Innovative Sex Research Explores the Psychological Dynamics of Kink Sexuality

Researchers hope to expand project from 3000 participants to over 10,000 in the next 6 months

Dr. Jeremy Thomas and Galen Fous MTP believe their Kink-focused research project, including the largest sex-survey of its kind to date, can help curious individuals as well as psychology professionals, better understand the emerging phenomenon of Kink sexuality.

The on-line survey, developed and curated by Fous is completely anonymous for participants. To insure privacy, no personal information is gathered. What is unique is that participants can opt-in afterward through a separate email to receive the compiled responses of all participants. Many participants commented after receiving the results they felt a huge relief to understand they were not alone in what they desired.

Dr. Thomas, Director of Gender and Sexuality Studies at Idaho State University and Researcher with the Center for Positive Sexuality (CPS, along with Dr. DJ Williams and  Emily Prior MA, also from the CPS,) are joining Fous to do a scientific analysis of the data gathered from his survey.  Fous hopes to expand the survey from the current level to over 10, 000 participants over the next few months, before the research team analyzes the data.

Some of the provocative insights from over 3000 people who have taken the survey so far:

43% became aware of their fantasies before age 10, 28% were masturbating to them by then.
41% masturbate to porn daily to several times per week.
31% claimed their porn/masturbation activity led to more desire for their partners, 53% said it made no difference in their desire for their partner. 16% thought it harmed their relationship.
61% struggle with honesty and openness about their desires, to their partners, families and community.
74% claimed Dominance and submission was a prevalent aspect of their fantasies
63% believed their desires were innate and independent from their developmental  experience or environment

Over 1500 people voluntarily revealed very explicit and provocative snippets of dialogue and other details common to their sexual fantasies.

About 52% of the respondents identified as female, 44% male, and 4% identified as other, such as trans, gender-queer and more. Respondents were primarily from populations that were already more sex or kink-positive in their views, not by random selection.

Fous, a Kink-positive therapist, author and sex-educator, developed the 40 question survey in response to working with hundreds of men, women and couples, struggling to understand and be honest about their desires for Kink.

“Clients were coming to me trying to understand this mild to extremely kinky part of themselves, that had been with them, often for decades. Their sexual longings however, seemed at odds with their everyday social and moral persona,” Fous stated. “More significantly, their sexual desires were often at odds with the judgments of others in their life, from their spouse, family, or religious or moral views. This fear of other’s judgment or discovery had generally kept my client’s desire hidden beneath a pervasive fear and shame. Nonetheless, many had chosen to act out or pursue their desires in secretive, risky or unhealthy ways, often with disastrous consequences. On the whole, my clients were just wanting to be who they were sexually, be honest about it, and resolve the shame fear and judgment that held them back.”

Fous created the survey as a tool to help participants gain insights into the specific nature of their sexual desires, particularly those in the more Kink-driven end of the scale. They could begin to identify what was compelling and what was not. Participants reported they were able to identify more clearly what resists or stands in the way of honest expression of their desires, and explore other relevant considerations to express their desires consensually with a partner.
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The compiled results from the survey may also provide valuable psychological and demographic information, to begin a preliminary understanding of this little researched aspect of human sexuality and the people who engage it.

Dr. Thomas, lead researcher for the team explained, “This research is especially important because of the unique questions asked that address areas of kink research that have been perennially understudied. This would include, how is it that a certain percentage of kink-oriented individuals seem to come to awareness and fantasize about these desires well before puberty? And why do others not come to this awareness until well into adulthood? These and other relevant findings from this survey have the potential to shed light on the ways that kink identity can manifest itself across the life spectrum, demonstrating both continuity and change as persons discover their desires and seek to holistically integrate them into their lives.”

The research team plans to do a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data this summer, and will prepare several papers for peer-reviewed publication in various sexological and psychological journals.

The researchers believe their findings could help psychological professionals and academic psychology programs, gain a more informed understanding about the nature of Kink-oriented sexuality, and develop better tools to support their Kink clients. They hope their work will spur more research into this little understood aspect of the human sexual spectrum.

“Even though the DSM 5 delisted paraphilias as a psychological disorder, there is still a considerable lag for many psychologists to put that fact into practice when dealing with Kink-oriented clients. Not doing so can be harmful to the people who may come to them for help.” Fous stated. A paraphilia is the scientific term for what describes many negotiated consensual Kink practices.

Fous coined the term Kinkphobia recently to push back against evidence he found of a blatant negative bias held by certain psychologists towards Kink. These therapists were still inclined to assess and diagnosis their clients interests in Kink as deviant or pathological behavior. The recent emergence of Kink sexuality, or what Fous terms Fetishsexuality, is in a similar stage of early emergence as homosexuality was in the 1950’s, which was also shamed, pathologized and vilified.

The goal of the study, according to the researchers, is to develop effective ways to help people with life-long Kink driven desires learn to embrace and express them in ways that are physically, emotionally and psychologically healthy. This includes being in integrity with their values, agreements and responsibilities.

Though the research is preliminary, Fous believes that Fetishsexuality for some percentage of the gene-pool is a life-long, inherent, innate sexual identity, by the same criteria that straight, bi, gay or lesbian is considered an authentic sexual identity by the American Psychiatry Association.

Fous named the survey “Discover Your Personal Erotic Myth” to reflect the distinctive archetypal, symbolic and epic story-lines that often populate the fantasies of Kink-oriented people.

According to Fous, “Understanding your PEM and learning how to communicate honestly about your Kinks, can open you to profound sexual ecstasies, deepen Intimacy in your relationships, and help you avoid disastrous erotic mismatches in long term relationships.”

The details of one’s PEM, he says, contain the fantasy imagery, story-lines, dialogue, intensities, props, settings, attire, personas and counter personas, actions, and other elements that drive a person that has a PEM to orgasm, or other deep erotic state. It is often expressed in Fetish, Kink and D/s-BDSM oriented sex. Some people are quite aware of their PEM. Some may have multiple PEM’s that ebb and flow in their sex life. For many others, it is still an unconscious but compelling force, just below acknowledged awareness, that drives their sexual desire. It is the aspect of one’s Eros that has not often been acknowledged, or engaged in consciously.

According to Fous, “During sex, in the moments right before orgasm, one’s core sexual persona can flood into the body in wild, fierce gestures, accompanied by primitive guttural voicing’s or profane, blasphemous invectives which are like sound-bytes from their Personal Erotic Myth.”

“We still have so much to learn about the nature of sexuality beyond the imperatives of pro-creation,” Fous noted. “We hope this study contributes to that greater exploration and research.”

If you are interested in reviewing or taking the survey: http://galenfous.com/pem

Want to see the fascinating complied results: Take the survey and you can opt-in to receive an email with a link to the results. There is no connection between your email address and the data entered in the survey.

If you have questions or would like to arrange an interview please contact Galen@galenfous.com or call 503.442.5478

About the Research Team

D J Williams, PhD
Director of Research/Co-Editor-in-Chief 
Journal of Positive Sexuality

Dr. D J Williams is the Director of Research for the Center for Positive Sexuality and a social scientist at Idaho State University. He completed doctoral and postdoctoral studies at the University of Alberta (Canada), and his scholarship intersects sexology, leisure science, social work and critical criminology. D J is a leading expert on deviant leisure (including both positive and negative forms), thus he is sometimes affectionately known as “Dr. Deviant.” He appreciates human diversity and creative expression. His research has been published in several academic books and journals, including Social Work, Leisure Sciences, Leisure/Loisir, Contemporary Justice Review, Australian Family Physician, Canadian Social Work, and the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality. http://positivesexuality.org

Jeremy N. Thomas, PhD
Research Affiliate

Dr. Jeremy N. Thomas is the Director of Gender and Sexuality Studies and Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminology at Idaho State University. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University. Dr. Thomas’ research focuses on sexuality, deviance, and the body. He is especially interested in experiences, meanings, and identities related to: pornography and sex work; BDSM, kink, and fetish sexuality; sexual consent, abuse, assault, rape, and murder; and body modification, ritual violence, and self-injury. http://www.jeremythomas.org

Emily E. Prior, MA
Executive Director/Founder/Co-Editor-in-Chief 
Journal of Positive Sexuality

Emily E. Prior is the Executive Director for the Center for Positive Sexuality. Since 1996 she has been teaching formal and informal classes about a variety of sexuality-related topics including BDSM lifestyle, Polyamory lifestyle, Gender, Introductory and Advanced Human Sexuality Courses for Psychology and Sociology departments at universities, Teen Sexuality topics for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and others. Emily has studied human sexuality and gender topics from a variety of perspectives, including Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology and won the Vern Bullough Award for research. http://positivesexuality.org

Galen Fous MTP

Kink-Positive Therapist, Author, Educator & Sex Researcher

Galen Fous is a Transpersonal psychologist helping individuals and couples get honest, shame-free and empowered in expressing their authentic sexuality. He regularly speaks at universities, grad schools and conferences about emerging sexualities and offers AASECT approved CE classes for therapists on Kink Psychology.  His research focuses on understanding the unconscious psychological dynamics of Kink, Fetish and D/s-BDSM sexuality. He helps clients shift from compulsive, dishonest, risky sexual behaviors to negotiated, consensual authentic sexual expression that includes resolving the embedded fear, shame and judgments that held their authentic desire back.

Galen’s latest book, “Decoding Your Kink – Guide to Explore, Share and Enjoy Your Wildest Sexual Desires” has been praised by sexual psychologists and educators as “Visionary …Masterful …Groundbreaking …Cutting Edge…Worth its Weight in Diamonds … Highly Recommended…A Must Read!”  He is also the author of “The Sharp Edge of Love – Extreme Sex, Mythic Passion, Primal Intensity.  Learn more at http://galenfous.com

 

By | 2018-02-12T23:25:00+00:00 January 29th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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