No Kinkshaming! / by Ashley Dunn

My fascination with the world of sexual kinks probably started when I found a pair of fuzzy pink handcuffs in my older brother’s bedroom when I was 13. I didn’t dare ask why he owned these, as I would have been caught red-handed snooping in his room, so I immediately went to the Internet, wielding Urban Dictionary and Reddit as a sword in my conquest to learn about different kinks. Now that I’m older, I often find myself in conversations revolving around the topic of kinks; friends talking about a threesome they had or describing their latex fetish in astonishing detail. Using definitions from, I’ve created a starter guide for anyone unfamiliar with kink terminology:

Aftercare - The period after sex where partners check in and re-establish peace and connection. This can be in the form of cuddling, eating or drinking, smoking, or even having a discussion on the previous sexual experience. It’s considered to be an essential part of kinky play.

BDSM - Bondage, Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadomasochism - This is a catch-all phrase that covers a wide variety of kinks, most of which revolve around bondage, dom/sub relationships, and deriving pleasure from either giving or receiving pain. Spanking, electric play, blindfolding, orgasm control and denial, and rope restraints all fall under the umbrella of BDSM. There’s an entire world of BDSM that you can look into, but remember that consent is the most important part in any of these activities.

Bondage - Provides restriction and restraint. This can include rope bondange, suspension bondage, leather bondage, or latex bondage.

CBT - Acronym for ‘Cock and Ball Torture.’ Pretty much the sexual torture of anyone with a penis.

Choking - The act of causing someone to pass out or lose consciousness by restricting blood flow to the brain via choking. This can be a dangerous kink and is actually debated in the kink community.

Golden Showers - The kink practice of peeing on someone and/or being peed on.

Hard Limit - An element or action that a person isn’t comfortable with or couldn’t see themselves being comfortable with. Common limits include blood, unsafe sex, humiliation, physical harm, and certain triggers. These are to always be respected. There are also soft limits, which a person isn’t really comfortable with but could be sometime in the future.

Masochism - When someone enjoys pain, or derives pleasure from pain.

Pet Play - Involves acting like, or being the owner of, a human puppy/kitty. Costumes and props may be used, like leashes, collars, and food bowls, and it usually involves some kind of power exchange.

Rape Fantasy - I feel like this is the kink that is often debated about as there are definitely some consent boundaries. Many individuals fantasize about wanting to be raped, and this is often referred to as ‘consensual nonconsent.’ Consent is at the heart of this fantasy, and is at the heart of every kink.

Vanilla - Conventional sex. This is sex that doesn’t involve any elements of BDSM, kink, or festishism. While some may call this unadventurous, I firmly believe you shouldn’t shame anyone’s sexual behaviors, regardless of where they fall on the kink spectrum.

Now that you’re familiar with a few of the mainstream kinks, here are some sex shops around Boston to check out if you want to dip your foot into the fetish pool:

Good Vibrations - Brookline, MA - This store has a great selection of products and the staff is very knowledgeable not only about these products, but also the practices. The sex positive environment makes any customer feel comfortable and included. Plus, they have a loyalty card that rewards you with every $100 you spend.

Condom World - Newbury St, Back Bay - Practically in Emerson’s backyard, Condom World has realistic prices and a wide range of products, from condoms (duh) to Kama Sutra products to fetish supplies and novelty items.

Hubba Hubba - Cambridge, MA -  What’s cool about Hubba Hubba is that in addition to sex toys and accessories, they also sell vintage clothing! They’re home to the largest selection of corsets in the Boston area and have always been at the forefront of both fashion and kink trends.

AMAZING Intimate Essentials - Medford, MA - Though this shop is a bit of a commute to get to, it definitely lives up to its name. It has a section for smoking accessories too, so if you’re into getting blazed and having kinky sex it’s like killing two birds with one stone. Definitely worth checking out. Before engaging in any kind of sex, remember that consent is always the sexiest and most important component in the bedroom.

Photo By: Hana Antrim