Vanilla sex—also known as sex that does not involve bondage, domination, sadism, or masochism—sometimes has a reputation for being, well, a bit boring. But you can absolutely be sexually adventurous and also vanilla. As long as there is a sense of intimacy involved.
Conventional sex doesn't have to be boring.
You can integrate all kinds of accessories and devices into the sexual act without turning it into a kind of BDSM, like sex toys, and especially clit sucking vibrators, to take pleasure to new, absolutely intriguing levels. Also, vanilla sex may consist of a mix of oral sex, anal sex, and obligatory foreplay techniques, which can be a wonderful treat, especially if feelings are present.
As you can already see, there are numerous myths regarding vanilla sex. Although such sexual encounters are frequently regarded as boring and lacking in passion, the truth is that they may be really thrilling.
Below, we will try to define vanilla sex, what these sexual acts aren’t, and what to try if you think your vanilla sex life is boring.
What Is Vanilla Sex?
It’s easiest to talk about vanilla sex in terms of what it’s not. It’s not kinky sex or any kind of rough sex. But it’s also not P-in-V missionary position with the lights off for six minutes and then let’s talk about our to-do lists while getting dressed. (Or at least, it can be so much more than that).
Actually, if your sex life always looks like this, maybe it is a good idea to talk to a sex therapist.
Vanilla sex is any type of sex that does not involve bondage, domination, sadism, or masochism (BDSM, also called kink). Sometimes, people who are not BDSM practitioners will use “BDSM” as a shorthand for anything from a little rough sex to plain sex that involves a sex toy, but if it doesn’t include any of those four components, that’s not the case. You can even have a vanilla ice cream (wink!) in a group sex session.
Using a vibrator so you can orgasm during sexual activity can be vanilla; using a vibrator on someone else so they orgasm over and over in an increasingly painful way until you give them permission to stop is considered kinky by the vast majority, and is known as forced orgasm. Lighting candles for sex is vanilla; dripping hot paraffin wax over someone’s body until they use the safeword it's a thing for the kink community.
And if we're still talking about vibrators, it's worth noting that some people believe that high-quality sex toys must be highly pricey. Nothing could be more wrong. Tracy's Dog has a large selection of cheap sex toys that demonstrate that you may have powerful sensations and high-quality products without breaking the bank.
The truth is, no type of enthusiastically consensual sex is better or worse, more or less thrilling, or more or less fun than any other, as long as everyone involved is excited to be there. This kind of sex can be really passional and it has nothing to do with sexual orientation or one partner.
Actually, this bad rap for vanilla sex that influences most people into thinking that it is boring was influenced by pornography.
What Should You Try If Your Vanilla Sex Life Is Boring?
If you feel yourself imposing a judgement on any element of your enthusiastically consensual sex life, the first thing to look at is whether that judgement is because you actually want something different, or because you just feel like you shouldn't do the same things over and over again.
If you and your partner are great at talking about sex together and satisfied with your sex life, congratulations! You’re doing what feels good to you, which not a lot of people manage. It’s okay to let go of judgements around the type of sex act you have and to just enjoy it.
But what if you’re not satisfied with your sex life? The menu is wider than just “missionary position, briefly” and “getting really, really into BDSM.” Kinks are absolutely not for everyone, and also that it doesn’t have to be. It’s just one way to have a kind of sex some people may enjoy. There’s a whole world of vanilla sex to explore if you want to. It can be about anal sex, cunnilingus, and a whole universe of different things for an interesting sexual activity.
So How Do You Spice Up Your Sex Acts While Still Keeping It Vanilla?
A lot of people think of “vanilla” in the grocery-store vanilla extract sense, as the plainest possible flavor with just a whiff of artificial sweetness. But have you ever tried a vanilla bean? Vanilla beans are the pods that grow on the plant.
To use one, you buy the whole pod, slice it open, and scrape out the seeds inside. Rather than saccharine, the smells and flavors are rich, luxurious, and sensual, a great addition to savory cooking as well as sweet. After using a vanilla bean, the vanilla extract seems flat and dull. They’re the same thing, sort of, but also they’re not.
Similarly, when you want to make your vanilla sex life more interesting, it’s not that you need to switch your flavor profile, but that you need to find a richer version of it.
Getting in touch with your own fantasies, your own desires, and your own body is a crucial first — and ongoing — step. Make time for solo sex dates with yourself and for some mutual masturbation with your partner.
Try different types of touch in different ways. If you normally use your fingers to make circles over your clit until you come, what does it feel like to tap with your fingers, stroke up and down, or try a little penetration as well? If you normally watch porn with your vibrator shoved down your pants, what does it feel like to get into bed with yourself?
Porn and erotica are also excellent tools for exploring your fantasies. If you never watch porn, try it. (Don’t forget to pay for it.) If you already like porn, what about trying a few different genres or scenarios? What about reading erotica - like the book version of Fifty Shades of Grey? You can also watch porn, or read erotica aloud, with a partner.
If you’re not used to talking about fantasies with a partner, it’s time to start. Talking about sex is important both because it lets you have better sex, and because it’s super hot. If you fantasize about a partner who moves with you from position to position, and you always just end up on top wondering why they aren’t trying to move around with you, a conversation is the only way to get what you want. Similarly, if you like climaxing best in one specific position and your partner always moves around at a crucial moment, say something.
A discussion with a sex therapist is still a good idea, that can make you understand your sex like even better.
You can also experiment with fantasy scenarios. What if you role play that you’re strangers picking each other up at a bar?
Different positions in different locations (assuming you have the room and privacy in your home to explore) at different times of day can also make things more interesting. Even small changes — sex on the floor next to the bed, or on a sufficiently sturdy lounge chair, instead of sex on the bed, and in the morning or at lunch if you normally stick to nighttime — can help you start to think more creatively about your sex life.
Vanilla sex may cover an entire universe of delights, emotions, and passionate desires. These sex acts do not have to be repetitive. On the contrary, if they are dull, it usually indicates that there is a communication breakdown between the partners.
If you embrace this form of sex with honesty, get to know yourself better, and talk frankly about what you want, your sex life will be all about joy and fulfillment, even if you remain a vanilla sex devotee for the rest of your life.