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Are kinks hereditary?

Feb 8, 2024

How are kinks usually developed?

Are they hereditary?

So hereditary is a fascinating question.

When we look at whatever science we have around things like desire which is where kink stuff would be under the larger umbrella like related to who are attracted to, why are you attracted to them, what kind of sex acts do you find interesting or titillating, what kinds of kink stuff are you into?

I think that asking about hereditary is really messy and complicated because we don’t have a way to pull people out of the dominant culture that we are a part of to see whether they would still develop those interests outside of that dominant culture.

We all live here in the United States, in the Western world in a dating and relational culture that is deeply steeped in rape culture, in purity culture, in cis-heteropatriarchy, in white supremacy, ableism, classicism.

And so the ways that we think of and experience are attached to look at desire are going to be influenced by those societal structures that we live in and are born in.

One of the theories around kinks is that part of why we are often drawn to the taboo is because in our culture, sex and shame get tied up really, really tight by a lot of the ways that we think and talk about sexuality.

Sex is dirty and terrible and wrong and it makes you gross and used up and that’s why you save it for the person you love.

When we have a culture of shame around sexuality, of shame around bodies, what that can do is make it so that things that make us feel shame make us feel turned on because they are now sexually relevant.

If anything related to sex is supposed to bring up shame for us, it would make sense that in our brain the opposite direction would also start working where the things that bring up shame start bringing up sexual relevance.

They make us titillated.

They make us interested.

They make us a little horny.

And humans just in general like there’s a whole series of great threads about what if humans are the space orcs?

What if we are that death planet that everybody looks at and is like, “That is some scary shit, I want nowhere near that?”

Because we go to the very coldest parts of our planet, we go to the very hottest parts of our planet, we live in conditions that are terrible, natural disasters wipe out our homes and we just build them right back up in the exact same spot.

We carry static electricity so we like keep electrical current with our body if it happens and then we just kind of just charge it somewhere and maybe we can survive losing whole limbs, eyes, all kind of stuff and just fix it.

And now, we have ways to like put a new organ inside someone if one of the organs got messed up.

We are a kind of banana species.

We do sky diving.

We do base jumping.

We do bungee jumping.

We do all of this weird stuff.

And part of that is because the same centers in our brains that deal with pleasure and desire also deal with things about like excitement, and excitement for us is often related to danger.

And so, where did kinks come from?

I think kinks are in part about how we can make sex more like a rollercoaster ride, how we can play with our own edges, how we can dance with the things that are taboo, that are scary, that make us uncomfortable.

And because shame is so deeply tied up with sex for us, a lot of times, the stuff that we are playing with, the stuff that we are told is deeply gross and wrong and terrible because that makes us feel shame which then starts interacting with the sexuality spaces in our brains and our bodies.

In terms of are they hereditary, I don’t know that there’s any good science looking at that.

And I think again, it will be really tough to tell.

If you grow up in a household with someone who is very into shoes, you’re probably going to see a whole lot of shoes around and hear the way that they talk about shoes, the way they point out shoes, and that might influence the way that you then think about shoes.


I don’t know that there’s good science here.

I think that all of our brains have this way that we like to interact with things that are exciting, that are novel, that are perhaps a little taboo, a little edgy, a little scary, and how we interact with them and which kinks that means we are drawn towards, I think that that is kind of how that shows up for our own personal brain.

Some people really love rope.

That is great for them.

I think it’s awesome that there is so much rope stuff available for people who enjoy rope because I am not a person who enjoys rope, but like good for them.

I hope that they have an amazing time doing all the rope things.

For them, it is very fun and interesting and cool and sexy and all these things.

For me, it looks tedious as hell.

I just am so bored.

I’m so bored.

It’s so beautiful.

It’s so cool.

And again, I’m so glad they get to do it but it does not work for my brain that way.

Whereas for my brain, boy, a predicament scene or something where we are kind of like circling each others like animals.

There are all different kinds of ways that I like to play within kink spaces that are not the right fit for other people.

I love, I love incest fantasies.

They’re so hot and so wrong.

I love consensual and non-consent.

I love all these things that a lot of people hate and I think that it’s just how my brain – like the things that my brain particularly responds to that are related to that novelty, that excitement that other people may not.

And so, I think kinks are developed as a result of things we see, things we experienced, possibly just kind of like predispositions we have.

Some kinks are just way more hot than others and maybe it’s just because like that’s how humans do things like foot fetishes, hugely common.

Tons of people have foot fetishes.

Hugely common.


Who knows, right?

It’s also interesting that like cultures that are far more sexually repressed tend to have much weird or kinkier stuff happening.

I mean look at Japan.

Tentacles, so many tentacles, so much weird stuff, right?

The more sexual repression there is in the culture, the kinkier people’s fantasy lies tend to get.

Again, shame and taboo and sex getting wrapped up with each other.

And so the more taboo it is, the more it’s going to stimulate those sex centers.

So is it hereditary?

Who knows?

I mean it’s possible in the way that like all baboons are drawn to butts that show us signs of estrus in females.

There may be certain kinds of kinks that our brains are more predisposed towards or there may be ways in which like if a parent is into something, it predisposes the child towards it.

But it will be so hard to test that.

We need like adopted twin studies to look at whether kinks are hereditary because again, you’re going to have that confounding variable of environment.

So maybe.

Who knows?

I think what’s more important is like how do you find ways to explore that kink and have fun with it.

There are so many great ways to explore whatever kink it is and like you don’t feel shame about it.

As long as you’re not hurting or harming anybody else, go for it.

Have fun.

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