I fucking love vanilla ice cream. It is my favorite flavor. And by ice cream I mean frozen yogurt as I am violently lactose intolerant. I love frozen vanilla yogurt.

There. I’ve said it!

Vanilla pudding, vanilla cake….when I was a kid, I used to love adding a capfull of vanilla flavoring to my milk.

Vanilla is a rich complex flavor. Aside from saffron, I don’t think there is any more expensive spice around.

How then did the term become a snarkysnide put-down among the Alternative Community cognoscenti?

Oh yeah, it is.

You might not even know this, but somewhere, in a Dungeon near you, some pervert is probably cracking wise about how sorry they are for “Vanillas”, since they’ll never ever know how much more wonderful, awesome and more betterer it is to be kinky.

“Vanilla” is a term commonly used to convey the idea is that your straight-up missionary style un-creative sex is “vanilla” and, by definition, boring, uninspired, and not awesome.
Delicate, Tremblig Flower of Vanillaness.

Delicate, Trembling Flower of Vanillaness.




Some of the best sex I’ve had has been in the dark, in the missionary position, and heterosexually oriented.

This does nothing to compromise the spontaneous orgasms I have experienced while being suspended and beaten with floggers and canes.

Sex: it are a smorgasbord, and I enjoy sampling everything from pad-thai to pierogis.

Where I get less thrilled is when the pejorative slant comes in.

BDSM people will often have a defensive “Us vs. Them” approach, not uncommon to many marginalized or special-interest communities. Some dyed-in-the-faux-fur-Burners tag those who are less-hardcore-than-they as “civilians”, for example. It can be protective, as in “Let’s help those civilians in the next camp with their shade cover!” or it can be less so, as in “I am so tired of these fucking civilians treating the fucking Burn like a fucking frat party!”

It does not rankle me to apply the label of “vanilla” to a sex act, a flavor of cupcake, or porn. It DOES bug me to apply it to people, and it REALLY chafes my pawpaw when it is derisive.

See folks, you don’t know what the hell your co-worker is up to in their bedroom!

Your uptight pain-in-the-ass Project Manager might be a closet scat-fiend sploshing Anthro pig. You just wouldn’t know it, because he maybe considers his sex life private. And your Admin COULD be an Empress in the Other World Kingdom. And, as happened to me, your Sales Guy could be a former International Mr. Drummer. But it did not come up in conversation until he spotted me flagging a bondage ring!

People in the public community all have one thing in common: they are comfortable with a degree of publicity and advertising about their sexual deviance.

That doesn’t make you special. It makes you a bit of an exhibitionist. Or perhaps a huge attention whore. *cough*. But I fail to see how it gives you the right to assume anything about anyone else’s fuck-lives.

If you need a way to separate yourself from the mainstream, how about leaving it to people to decide for themselves where that breakaway occurs?

When referring to people who:

· are not publicly involved in leather.

· have not declared their sexual preferences to me.

· are my Mom.

I call ’em “Non Kink-Identified”.

That leaves them room to identify as such IF THEY FEEL LIKE IT.

That removes the pejorative sheen from the dialogue, and leaves us open to find our commonality.

That lets us dialogue with anyone, without prejudice or arrogance.

That lets them explore a dialogue with you rather than feel defensive about your labeling them “boring” and “unenlightened”

And that puts you in a better position to educate, illuminate and, ultimately, seduce them to The Dark Side.

Whaddya think? Pervs? And NKI peeps: DOES it rankle you to be so labeled?

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  1. Earline on October 8, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    I first heard the term “vanilla” close to 30 years ago, used by gay men who identified as not leatherish. I don’t recall there being any pejorative connotation in the slightest back then. (Interestingly, I know several gay men who classify themselves as vanilla who do ‘way kinkier things than hets I know who parade around in leather from head to toe and thumb their noses at those whom they consider to be vanilla.) I’m with you, Mo–this is a smorgasbord. What fulfills you and your partner(s) is all that matters.

  2. NookieNotes on October 12, 2008 at 5:08 AM

    mollena, I re-blogged this on my 360 blog at:


    *smiles* Thanks for permission. Mwah!