There are people who are involved in a range of sexual, erotic, or intimate behaviors and
relationships that are commonly understood as kinky. We conceptualize kink as sexual identities,
erotic behaviors, sexual interests and fantasies, relationship identities, relationship orientations,
and relationship structures between consenting adults not accepted by the dominant culture. We
specifically include BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism),
Leather, and Fetish as important parts of the umbrella term of kink.
The lack of training and education about kink sexualities and the stigma attached to these
interests have resulted in a lack of culturally competent treatment of this oppressed group. The
gap calls for the clinical fields to address this unmet need as part of professional ethics and
Clinical practice guidelines assist healthcare practitioners by identifying high quality services
and desirable professional practices. The Clinical Practice Guidelines for Working with People
with Kink Interests (hereafter referred to as “Kink Clinical Practice Guidelines”) are intended to
outline the knowledge, skills, and attitudes important for providing culturally competent care to
the population of people who are involved in kink, both kink-identified patients and those
involved in kink who do not adopt that identity.
Clinical practice guidelines are recommendations, not mandatory requirements. The Kink
Clinical Practice Guidelines are not standards of care, nor should they be used to exclude any
healthcare provider from practicing in a particular area. The Kink Clinical Practice Guidelines
are proposed to improve the care, and minimize harm to the kink community, an underserved
and vulnerable population.