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What makes something kinky? What one person finds odd, another will do without thinking twice. Kinkiness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Some of the stuff listed here will gross some of you out (some of it squicks me..), others will page through it thinking "What does he mean, 'kinky'? I do this all the time..."

There's also a big difference between having a kink and having a fetish. A kink is an activity or accessory that you enjoy, while a fetish is one without which you can't get any pleasure.

l e a t h e r

Leatherman The feel, the smell, the look. There's nothing like it. Dark, smooth leather, clinging tightly to the perfect curve of an ass... It gives a man a aspect of danger and inspires the most fervent of fantasies. From bars and bath-houses to literature and magazines, leather is an integral part of many gay men's lives. There's even a version of the rainbow flag.

The leather community is large and varied. Old guard, cigar-smoking, bearded "daddies" and their "boys", are joined by a new crop of younger, hipper, less-traditional men and women. Once hide-bound (if you'll pardon the expression) and insular, in recent years the scene is become much more diverse and inclusive. It's also become common to find men who are involved on a more casual basis, wearing leather and hanging out in the bars, but not as deeply tied into the community.

Another Leatherman
The mental aspects of leather are way too much to go into here. But I will talk about one that I find especially important. Donning leather can externalize the emotional armor that all men carry around with them. Removing the outer layer symbolically allows for letting down the inner. It can let you open up to your own deeper desires and needs.

Some common pieces of leather apparel

  • Chaps
  • Harness
  • Masks
  • Shorts
  • Gloves
  • Collars

b o n d a g e

Bound and Tied Leather, bondage and s/m are all closely related, but just because someone is into one aspect doesn't mean they're into all of them. Bondage by itself is about control, power, and sensation. Being bound motionless can increase sensitivity. Pushing against the limits of movement, straining at the bonds increases the tension and focuses attention inward, to the sensations your partner is providing.

However, the most powerful aspect of bondage lies not in the physical affects, but the mental. For men who hold themselves tightly controlled, such as Skinner or Ellison, externalizing the bounds allows internal freedom. When you no longer have to worry about losing control because your body is controlled from outside, you can let go of the self-restraints. You can allow yourself to experience sensation and emotion without constantly monitoring your own reactions. This freedom is a profound change, letting the bound partner release parts of themselves that are normally inaccessible.

All Tied Up For the top, bondage contains many of the same elements. There is the power inherent in having your partner tied and at your mercy, and the responsibility that carries. You have access to another's body in a way most people wouldn't allow. This gives you the opportunity to take your pleasure, but also to give pleasure. Being trusted is a powerful aphrodisiac.

Bondage scenes can vary from the simple use of a pair of handcuffs to total restraint scenarios lasting days.

Some common bondage toys:

  • Handcuffs
  • Restraints
  • Gags
  • Leg Irons
  • Slings
  • Cross Bars
  • Body Bag

s & m

Master and Servant While closely related to bondage and leather, S/M goes beyond its cousins. S/M stands for either Slave/Master or Sado-Masochism (from the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about the joy of causing pain and Sacher-Masoch who wrote the complementary work on the joys of receiving pain). While pain can be an integral part of S/M relationships, again it's the mental/emotional aspects that are the most profound. I'm not really the best person to talk about this, as I'm not really into it, but for more information on S/M, check out one of these excellent websites.

Insert website list here.

Some common toys for S/M scenes

  • Whips
  • Paddles
  • Chains
  • Clothespins

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Last updated January 4, 1999