What we love about kink is that it’s easier to describe what it isn’t rather than what it is

Kinky sex is any sexual activity that falls outside of what are considered conventional sexual tastes or behaviors

Yes, that covers a helluva lot – and that’ s another reason we love it so much. Anything safe, sane and consensual is on the cards. Interested? Then read on to discover a list of kinks and just some of the captivating and exhilarating acts on the kinky sex repertoire. 

Podophilia aka foot fetishism

If your desires start at ground level and you can’t resist a pair of peep-toes, you might have a foot fetish. This kink is the most common form of fetishism centering on non-sexual body parts or objects. While feet are the main attraction, podophilia can also include attraction to footwear, jewelry, massage and odor.

Rope bondage

The art of rope bondage is a true skill as well as a part of a kinky sex life. Falling under the BDSM umbrella, rope bondage is just that: restraining a partner using intricate knots and sturdy rope. Most common practices borrow from Japanese shibari, and participants find the turn-on derives from having control over a restricted body.

Watch ethical porn film Outdoor Bondage on afterglow to see some rope bondage in action.


Three is far from a crowd for people who’re into triolism: getting off on sexual acts with more than two people, but fewer than four. Involving extra hands, tongues and genitals is always super hot, and triolism can take so many forms: from a straight-up threesome, to cuckolding, or one person watching and masturbating while a couple do the deed.


One of the more popular kinks in the collection and the ‘D’ in BDSM, domination involves assuming control of your partner. This can be for a fun session, or it can be a full-time lifestyle, depending on how deep you want to take it. Power play can have an irresistible draw, but it should come with strict rules and boundaries to make sure consent is enthusiastic at all times.


Are you a bottom, a brat, a masochist? Congrats, you might be into submission! The natural bedfellow to domination, submission is another kink that engages in experimenting with the concept of power. Submissives are frequently people who exude a lot of control in their everyday or work lives, who look to the huge turn-on to be found in utterly succumbing to pleasure once the lights go out.

Want to watch a real sub/dom relationship on film?

Go behind closed doors with professional dominatrix Jet Setting Jasmine.

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Knowing and relishing in the fact that you look fucking hot is a fantastic way to reclaim pleasure. Enter katoptronophilia: sexual arousal from looking at yourself in the mirror. Whether it’s during sex, foreplay, stripping or masturbation, the shades of self-voyeurism are what makes this kink particularly seductive.


Since hands are such an integral part of sex – touching, tickling, hand jobs, fisting – it stands to reason their fetish sounds suitably grand. Quirophilia (sexual attraction to hands) isn’t rooted in the bedroom, though. Hand lovers also appreciate their nonsexual existence: getting turned on by hands typing at a keyboard, playing the piano or washing dishes.


Choking (or erotic asphyxiation if you’re fancy) is a very common kink. Breath play experimentation has a clear dom/sub vibe, and when done well can lead to super intense orgasms. Consent is imperative, as is a safe word (or action in this case), as well as knowing how to choke your partner in a safe way.

Check out the afterglow exercise for safe and sexy choking to learn more about this kink.


Have you ever wanted to be bent over someone’s knee and taught a good lesson? Spanking is popular for a wealth of reasons: it’s exciting without being overly complex, it can act as an introduction to impact play, and it’s one of the most accessible kinks out there. Being spanked also releases endorphins, which bring about feelings of euphoria and wellbeing – ideal for bedroom activities.

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Wet and messy (WAM)

If you get wet for messy play, you’re not alone. Wet and messy (WAM) play is a sensory explosion: textures, color and consistencies from the thick ooze of slime to the stickiness of peanut butter. There can be a D/S dynamic to WAM, with the Dom humiliating the Sub or ruining their clothes. On the other hand, it’s a form of complete escapism into kinky sex that (literally and figuratively) feels great.


The taboo of seeing someone at their most exposed is a part of what drives most voyeurs – people who gain sexual pleasure from watching others. Viewing porn. Attending kink parties, but not participating. Being on the sidelines at orgies. These all add up to voyeurism. Consent is essential when it comes to voyeurism, adding to the thrill that the person you’re spying on knows and is happy to perform for you.


If you’re a godless heathen and you know it, you might relate to stygiophiia. People with this kink are aroused by the thought of going to hell. To be honest, this tickles our fancy as the ultimate in ‘punishment’ for the taboo of participating in and enjoying sex. It lends itself to a wealth of roleplay from nun/priest to devil/sinner.

Temperature play

When your thoughts turn to raising the heat – or cooling things all the way down – you should consider temperature play. From sucking on an ice cube before going down on your partner, to dripping hot wax onto their body, or using a warming massage gel or lube, anything goes – as long as it gets their temperature receptors tingling.


Another duo – the ‘S’ in ‘S&M’ stands for sadism: pleasure from inflicting pain on your partner. Impact play, resistance play and shades of dominance/submission color this kink, all of which deserve communication, boundaries and respect. And when this is achieved, biting, bondage, spanking, flogging, whipping: the pleasure is all yours.


‘M’ is for masochism: pleasure in receiving pain from your partner. Consensual erotic pain covers the gamut of ‘why’s. Are you trying to find a way to come to terms with pain you feel in your personal life? Are you a sub who craves punishment? Do you simply enjoy the sensation of a crop on your thighs? All are valid; all can be enjoyed as part of kinky sex with a partner you trust.

Spit Play

Spit play is more than just mouthwatering: it’s dribbling, drooling and connecting through saliva. Ranging from the tame – messy, tonguey making out – to the more extreme – spit domination and humiliation – pleasure can be found in the wetness, the lubrication and the similarities between spit and semen or vaginal fluid.

Edge Play

While all kinks need trusting partners, consent and boundaries, edge play pushes this to the limit. What attracts people to edge play is danger and challenging the Safe, Sane and Consensual code most kinks follow. This includes fire play, knife play, temperature play and fear play, No matter what, all edge play must not be forced or manipulative without all participants agreeing to this beforehand.


Another side to the WAM coin, salirophilia is all about dishevelling or soiling another person. Whether it’s tearing their clothing, covering them in paint, or coming on their hair and face, the kink stems around the sensation of taking something desirable and ruining it to some degree.  

Pedal pumping

Also known as revving or cranking, to have a pedal pumping kink is to become aroused by watching another person pressing their feet on a car’s gas pedal. There’s a theory that the pumping action is reminiscent of a masturbatory motion, which becomes even hotter when the participant is wearing high heels or is barefoot. 

Orgasm control

Like to relinquish control? This might get you off. Orgasm control occurs when one partner has all the power: edging, teasing and manipulating the other right to the brink, then forcing them to stop. Whether you use a chastity device or sheer strength of will, the appeal comes from another person’s control over your most animalistic impulses.

As you can see, there’s a lot going on when it comes to kink – and it’s all super hot. We love being champions of a host of different worlds where you can find the exact thing guaranteed to get you off. Maybe you’ve seen something in our list that you like. Maybe we’ve sparked some new ideas for you. Maybe you need to get on with some more research. Whatever it is, we hope you find time to crack those whips, mix up that slime or edge yourself to kingdom cum – and enjoy!

About Kirstyn Smith

Kirstyn Smith, afterglow writer

Despite being a writer, Kirstyn Smith still isn’t very good at amusing bios. She works freelance as an editor + writer, and she’s also founder of Marbles – an independent magazine that explores mental illness with irreverence, rawness and humour. In her free time, she likes to nap, eat chips, run and consume all things spooky. But mainly the chips thing.

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