Kinky sex

Lesser-Known Kinks That Are Definitely Worth Trying

Published: JUNE 13, 2024
Looking to try something new? Our experts walk you through some lesser-known kinks you can dabble in.

The world of kink is a vibrant, diverse landscape that exists on a very broad spectrum. As such, there is truly something for everyone, no matter where you are on your unique path to pleasure. From gentle methods of exploring your sensuality, to more intense forms of play like BDSM, kink encompasses a million and one activities and dynamics. So whether you’re just dipping your toes in (trust us – the water’s great) or deeply immersed in the lifestyle, there’s always a place for you. 


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There are plenty of kinks that are widely known and loved – feet, spanking, and bondage to name a few. Perhaps you’ve already exhausted these more commonplace kinks and are looking to try something a little different. Or maybe you’ve heard of these kinks, but they don’t inspire or turn you on. You’re looking for something a little less mainstream or a little more niche to pique your interest. 

Luckily, the realm of kinks is truly never ending, so every kinkster has more to learn and discover, including some of the more “off the beaten path” kinks. These are perfect for those who want to get into the gray area between sexual activities that border on vanilla and those that might feel too intense, or those who are getting a little bored with their typical play.

Here, we’ll explore lesser-known kinks to add to your bucket list


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What is a kink?

According to Kiana Reeves, Chief Education Officer at Foria, the word “kink” often comes with a negative association or stigma, but almost all sexually active people have some kind of kink. It’s a matter of whether they end up exploring it. 

“Really, the definition of ‘kink’ is different for everyone, because what might be one person’s kink won’t mean the same thing to someone else,” Reeves explains to Kinkly. “Essentially, you could define it as a practice or pleasure-deriving concept or action that you don’t normally perform day to day, that you personally may see as a bit more taboo or off-the-wall, or something you’ve never done before and might typically stifle your desire for.” 

This is just another example of how kink lives on a colorful spectrum. What might seem taboo to those just venturing out of the vanilla realm might seem rudimentary to an extremist – like a sadist or a hedonist, for example. At the end of the day, expanding your sexual repertoire into kinks that seem less common or more niche will look different to everyone. 


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“By being open and discovering our kinks and honoring them – provided they are safe, legal, and consensual – we can open up new pathways to pleasure, reignite passion with a partner, and lessen societal stigmas,” says Reeves. 

Kink vs. Fetish

It’s worth noting here that there is a difference between a kink and a fetish. 

Kink is an overarching term that describes a wide array of sexual activities. Anything from participating in a threesome, to having sex in unusual positions, to incorporating sex toys into your love life can be considered kinky, depending on who you ask. On the other end of the playing field, anything not kinky is said to be “vanilla.”


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A fetish on the other hand refers to an erotic fixation on a body part, practice, dynamic, or even object. When you have a strong fetish, you may find it hard to feel aroused or reach orgasm if that fetish isn’t present during a sexual act. Many fetishists discover this facet of themselves during puberty; some even go on to have multiple fetishes. 

It used to be taboo to have or mention your fetish, but now most are routinely accepted in sex-positive spaces and communities. However, fetishes can border on extreme or even hazardous. When this is the case, it's best to seek advice from a fetish-friendly psychologist. 

It’s not always immediately clear whether your sexual fascination is a kink or a fetish. In general, if you enjoy and gain erotic satisfaction from spanking, you can consider it a kink. However, if you’re unable to achieve orgasm without being spanked, that’s a fetish. 


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Different Types of Kinks You Might Not Have Heard Of 

Sploshing

Sometimes referred to as “wet and messy” (WAM), sploshing describes sexual acts where messy substances are smeared over the body. The most common substances used in this slippery act are food items. Think: Whipped cream, chocolate sauce, cake, or condiments. Sploshers get off on watching their partner or partners get a little messy, or by the feeling of slickness that comes from having liquids or goos rubbed onto their skin. 

To try it: While some individuals use mud or dirt in their sploshing practice, it might be more accessible to start with treats and sauces that you already find delicious. From honey to barbecue sauce, the world is your oyster. Try dripping or smearing some foodstuff onto your partner’s navel, into their collarbone, or on their genitals. Don’t underutilize your erogenous zones while sploshing. 

Mirror Kink

Ever caught a glimpse of you and a partner in the act through the nearest mirror? Did it turn you on? This is what’s known as a mirror kink, and it’s closely related to exhibitionism, or finding sexual gratification while being watched. 


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To try it: Position yourselves in front of a reflective surface (it doesn’t necessarily have to be a mirror) and put on a show for yourself and your partner. You can embrace some spontaneity by transitioning a steamy shower session into sex bent over the bathroom counter to take advantage of a vanity mirror. Spoiler alert: A mirror kink can be just as tantalizing when utilized solo

Ritual Kink

“Ritual kink involves creating a personal or shared ritual that incorporates elements of BDSM,” Joni Ogle, LCSW, CSAT explains. “This could be a particular way of dressing, preparing the space, or a sequence of activities that enhance the psychological thrill of dominance and submission.”

Ritual kinks might be especially appealing to service submissives, who get off on or enjoy being useful to their dominant, particularly in the form of household tasks. 

To try it: BDSM-based rituals can take any number of forms. From sexual asks, such as expecting the submissive to kneel at the dominant’s bed to provide oral service in the mornings, to lifestyle requirements, such as tasking the submissive to lay out the dominant’s clothes every night.

Oftentimes, your rituals may hinge on pre-existing kinks. If you’re a certified spanko, maintenance spankings on a weekly basis might become ritualized between yourself and your partner. Use your own erotic interests as north stars for deciding what becomes ceremonial in your household. 

Sensation Play

This kink has the potential to get you hot – or cold. Sensation play involves caressing, stimulating, or teasing your partner with objects that have varying tactility or temperature, particularly when you’re using these objects to tantalize the erogenous zones or genitals.

“The contrast of hot and cold, soft and scratchy can be intensely arousing,” Dr. Farhan Malik, MD, tells Kinkly. “The key is starting soft and building up sensations. I've seen many clients thrilled by the dynamics this adds in terms of unpredictability, arousal, and intimacy. The novelty and range of sensations possible make it a lesser-known but highly recommended kink to try.”

To try it: Dr. Malik recommends using everyday items to excite your or your partner’s body – “feathers, ice, wax, and velvet to name a few.” With consent and trust at the forefront, you can spice this one up by incorporating bondage and/or a blindfold, so your partner is left at your mercy, clueless as to what sensation is coming next. 

Praise Kink

What exactly is a praise kink? You’re so good for asking. A praise kinkster gets a rush when their partner showers them with compliments. If hearing “you took that so well” or “you’re doing such a good job” sends you straight into the orgasmic orbit, you may want to lean in further. 

To try it: Start by opening a dialogue with your partner about how praising makes you feel. Is it physical praises that rev your engine (Think: “Your body is so fucking amazing) or are the words of affirmation you seek more emotional (Think: “I’m so proud of you”)?

Consider your “no-go’s” when you speak to your partner as well. For example, if you’re not into humiliation or age regression in the bedroom, you might want to pump the brakes on a praise like: “good girl.”

Once you and your partner are aligned, sit back and relish in the admiration. 

Edging

Edging involves sexual stimulation that stops just at the brink of orgasm. Sometimes associated with delayed gratification, edging can extend your sexual satisfaction longer, or quickly become delicious torture as you’re repeatedly brought to the verge of “the Big O” and denied

To try it: You can rely on your preferred form of stimulation when it comes to edging, whether that’s fingers (yours or a partner’s), a lover’s tongue, or a sex toy of choice. Try edging alone by self-denying as soon as you feel yourself reaching an orgasm. Or, hand your partner the controls by telling them as soon as you’re close and letting them choose to indulge you or cease the stimulation, which will probably leave you gasping for more.  

Sensory Deprivation

In the world of lesser utilized kinks, Ogle suggests you look no further than sensory deprivation.

“This kink involves restricting one or more senses to heighten others, which allows beginners to dip their toes into BDSM with minimal equipment and risk,” she tells Kinkly.

To try it: According to Ogle, you can try sensory deprivation by simply blindfolding one partner during play, or by clapping on some noise-canceling headphones before you have their way with them. As both parties become more comfortable, experiment with denying the submissive partner more than one sense all at once, perhaps by incorporating handcuffs and a gag, for example. 

E-Stimulation

If you thought your sex life was electric before, get ready to have your expectations blown. E-stim, or electrosex, is the inclusion of electric impulses during sexual activity. This is mainly done through the use of electrosex toys that are crafted specifically for sexual purposes and whose electric capacity is dialed down and body-safe. These zippy little pleasure products provide a range of sensations, from a ticklish buzz to a spine-tingling jump.

To try it: Electrosex sensations can be orgasmic and especially appealing to audiences who like a little pleasure with their pain. Sampling this specific kink begins with investing in a sex toy you trust, that directs electric currents into specific areas in a way that’s safe for your body. The options are vast – from electrosex harnesses, vibrators, dildos, and chastity cages.

You can use an existing preference for a specific kind of toy to guide your way, but make sure you’ve done your research. And read the instructions carefully before strapping a partner up and letting it rip. 

Claustrophobia

This one’s a favorite of Reeves, who describes a claustrophobia kink as: “being turned on by enclosed, cramped, or confined spaces. Like smaller closets, the bathtub/shower, or even smaller rooms in your house.”

To try it: “For those who enjoy this one, it can result in the discovery of new positions while activating new desires and sensations, even creating a sense of urgency that can make everything hotter,” Reeves tells Kinkly.

Begin with a space that feels accessible, safe, and non-threatening, such as your bedroom closet. Climb inside with your favorite vibrator (or your hand) and experiment with how pleasure in an enclosed space makes you feel. If you’re trying claustrophobia play with a partner, you can have one party create the illusion of a cramped space through tight bondage as well. 

Voyeurism

A voyeur, Reeves says, is “someone derives pleasure by watching their partner perform sex acts or watching them engage in acts of pleasure with someone else.” 

To try it: “Watching someone masturbate, touch themselves, simply get naked, use a sex toy, or have sex with someone else are all examples of ways that you might honor this kink,” Reeves recommends. “Again, make sure all parties have consented to being seen or performing any sex act, and if you’re bringing a third person into the mix, make sure all of you have set firm boundaries around what you’re comfortable with.”

The Bottom Line

The types of kinks that may have struck your fancy today might be different from a friend, a neighbor, or even a partner. The beauty of the kink spectrum is its inclusivity, allowing each person to explore and enjoy their unique desires. Whether you're drawn to more common kinks or intrigued by niche interests, there's always room to grow and discover what brings you pleasure.

Embrace your individuality, communicate openly with your partners, and remember that honoring your kinks consensually can lead to greater satisfaction and a deeper connection with yourself.

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Elizabeth Kirkhorn

Elizabeth Kirkhorn is a writer and essayist living in Manhattan. She is a graduate of The New School's MFA in Writing and currently lends her voice to a Creative Strategy Role at Dotdash Meredith, where she focuses on health & wellness brands. Elizabeth's writing spans a wide range of kinks and curiosities, and can be found on O.school, MysteryVibe, Byrdie, and beyond. Elizabeth's personal passions include creating fetish content that's friendly and accessible to all...

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