Vanilla? Really?

Author: Kitteh
BDSM & Society | Stories

Deviance aims to educate and destigmatize. We want to debunk stereotypes and abolish pigeonholing. However, lately I’ve noticed while writing: We ourselves often resort to an old, bumpy drawer, where we quickly stash everything that isn’t BDSM with a little aside. Close the drawer, problem solved. But in this drawer where we throw everything that doesn’t fit into our fantastically different sexuality, there’s now quite a mess. I’m talking about the concept of “vanilla.” And I have the urgent need to tidy up this drawer for a moment.

What is vanilla supposed to be anyway?

I keep noticing this in the scene: There are us, the BDSM practitioners, a multi-faceted potpourri of different personalities and roles. We are all so wonderfully individual and have our own special ways of playing and relationships. And there are… well, everyone else. They just have normal sex. Or do they? What is “normal sex” anyway?

If vanilla is what we learned in 8th grade sex education class, enriched with helpful tips from teenie magazines and shown in sex scenes from popular blockbusters and series – then I haven’t had vanilla sex in 10 years. My friends probably haven’t either. And if vanilla is what we see in 75 percent of all porn, then I don’t want it at all.

The BDSM unreported figure

From my own experience and that of my peers who are not exclusively kinky, I can say: no one out there has more quiet sex between two TV-shows, in missionary and with the lights off! No, pretty much every couple has toys, fantasies and preferences. They may not be incredibly bizarre and special, but they are anything but boring.

Nowadays, some BDSM practices are almost considered standard for cis men between 20 and 45. Of course, spanking your partner is just normal. Everyone loves choking anyway, and doing deepthroat without almost breaking a woman’s jaw is so boring. Likewise, a cis woman isn’t shocked anymore when the guy asks for a rimjob or dirty talk, or even to be pleasured with a plug. People are into BDSM without even realizing it. Wouldn’t that be a much better definition for vanilla? People who don’t know what BDSM is? And how the hell it works?

Why vanilla BDSM is dangerous

You may have already noticed that the whole thing is quite difficult. Because many preferences that seem like a nice change and a kick in the flower sex life for the supposed vanilla are not really to be trifled with. We kinksters know systems like RACK and SSC, safewords and the traffic light system. We know the principles of consensuality and, at best, are able to communicate our sexual needs and boundaries. Unfortunately, however, it is often the case that outside of BDSM, one-night stands, (sex) dates and even in vanilla relationships, we don’t talk much about it. It’s often a case of: do it first, then have a look. If it goes well, the other person likes it and if not, you just don’t do it. Not only are boundaries often overstepped, it also has nothing to do with consensuality and experimentation. That’s why I dare to say that vanilla sex is more dangerous than BDSM.

All my BDSM experiences have always been characterized by mindfulness, communication and respect for each other. With BDSM, I feel that I and my needs are taken seriously. I am given space and allowed to be myself. With flaws, preferences and everything I don’t want. Apart from that, many people were often only interested in the best possible penetration and sexual satisfaction at all costs. You want to be particularly good in bed, preferably always go one better and never be boring. It should be nice and dirty and you want to try everything, but talk about it? Not afterwards and certainly not before. “I won’t do anything you don’t want”. Thanks Paolo, but how the hell do you know what I want and don’t want if neither of us opens our mouths? You can’t take back a blow, a word or a gesture. No matter how little you wanted to.

At this point, however, it must also be said that I don’t want to lump vanillas or (cis) men together. There are also those who are able to feel their way and combine attentive, loving interaction with exciting sex.

A good role model instead of pigeonholing

What I’m trying to say is that perhaps there are no more classic vanillas. And that’s wonderful on the one hand, because it shows that different inclinations are gaining more acceptance and even fascination. On the other hand, however, BDSM inclinations without BDSM knowledge can quickly backfire. That’s why those interested in kink should not only learn from us how to use a flogger or what nice dirty swear words there are. But also how to facesit without almost suffocating someone, how to humiliate in a needs-oriented way and how to negotiate consensuality.

In return, we should probably try to stop letting “the others” rot in the vanilla drawer and open it a crack every now and then. To see if there are still varieties like raspberry-lemon, Malaga and Smurf.

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