consent in kink


More than any aspect, consent is at the very heart of kink – all kinks, that is. Rather than being a one-time thing, consent must be ongoing in kink, and it’s an active conversation between partners that can change from day to day and even from minute to minute. But what does consent in kink look like, especially when considering activities like bondage, submission, and roleplay? There are a few core principles that everyone must understand – and take to heart – when determining consent in kink and what that looks like in practice.

It’s Ongoing

As in any other relationship, a kink partnership requires ongoing consent – every time. For this aspect of consent in kink, it’s important to check in regularly with your partner or partners before, during, and after play. It’s not enough to talk about an activity just one time. Think of it as an active conversation that never ends, and everyone needs to be a part of this. It’s also helpful for participants to know more about potential unique issues of their particular kink, such as signs of emotional abuse and manipulation in Dominant/submissive relationships.

Be Open About Your Wishes and Needs

One scene might be entirely different than how the other person imagined or wanted it, and that’s why you need to also openly communicate about what you need, want, or desire – and how a certain scene might go down if it’s up to you. There are so many different ways people can engage in a bondage scene, for example, and just because you’re into bondage doesn’t mean you’re going to be in their idea of bondage. Have those open conversations before starting any kink scene, and you’ll know everyone is comfortable with what’s going on. This is a step you can't skip when thinking about consent in kink.

It Can Be Taken Away at Any Time

Even if someone consents to a scene, it’s not a blanket approval – and this consent can be revoked at any time, for any reason, by anyone in the interaction. That’s why it’s important to keep the conversation going, especially during sessions, to make sure that what is happening is still OK with everyone involved. Consent in kink is an opt-in thing, and it can change, even in the same scene.

Safe, Sane, and Consensual: More Than Just Words

There’s a common saying in kink circles: Safe, sane, and consensual. That’s truly what it all comes down to. But what exactly does this phrase people use to discuss consent in kink look like in practice? It grew in popularity in the 1980s, with an emphasis on the “safe” part, as a necessary way of ensuring safety and consent when engaging in kinky play or a session. Some people don’t necessarily support this view of things now, arguing that all play has at least some risk and so it cannot truly be “safe.” Risk-aware consensual kink, or RACK, has become a common motto in recent years, suggesting that everyone in a session needs to know and accept the risks of what they’re choosing to engage in.

Find Kink-Aware Help: Inclusive Therapy Group

Part of being a part of the kink community is knowing that you’re outside of the mainstream, and it’s understandable that this status can make it seem difficult to find others who can truly understand and listen to you – with adequate knowledge of you, and without judgment toward you. Luckily, there are a growing number of therapists and counselors who are proudly kink-aware and ready to help with mental health services for queer, kink, and polyamorous individuals, whatever your needs or situation.

Inclusive Therapy Group’s team of experts is proud to work with people of all backgrounds, relationship statues, and kink communities. Our therapists are experienced in helping people just like you with relationship problems, depression, anxiety, and even EMDR treatment for trauma. Best of all, our ability to provide telehealth counseling services means we are accessible and ready to help where and when you need it – in a growing number of states across the country. If you’re looking for kink-aware experts who understand where you’re coming from, contact us online, or call 954-281-2565. We’re ready to help.