Consensual Non-Consent: What Is CNC Kink?

Consensual Non-Consent: What Is CNC Kink?

Kinks — we love them; we all have them (even if you don’t talk about them openly). Kinks make sex even more exciting, especially when you can embrace them and find a partner who lets you explore what turns you on. 

However, one of the more common kinks is also one of the least understood — consensual non-consent (also known as CNC) — and we want to change that! 

What is CNC kink? How can you safely incorporate it? Let’s dive into this misunderstood sexual fantasy and discuss how to incorporate it into your sex life.

What Is CNC Kink?

The idea of consensual non-consent sounds like an oxymoron, right? How can you have a non-consensual sexual encounter consensually? It can be helpful to think of CNC like any other type of role play, where the roles are consented to and defined ahead of time. 

Instead of wanting your partner to dress up like a naughty schoolgirl or put on a fursuit, you’re asking them not to take no for an answer (or let you do the same). That may sound like rape, but the key is in the consent

People who practice CNC kinks tend to have more consent than any other type of sexual encounter — and that consent can still be revoked at any time. 

It isn’t just about play rape, though. There are also different types of CNC kink, including:

  • Blackmail — having to do whatever the blackmailer demands to avoid repercussions.
  • Hypnosis — being hypnotized and used sexually.
  • Rape fantasy — being forced or forcing your partner to perform sexual acts.
  • Selling — being non-consensually sold for sexual purposes.
  • Somnophilia — having sexual acts performed on someone who is “asleep.”

There’s not a lot of research on what triggers CNC kinks, but keep in mind that what may seem healthy for one person may be less than healthy for another. Some people have experienced sexual trauma and use CNC kink to deal with their feelings — that’s not always bad! 

However, it may also trigger them to act them out, so challenging these boundaries should be approached with sensitivity and understanding. 

How Do You Practice CNC?

Now that you have a better answer to “what is CNC kink?” are you ready to try it yourself? We’ve got some tips and tricks for safely practicing CNC.

Establish a Safe Word

Using a safe word in CNC is somewhat controversial — some people believe it stops you from having an immersive experience. However, when you choose a random safe word that you know you’re not going to say during sex (pineapple, banana, unicorn, etc.), you can still “fight back” and say no or stop all you want. 

If it’s your first time trying out CNC, we strongly urge you to use a safe word. You never know when it might suddenly be “too much,” and you don’t want a play situation to end up accidentally getting more real. Keep it hot, keep it consensual — choose a safe word. 

Negotiate Beforehand

Setting boundaries is also crucial in exploring any CNC kink fantasies — perhaps more in these scenarios than in any other kink exploration. When you’ve really sat down with your partner and hashed out potential scenarios and what is and isn’t on the table, you can let go in a way you might not have thought possible.

Here are some examples of negotiations you should have with your partner:

  • Is bondage okay? If so, what type? Are you okay with being tied up with rope? Handcuffs?

  • What level of non-sexual physical interaction are you looking for? Can your partner spit on you? Slap you in the face? Pull your hair? Pinch your nipples? Draw blood?

  • What type of penetration are you okay with? Vaginal only? Is anal on the table? Would you prefer penetration with body parts only, or are you okay with sex toys like dildos or vibrators?

  • Can your partner tear your clothes? Leave marks?

  • Do you want your partner to use lube?

  • Do you want your partner to wear a condom? Are you on birth control or able to get pregnant? Have you discussed STIs?

That may seem like a lot, but it’s an important part of following through with living out your CNC kink. Communication is one of the most crucial pieces of any sexual relationship — CNC kink or not. 

Discuss the End of the Scene

Even if you decide to use a safeword, it’s also a great idea to discuss ending the scene. Starting it is easy, especially if you’ve discussed when you plan to do it. 

Ending it can be harder, so it’s essential to talk about what that looks like for both of you. You may want to set a time limit — when the time is up, you can always renegotiate continuing for longer! 

Experiment With BDSM Instead

If this all seems intimidating and you’re unsure where to start, why not try some BDSM first? BDSM can scratch a lot of the itch that people with a CNC kink have while still giving you a way to dip your toe in without having to commit. 

Trying different forms of BDSM can also give you a way to learn more about what you like and don’t like, which you can eventually add to your CNC play (if you decide to go there). You may find out that you really want to be tied up and spit on or that it makes you extra wet to have your partner grab your hair. 

Many of the elements of CNC are there, with more obvious safe word use that can keep you feeling a little less vulnerable. 

In Summary 

What is CNC kink? Besides being one of the most misunderstood sexual kinks, it can also be one of the hottest. 

Trusting someone enough to let them do what they want and letting go in a way you may not have been able to before can be super hot, super fun, and absolutely cathartic. Make sure you discuss everything ahead of time — be safe out there!


The nature of women's rape fantasies: an analysis of prevalence, frequency, and contents | PubMed

What Is Sexual Consent? | Facts About Rape & Sexual Assault | Planned Parenthood

Consensual Non-Consent: Exploring Challenging Boundaries | Psychology Today

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