What is a CNC kink – Everything you need to know about a consent fetish

"Consensual non-consent" or CNC, is a sexual fantasy, kink, and fetish. CNC is a type of play in which one person consents to have another person act out a fantasy of non-consent. The participants often have a safe word and know the other person's requirements for the sexual interaction, and limits.
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Last updatedLast updated: February 27, 2024
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CNC stands for “consensual non-consent”. At first glance this appears to be a contradiction of terms. How can something be both consensual and non-consensual at the same time? CNC kink is a type of play in which one person consents to have another person act out a fantasy of non-consent. Acting out a mutually agreed upon act together is called “playing out a scene” in the BDSM space.

CNC is a sexual fantasy, kink, and fetish. In CNC (sometimes called “rape play”) participants often have a safe word and know the other person’s requirements for the sexual interaction, and limits. Often times one person “forces” themselves on the other, while the other pretends to not enjoy what’s happening. Some people prefer the term CNC over rape play, though both are used. A CNC kink can mirror some aspects of BDSM including bondage, sex toys, and more.

If you want to act on your CNC kink and you don’t know how to get started, read on as we delve into the world of CNC play.

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What is CNC play?

Another name for this type of fantasy is a “ravishment” or “rape play” kink. CNC involves roleplaying a non-consensual encounter. This is critical to emphasize: at its core CNC kink is a type of roleplay where both partners (1) discuss ahead of time how they would like to play out their shared fantasy and (2) both partners have the ability to withdraw or modify their consent at any time during the scene.

CNC kink play requires an extremely high level of communication between partners and a high level of trust: trust that boundaries will be respected and that both partners have the ability to call off the scene if they are uncomfortable or no longer wish to continue.

What is a rape kink?

A “rape kink” refers to a consensual sexual activity where both partners agree to engage in a role-play that simulates forced sex. Before engaging in any sexual acts, both partners have agreed to the scenario and have established clear rules and guidelines to ensure a safe and pleasurable experience. It’s important to note that a safe word is always in place, in case either partner changes their mind and wants to stop. Despite the illusion of non-consent, all participants are fully aware of and in agreement with the sexual scenario. Some people may mistakenly equate this with sexual assault, however, it is important to understand that all parties involved have freely given their consent beforehand.

How do you engage in CNC kink?

The key to CNC is that it has its foundation in deep trust, communication, and prior negotiation and agreement. Before engaging in CNC kink play you should know your partner extremely well and have communicated at length about what it is that you want. We cannot stress this enough: you must talk about as many aspects of the scene ahead of time as you can think about. Write down your answers to questions.

Here are some questions that you should explicitly discuss with your partner. These are written from the perspective of the dom asking the sub, but these should be discussed for every scene regardless of whether you will be the dom or the sub in the scene:

  • What do you want out of a CNC scene generally?
  • Do you want me to stop if you say “Stop” or will we use another safeword?
  • If you are unable to say “stop” or to say your safeword, how else will you be able to
  • What turns you on about CNC?
  • What things about CNC make you nervous or make you anxious?
  • What are your hard boundaries? What are things that you absolutely do not want?
  • What are the things that you want to do?
  • Do you want to be physically restrained? If so, how and in what ways?
  • What type of sexual contact do you want? Do you want penetrative sex? If yes, what types?
  • What types of protection should be used?
  • Where do you want to be touched? Where do you not want to be touched?
  • Do you want to engage in any impact play (spanking, biting, slapping, etc)?

There are many other questions you could ask and we encourage you to create your own lists of questions.

Once you have talked ahead of time (and talked again, and again!) you can now go into your scene with a clear idea of what is consented to and agreed upon.

During the scene, check in frequently with your partner. Remember, being caring and sympathetic to your partner is sexy. This goes for both the dom and the sub. You should frequently take a step back and step out of character to make sure that everyone is having fun and enjoying themselves. Read the body language of your partner and if anything seems off stop and make sure everyone is good to go.

CNC kink, power-exchanges, consent, and roleplaying

CNC kink, like all forms of BDSM, is like playing “cops and robbers with your pants off”. You both have roles that you are assuming with the consent of the other. CNC kink is a type of power-exchange play: one partner is “giving up” a degree of power to the other. “Giving up” is put in quotes because in reality the bottom (the person being “ravished”) is able to stop the scene at any time. This “giving up” of power is something of a shared fantasy as in reality either player can stop the scene at any time. This is the most important part of CNC play. It is always predicated on consent.

To drive the point home: all CNC play must involve active, enthusiastic, and ongoing consent.

How does a consent fetish work?

The entire point of the CNC kink is one person pretending to not consent to the sexual interaction. This usually involves setting up some kind of scenario where one person has power over the other. These are controlled scenarios intended to keep everyone safe, while still giving the illusion of non-consent. Some examples include:

Home Invasion

A common scenario to play out is a home invasion. This can be done in the form of a burglary. One person waits inside, while the other “breaks in”. Then the person playing the criminal takes the person as their captive.  Many elements of this scenario are shared with BDSM, like tying the victim to a chair or bed, using ropes and tape, or using a collar. Eventually the attacker “forces” sex on the captive, usually while the captive tries to resist. Leaving the door unlocked is a good setup, and one could even use their office if they have access after hours. This is another example of why a safe word is important, as the victim needs a way to tell the “attacker” to stop, but saying the word “stop” out loud may be part of the scene. An unrelated safeword (“butterfly!”) can signal that the “victim” wants the scene to stop.

Public Rape

Another option is some kind of public location where one person is taken advantage of. This method is extremely dangerous to do around people, as other people will believe they’re witnessing a real attack, rather than a consensual fetish. The best way to do a “public rape” fetish is in a controlled environment where it’s not truly public, or at least not easily accessible for other people. This method of a rape kink requires a good amount of planning because if you’re discovered things can go very wrong.

Abuse Play

Similar to BDSM, Abuse Play simulates physical violence, control, and intimidation. Participants may want to be forced to engage in sexual acts they wouldn’t in other circumstances. They may even want to be slightly harmed, hit, and have bruises left behind from their playful resistance. People also may want to be choked during the role-play. Abuse and rape fantasy can consist of everything in between and even push the boundaries of these examples.

Does CNC kink overlap with bondage play?

CNC kink is distinct from bondage play, but some CNC kink scenes may involve bondage or restraint. You can have a CNC kink scene that does not involve any restraint, tying down, or binding. You can however incorporate bondage into your CNC scene, but not all CNC involves being bound or immobilized. As with any CNC kink scene, discuss this ahead of time with your partner.

Why is CNC taboo? What is a taboo kink?

CNC kink is taboo because it plays with dynamics of non-consent. CNC can be done ethically and with enthusiastic consent from all partners, but the underlying turn-on for players is that of roleplaying non-consent which is rightfully taboo. A taboo kink is any kink that plays with aspects of sex or social interactions that are considered taboo. Wikipedia defines a taboo as “a social group’s ban, prohibition, or avoidance of something (usually an utterance or behavior) based on the group’s sense that it is excessively repulsive, offensive, sacred, or allowed only for certain persons”. In this regard, CNC plays into a strongly held taboo that seeks to avoid even discussing non-consensual sexual contact.


Final Thoughts

The topic of rape fantasy is characterized by intricate social and psychological factors with far-reaching implications. Despite its uncomfortable nature for some, further research must be directed towards understanding it better. It is crucial to dispel misunderstandings about rape fantasy and its practitioners to promote sexual wellness. It is important to note that rape fantasy involves consenting individuals who are not actually seeking to be raped. Those who report planning and acting out rape fantasies generally exhibit a positive sexual attitude and a strong sense of sexual confidence. As with any kink, communication and respect will ensure you and your partner have a safe and fun time.

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