Vanilla-ish

So if previously I lambasted vanilla as the destroyer of relationships, on the other hand I think ‘vanilla’ is a really imprecise term in relation to kink.

For one thing, it sets up a false dichotomy. Either you are Vanilla or you are Kinky and never the twain shall meet. Or worse, Vanilla bad, Kink good. Which is hardly fair to the legion of people with happy, healthy sex lives who don’t want kink.

So, when tomcat_S, of Fetlife asked:

I want to know if submissive men still have vanilla sex (intercourse).
Personally I think it is difficult to move back to vanilla once you are too deep in BDSM as submissive man.

I had a genuinely hard time answering that one because the line between vanilla sex and not vanilla sex is, to say the least, blurry. What, after all, does vanilla sex look like? Which, by extension moves into asking, what does normal, average sex look like? People are quick to talk about sex in only one position, usually missionary, or unenthusaistic sex with hang ups. Self described refugees of vanilla talk about cessation of sex entirely, or dismal, once a month encounters where they were made to feel less than worthy for their desires. But bed death is not vanilla. It’s sad, but kinky couples get bed death too. And often the so called vanilla refugees didn’t want merely a bit more in the way of blow jobs or fingering, or sex in the garage, not the bed, they wanted their particular sexual need explored enjoyed and respected.

Kinky also isn’t just everything on the extreme end of debauched. So is it spankings? Dirty talk? Whips? Well, not everyone is interested in any particular fetish even if they are kinky, so obviously as in the instance of my pre-Divorce relationship you can have a partner who really is giving and willing in most reasonable things.

For some people, their particular fetish is the only part of their sexuality worth doing. For others, it’s a buffet with all sorts of cool stuff and no main course, one day doing D/s, the next day gentle anal, then hot wax. And yet, even needing fetish 1/4 of the time or all the time, the “vanilla” seldom goes away. Most kinky people don’t take sucking and fucking and kissing and touching off the menu, unless they have a personal preference against those activities that transcends being kinky.

And people are still kinky and fuck in missionary. It’s my favourite position. I’d be very depressed if being kinky precluded it, much less didn’t let me integrate it into my sex life. And besides, plenty of people are also making kink and vanilla kinda blurry when they do it. Check out fetlife’s barrage of amateur porn. As much as people are sharing their ropes and corsets and post scene pics, a hell of a lot of the snapshots are basically indistinguishable from regular porn. And sometimes nerve endings are nerve endings- unless I brought fetish gear to bed with me, my kinky masturbation looks a hell of a lot like vanilla masturbation because an orgasm is an orgasm no matter how you arrive there.

Context matters. Half the stuff we seem to get up to is only kinky because of the framing. When is, after all, a blow job cock worship, when is it enjoying your property and when is it just a blow job? I can’t tell you where vanilla ends and begins, only that I’m not embarassed that sometimes I’m also vanilla-ish.

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