The first time I showed Brandon my toy bag (it's a hospital logo tote. kinkay!) his response was "I thought you had to be married for ten years before you resorted to whips and chains." It was a reaction I hadn't anticipated--he wasn't grossed out by it, he just didn't understand why we "needed" it while vanilla was still exciting. Kink not as an alternative to vanilla, but as a higher dosage of the same thing. And like a higher dosage, only necessary when you've built up a tolerance.
I haven't been married for ten years, I'd fuck my husband every day if I were, and I do get off on plain ol' gentle kissy sex. But Brandon's a little right. I think I am kinky, at least in part, because I get bored so easily.
Or to put it more positively, because I'm an adventure-seeker. I've worked in fast-paced, intense jobs--first in the film industry, now in intensive-care nursing. I've traveled extensively and sometimes without much money. For fun after work I do Krav Maga: full-contact martial arts with men three times my size. Call me spoiled, but I just don't feel alive if nobody's screaming.
Kink is an adventure, then. It' novel and physically demanding and feels dangerous. It's not more sexually exciting than sex--it's more exciting exciting. If sex is eating a delicious meal, kink is eating a delicious meal on a Portaledge halfway up Half Dome.
Kink is not high-dose sex. It's a sex and adventure cocktail.