A friend of mine picked up the August 2008 issue of Psychology Today for me, interested to know what I thought of the cover — sporting a Dominatrix and the headline “Twisted? 7 Taboos that are perfectly natural.” Well, the cover sold some issues I’m sure, although only one of the seven taboos discussed in the article had anything to with sex, much less kinky sex.
In fact, the section on sexuality, subtitled “Quirky, Kinky, or Creepy?”, was actually pretty good. The author wrote that unless what you are practicing is actually harmful to others (like molesting children) or is your ONLY means of sexual fulfillment (a TRUE fetish where the object or act is needed in order to reach orgasm and is often more important than relating to a partner), then chances are you’re probably not all that abnormal.
It has been my experience over the past several years of teaching college students about “alternative sexuality” that many people, even most people, engage in some sort of sexual activity that some may see as deviant, but if most people are doing it, is it really that deviant? Hair-pulling, tickling, a slap on the bottom, always wanting to be on top, enjoying being held down — all of these are activities that many adults engage in during sex, and several other adults may even consider them to be BDSM activities, but I’m having trouble seeing them as deviant or abnormal. Kinky… maybe. But it’s hard to know where the line gets drawn.
Usually the line between “normal” sex and “kinky” sex is your own personal boundaries. When the activity is too weird for you, it becomes kinky and something that “other” people do. I read a good quote years ago: “If you and I do it, it’s normal. If you do it and I don’t, it’s kinky. If we both don’t do it, it’s perverted.”