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Whether you’re all for labels or against it as a form of identity alignment, labels exist — introvert, extrovert, binary, non-binary, Type A, Enneagram 3w2, Virgo, Slytherin, INTJ…you get the gist.

Usually, the trend is that when you find a label that speaks to you, that seems to get you so well, you get really excited and giddy. It’s like you finally feel understood, or that someone “gets you”. But most importantly, you feel a huge sense of pride. And, does the pride flag fly high when you find others who are similar to you.

Even if the labels are considered more “negative” in some instances, people are proud of it: hoarder, socially awkward, high maintenance, asshole…the list goes on there, too.

 

But you know what label people aren’t excited or proud to publicly declare they align with? Being kinky.

What emotions come up with you at the thought of telling people you’re kinky? Probably not good ones, right? Maybe embarrassment or shame? Or some dirty little secret? I wish it didn’t have to be this way. It frustrates me so much that so many people have to hide this part of them. There’s so much stigma, judgement, and assumption when we say we’re kinky or into kinky things. And, many times, when we tell people we’re kinky, it’s like a one-way ticket to (weird/crazy) sex-related activities.

I get why kink has such a shady aura around it. There’s so much judgement and disgust that before kink and BDSM went mainstream, kinksters hid in plain sight.

 

But, you know what? It’s time to change. It’s time to strip these layers of shame and stereotypes away from kink and being kinky.

This begins with empathy, education, and understanding. So, let me ask you, “What does it mean to be kinky?” How do you define what it means to be kinky? I’m guessing that your answer revolves around acts of kink, at least according to you. Maybe you’re imagining someone getting tied up, or say, “Like the 50 Shades of Grey stuff”, or handcuffs, whips, and other deliciously fun toys. You’re not wrong. These are all examples of kink.

 

“So, what does it mean to be kinky, Veronica?” After years of discovering my own kinkiness and talking to hundreds, if not thousands of people regarding kink, I’ve come to this definition: exploring and embracing your sexuality, sensuality, and relationships in ways that go against the grain of what society expects.

Seriously, that’s it. Being kinky is about owning your individuality and living your life as you see fit, not what anyone else says.

 

Being kinky is also not necessarily black and white either. While I believe that one’s kinkiness is something you’re born with, just like your sexuality, it’s also perfectly fine to not be kinky, yet explore and incorporate kinky acts into your life. Because, really, it’s your life, your rules.

It’s like saying, you’re a total meat-lover and love to eat bacon as much as you can, but you’re also all for having #MeatlessMonday dinners. You’re not vegetarian by any means, but you enjoy incorporating some of that into your life. It also goes the other way, too. You can’t force yourself to be kinky, no matter how many times you watch 50 Shades of Grey. If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing. No big deal. It’s like saying, “if I’m a woman and I make out with a ton of other women, I’ll eventually become a lesbian.”

It’s also important to note that kink is a spectrum. What’s kinky to Person A, may not be kinky to Person B, or too kinky for Person C. Which is why it’s also not easy to pin down what it means to be kinky, because there’s no easy answer. #protip: don’t judge people’s kink, no matter how gross or mild it is.

So, whether or not you’re kinky or into kinky things, my takeaway for you is that being kinky isn’t all that scary or weird. It’s simply a mindset. Any shame or weirdness or embarrassment that comes along with it requires a deeper look into why those emotions are coming up for you in the first place.

Life’s too short to be appeasing the masses. Do your thing, strip away the layers that others have laid on you over the years, or that you’ve picked up along the way but no longer serve you. Live your life according to your rules and #belaidbare.

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