping them as a fantasy? Many couples have one party that doesn’t act out certain kinks, and they remain okay with this.

But if your fetishes and desires are a dealbreaker for you, you might need to have an honest conversation about your sexual needs. Relationships need sexual compatibility, so consider whether you’re the right fit for each other.

Some partners may choose to open the relationship or experiment with polyamory to ensure their needs are met. This situation will look different for everyone, so talk honestly with your partner before making any rushed decisions.


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7 tips for talking about kinks to your partner

Ready to have the big talk? Use the quick tips below to supplement the advice above.

  • Honesty and over-communication are key. We’ve already stated this above, but it’s super important. Giving more details about your desire is better than none
  • Research before talking. The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel when chatting. This will make your partner more comfortable too
  • Use online sources to aid your discussion. Sex-positive blogs, like ours, can help you express desires and concepts to your partner. If you are at a loss for words, allow us to help
  • Start small and slow. If your partner agrees to your kinky desires, go slow. Don’t jump straight into hardcore desires. This might be too much at once for a newbie, and the shock could shut down future kink discussions
  • Ask them about their desires. Of course, you want to talk about your needs, but your partner might also have some secret kinks and desires. Let them talk about their sexual desires too
  • Reassure them throughout the conversation. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to remind and reassure your partner that they are enough. Explain how your desires are fun additions to sex, not complaints about your current play
  • Consider watching kink-friendly porn together. Visual assistance could come in handy if your partner is completely new to your desires. But don’t get the porn out until you have their consent

As always, communication is key

Exploring sexual kinks and fetishes is a healthy step in your sexual journey. We don’t kink-shame here. Hopefully, these tips have helped you prepare for your kink chat. It’s a nerve-inducing conversation, but the payoff is worth it. Always play safe and put consent first, and you’ll be ready to talk about kinks with your partner in no time.

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