What Level Of Kink Are You?

What Level Of Kink Are You?

A woman with hands around her throwat and Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 overlaid.

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!

When I type it out like that, it sounds stupid.

And it kind of is. Except that LOTS of things are kinda “duh” when you’ve been at something for a long time, but very much less so when you are new and exploring.

I liken it to red, yellow and blue. The three colors many of us began with.

Now, they seem totally constrained. Where is green? Purple? White and black? What about persimmon or chartreuse?

Thing is, we have to start somewhere.

And in this case, I’m boiling “kink factor in our lives” down to a few levels, to help people new to kink understand their own needs and desires more effectively, and give them a starting point that is easily understood.

So, in that aim, I did some research, and I found a “levels of kink” by a BDSM writing group that is either now defunct or lost their domain, and I modified them for today’s audience, fleshing them out and adding my own experiences and thoughts.

The idea is to help people find their place—not to box them in. I don’t care where anyone is, of course.

You do you, boo-boo.

I care that when people ask questions of themselves, they have some frame of reference to answer and move forward in their journey.

So, here goes:

Totally Vanilla, No Kink

As many people think that power exchange is a kink in itself, it’s unlikely that you will be in this level at all, unless you’re reading this to understand a friend or loved one’s desires/relationship better.

In fact, just as many people are not in the extreme level, or topping out the scales at “criminal sadist,” I’d say that this is an incredibly rare place to be, even for the general public.

The success of 50 Shades and subsequent books and movies shows that deep down inside, many of us at least fantasize about something a bit extra-normal.

Dreams & Fantasies, Level 1 Kink

I’d say the majority of the world (not necessarily you, reading this book) is here. They read the books, they fantasize, but they never take the step.

Or, perhaps they got handcuffed and tickled with a feather in college, but never pursued it further.

This is a life of “Maybe, but not yet.”

Or perhaps kink has not really lived up to expectations. Or relationship opportunities are not there, so it’s not been pursued.

But it still creeps into the spank bank and maybe even inspires some online exploration/dirty chat/cyber/research.

The challenge with this level is that in many people it invariably creates a dissatisfaction ranging from mild to obsessive based on “What if?”

Compartmentalization, Level 2 Kink

This is most often recognized as “Bedroom-Only” kink, but that’s not the only way this is expressed.

There are also those whose lives are totally full without kink, but who dive in and enjoy kink with certain partners.

Or who live a life without interactive kink, but travel a few times a year to fetish events to let loose before going back to their vanilla life.

These people can usually take it or leave it, although they will take it when presented to them, and happily.

This level may or may not identify as kinky. They may feel a bit kink-shy around those in different levels, because they feel they may not be “kinky enough.”

They don’t generally join or participate in munches, sloshes or online, but may enjoy lurking and learning.

Lifestyle, Level 3 Kink

These people embrace kink as a part of their lives. they identify easily (in the right crowds) as kinky.

They enjoy meshing kink with their everyday life, as part of their relationship dynamics.

They are more likely to be social and join the community. Their engagement may be all-out or limited, based on factors like:

  • Introversion/extroversion
  • Time/life commitments
  • Privacy concerns (especially related to kids/career)
  • And so on.

However, they likely spend a good amount of time either with others or on their own exploring and developing their kink.

Lifestyle or Professional, Level 4 Kink

This level is different from the previous level by a factor of commitment. These people also make kink a part of their lives, identify as kinky, join the community (with the same caveats), and so on.

Where this one really differs is the amount of entanglement in kink they have on a personal or professional level.

In Level 3, they could move in and out of kink without making much of a splash, except in their personal friend circle.

In Level 4, they have engaged with the community in ways that affect it beyond their intimate/local circles, personally or professionally.

They may give classes, write a blog, publish books, or maybe they have made kink a profession or side job—making toys, hosting events, etc.

Extreme, Level 5 Kink

To be clear, by extreme I don’t mean anything negative. I simply mean “beyond what most people—even those in kink—could/would handle.”

They kink as a part of their lives, and identify easily (in the right crowds) as kinky.

They enjoy meshing kink with their everyday life, as part of their relationship dynamics.

They enjoy more extreme kink in various ways:

Edge play. Kink that pushes the boundaries of identity and physical limits.

Totalitarian power exchange. Master/slave or Owner/property type lifestyles, lived 24/7.

This level may be personal or professional, or a mixture of both.

This need not be an ongoing or constant level, as edge play is not really constantly sustainable, while totalitarian power exchange can be a full-time activity.

A Few Notes:

Where you are NOW is not necessarily an indication or restriction on where you want to be ideally, or what you would like to try.

It’s an incredibly personal decision, and it may change over the years and with different people.


I’m 100% open to suggestions and modifications on this. It’s a first-draft, and something I’ve run by only one other person so far, so I’m sure I’m missing many things.

Please do keep in mind, though, this is for newbies, mostly, so it need not get too granular, as that could cause more confusion.

So, What Level Of Kink Are You?

Are you willing to share where you are? Or maybe where you’d like to be?


More Posts

4 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.