Praise kink has gotten more attention in recent years, but it’s still not well understood by many, including some kinksters.
If you don’t fully understand praise kink, fear not This guide will teach you everything you need to know including what it is, how to “do” praise kink, what lines work best, and how to have a great time doing it.
What Is A Praise Kink?
Praise kink, which is sometimes known as “affirmation play” or a good girl kink, involves the dominant or top showering their submissive/bottom partner with compliments, kind words, and other sorts of praise.
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Now, praise kink doesn’t just mean including praise. After all, that’s a common component of most power exchange relationships or kinky scenes. So if you have this kink or want to include it as an activity, it’s the focus of your interactions.
In fact, that’s the difference between kinks/fetishes and sexual interests. A kink is an important or even necessary component for sexual pleasure and arousal. If you don’t understand that, you’ll struggle to understand the meaning of praise kink.
If you don’t have a praise kink, you might find the whole thing a bit over the top. But that’s similar to any kink: they can seem pretty bizarre to those who aren’t turned on by them.
No one’s really quite sure where praise kink originated. But some people believe the phrase has been in use since the 1980s. It’s definitely become more commonly written about–and potentially practiced– in the Internet era.
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The Psychology of Praise Kink
Obviously, receiving praise and being told that you are valued, and valuable feels good. You’ve probably felt something similar if you ever received a compliment for your hard work on a project for work or school. However, with praise kink, that euphoric feeling is magnified and sexually charged!
Focus – When you praise someone, you can focus on their skills, something that’s often important in D/s. When trying out praise kink, you may find that you especially enjoy praise about a specific skill, behavior, or even body part. This is similar to body worship; although, that usually goes in the opposite direction with the submissive worshiping their dominant’s body.
However, you can also emphasize a person’s value through this kink. They didn’t just perfect the skill of giving oral; they’re the sort of person who works hard or strives for perfection. It’s no surprise that there’s overlap being those who are service-oriented and love to please with those who have a praise kink. The very activities that earn praise can also show their partner how much they care.
Embarrassment & The Draw of Discomfort
There’s another reason why some people are attracted to praise kink, though. Receiving kind words can be a bit embarrassing. Anyone who struggles to take a compliment knows what we’re talking about.
But for those with a praise fetish, there’s something appealing about that embarrassment, kind of like how you might like tickling in spite of it also feeling uncomfortable.
Humiliation? – It could be that it creates feelings close to humiliation. And you probably already know that erotic humiliation exists. If not, check out our guide to erotic humiliation and degradation kink.
Praise kink could be an interesting extension of that. But the discomfort comes not from harsh words but from being unable to accept kind ones. Ultimately, we want to believe others who say nice things about us, even if we struggle to do so.
Remember that people can be emotionally as well as physically masochistic. There’s something taboo about discomfort. Plus, you may have pride in how well you can handle that discomfort, which is an element included in BDSM sometimes.
Read More: Beginner’s Guide to BDSM
How Do Praise Kinks Start?
Early experiences – There isn’t any research on praise kink psychology, but some people might develop a need to hear excessive praise because they didn’t receive much during their developing years. Or perhaps they only heard harsh words. The idea that interactions with those caring for you as a child impacts your future relationships isn’t a new one. In fact, it’s a key component of the theory of attachment style.
Natural need to feel appreciated – Without kind words, you might wonder if you’re a burden or be unsure about how people really feel about you. Praise kink gets right to the heart of it. You’re hot, sexy, talented, and absolutely wanted.
Lack of recognition – This kink might also be attractive to those people who work hard without a lot of recognition. Praise kink ensures they feel appreciated in at least one aspect of their lives.
Your love language – You might also gravitate toward praise kink if your love language is words of affirmation.
Why Dominants Like Praise Kink
On the other side of things, the dominant partner might enjoy judging their partner’s behavior, training them, and being serviced. Although they might be uncomfortable at first, you could even use it to get your partner used to accepting compliments through praise kink. Who doesn’t like building confidence in those they care about?
Like most activities, praise kink can be done safely and healthily. As long as you and your partner both consent, there’s no need to overanalyze it.
Finally, praise kink can work well with gentle domination, too. It’s not about harsh punishment. Instead, interactions are often intimate and sweet, and you use positive rewards for the behaviors you want to see more than punishing those you don’t want.
Related: 11 Gentle Femdom Ideas
Could You Have a Praise Kink?
Now that you understand the definition of this kink, you might be asking yourself, “Do I have a praise kink?”
Like we’ve already mentioned, pretty much everyone likes giving and receiving praise. However, having a praising kink takes it to an entirely different level. You might find hearing those complimentary words to be reward enough for your hard work if you are are the type of submissive that has a praise kink.
If you don’t generally identify as submissive or haven’t given it much thought, you might have noticed other things that could mean you have a praise kink. For example, you might get a shiver or tingle when receiving praise from your partner, especially in sexual situations. Perhaps your heart quickens, or you recognize other signs of arousal. If so, you might just have a praise kink!
A praise fetish is often described as the submissive’s desire. This doesn’t mean that some dominants don’t want to lavish kind words on their partners. But they may not identify with the kink as strongly.
Fortunately, any dominant who cares about their submissive partner can easily enough engage in praise kink with a few kind words.
A Couple Misconceptions About Praise Kink
Praise Kink vs. Love Language – If your love language is words of affirmation, you may also enjoy hearing some of the praise kink examples below. But praise kink isn’t the same as this love language.
Being praised sexually can certainly make you feel loved, but with a praise kink, there’s something darker about it. It’s absolutely sexual in nature and contributes to greater sexual pleasure and better orgasms.
Praise Kink and BDSM – Although praise kink is, well, a kink, you don’t have to be kinky in other ways to enjoy it. In fact, plenty of people enjoy hearing a well-placed praise kink phrase even if they consider themselves rather vanilla.
Examples of Praise Kink Phrases
Below you’ll find some example phrases you can use to experiment with praise kink.
- Good girl/boy/pet
- Good job
- You have a fantastic body.
- I adore your breasts
- You have the perfect penis
- What a perfect pout
- You have the most adorable smile
- You have perfect lips for kissing
- I can’t stop thinking about your ass
- You always dress to turn me on (how to dress sexy)
- You’re sex personified
- Your calves drive me wild
- I love the way you [sexual activity]
- You always know just what I need
- Special boy/girl
- I’m proud of you
- Sweet girl/boy/pet/thing
- You listen so well
- Thank you for that incredible blow job
- You can really take a spanking
- It drives me wild when you do [activity]
- That’s it
- Look at you
- Just like that
- Good, now faster
- You feel incredible
- I’m going to show you off to everyone
- Take it for me, I know you can
- Everyone will know you’re mine when you wear [accessory] (a BDSM collar is a great example)
- You’re Mommy/Daddy’s good girl/boy/pet
- That’s my girl/boy
- You’re so huge
- You really know how to use your [body part]
- Your [body part] feels so good
- Perfect little girl/boy/whore
- Sit still so I can drink you in with my eyes
- You have no idea what you’re doing to me
- Who’s my beautiful girl?
- Tell me what you are (requires your partner to compliment themselves)
Related: 91 Dirty Things To Say To A Guy
You’ll notice that these examples of praise kink phrases often indicate certain body parts or actions. You want to be specific. Personalize the commentary to your partner. It should always be genuine.
After all, you’re with this person for a reason. Simply use the reasons why as the basis for your praise. There’s plenty of room to reference your life together, nicknames, and possibly even inside jokes. Some people even find hearing their name powerful.
In the moment, you can comment on the sights, sounds, sensations, and other experiences you’re having. Think of praise kink as a natural extension of thanking your partner if it helps.
And when words fail, a content sigh says it all.
Also: If you’re a dominant, you may want to try saying some of these dominant things to your sub.
Get the Most Out of Praise Kink
Now that you’ve tried out praise kink a time or two, you might wonder how you can bring it to the next level. Like most things in kink and sex, communication is key. Discuss with your partner what you like and don’t like. Keep in mind that a praise kink phrase that might seem like a positive to you isn’t guaranteed to be one for your partner.
It can be helpful to find out why your partner doesn’t like certain praise. You might be able to push through those barriers together simply by continuing to praise those things, or you may want to consider therapy if low self-esteem is at play.
Sometimes all it takes to ensure a praise kink phrase hits the mark is to adjust it slightly.
Obviously, you want to use the praise kink phrases and nicknames that your partner likes. But variety is the spice of life, and you don’t want to become repetitive. Get creative. This may mean brainstorming praise kink phrases ahead of time because it can be hard to think clearly during sexually charged scenes.
Also Read: Spice up sex with these 23 kinky sex ideas.
It’s Not Just About What You Say
Praise kink phrases work well verbally and over text (learn how to be dominant over text), with the dominant praising the submissive. But that’s not the only way to add praise kink during a scene.
- The submissive must repeatedly write a line about how they’re gorgeous or talented or their dominant enjoys a body part.
- The dominant pats the submissive’s body to indicate a job well done.
- The submissive repeats a line such as “I am deliciously alluring” after every spanking or swing of the paddle. This works well if you usually have your submissive count.
- The dominant physically restrains the submissive through bondage or by holding them down and praises them excessively.
- The submissive must thank the dominant for praise.
- The dominant compliments their partner publicly–either at a play party or dungeon, meet, or even in a blog or vlog entry.
- The dominant caresses, gropes, bites, slaps, spanks, kisses, or otherwise touches the body part as they complement it.
- The dominant makes the submissive look in the mirror or take photos of their body while complimenting themselves.
Risks of Praise Kink
The risks of this kink are definitely rarer and less serious than a lot of kinks, especially those that involve physical harm. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks when it comes to praise kink.
Replacing every day complements – your kink shouldn’t replace compliments and kind or affectionate words in your regular life. It’s necessary and healthy to exchange those words with your partner without worrying that it’s part of a sex game.
Of course, a regular complement may occasionally make your breath catch in your throat because it triggers your praise fetish. But you should make sure to include traditional compliments.
Praise doesn’t create self-esteem – it isn’t enough to solve problems with low self-esteem. In fact, it can make things worse if your self-esteem entirely hinges on what one person thinks of you. If that relationship changes or something happens to your partner, you can spiral downward.
Healthy and sustainable confidence comes from within. If you’re struggling with that, therapy is likely a better solution than praise kink. This doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy praise kink, but you shouldn’t use it as a substitute for building your self-esteem.
It must be genuine – praise kink can be harmful if the submissive feels as though the praise isn’t genuine, that their partner is somehow patronizing them. This kink can certainly be over-the-top, but you should mean those compliments, and your partner should have no doubt about it.
It goes without saying that dominants should be careful with excessive praise if you haven’t discussed praise kink. An influx of compliments might seem disingenuous to someone who doesn’t know they’re being involved in praise kink. However, you can often test the waters by throwing in a bit more flattery than you would usually use to see how your partner responds.
If you struggle to believe that your partner means it when they praise you, you might have issues with self-esteem and confidence and may want to consider therapy to work through it.
Fortunately, many people enjoy praise kink without any sort of negatives. Those who find BDSM a bit too harsh can especially enjoy this kink.
Kink educator Evie Lupine has even put together an in-depth video that further explains praise kink and how to explore it.
Now that you know what praise kink is all about, it’s time to get out there and try out some of those praise kink phrases yourself!
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