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See also: Bulletproof Kink, squick, squidge, BDSM, Your Kink Is Not My Kink, Id Vortex
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In mundane usage, kink usually refers to various non-normative sexual practices or desires, such as voyeurism, fetishism, and the many activities included under the BDSM umbrella.

While fans use the sexual definition, they are also likely to refer to other, non-sexual preferences as "kinks," meaning particular imagery, story-tropes, or elements that they enjoy so much they are worth considerable effort to find and collect. (These are sometimes referred to as narrative kinks.) In general, a kink is understood as a personal matter, and a story that hits one's kinks, while satisfying to one person, will not necessarily come across well to others who do not share that kink.

'Kink' when used as a mass noun in a fandom context ("contains kink" as opposed to "has many kinks") usually refers to the mundane usage, especially as it applies to BDSM.

Kink and Access to Information

Are fans more kinky now than in the past?

A fan speculates on porn and its relationship to the availability of information:

A huge thing to remember when reading any pre-2000 era fic: Porn, especially gay porn, used to be a hell of a lot harder to get your hands on. Prior to the mid 80's, it was almost impossible.

Someone would need to have a VCR or DVD player, both very expensive at the time. Then depending on location and social situation, either get on the mailing list of a specialty catalog OR be able to access it in the special section of the video rental store.

If you were a teenage girl? The act of walking into the local sex shop- assuming you had a local sex shop- was super intimidating.[1] And once there pron was expensive. The clerk and other people could see you purchasing it, and know what you were getting. And porn, much less gay porn was not a thing to show in public...

This is strongly noticeable in the fic. A lot of people were writing from a very limited research pool. Part of the reason that you didn't see kink meme level diversity of activities is that it was hard to find out about them. Sounding[2] fic isn't going to happen until people know that sounding is a thing that people do. [3]

Lists of Kinks, Including the Famous Anna S List

In 2006, Anna S created an alphabetized list of 388 that has served as a basis for many fannish projects involving kink. See List of Fan-fiction Kinks, Tropes, and Clichés.

In 2008, resonant8 mapped several types of kinks in her LJ post: "Kink Mapping" ; Kink Mapping.

Challenges Involving Kink

Svmadelyn ran a kink-related challenge in 2005, and in 2006 added Anna S's list to Te's list of cliches to provide prompts for that year's Cuff ‘Em, Vamp ‘Em, or Just Make ‘Em Come Already Kink and Cliché Multi-Fandom Challenge[4].

In the summer of 2008, Thingswithwings announced Kink Bingo on LiveJournal. Challenge participants were given a Bingo card with a set of kinks drawn from a set list and could win prizes by writing fanfiction corresponding to their assigned kinks.[5]

The Livejournal community Spring Kinkfest, or springkink, founded in 2007 [6], is another active, broadly kink-themed challenge community which also references Anna S.' list of clichés.[7] As per its name, in 2007 it took place from late winter (February: posting of prompts) through spring (claiming of prompts and writing) to early summer (latest story posting date: June 30th.) In 2008, a summer session from May through July was held.

There are at least two multifandom Big Bang challenges dedicated to kinky fanfiction. The 12,000 word Livejournal kink big bang[8] started in July 2009 and started a second round in July 2010. The 10,000 word Dreamwidth kink big bang[9] started in March 2010.

Kinktober is a multifandom challenge based on prompts that focus on specific kinks. It takes place during October and began in 2016.

Kink Memes and Communities

Kink Memes are a very popular type of comment fic challenge where readers, often anonymous, leave a prompt and writers, also often anonymous, reply with a fic fill, usually short but sometimes tens of thousands of words long.[10]

The memes vary in their format and how "kinky" the prompts actually have to be; some include many gen prompts requesting a narrative kink rather than a "traditionally sexual" one. Most such kink memes are dedicated LiveJournal or DreamWidth communities, though some are one "kink meme" post at a journal not otherwise solely dedicated to kink fanworks.

Many fandoms have one or more fandom-specific communities or kink memes dedicated to regular posting of kink fanfic and fanart, either for all kinks, such as kinkme_merlin, spnkink-meme, Atlantis Kink[11], or Camelot Kink[12] or even for specific kinks, such as NCIS Spankyfic.[13] For popular kinks such as slavefic, spanking, or D/s, specialized multifandom fanfic communities exist.[14][15][16] Communities dedicated to specific characters as bottom are also very common.[17][18][19][20][21]

Kinky Roleplaying Games

There have been a number of roleplaying games dedicated to kink. Perhaps the best-known is The Establishment, a multifandom real-person celebrity RPG created in 2003 and still active as of 2010.

Webpages Involving Kink

In 2006, a group of fans created The Index, a shared delicious account that includes links to over 700 pieces of kinky fiction.[22]

In particular before specialized LJ comms were common, there existed website archives for kink fanfic, for example there used to be the XFSM Archive for X-Files BDSM fic.[23]

Kink Awards

There are also awards for kink fanfic, sometimes as category, sometimes as multifandom awards just for kink such as the Titanium Whip Awards.[24]

Meta/Further Reading


  1. ^ Not to mention impossible if you were under 18 -- or 21, in some states.
  2. ^ The practice of inserting plastic or metal 'sounds' (long thin and very smooth objects) into yours or someone else's urethra. The idea is to dilate the urethra so objects can be inserted, a practice called cock-stuffing.
  3. ^ Re: 'Eras' of fic; or: nonnie is a curious young whippersnapper, posted February 4, 2013, accessed June 5, 2013
  4. ^ Cuff ‘Em, Vamp ‘Em, or Just Make ‘Em Come Already Kink and Cliché Multi-Fandom Challenge
  5. ^ Rules Post and How to Play, Thingswithwings, 2008-05-18. Accessed 2008-09-30.
  6. ^ animadri. First Springkink post. Posted March 3rd 2007. Accessed Oct. 1st 2008.
  7. ^ It is linked to in the community's permanent sidebar.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ For a somewhat longer example, see Pairing: Pendragon/Merlin, a ~24,000 word metafic fill at the Merlin kinkmeme kinkme_merlin.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
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  21. ^
  22. ^ The Index. Accessed 2008-09-30
  23. ^ WaybackMachine Link to XFSM. Accessed 14 February 2009.
  24. ^