“He’s got one of those safewords…”

“Clearly, he’s got one of those safewords.”  She meant me, since I had a bit of knowledge about a kinky subject.  Though said with a laugh, it was supposed to shame.

Maybe it was the attempt to shame me that sparked the realization. 
“It’s not that differ–“
She put their hands over their ears and started “na-na-na-I-can’t-hear-you”ing.
Still, the realization’s there:

All sex shares a fundamental element with kinky sex.1 And it’s not the sex part.

It’s about power differentials, transgressing them, and trusting the other person.

Think about it.  It’s a one night stand? You’re trusting that person enough to be unclothed with them, perhaps even enough to be asleep next to them.

That trust is literally the same thing that exists in a BDSM relationship.  Sure, kink tends to draw attention to and codify these power differentials and that kind of trust. Maybe the rules are a little different than what you’d usually use.  But still, it’s trust and it’s explicit, whether through commands or leather or rope or whips.

That same trust made explicit in kink is present – and taken for granted – in every sexual encounter1 out there. 

And it’s a shame that trust, that gift, is treated so commonly and disrespectfully by so many.

1 Okay, I’ll make the caveat that I’m talking about consensual sex.

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