Fetishes

How to Know if Your Fetish Is Unhealthy

Man Flogging Woman in the Dark

Before I begin, I want to state for the record that I am PRO fetish. Reading the title, you might think, “Here we go… another repressed loser is about to tell me that my desire to fuck a birthday cake is somehow wrong.” Honestly, to each your own.

My intention is not to limit you in any way, but to help you to decide what’s healthy and what’s not when it comes to your own sexual expression. Here are some questions to help you figure out if your fetish is unhealthy or not.

Is Your Fetish Unhealthy?

Does It Make Me Happy?

How does your fetish make you feel? It’s a simple question, and one that will help you decide if your fetish is beneficial, or harmful to your mental health.

Think back to the last time you had kinky sex. Was the experience positive overall? Did you feel good about it all the way though, even during aftercare? Or did feelings of guilt and shame creep in, making you wish you had different desires? It’s important to note that feeling shame about your fetish doesn’t make it inherently bad, just bad for YOU at this moment in time.

Is My Fetish Consensual?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Consent is at the heart of kink. If your fetish isn’t enthusiastically consented to by all involved, it’s unhealthy. Lots of kinky role plays—rape fantasy, edge play, choking—might play with the notion of non-consensual sex, but they are anything but.

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

If you feel forced into acting on a particular fetish, or if your enjoyment depends on sexually assaulting your partner, please seek help. Contact a crisis center in your area or find a therapist who can help you work through your issues.

Can I Stop Doing It if I Want To?

Feeling powerless to stop acting on your fetish—despite the fact that’s it’s negatively affecting your life—could be a sign that it’s not good for you. Have you become so obsessed with getting your fix that it’s impacting your ability to work, or care for yourself? Are your sexual needs hurting others, but you still can’t help but fulfill them? If so, you might have a sex addiction, or an unhealthy dependency on your fetish.

I want to stress that having a strong sex drive and wanting to engage in your fetish a lot doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re an addict.

Read: Mental Health Benefits of BDSM

Has It Caused Me Unwanted Bodily Harm?

Some temporary discomfort can be expected after a long night of flogging, or an epic spankfest. When the pain doesn’t go away, however, your fetish might have crossed the line from being fun and harmless to dangerous and unhealthy.

Read: The World’s Most Dangerous Sex Fetishes

Most of the time, injury can be prevented by knowing the risks and having safe words in place to ensure that no one’s body gets pushed past its limits. If wearing the scars of your fetish makes you happy, that’s another story. What it really comes down to is how you feel about the state of your own body.

To learn more about fetish and how it manifests, explore our Fetish Glossary of over 120 kinks.

What do you think? Can a fetish ever be considered unhealthy? Leave your thoughts in a comment!

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Kink Lovers is the online magazine for kinky people into BDSM, fetish, and kink. If you want to explore your kinky side, spice up your love life, or meet new kinky partners - enter the world of Kink Lovers. Enjoy D/s relationship advice, kink education and resources, BDSM and kink dating tips, fetish facts, and reader confessions.

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