Vanilla and spice: Is bdsm a smaller box?

Nothing wrong with vanilla

I’ve never liked the term “vanilla”, used by some people in bdsm to refer to sex that doesn’t have bdsm in it, or the people who practice it. It seems a bit disparaging, and self-promoting in a way I find unattractive when other people do that to me.

For example, there was a thing in the Sydney gay community a few years back where heterosexuals were referred to as “breeders”. Sometimes it was a joke, and a good-natured one, but I’ve also heard and read it being used in terms of extreme dismissiveness and contempt. 

I thought it was a shame when gays and lesbians were doing that, even if the het world has come up with its share of disparaging words for gays and lesbians, Hets have no moral high ground whatsoever. 

I think it’s a shame when we refer to the majority of the human race as having “vanilla” sex, with its sub-text that they’re having boring sex, poor people, while we fetishists, ministers, bdsm guys and girls are exploring all the flavours and having psychedelically mind-blowing sex, compared to those poor, restricted vanillas. 

But the term’s here now, and no one’s come up with a better one-word way of saying, “non-bdsm sex and the people who have it”.

When I’m talking about bdsm to people who aren’t into bdsm, I’ll explain that there’s this word, and I use it for its convenience. I don’t mean it pejoratively. 

Still, I’d rather there was a better term. 

I don’t know why but when I think, “sort of attractive but utterly not sexy”, this is the sort of image that comes to mind

I also wonder about my own sexual repertoire. Since I’ve embraced bdsm so strongly and so passionately, I’ve had occasional sexual encounters with women who aren’t into bdsm and don’t want to try 

I’ve found that there’s enough lust to carry me through vanilla sex (erection, ejaculation and so on).

But there’s no question that I’m not as turned on, as excited, as I am when I’m subduing and taking some sweetly or fierily consenting submissive girl. 

Have I become a sexual specialist, only really capable of enjoying bdsm-related sex? I think the answer is: not completely, but to a significant extent. I’ve fitted myself into a smaller box. That worries me a bit. 

I sometimes feel a little awkward because I’m monosexual.

That’s a word that some bisexuals use to describe people who aren’t bisexual. Obviously, you can be homosexual and monosexual, and you can be heterosexual and monosexual, which last is the Venn circle that I’m in.

He’s the sort of go-to image for “hot man”, just at this moment. But I don’t fancy Chris Hemsworth, nice guy though he seems to be, or anyone of his gender

Bisexual seems like the cool category to be in, embracing everyone, but I’m stuck with not fancying men whatsoever, and being amazed that so many women do, thank fuck. 

Anyway, I’m heterosexual, and so I’ve excluded half the human race from potential lust, and I can see that that’s a loss, of a kind. Similarly, I’d much rather be able to have vanilla sexual relationships, because otherwise I’d be excluding about 95% of humanity from potential lust.

But I have a feeling I’m drifting away from non-bdsm sex.

I don’t think I’ve had an erotic dream, certainly not a waking sexual fantasy, which isn’t bdsm-based, in years. Still,I guess that we all just have to be, and accept, whatever it happens that we are. 

2 thoughts on “Vanilla and spice: Is bdsm a smaller box?

  1. I agree with most of what you said. I don’t mind the term vanilla, but I do agree it does have an undertone of ‘the dull flavour’.
    My main ‘beef’ would be with your conclusion that you’re moving away from ‘non bdsm’ sex just because you haven’t had any sexual fantasies that weren’t in that genre. My fantasies are almost always more extreme, varied or deviant than the sex I actually have. That is the nature of a fantasy I’d say!
    But my sex play is definitely getting a little darker, I don’t think one reverts back to vanilla (oops, I used the term!) if one has found pleasure in ‘dark’. So I think the ‘core’ thinking behind your post is most likely correct.

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