Most people may instantly assume that when you refer to the Fetish and Kink lifestyles, that it is strictly a sexual thing.
However, this does NOT have to be the case.
While there is a sexual aspect to both Fetish and Kink, they can also be broken down into something much more tame.
While many within the furry fandom so strongly try to deny it, being a furry (and especially parading around in fursuit) is - and I quote - "a subculture of the kink scene." (Source)
First and foremost, a fetish is:
1. an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency.
2. any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion: to make a fetish of high grades.
3. Psychology. any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.
Kink and Fetish play doesn't even need to be sexual, as per this introduction into Kink:
"SEX DOESN'T NEED TO BE A PART OF YOUR BDSM PLAY.
There's an assumption that BDSM is all about sex, but plenty of people have had scenes (a BDSM session with a partner) without even taking clothes off."
Not to mention that the kinks can vary greatly depending on the people involved.
And you can be very kinky without being sexual.
However, in most cases within the kink (and furry) community, a Fetish is more likely something that is required for sexual gratification.
Also, the kink lifestyle could be as easily classified as a sexual orientation as being gay is:
"Kink can be such an orienting force that, for many of us, it even overpowers gender." (Source)
Meaning that it's a love for an object that can be, but doesn't have to be, sexualised.
Finding people who are into the same things you are also improves the relationship, regardless of thier gender.
For instance, I (Drako Swiftclaw) have a kink towards chastity, underwear, and diapers.
I enjoy wearing chastity cages, sexy underwear, and diapers and I love showing them off whenever I can.
However, I do NOT need them to have sex (and in some ways they would hinder sex) or to get any sexual gratification.
(Hell, I'm pretty insatiable while locked in chastity.)
All in all, Kink lifestyles are all about doing things you enjoy that fall outside the norm of human behavour.
Roleplaying as a furry character or running around in fursuit falls under this category by default.
It's time we embraced our kinky selves and felt safe in doing so, while understanding it's not all about sex.
That is why I created Drako's Den and Playground.