“Vanilla” is a term used within the BDSM community for those who aren’t involved in kinky things, including power exchange dynamics which isn’t necessarily a “kink.” “Vanilla” people are considered typical every day, somewhat boring, and predictable. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t actually like … say … vanilla ice cream.
It just doesn’t have any umph to it. Us, kinky people, we like umph, we like a little spice sometimes, a little color, some variety. Some of us enjoy it more often than not and have a hard time going back to a simple bowl of vanilla ice cream; I’m in that category.
I’ve met people who lament having a “vanilla” spouse. These are people who may have married not realizing there were other flavors available. They hear about or see something and a fire is lit within them and they desire to explore those things and their spouse is unwilling, or the spouse tries and fails because he or she is into expanding their flavor palate. There are also those who know they desire flavor and settle for the “good” person to marry and raise a family with and then later in life feel as if they’re not known for who they truly are and are fearful of expressing their hidden desires.
Once I embraced my kink side and interest in BDSM, I realized I could never go back to dating a “vanilla” person. So much so, that when meeting someone new, someone who expresses an interest in me, I ask about their likes and dislikes. No, it’s not a conversation about sex. BDSM isn’t even about sex for me. It’s about power exchange and a man submitting to the things I enjoy doing to a male’s body. I inquire about their openness to explore such things and if they don’t have an interest, I know he’s not for me.
I was discussing with a friend about how freeing it is to be fully accepted for my authentic self, for all of who I am; the only way someone can know that is if I tell them. It’s nice being around non-vanilla people because I don’t have to avoid sharing bits of who I am. I won’t date someone whom I have to hide an interesting BDSM picture I’ve seen, or heard of something kinky I’d like to try, or share an invite to a play party. I’m not saying he has to fully participate. What I’m saying is that he would need to accept that I have an interest and participate in those types of things.
I’m a fan of open communication, both giving and receiving. How else can someone know me and vice versa. I like being able to make as informed a decision as possible as to whether or not someone may be compatible with me, and I prefer them to be able to do the same. It’s the same with me being polyamorous, which for me means “many loves” versus “many lovers.” I’ll write about that in a separate article.
The bottom line is to know who you are, know what you like and don’t like, acknowledge what you’re willing to explore, and not being afraid of being vulnerable to discussing those things with a potential partner. If the person doesn’t feel the same way you do, you’re not compatible. Don’t make the mistake of attempting to change or hide pieces of yourself to make someone else feel comfortable. There’s a person out there for you who is just as excited as you are about the things you enjoy and will happily explore them with you.
What are your thoughts on this article? Comments always welcome.
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