July 11


Kink-Friendly Therapy: Sex-Positive Practices

By Tatyana Kholodkov

July 11, 2023

As a kink-friendly psychotherapy practice, we work a lot with individuals for whom kink is part of their life or something they are curious to explore. But what are we talking about when we say the word “kink?” 

Kink Explained

A kink is an activity that provides some form of satisfaction to a person, often erotic (but necessarily sexual) in nature. Many activities that are thought to be “outside of the mainstream” are described as kinks. From the sex-positive lens through which our therapist team practices, we are more interested in what is healthy and fulfilling to a person rather than what the mainstream perceptions may be. Kink allied therapists won’t label a consensual kink or negotiated power dynamics as a “clinical issue.” However, the last thing you need is a shame when trying to get clarity around your desires. 

Graphic of a woman's body painted on the wall representing the Kink Friendly Therapists in Durham, NC.

Alone or With Others

Kink may be engaged in by one’s self, or with others. When others are involved, they engage in consensual activities that are negotiated and agreed upon by all participants. Negotiating the experiences involves communication and commitment to safety.  Thus, the kink community’s explicit commitment to consent practices serves as a role model for negotiating healthy interactions. In other words, kink-friendly therapy that specifically focuses on relationships may include being able to explore what you want to consent to (and how to express it). 

Societal Pressures to Conform

While we live in a society that has a very limited idea of what ways of enjoyment are considered acceptable, and when coupled with puritanical culture, humans walk around believing that the different things they desire are “wrong.” We work to support our clients in clarifying what it is that they may find fulfilling in their lives, and if kink is something they are curious about, we help them with resources to learn more about themselves. For example, many humans walk around also with a tremendous amount of shame about their fantasies, and it takes some unlearning to then approach themselves with compassion and kindness. However, suppressing desires can also require a tremendous amount of cognitive, emotional, and physical energy. 

A graphic drawing of a ballerina trying to dance on a piano but her feet are bound representing the freedom that colmes from exploring your needs in Kink-Friendly Therapy in Durham, NC.

That’s Where Sex-Positive Therapy Comes In

  • We don’t assume that what you are coming to therapy for is linked to kink, but happy to discuss kink as a subject if relevant. 
  • We may be knowledgeable about kinks that are important to you, and if we are not, we are dedicated to learning more!
  • If we are helping you examine your desires, the focus is on 1) whether the activity is fulfilling or 2) whether it is harmful to you or others. If you and others involved are enthusiastically consenting, we assume that it is a healthy choice for you. 
  • Should you discover you are engaging in a behavior that isn’t working for you or has costs in your life, our therapist team will offer support from a harm-reduction framework to help you make changes.

Many types of activities can fall under “kinky” practices. Furthermore, these can include fetishes, sensory and sensation play, power dynamics, BDSM, role-playing and fantasy, and many more. Project Yes PLLC sex-positive therapists are here to talk about it all with you. 

Why seek out a kink-competent therapist? Examples from our clients.

  • To process feelings about your interests, or interests a partner has
  • Explore how to proceed safely
  • To just be able to talk about something that you derive meaning and enjoyment from
  • Examine how kink may be connected to your relationship health
  • Navigating kink while also healing one’s connection with their body
  • Approaching kink while in trauma recovery
  • Having ongoing conversations with yourself and others about consent 
  • Communicating your boundaries
  • Defining what would make things even more pleasurable in your life
  • Identifying how to cope with drop and aftercare practices 
  • Transitioning out of kink practices if that is the direction life or relationships evolve 
Graphic on a wall of three distinct creatures representing the unique aspects of Kink and the need to work with a Kink-Friendly Therapist who understands this.

Give Yourself the Freedom to Explore Through Sex-Positive Therapy in Durham, NC

Giving yourself the freedom to explore in safe ways is what matters. Some of our therapy clients describe that once they were able to experiment with kink, they felt healthier than when they tried to ignore those wishes in the past.  However, we see clients that are kink-curious, actively exploring, contemplating coming out, and who already identify as part of the kink community. Our sex-positive therapists believe that diverse interests and sexual expressions are valid, and can contribute to a fulfilling and enriched life. 

Project Yes PLLC sees folks for therapy virtually throughout North Carolina. Reach out to one of the kink-friendly therapists if you would like to be supported in an atmosphere of acceptance, respect, and non-judgment. We want you to be YOU!

Other Services Offered by Project Yes

In addition to Sex-Positive and Kink-Friendly Therapy, we offer Psychotherapy Services for Relationship TherapyAnxietyInsomniaIntegrative HealthOCD, and Trauma and PTSD as well as Yoga and Meditation Options. Additionally, we offer Psychedelic PsychotherapyKetamine-Assisted Psychotherapy, and more. We look forward to guiding you on your journey toward optimal physical and mental well-being.

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