Although I sell lube, run a sex blog, fostered a human pup, and enjoy a wide variety of kinky sexual activities from my dirty playbook, I’m essentially vanilla. Although vanilla is often seen as basic, boring, and uninspired, nothing can be farther from the truth. You don’t have to be kinky to have open, intimate, and passionate sex.
In fact, despite its bad rep, vanilla sex is actually kinda everything – all that and a bag of chips, preferably Better Maid Sweet BBQ.
What is vanilla sex anyway?
Initially, I was going to define vanilla sex, but it’s difficult. Much like trying to define what makes up a white person, what makes for vanilla sex is mostly about what it’s not versus what it is. For example, Wikipedia’s definition is incredibly vague.
“Conventional sex, or vanilla sex, is sexual behavior that is within the range of normality for a culture or subculture, and typically involves sex which does not include elements of BDSM, kink, or fetishism. When looking at conventional sex with disdain, it may be described as unadventurous or dull.”
They add the idea of conventional sex, meaning whatever people usually do. Still, essentially, vanilla sex is whatever each individual believes it to be. Essentially, defining what’s conventional or vanilla quickly becomes a game of “I know it when I see it.” That argument didn’t work out too well when it came to defining porn. So, let’s be brave and say it’s any sex two humans can have without extra tools.
Yea, to me vanilla sex is a wide-ranging catch all. It encompasses so many things you’d never consider vanilla. Slapping, choking, biting, rough, sweaty, biting and all that good shit is totally vanilla. Bonobos, our closest relative species, have only wild exhibitionist jungle sex. I doubt most people would consider them kinky.
We only distrust the depths of vanilla sex because we’ve been taught to. Our culture is so damn puritanical, kinky rebellion seems like the only way to go. In truth, whether you look at kinky sex with righteous pride or disgust, there’s a desire to define the line between acceptable and unacceptable – therefore condemnable – sexuality.
Essentially people’s definition of vanilla sex signals the limits to their own understanding.
Here’s the truth
In English, when we don’t like a food we say, “that’s gross.” In Thai, they say “I don’t know how to eat that (กินไม่เป็น).” I don’t know how to enjoy that, is a perfectly accurate way of describing this scenario for yourself.
If you think vanilla sex is bad or boring, you probably just don’t know how to enjoy it. That’s ok. But I’ll be over here enjoying some balls deep missionary like a damn adult!