I’m going to be honest, until the birth of everything 50 Shades, I had never heard the term vanilla before. I could see it turning into a terribly awkward conversation since I probably would have assumed they were referring to my skin tone and not my sex life. Fortunately, it was never mentioned to me and such embarrassment was avoided, however, the word itself sparked some questions within myself about my sex life and my preferences. Am I vanilla?
I’m not at all a stranger to sexual activities and after eight years passing since I lost my virginity it’s pretty easy to assume I’ve had my fair share of experiences both between the sheets and not, and that would be accurate. I’ve always had an adventurous side to me, wanting to get frisky in less than private places, trying out new positions, and have an extensive list of fantasies that I’m working toward acting on. My sex life is far from boring and unsatisfying, but some might consider it to be vanilla.
What’s so wrong with being vanilla? Yes, being adventurous is fun and exciting, but does everyone really need to be into bondage and fetish in order to be considered anything other than boring in bed? I love some chocolate ice cream with peanut butter and chocolate swirl with chunks of every kind of chocolaty goodness in it, but nothing goes better with warm apple pie than some good vanilla ice cream. Having a more vanilla lifestyle certainly isn’t right for everyone, but it’s sad there’s such a negative light on something that is satisfying to many.
Not everyone has kinky fetishes, I happen to be married to one of those people. Our sex life isn’t any less satisfying because we often use basic positions, almost always have sex in our bed, and don’t engage in any heavy BDSM type of play. I’m not even very educated on that lifestyle. My point is, our sex is extremely satisfying to both of us. We’re still trying new things and always have an open mind when it comes to our pleasure, but we’re far from being a kinky couple, and that’s okay.
Being vanilla doesn’t mean someone’s inexperienced, doesn’t mean they don’t know what real pleasure is like, doesn’t mean they’re not willing to try new things, and certainly doesn’t mean their sex life is boring. Vanilla doesn’t equal bad in the same way kinky doesn’t equal bad. It’s a preference, a lifestyle choice, and shouldn’t be looked down upon just because it isn’t what you choose for your sex life.
The Urban Dictionary says that Vanilla Sex is:
There are other examples as well, but none of them sound positive. Here’s a snippet of what Wikipedia had to say:
The term vanilla derives from the use of vanilla extract as the basic flavoring for ice cream, and by extension, meaning plain or conventional.
Well, that certainly sounds a little bit better, but doesn’t exactly have a positive feel to it. Basically it makes it sound like anything that seems common sexually is vanilla; plain, regular, boring, conventional….is this really me? Is this really the relationship I have with my husband?
Now, I can certainly say there are many times my husband and I stay in one basic position from start to finish. There are times where it’s all lovey-dovey and sweet and happy. There are times where it’s wham bam and we’re done. But, what about the other times? What about the activities we engage in that others wouldn’t consider common?
I don’t think there are any solid lines when it comes to your sex life. I don’t think it’s as simple as being one or the other; vanilla or kinky. I think my husband and I kind of line up in the middle. Someone who’s quite kinky would look at us like we’re vanilla, but someone who’s more vanilla would think we’re kinky. We all define things in different ways, none of them are wrong as long as it’s what we want for ourselves.
Just try to keep in mind, even though you might enjoy the super chocolaty, nut filled, peanut butter swirled, whip cream covered, and cherry topped kind of sex life, doesn’t mean a little vanilla can’t be satisfying too.