Facts & Info

CNC Kink: Consensual Non-Consent Explained

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Curious about the CNC kink and looking for consensual non-consent examples?

No doubt you have heard about or read about common kinks or fantasies that seem to contradict ethics or boundaries (safe, sane and consensual.)

Maybe one of your girlfriends confessed that she fantasized about being raped, a widespread female fantasy. Perhaps you saw a video where a submissive was forcefully pegged after shouting “no” very clearly, and you weren’t sure if a line had been crossed.

You may have also reasoned or read that we all have dark fantasies, but the fantasy of rape is of course a whole different ballgame than actual rape. A woman who fantasizes about being overpowered is actually controlling the whole scenario, from who does it to where and when.

If a woman asks to live out this fantasy, she is the director, asking who she wants to do what. It isn’t really rape anymore, even if you both pretend it is.

How Does Consensual Non-Consent Work?

The rape fantasy is a good example of what is called consensual non-consent.

In other words, a person is consenting to a specific or many non-consensual acts—the consent negates the non-consent.

Read: Should You Indulge Your Kinky Date’s Rape Fantasy?

If we use our CNC example of a rape fantasy, and a woman asks a man to participate in this fantasy, it becomes consensual non-consent.

However, let’s say he calls a friend and asks him to come over while she is restrained and rape her. Now it is rape, not consensual non-consent. Because she did not consent to sex with or rape fantasies with the second man.

Consensual non-consent is where we control how our darker fantasies will be played out.

What is CNC Kink?

Consensual non-consent kink, or CNC kink, happens when someone gives their consent in advance, and then is free under certain terms to resist, say no, struggle, and act out as if they are being taken against their will.

Such consent is sometimes called meta-consent or blanket consent, meaning “comprehensive” consent is given in advance of a play session, or entirely to a specific person or persons.

A submissive will often give comprehensive consent to their domme to “do with me what you want, when you want.”

There will be terms established, boundaries or limits—perhaps the sub does not give consent to anal penetration with another person, or to be kidnapped and bound when they are at work. The boundaries may be sexual activities that are not allowed, time frames or circumstances.

Usually safe words or safe gestures are also understood so that consent can be revoked any time.

David J. Ley explains in Psychology Today: “The ideas of CNC are an exploration of power, and the eroticization of completely giving up all power, and putting oneself completely in the hands of another. While this idea is terrifying for some, for others that terror translates into a powerful erotic rush.”

Consensual Non-Consent in the Kink Community

While many women—and men—may find it difficult to ask for and admit to a desire to be overpowered, kidnapped, raped, abused, or humiliated, the CNC kink works both ways. It is also difficult to ask for and fulfill your fantasies if you like to be the one in control.

Read: How to Talk about Your Kinks without Turning Her Off

Dominating and overpowering another personal sexually and controlling them can be incredibly exciting for any top, but even in the open-minded kink communities, looking to fulfill such fantasies can have someone branded toxic or abusive.

Yet CNC kink is really just the same old BDSM as it’s always been, and really, the same old vanilla. Human sexuality is all about the dance of seduction, power, and submission.

In the old Marilyn Monroe song, “Do It Again,” she coos “I may say no, no, no, but… do it again…” There was the uproar about the Christmas song, “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” because it was about a man begging to come in from the cold and she was telling him no.

The game has always been about chasing that consent. Only when one party takes what they want before the consent is finally given is it non-consensual!

The dance itself, seduction itself, is about this push-pull dynamic. Even monogamous married couples are all about, say, him begging for weeks. Or on the flip side, a married friend of mine admitted that she likes to be taken by surprise and has an ongoing arrangement that if her husband is horny, he can take her while she’s sleeping.

Read: Somnophilia Sleep Fetish Tips & FAQ

CNC Kink Controversy

The main CNC controversy is whether someone can really give consent in advance or comprehensively. Some say such fantasies are in and of themselves the products of grooming, abuse, or disordered thinking.

Read: Implied Consent or Expressed Consent?

The idea is that if a man loves to be humiliated and take pain from his mistress, it must be because his mother or someone else harmed him. But autonomy advocates would say, “so what if this is true?” After all, does he not have his right to his sexuality, however it may play out? If he wanted to be tenderly touched and held, is that not also because he was harmed by his home and childhood?

All CNC kink must first entail communication, then boundaries and limits that are adhered to—something real-life non-kink seldom practices. This is obviously a big difference, because such discussion immediately changes non-consent to true, authentic consent. For most sexual transactions, consent is actually guessed at, not spelled out.

There are lots of kinds of CNC kink, from rape fantasies, feeder fantasies, forced orgasms, pegging, abduction, sleep play, consensual voyeurism and more.

Read: 120+ Fetishes: The BIG List of Kinks

Do you have a CNC kink? Please share your thoughts or experiences in the comments.

Tell us what you think!

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