In human sexuality, kinkiness or kinky (adjective), is a term used to refer to an intelligent and playful usage of sexual concepts which are overt, accentuated, unambiguously expressive of sexuality. The term derives from the idea of a "bend" (cf. a "kink") in one's sexual behaviour, to contrast such behaviour with "straight" or "narrow" sexual mores and proclivities. The term "kink" has been claimed by some who practice sexual fetishism as a term or synonym for their practices, indicating a range of sexual and sexualistic practices from playful to objectifying and paraphilic.
Kink sexual practices go beyond what are considered conventional sexual practices as a means of heightening the intimacy between sexual partners. Some draw a distinction between "kink" and "fetishism", defining the former as enhancing partner intimacy, and the latter as replacing it. Because of its relation to "normal" sexual boundaries, which themselves vary by time and place, the definition of what is and is not kink varies widely as well. Practitioners are sometimes considered to be perverts by "outsiders."
Partners who engage in "kinky" behaviour typically are sexually experienced and therefore attuned to an adult level of sexuality where adult pleasures are mutually understood and developed (cf. pleasure principles). The idea of "kink" gets to the idea of sexual intelligence, wherein adults are educated (experienced) in sex, and are adept and playful at communicating sexual ideas to others. Such expressions may represent a mature degree of social and sexual intelligence, wherein partners and prospective partners mutually communicate sexual understanding, interests, and tastes through outward and characteristic expressions such as gesture, dress, and sexually open interaction.
- Dominance and submission
- Kink Aware Professionals (KAP)
- Risk-aware consensual kink (RACK)
- Safe, sane and consensual (SSC)
- Sexual fetishism
- Vanilla sex
- Kinky - The Sensual Consciousness, The Sultry Revolution of the Senses, Chic Today Magazine
- Dossie Easton, Catherine A. Liszt, When Someone You Love Is Kinky, Greenery Press, 2000. ISBN 1-890159-23-9.
- Jensen, Nate (2009). Japanese-English Guide to Sex, Kink and Naughtiness. (First edition, version 3). CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-4421-0876-9.
- International Association of Rubberists
- Jay Wiseman, SM 101: A Realistic Introduction, Greenery Press, 2000, ISBN 0-9639763-8-9.
- KINK, a 63-episode documentary TV series
- Stephanie Clifford-Smith, Kink: A Straight Girl's Investigation, Allen and Unwin, 2010, ISBN 978-1-74175-912-9