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‘Can I be a kinky ace?’: How asexual people negotiate their experiences of kinks and fetishes

Winter-Gray, Thom; Winter-Gray, Thomas; Hayfield, Nikki

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Authors

Thom Winter-Gray

Thomas Winter-Gray



Abstract

Prior research has found that asexual people may fantasise or participate in activities typically conceptualised as ‘sexual’. These behaviours may be considered paradoxical when an asexual person is conceptualised as someone who does not experience sexual attraction or desire. This research aimed to explore how kinks and fetishes are conceptualised, experienced, and negotiated by asexual individuals. Forty-eight participants were recruited to take part in an online qualitative survey. Thematic analysis resulted in three themes. In “Am I asexual?”: (How) can you be a kinky ace?, we discuss the sense of dissonance which some participants reported in negotiating what was seemingly the paradox between their self-identity as asexual and their exploration of kinks and fetishes. In the second theme, Between me and me’ and make believe: Kinks and fetishes as solo and imaginary, we report on how kinks, fetishes, and fantasies were often understood in a solitary context and as either undesirable – or impossible – to live out. In the final theme, Kink as a sensual enhancement in relationships, we highlight how participants positioned kinks and fetishes as an agent for intimacy. These findings expand our knowledge of how asexual people negotiate kinks and fetishes and capture the complexities of asexual identities.

Citation

Winter-Gray, T., & Hayfield, N. (in press). ‘Can I be a kinky ace?’: How asexual people negotiate their experiences of kinks and fetishes. Psychology and Sexuality, https://doi.org/10.1080/19419899.2019.1679866

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 9, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 22, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 9, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 23, 2020
Journal Psychology and Sexuality
Print ISSN 1941-9899
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/19419899.2019.1679866
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/3608079

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