A while back, a reader sent me a link to this article (Is Kink a Sexual Orientation?), and I found it quite interesting. It does mostly mirror how I feel about the topic, and even if you don’t agree, it’s a very recommended read.
Of course, it all depends on how you define “sexual orientation”. There’s definitely a fine line between interests, kinks, preferences, likes, turn ons, and orientations. You could go around arguing them for a while.
But to me, in this case, I’d define “orientation” as something that is almost innate, and hard wired into our psyche. And to me, that generally means having an awareness of it before even understanding it.
For example, many (though certainly not all) of us can relate to “knowing” that we were gay/bi when we were very young, even children. Before we even fully comprehended what it meant. At the time, we just knew we were “different”.
Well, for me, I was looking at male feet from a very early age. I was always fascinated with guy’s feet. I didn’t know why, but I just liked looking at them. Back then, there was no internet, so I couldn’t look up pictures online or find out about it. But I did scour newspaper ads for swimsuit ads, hoping to see feet, or just sexy guys from magazines, like my sister’s Teen Beat or Seventeen. (Which I often collected as you can see below… my first foot porn, which I write about in more detail here.) Let me tell you, that ad of the surfer guy lying on his stomach got me off so many times, it was unbelievable. Even now, those meaty feet are so sexy to me. Plus his sexy hair, the fact you could imagine him tied down (well, at least I did)… it was the best fantasy. For the record, the ad was for a store called Miller’s Outpost, if anyone remembers that retail chain!
As far as bondage, I was always wrapping myself up in a large blanket, which was a precursor to being mummified. I tied myself up a lot, and I didn’t really understand why. I build traps for my Spiderman doll out of Legos that immobilized him. And all the time, I didn’t really understand why I did it. I justified it as imitating what I saw superheroes like Spiderman and Batman & Robin had happen to them. But now, I think those particular kinks were hard wired into me.
So at least in my case, I do feel my kinks are part of my sexual orientation. Really, I feel like I understood and came to peace with those aspects of my life well before I accepted my homosexuality.
I also think the problem may be that kink may not necessarily be hard wired for everybody. Sexuality can be a fluid, evolving thing. Over time, some interests increase, and others wane. New interests are created, while others may fade a bit into the background. So I don’t know if that definition applies to all. But I do think I see it enough in the overall kink community to agree that we are, more or less, born that way.
Even to this day, my interest in feet and bondage haven’t gone away. In fact, my interest in feet has even increased a bit. Bondage, while still fun, is not as much of the turn on it once was (though don’t get me wrong, I do still certainly like it). In the meantime, I’ve added even more kinks I didn’t know I had (Superhero, lycra, verbal, humiliation). But now that I think about it… I think I’ve even enjoyed those for a lot longer than I realized. I just came to acknowledge them more.