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HomeHealth & FitnessThe Cost of Kinky Sex: See the Receipts

The Cost of Kinky Sex: See the Receipts

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Welcome to Show the Receipts, a new series where we ask interesting people to share exactly how much it costs to get shit done. No matter the task, we’re tracking every last dollar from start to finish. Up next: kinky sex.

For Miss Mackenzee, 40, it’s easier to list off the kinks she doesn’t enjoy than the ones she does. From bondage and breath play to torture and orgasm control, she experiences pleasure even “when genitals aren’t exposed or touched,” she says.

Her kink journey began when she met a professional dominatrix for the first time in 2001, who approached her in a bar and asked if she’d like to learn about the lifestyle. “It was a whole world that I didn’t know existed,” Miss Mackenzee says, adding that she has since immersed herself in the kink space both personally and professionally. Today, she is a BDSM and intimacy educator, sexual wellness coach, professional dominant mentor, and the proud owner of Elysium Dungeon, the third dungeon she’s owned and operated. “My life is saturated in kink,” she says.

With almost 25 years of experience, Miss Mackenzee knows the ins and outs of what to have on hand during kinky sex, including important safety items like shears. But being kinky can come with a surprisingly steep price tag that accounts for more than just the average condoms and lube. Especially if you own a dungeon.

For the dungeon itself, there’s the normal costs that come from owning a space, like rent ($3,000), electricity ($300), and water ($100). Then, there’s the cost of cleaning supplies, first-aid supplies, shower toiletries, and snacks and beverages for aftercare. As for personal use, she invests in various vibrators and sex toys, a few wardrobe staples like fishnets, leather gloves, and heels, and biweekly manicure and pedicure appointments to appease her partners’ fetishes.

Here’s the full cost breakdown.

Task: Being kinky
Occupation: BDSM intimacy educator, sexual wellness coach, and professional dominant mentor
Location: Delaware

The Receipts

Dungeon utilities: $3,400
Clothing essentials: $215
Safety items: $48
Cleaning supplies: $118
Grooming: $230
Sex toys and accessories: $762
Total: $4,773

How I Did It

Miss Mackenzee understands that no one kink is the same, and her sex life may require different purchases than someone else’s. Some of her personal must-haves include an Ameritex Waterproof Blanket ($65), Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil ($7) for lube, Domi 2 by Lovense ($199), her favorite wand vibrator, and Twisted Monk Hemp Rope ($45 for 30 foot bundle). Below, she shares a glimpse into what being kinky looks like for her and where you might be able to save, depending on your preferences.

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PS: Do you make money from owning a dungeon?

MM: I do, but not enough to retire or anything. If someone is booking a session with me — whether that’s mentor, coaching, or professional domination services — the money varies based on a number of factors, such as length of session, area to explore, whether it’s in person or virtual, supplies required, etc. The cost can range from $200 to $700 for 90 minutes. It will increase if someone wants to add more people into the session because I do offer doubles and triples with other professionals. I also rent the space out for date nights, parties, couples looking to explore, other BDSM professionals, or photoshoots. The rental fee is $80 an hour, and, for the night, $600.

PS: What kink accessory is worth the splurge?

MM: For someone who is really into impact play, I would suggest investing in a really good set of Suede Floggers ($60). They make really great warmup toys and can be struck at a higher intensity without causing too much pain due to the softness of the material. A well-made flogger can last for a very long time. I have one that is over 15 years old and it’s still going strong.

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Also, if you’re new to kink, this may sound silly, but spend the extra money for a premium subscription to Pandora or Spotify to avoid commercial breaks during playtime. (I use Pandora, and the monthly subscription is $15.) Listening to music can be important for a lot of people to help set the mood, and I’m sure you and your partner(s) don’t want to hear about Toyotathon.

PS: What’s the most surprising expense that comes with being kinky?

MM: Honestly, cleaning supplies. Proper cleaning procedures are an essential piece in ensuring people’s safety that I think a lot of folks don’t really think about. For example, I use Cavicide ($25) on my sex toys and implements, and then antibacterial soap after that. For leather materials, I use Leather Honey Leather Cleaner ($25) and the Leather Honey Conditioner ($28). For sterilizing metal, I use an autoclave (which can go for around $40 on Amazon, depending on the brand). It adds up.

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Another expense that surprises me is the cost of a ticket for sex parties. I feel like an old grandma saying this, but when I first started going to parties, they were maybe $5. Now they can run upward of $80-$100 per person.

PS: Any other cost considerations to keep in mind for beginners wanting to get involved in kink?

MM: I highly recommend getting involved in kink educational content, which could range from buying books to attending workshops to private lessons with a coach or mentor. Too many people get into this lifestyle and just stumble through it, trying to figure it out on their own. Fortunately, there are so many resources out there, especially now with virtual workshops happening all the time, which is huge to help ensure the safety and enjoyment of all involved.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the great thing about kinky sex is that it can be as expensive or cheap as you want to make it, whether it’s at home or elsewhere. “I really pride myself on my ability to never have the same scene or session twice,” Miss Mackenzee says. “I offer a variety of types of scenes, from the implements to the furniture to my outfits. Because of this, there’s no one way to do a scene or set up for one including preparation. It will all depend on what’s been negotiated with my scene partner and what we’re in the mood to do that day.”

No matter where you are at your journey with kinky sex, know that it’s less about the sex toys and accessories and more about your pleasure and experience.

Taylor Andrews is a balance editor at POPSUGAR who specializes in topics relating to sex, relationships, dating, sexual health, mental health, and more. In her six years working in editorial, she’s written about how semen is digested, why sex aftercare is the move, and how the overturn of Roe killed situationships.

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