In a previous article, we mentioned the changes to the most recent edition of the DSM, the “official” psychological guide to mental disorders. From now on, psychologists will not consider kink as a pathology. Instead, it becomes a set of “unusual sexual interests.” It is only when there is a lack of consent, abuse, or predatory behavior that kink becomes a “disorder.” In this new article on the same topic, “Kink Is OK, Part II,” we talk to a psychologist. He offered us a brief but thorough explanation of this change and its significance for the kinky community.
Maureen Nugget has been counseling couples for seventeen years, and she agreed to answer two questions for us.
Our first question was whether this definition of kink as “unusual sexual interests” is accurate, in her opinion. She said that it correctly points out the essence of kink, “which is being alternative, weird, deviant. Whatever is out of the current social norms is kinky. So, for example, a hundred years ago, when people got married at sixteen, committing to a marriage at age thirty would have been kinky. And this is because it was not the regular thing to do. This reminds us that vanilla and kink are not fixed concepts. They change from time to time and from one culture to another.”
Then, we asked Maureen if there was a benefit for the community in the new understanding of the term. “Well, I will answer in two parts. First, kinky people weren’t waiting for the DSM to change to keep their lifestyle. In that sense, it makes no difference. However, I do believe that the recognition of kink as something not necessarily pathological will reduce guilt and anxiety among members of the kink community, especially those who are taking their first steps into it.”
This was “Kink Is OK, Part II.”