What Is a Praise Kink—And Why Does Everyone Suddenly Seem to Have One?


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“Many people respond quite well to positive reinforcement and want to avoid criticisms,” says Rehor. “What’s special about praise kink is that the recipient may get erotic pleasure from the praise.” Most of us enjoy hearing that we have great hair, a special talent for organizing spreadsheets, or other words of affirmation. These are typically not kinks, unless you have a sexual response to them.

“I think for me it comes down to that I want sex to be a joyful act with my partner(s),” says Rose Luna. “So I want to be celebrated the whole time.”

What’s a recent really graphic, erotic example of a praising kink, please and thank you?

Anyone hoping to better understand the concept of praise kinks, and how it relates to sexual pleasure, might take note of a recent viral video taken at a Renaissance fair. In the video, a bartender in a Cinderella getup reaches over the bar and pours a can of beer into another woman’s mouth. As the woman drinks, the bartender—wench, if you’re getting into the spirit of things—monologues the following:

“Lips on the tip, suck on the hole for me, that’s right you nasty little thing. Show us what you can do with that mouth. Take it in, just like that. Lick it. Love it. Oh, you love sucking while your friends watch. Look at me while you choke and finish and swallow for me. Oh, good girl.”

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How does praise kink fit into the wider world of kink and BDSM?

For many, the word kink conjures images of black leather and leashes, urine splashing merrily in places other than a toilet. Yes, filth and humiliation hold a cherished place in the kingdom of kink. But they do not represent kink’s totality.

Kink educator Aoife Murray defines kink as “any intimate activity that falls outside our typical script of how we express our sexuality, intimacy, affection, etc.” It’s an intentionally broad definition—the kink community prides itself on inclusion and on welcoming curiosity.

BDSM stands for bondage and discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism, Murray explains. “You can participate in BDSM, without being interested in every single one of those things listed in the acronym,” she says. “In fact, the only thing, the common thread that ties them together, is people having an interest in consensually exchanging power with a partner in some way.” A person with a praise kink is generally considered to be the submissive partner. When we think of submission, we often think of a humiliation or degradation kink. But it’s just as kinky to submit to sense of overwhelming affirmation, even a kind of worship, during sexual activities.

“For me it’s definitely an extension of my overall life,” says Remy, a 37-year-old who has been into praise kink activities for years. “In my day-to-day I do a lot of work in a leadership role that is largely out of the limelight, and my kink manifests in the fact that I get to flip both of those—praise and encouragement—while being outside of a dominant role is a way to almost force myself to relax.” The experience isn’t just fun, says Remy, it’s “pretty therapeutic.”

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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