Is there anything less kinky than the word ‘kinky’?

Your mum probably uses it

national noad

In recent years, one word has come to define everything that’s wrong with modern sexuality.

It’s a word that’s reached the pinnacle of cringe, and threatens to topple any last vestige of sexual adventurousness that may remain in the 21st century.

Like “vajazzle” before it, it’s time for “kinky” to go.

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Kinky is supposed to mean “involving or given to unusual sexual behaviour”, but in a post-Fifty Shades world it has come to represent a type of sexuality where talking about how your boyfriend blindfolded you at the weekend somehow makes you more interesting. 

Well actually, you’re not interesting. Especially if you have to rely on sex which is ever so slightly less vanilla to make yourself exciting.

The worst part is, it’s not even “kinky” people who are the ones using the word. They don’t need to – they’re over it. They go about their kinkiness quietly and unassumingly, rather than spending half of their time hogtied at uni and the other half going out in their underwear.

British universities in the last decade or so have seen a meteoric rise in fetish and BDSM societies, claiming uniqueness in their supposedly “out there” practices.

Burlesque has flourished under the overcooked explanation it’s not stripping because you “do it for yourself”, but has only succeeded in making nights like Exeter’s cringe Safer Sex Ball possible.

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These club nights which jump on the kinky bandwagon are risible – Exeter’s debauched Safer Sex Ball purports to promote AIDS awareness by inviting punters to turn up in their underwear, while on the other end of the spectrum Leeds’ infamous Tequila used to entice students in with raunchy promo material telling them to “come and swallow”.

It used to be thrilling, the postmodern idea there was nothing which couldn’t be out in the open. Now it’s just boring. The sad fact is, once vanilla Students’ Unions and whitebread promoters get their dainty hands on something, it’s as good as dead.

Just think: when was the last time you used the word seriously? What was “kinky” 20 years ago is now just a Saturday night in, TV advert raunchiness which is about as out-of-the-ordinary for the modern couple as watching a film on Netflix.

This weird need to label kinkiness is perhaps the last remnant of the sexual stuffiness of the Chatterley ban era – so it seems ironic its perseverance can be attributed to the baffling rise of “mummy porn” sparked by EL James and her copycats.

Your kinkiness, your uni exploration, is about as sad and boring as the stuff your mum reads in bed while your dad snores. Let it sink in.

The publication of Fifty Shades of Grey was the beginning of the end for kinkiness. It’s supposed to embody modern sexuality, but like burlesque, like fetish socs – it was about as kinky as a handjob at a school disco.

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Next came an even blander film adaptation, in which two wooden actors growled “I’m fifty shades of fucked up” at each other through barely concealed grimaces, before indulging in some light bondage. Even the Daily Mail described it as a “great spanking bore.”

But even though Fifty Shades was the final nail in the coffin for “kinkiness”, it had been dying for a long time. The word doesn’t even mean what it’s supposed to mean now, it’s just a sad go-to word for idiots.

It’s become so accepted in the public world that if anyone said it in the bedroom, you’d cringe, or laugh, or cry.

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I’m not saying fetish sex is wrong, quite the opposite in fact. What I’m saying is once we put a label on it, it’s not quite as… kinky as it was.

The truth is, there’s nothing sexy about being kinky any more. So snap on those handcuffs and choose any safe word you please, but if you decide to put a name on it I’m going to have to gag you.

The Tab Leeds

last seen today at 04:29

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