(There are the "old timers" who've been in the community for 20, 25, 30 years; some even longer. My Mistress runs one of the oldest munches in the entire fucking world. There is no "catching up" to those folks, but when you get right down to it, there is no reason to try, either.)
My path was very similar to a lot of other people's, I think, in that I knew for a long time I was different. I was more prone to playing on the edge, more open to trying taboos, and my relationships were filled with dark twisty sinkholes of perversion.
For a long time, Husband and I lived our lives together thinking our relationship was peculiar, and some would say, unhealthy; but we were happy on the path we were on, so we kept at it.
It wasn't until I discovered the kink community that I learned there's a whole segment of society who live their lives just like us, or try to. That we weren't the unhealthy ones; in the BDSM community, we were an example of a couple getting it right.
Realizing that was an amazing feeling.
But the word "kinky" is not all that important. One person may like to don fluffy handcuffs once a month with their partner, and consider themselves "kinky" because of that. Other people—typically women—may live their lives as 24/7 slaves, but if they happen to never think of their relationships as anything other than normal, if they in fact think their lifestyles are a step up from everyone else's, they may not consider themselves kinky at all.
(I have met plenty of couples in my life who fit that bill. The wives are definitely 24/7 slaves to their husbands, but they fill that role out of religious and social obligations. If you ask one of these women if she considers herself kinky, she'd be appalled by the question; that doesn't make her any less a slave.)
Words to describe yourself should never be used to pigeonhole yourself. They are not set in stone, and they are not absolute. But they do have incredible power, and can lead to amazing epiphanies about yourself.