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What is kink therapy?

Human sexuality is fascinating. There is depth and beauty to be discovered within it. It's an amalgamation of psychosexual proclivities and a microcosm of society - an as-yet unknowable landscape of any number of desires and expressions that beggars belief.

A "kink" is defined as a slice of this landscape which, for one reason or another, goes "against the grain." It's important to note that the term kink dervies from its non-sexual definition: a curve or twist in an otherwise straight thing or idea.

The term was coined long ago when there was, societally, a "straight-and-narrow" path in sexuality. That path was heterosexual, reproductive marriage. Anything that deviated from that path was considered a "kink." This is the same idea behind the outdated term "deviant" - one who deviates from this Christian-Puritanical path.

Nowadays, many "kinks" are seen as actually fairly mainstream: Mention role-playing, for example, in most social circles, and the most you might get is a quick smirk or chuckle before the conversation moves on. Many kinks which were once kept secret are now discussed widely and accepted as part of a healthy sexual relationship.

But this new acceptance for the reality of human sexual interest does not mean that kinks don't need to be discussed between partners or even with oneself.

Social ideals can make us feel internally ashamed or embarassed about our kinks. Wishing to explore a kink with a partner, too, is something that should be discussed so that each party feels safe and comfortable in the act - or can opt-out if they so choose.

And as it is with most things, this discussion can often be more productive when guided by a licensed professional.

Kink therapy is a broad term that describes any therapy, individual or couples, that addresses and facilitates communication about a sexual interest or desire.

Couples Kink Therapy: Incorporating Your Kink Safely With The Help of a Professional

The first and most common form of kink therapy takes place in the context of couples therapy (or, in cases of non-monogamy, partner group therapy.)

Sharing your kink with someone - even someone you have known for years and trust implicitly - requires vulnerability in the extreme.

As we'll discuss below, kinks can range from simple curiosities to very deep and foundational aspects of our character. We imagine that "admitting" to a kink is an admission of some flaw in our character or that it speaks to something that has gone wrong in our lives, even though that's not the case.

Because of this, it can be absolutely terrifying to open up about a kink to one's partner or partners. That's why many couples or groups choose to go to a therapist to help them communicate the what and the why behind a kink.

Having a third-party in the room - one who is trained and educated in psychology - can shift the conversation from an awkward one to one that builds trust and respect.

A therapist can also work with you on practical ways the relationship can incorporate the kink safely and comfortably. Rather than risk a miscommunication or a conflicted bedroom encounter, many couples or groups work with a therapist so that everyone involved knows what to expect and can reciprocally communicate their needs and boundaries before anything actually happens.

The goal behind couples kink therapy is to ensure that the relationship does not needlessly suffer from the introduction of a kink. Note that this does not necessarily mean the relationship won't suffer at all - for example, if one partner has a kink that, for them, is an absolute imperative, and for their partner is a hard "no", some serious discussions will need to take place in order for the relationship to continue.

Rather, couples kink therapy seeks to ensure that the boundaries that need to be established are, and that communication about the kink is productive and healthy.

Individual Kink Therapy, or Kink-Affirming Therapy

A kink is not always something you can control. It can be very difficult - sometimes impossible - to "bottle it up."

Kink-affirming therapy seeks to help its patients realize that they don't actually need to bottle it up or tamp it down; that as long as everyone involved in the kink is a consenting adult, it's okay to have thoughts and desires that seem striking or shameful on first analysis.

Sometimes, a kink is a passing fascination. Maybe you saw it referenced in a HBO original or read about it in a book, and you think you want to try it, but you're embarassed or ashamed about it.

Sometimes, a kink is related to your history: Something happened in your past that impacted you either positively or negatively, and your brain develops a kink in order to feed it or compensate for it.

And sometimes, a kink can be a sexual manifestation of some deeper part of our character, or indeed inseparable from our character.

Regardless of the "reason" behind the kink, kink-aware therapists seek to guide patients to a place of self-understanding and self-acceptance, so that instead of being ashamed of their kink, they come to realize that it is part of what makes them an individual - that it is society that is responsible for their shame.

Finally, a kink therapist, in rare cases where a "kink" is actually a genuinely problematic thought pattern and clearly causes distress and conflict in a patient's life, can also help a patient to understand why the pattern came about, and work with them to resolve the underlying cause in the hopes of quelling it.

Kink Therapy in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Therapy Group

Whether you're feeling awkward about a newfound kink or you want to take steps to start living it out, our team of doctoral-level kink-aware therapists is ready to help.

With complete professionalism and confidentiality, Williamsburg Therapy Group is Brooklyn's first choice for couples, groups, and individuals who want to explore, understand, or practice their kinks in a safe and healthy manner.

Give us a call, and our patient coordinator will work with you to find the right couples therapist in Brooklyn for you.

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