What is Vanilla Sex?
Ever came across the phrase ‘vanilla sex’ and wondered what it means? No, it doesn’t mean slopping vanilla ice cream on your partner while having sex. Vanilla sex is used to refer to simple sex. Yes, you read that right. Plain, normal sex minus any kind of kinkiness. You ask why this is important? In a world where we find ourselves reading tons of articles daily on how to make sex hotter, tips on making it more kinky, sexperiments, sex toys, etc we have forgotten the bliss of a nice clean session of simple sex.
We are all up for experimenting when it comes to sex but let’s not allow the peer pressure to take over and look down on vanilla sex as something only the inexperienced go for It.
Studying how sex and sexuality has changed over the years is no easy feat.
Did your partner tell you you’re boring in bed? If they used those words, they probably shouldn’t be your partner anymore. If your mate submitted a request to add a saucy new act or two to your repertoire, take it as a compliment rather than a critique: Be a good partner, which means, above all, being a good listener.
But maybe the call is coming from inside the house—do you feel like you’re boring in bed? Perhaps, instead, you’re actually bored. If so, it may be time to explore some new tricks to add to your list of go-to moves. Role play? A wee butt-plug? The world is your oyster. (Oysters?) It’s just like working out (or so I’ve heard): The fastest way to alleviate boredom is to change up your routine.
I’d hazard a guess, however, that the true culprit here is neither your partner nor you: It’s—surprise!—the society we live in. Women have long been persecuted for enjoying or seeking out sex. (I’ve been shamed for not being vanilla enough.)
Thankfully, while we are living in an age of growing sex positivity, in which women feel freer to explore their sexuality, it’s also become another thing we have to excel at. Having a rollicking sex life can feel like another wellness box we have to tick off in achieving that Insta-perfect life. (To do list: Schedule an acrobatic romp per day in between mouthfuls of kale and hot ballet spin class.)
The message that we need to be having a certain kind of sex is loud and painful. We’ve somehow shifted from a culture that accused women of being tainted if we had sex to being thought of as inadequate if we arent having enough.
“Women are so used to their sexuality being socially legislated that however we’re sexual can feel like a catastrophe, and we start to internalize the idea that other people are allowed to have a point of view about our sexual preferences,” says Martin. “Women tend to pathologize themselves right away. We tend to go to the view that there’s something abnormal about us, but—and this is really important—if you start from a baseline that your desires are normal, then your desires will be your guide.”
That’s the key, really: Itching to try something new? Go ahead! But if you don’t like doing something, don’t! Saying no is a powerful thing. Shake off society’s expectations of what your sex life should look like and embrace what it does look like. Don’t want to sleep around? Don’t! Don’t want to have anal? Don’t! Life is too short to stay up nights worrying that you’re missing a foursome on your sex CV. “Don’t” is one of the most powerful words in your arsenal. The next time you feel ashamed because you like some sex stuff, but skip the rest? Don’t.