Kink in an English field: The drinking, drug use and sexual practices of English festival-goers who engage in kink

Mark McCormack, Fiona Measham, Maria Measham, Liam Wignall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little is known about the other leisure activities of people who engage in kink, including sexual practices and the use of alcohol and other drugs. This article examines the drinking, illicit drug use and sexual practices of people who engage in kink from a novel sample of attendees at an English festival. Of 966 respondents, 64 reported having engaged in kink within the past 12 months. We provide evidence of these respondents’ self-reported demographic characteristics, alcohol and other drug use in their lifetime and within the past 12 months, as well as other sexual practices they engaged in. This study illustrates the value of accessing participants through in situ festival fieldwork to understand kink practices, and helps us move beyond notions of clustered risky activities toward a leisure studies approach to understanding the practices of people who engage in kink.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1750-1765
JournalSexuality & Culture
Issue number5
Early online date27 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2022


  • alcohol
  • BDSM
  • drugs
  • Kink
  • leisure
  • festivals
  • sexual behaviors

Cite this