Presentation Title

Sexual Subcultures: Exploring Correlates of Participating in Online Kink Communities for Men and Women

Project Collaborators

Irene Lopez, Ph.D. (Kenyon College; Undergraduate Mentor)

Time

1:00 PM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Social Sciences

Abstract

Scholars have identified a gap in our understanding of the role of online paraphilic/”kink” communities for both sexual and non-sexual experiences (Rosenmann & Safir, 2006; Fay, et al., 2016). We conducted an exploratory, descriptive online study of members of Fetlife.com to assess demographics, motivation for use, community engagement, shame, and perceived outcomes of kink website (KW) use. Among 96 male and 47 female participants, motivations for KW use were most commonly feelings of belonging, platonic friendships, and emotional support. Men sought pornography, sexual roleplay, and hook-ups more than women. Overall, KW use was negatively related to external shame. For men, length of KW use was negatively related to internal shame and positively related to sexual esteem. Both men and women reported less shame as a result of KW use, but also higher resultant frequency/intensity of paraphilic fantasies.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Alessandra Rellini

Secondary Mentor Name

Irene Lopez, Ph.D.

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Psychological Science

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

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Sexual Subcultures: Exploring Correlates of Participating in Online Kink Communities for Men and Women

Scholars have identified a gap in our understanding of the role of online paraphilic/”kink” communities for both sexual and non-sexual experiences (Rosenmann & Safir, 2006; Fay, et al., 2016). We conducted an exploratory, descriptive online study of members of Fetlife.com to assess demographics, motivation for use, community engagement, shame, and perceived outcomes of kink website (KW) use. Among 96 male and 47 female participants, motivations for KW use were most commonly feelings of belonging, platonic friendships, and emotional support. Men sought pornography, sexual roleplay, and hook-ups more than women. Overall, KW use was negatively related to external shame. For men, length of KW use was negatively related to internal shame and positively related to sexual esteem. Both men and women reported less shame as a result of KW use, but also higher resultant frequency/intensity of paraphilic fantasies.