Born this way? Is kink a sexual orientation or a preference?

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Hart, Caitlin




What does it mean to be kinky? Is it a deviant tendency, a recreational activity, a deep-seated desire or an integral part of one's subjectivity? In this thesis, I address the latter theory. Specifically, I explore the question of whether kink - for some people - should be considered a sexual orientation. I will begin by surveying different definitions of sexual orientation, considering what the term means in various socio-legal contexts, and how it has tended to focus on gender preference of sexual partners. I will then analyze whether sexual orientation should be a more inclusive term to encompass sexual practices. Finally, using data collected from interviews I will present how kink practitioners themselves categorize their activities with relation to sexual orientation. Is kink something that people are born with? Or something they develop?


Women's Studies
Gender Studies




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Women's and Gender Studies

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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