Kink / Sexual Outsiders

In human sexuality, kinkiness is the use of unconventional sexual practices, concepts or fantasies. Kink plays a positive, healthy role in many people’s sex lives. However, integrating the nuances of kink, fetishes, and power-exchange into a loving, intimate relationship can be a challenge for some couples. Or maybe you want to work on something completely unrelated to your kink? A therapist who is sex-positive and kink-friendly can help you with both in a safe, welcoming and educated environment. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s kink experts today.

Meet the specialists

I've been involved in this community since 2013, and have been working clinically with this population since I was in school. I co-led a "Kink 101" workshop for my classmates to increase their competency on working with this population.

— Julia Koerwer, Social Worker in Brooklyn, NY

Graduated from the University of Michigan Sex Therapy training program in 2013 which included extensive coursework on kink. Currently under supervision to become certified in Sex Therapy.

— LaVange Barth, Sex Therapist in Grand Rapids, MI

I work will all types of sexual behaviors, relationship configurations and non heteronormative expressions. I create a safe, contained space to emotionally and mentally explore your challenges, hopes, and ways to establish a full and healthy sex life and relationship with both yourself and those who you are connected with.

— Adrian Scharfetter, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Sacramento, CA

Part of my initial training included working with people who self-identify as "sexual outsiders," and this is something that has applied to many of my clients. I am a member of Bay Area Open Minds, an organization for psychotherapists who affirm that sexual and gender diversity are natural expressions of the human experience. I attend panels and presentations as well as kink events.

— Nicole Rennix, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Napa, CA

I have over 30 years of experience and knowledge of Kink, BDSM, and other sexual activities and desires. I love to answer questions and educate clients about sex in all its aspects. I will always remember to not "yuck your yum" unless it involves children or non-consensual activities, in which case I must follow my ethics and report if the law mandates.

— Deanna Potts, Clinical Social Worker in Fort Worth, TX

Our entire lives we are told what our gender, orientation, and sexuality, our innermost identities, desires, and passions should be. So what do we do when our experiences don’t match our expectations? I specialize in helping clients navigate through their emotions, preconceptions, beliefs, and values around their gender identity, sexual orientation, and behavioral expressions of their desires, fantasies, practices, and lifestyles. I am LGBTIQ, poly, and kink friendly and knowledgeable.

— Edwin Ancarana, Psychotherapist

While therapy is supposed to be a place of acceptance and non-judgement, when it comes to sex some counselors aren't equipped to lovingly work with the kink community. As a kink-aware professional, I have worked with those in the lifestyle and received advanced training and education in the world of kink, fetish, and sex worker culture. Human sexuality is vibrant and varied - your flavor of expression is unique and valued.

— Katrina Knizek, Counselor in Spokane, WA

I work with people who want to celebrate, integrate, and learn more about their sexual interests. I also work with people who are disturbed by their sexual interests. These may be legal or illegal interests and I work on how, if possible, to integrate them into their sexual selves, as well as dealing with any shame. I also work with many couples who have differing sexual interests on how to navigate their sexual relationships and intimacy.

— Kate Sutton, Psychologist in Campbell, CA

I identify as a Kink-Aware Counselor and provide a welcoming space for members of the kink/BDSM community. I encourage my clients to be themselves and to talk freely about this aspect of their lives, without judgment.

— Brianna Badenhop, Counselor in COLUMBUS, OH

I work with sex workers, kinksters and fetishists- anyone who may feel like pieces of their sexuality are looked down on by the our society. Whether we are working together to learn more about your passions, process feelings of shame or seeking support in an unsupportive world I am kink informed and sex worker positive.

— Christy Powell, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Austin, TX

I am comfortable working with relationships of any type or identity and ready to meet you where you are to discuss, with openness, any issues you want to address. If you are experiencing issues within your sex life, I am comfortable discussing any and all aspects that are concerning you. If you are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, involved in a polyamorous relationship, or engaged in BDSM/fetishism, you will find a safe and non-judgmental space to discuss this aspect of your life.

— Crystal Frederick, Counselor in , TX

I created my practice for sexually diverse folk (BDSM, M/s, fetish, furries, littles, and on and on) to have a space where they can come to therapy and explore sexuality related issues, and most commonly, explore their own therapy journey in a non-judgmental and affirming environment. I welcome you to explore all aspects of your sexuality, whether it be something that feels affirming for you, or something you are working to understand or adjust.

— Rachel Robbins, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

This is more than Dr. Ruth on late night TV. Sex therapy is about overcoming boundaries and barriers that prevent or limit our ability to explore the types of relationships in our lives. Sex is more than a bedroom workout; it is every aspect of our relations: talk, touch, sharing, holding, etc. If you’re single, coupled, or poly, sex therapy is an opportunity to overcome obstacles and/or enhance any type of relationship.

— Romel Santiago, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Clearwater, FL

I am familiar with and have been involved in the kink community.

— Heather Bell, Clinical Social Worker in Clackamas, OR

I have worked with clients with a wide variety of kinky identities & interests, everything from bondage to various fetishes to power-exchange relationships. I have no problem with educating myself about your kink, though I will ask about how you practice it, rather than assuming information I gathered from a book could encapsulate your play & identity. My passion is helping clients who have had therapists latch onto their outsider status as being THE problem, instead of seeing the whole person.

— Kelley O'Hanlon, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Redmond, WA

I specialize and am competent in working with either people engaged in or issues relating to kink, BDSM and fetish sexualities.

— Jesse Kahn, Sex Therapist in new york, NY

Under the umbrella of relationship and sexuality, I specialize in working with those in open and poly relationships (exploring what works for you and your partner/s, relationship ethics) as well as alternative sexual choices (BDSM, taboos, fetishes, safety, consent, and exploring preconceived notions). I am a compassionate, trained sexuality educator.

— Sage DeRosier, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA

We’re all born with innate sexual response and drives (or a lack thereof), and our sexual identity is based on these innate responses; they’re an integral part of every person. Our current cultural sexual construct leaves most of us fumbling around in the dark, searching for an acceptable way to fit our perfectly unique sexual selves into the rigid construct that is normative sexuality

— Jan Tate, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Mebane, NC

I believe that the range of human sexual expression is infinitely varied and diverse. Every form of expression (or lack of expression) is valid and worthy of exploration. As a member of the BDSM community myself, I have worked hard to bridge the gap between the kink community and the providers that serve them. This has included educational workshops for providers on kink and BDSM, as well as workshops for community members on healthy relationship dynamics and the intersections of mental health.

— Kian Leggett, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Tacoma, WA

I live and work in the kink/BDSM community and I have the experience to help clients negotiate particular aspects of their communication and relationships or I can more simply be the therapist that is accepting of clients lifestyle.

— Joe Zarate-Sanderlin, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

All of our therapists have varying level of experience with different communities and experience within kink and BDSM communities, but all of our therapists have competence and an expertise in working with kink and "sexual outsiders" with individuals and partnerships

— Gender & Sexuality Therapy Center, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in new york, NY

Kink positive and familiar to provide a space to navigate challenges within relationships.

— Jeni Yarbrough, Counselor in Los Angeles, CA

I work will all types of sexual behaviors, relationship configurations and non heteronormative expressions.

— Joseph Doherty, Psychologist in Portland, OR

I'm not someone who just will tolerate your sexual identity; I have wide-ranging knowledge of BDSM and sex work, strong ties to those communities, and a nuanced perspective on the benefits and pitfalls of those aspects of identity. Ultimately I am not interested in steering you toward or away from any particular way of being, but supporting you in making the best possible decisions for yourself.

— Jessica Gioia, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Alameda, CA

I'm confused as to why this is listed under 'issues' for treatment because kink and alternative relationship styles are not "issues." Finding a therapist that understands these things can be challenging and I'm happy to help you navigate any non-vanilla lifestyle choices you subscribe to. Kink, poly, open, and sex worker friendly/affirming.

— Dr Stacie Freudenberg, Clinical Psychologist in Denver, CO

Are you facinated by the idea of kink/BDSM and don't know how and where to start? Together we will navigate what turns you on & where to begin. Embarrassement and shame has no place here. Instead you will feel empowered, sexy and adventerous. You will learn to say what you want and more importantly what you don't want. Together we will figure out what to do if you want something and your partner wants something else. Talking about your fantasy can be as sexy and fulfilling as playing them out.

— Gwen Lotery, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Monica, CA