Praise Kink: What It Means, Best Phrases, and More
How to Explore a Praise Kink, According to Sex Experts
Learning about kinks and fetishes can be one of the easiest ways to spice up your sex life. And though there are many different kinks out there to explore, like golden showers and BDSM, praise kinks tend to be one of the more popular ones — especially for people who love dirty talk.
The best thing about praise kinks is they're meant for everyone, regardless of how far (or not) you want to take it. And no matter what your gender identity or sexual orientation is, it's a super-sexy kink that everyone can get involved in. After all, a praise kink is basically just words of affirmation on steroids.
If you're ready to venture into the world of praise kinks, you've come to the right place. Below, experts explain what a praise kink is, praise-kink phrases, and praise-kink tips. And for more insight into your sexual preferences, take this free kink test, too.
What Is a Praise Kink?
As the name suggests, a praise kink is when someone enjoys being praised in sexual situations, especially when it involves power play. For example, your partner might be turned on by you complimenting them in an over-the-top manner, beyond what you might typically do.
"It involves the intentional use of praise and kind words in the context of sex or foreplay — and it's not just what is said, but how it is said and the context," says Angie Rowntree, sex expert and founder and director of the award-winning site Sssh.com. "Praise kink is a kink when it is used as the focus of the interaction between partners, or is part of a power exchange dynamic. In BDSM context, the sub often receives praise from the dominant."
Some people may want their partner to boast about how they're the best at their jobs, while others might prefer the praise to pertain only to their sexual activities. No matter how someone wants to be praised, the core of it is all the same. But since everyone's different, communicating with your partner about what feels good to hear is absolutely key.
It may take a lot of communication and some trial and error to figure out what phrases work best for you and your partner. However, Dr. Jess O'Reilly, PhD, ASTROGLIDE's resident sexologist, explained that there aren't any hard or fast rules about what to say to your partner to satisfy their praise kink.
"Some people say that their praise kink is tied to the fact that praise helps them have a euphoric or intense experience," she says. "Some people want to be praised for their behavior. Others want praise related to their skill, character, appearance, role, attitude, or specific context." Some phrases you can try with a partner include:
- You're such a good [kitty, doll, student, daddy, baby, teacher, pet, term of endearment, sub, dom, etc.].
- You're so good at [insert skill].
- I'm so lucky to have you. I know everyone wants a _______ just like you.
- You look so hot when you [insert activity].
- I can't wait to show you off.
- You look so good in that [insert item of clothing/fetish wear].
- Your [insert body part] is irresistible.
- You taste so good. I can't get enough of you.
- You're doing amazing — I'm so proud of you.
- You know exactly how I like it.
- You make me so [horny, wet, hard].
- You make me feel so good.
Kinks are something that not everyone is into, which is why discussing it early and properly in a partnership is the safest way to engage in it. If you have a praise kink and a potential partner can't satisfy it, that's something to discuss together to decide if you can move forward sexually without it. Conversely, if your partner needs praise to enjoy sex but you don't feel comfortable, discuss if the relationship can continue without it.
When going into this conversation, lead with an open mind and an open heart, rather than any form of negativity. If you're exploring a praise kink with your partner, you should also discuss how you want to do it. For example, discuss what phrases work for each of you and how you want them to be delivered. Praise hits differently for everyone, so talking about it will help you both get to a place where you're both comfortable and engaging in kinky activities fruitfully.
And even though a praise kink is something that's typically saved for sex, you can carry that praise throughout your day in other aspects of your relationship. "It is important to remember that even if you are into kink, you and your partner should share praise and affirmation within regular nonsexual contexts, too," Rowntree says. "After all, everyone loves to feel appreciated in principle, and a little praise to your partner over breakfast can go a long way when it comes to nourishing your overall intimate life."
— Additional reporting by Taylor Andrews