Embrace your true self through kink and connection.


What is “kinky” anyway?

I recently learned a framework in my studies that really challenged the way I feel about kink, and what is considered to be “kinky.”

This framework is called the 3 Dimensions of Sex, and it basically tells us that there are 3 distinct types of sex that humans enjoy. All of which are common, healthy and as normal as one another.

The 3 dimensions are Partner Engagement, Trance and Roleplay. Let’s look at them in more detail:

Partner Engagement

This dimension is all about feeling loved and connected with your partner. It usually involves lots of eye contact, as well as words of love and desire “I love you so much” “You’re so fucking sexy.” etc. This type of sex is usually romantic and passionate and it is the type of sex that is represented most often in film and tv. 


Trance is about going inside yourself and getting lost in a world of physical and emotional sensation. People who enjoy trance often like to have their eyes closed, and may not enjoy speaking during sex – as this can pull them out of their trance. In the kink world, trance is popular among masochists and those who enjoy sensation play. 


This dimension refers to those who like to embody a role or character during sex. This might mean playing out a fantasy such as school girl / teacher, or cop / prisoner. However roleplay can also involve more subtle types of roles, such as enacting or subverting gender roles. For example, if you enjoy playing our the role of a submissive, innocent woman, or a powerful aggressive man – these are enacting gender roles. In a similar sense, you might like to do the opposite – rebelling against your gender roles (eg male feminization, female dominance). 


This idea of 3 Dimensions of Sex might not sound all that revolutionary at first, but it actually tells us quite quickly that sex can be enjoyed on a far wider spectrum to what most of us have been taught. 

Culturally there is a tendency to group sex into “vanilla” and “kinky,” or more perhaps more accurately “normal” and “unusual.” 

The Partner Engagement style of sex is shown more commonly in film and tv and is therefore more generally accepted as “normal” sex. However – using this framework, we can see that trance (including sensation play) and roleplay are just as common, valid and “normal” forms of sex. 

Which begs the question… what is “kinky” anyway. Isn’t it all just sex? 🤔

The framework states that most people will identify with one or two of these dimensions, and some people will be a mix of all three. This means that you can mix and match as you like – and all of it is ok!

This also means that if you’re (like me) not so into the partner engagement stuff  – that doesn’t make you weird or abnormal. It just means you’re probably a trance or roleplay person. 

Wow, didn’t that make me feel better when I read that?! 😅

Don’t get me wrong here. I love identifying with being kinky as much as the next Fetlifer – however I do wonder if this term creates an “us vs them” mentality. Or more the point, that it makes enjoying things like roleplay and impact play feel like something outside of the norm. 

The definition of kink literally is “involving or given to unusual sexual behavior.” 

But is it really that unusual? 

Or is sex just far more wide and varied than society cares to admit? 


Feeling intrigued? I share a whole lot more info and personal stories on this topic in the latest episode of my podcast Turns Out I’m Into It – available anywhere you listen to podcasts!

Till next time, 

Play safe, and have fun!

Harley 🐰 xx

Mosher, Donald L. “Three Dimensions of Depth of Involvement in Human Sexual Response1.” The Journal of Sex Research, vol. 16, no. 1, Feb. 1980, pp. 1–42, https://doi.org/10.1080/00224498009551060. Accessed 5 Jan. 2021.

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