Welcome back to another Define This episode from Submissive Guide. I’m lunaKM.
Today’s term comes from the comments section of a previous video. If you have a question about a BDSM term or some lingo you’ve come across, leave it in the comments and I’ll consider making it a Define This segment.
Today’s piece of BDSM jargon is “vanilla.”
The term ‘vanilla’ derives from the use of vanilla extract as the most popular flavoring for ice cream, and by extension meaning ‘plain’ or ‘conventional’.
The term is difficult to define with precision as anything can be fetishized, including being vanilla, but the concept of vanilla is to have a distinct lack of desire for deviation from the status quo. As such, what is vanilla and what is not is largely up to how someone interprets the data in their own minds.
Some concepts that are commonly associated with vanilla behavior might be:
Vanilla sex is a term that refers to what a society considers to be standard, traditional or normal sex. Different cultures, subcultures, and individuals have different ideas about what constitutes vanilla sex, so ‘vanilla’ has no direct meaning other than in relationship to the alternate under discussion. Often it is interpreted as sex that does not involve such elements as BDSM, kink, or fetish activities. Examples of the opposite of vanilla therefore could be fetish, 24/7 slavery, or edgeplay.
Neapolitan is a term proposed to describe the sex life of a person that enjoys “vanilla sex” as well as other ”flavors” of sex, such as BDSM. This is presumably coined in reference to Neapolitan ice cream, which has layers of different colours, including a layer of vanilla flavor.
Similarly, vanilla clothing refers to conventional, non-fetish clothing. Its definition has varied over time; for example, much PVC clothing would now be deemed vanilla.
Respect and allow others to embrace whatever labels they choose and enjoy whatever level of kink or vanilla practice is best suiting to them without passing judgement.
And that’s it! Add your thoughts on the term vanilla in the comments below and if you have a suggestion for a future Define This episode let me know!
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