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What Can You Do If Your Partner Is Vanilla?

by Sarah A 11 Mar 2024 0 Comments

The most fulfilling relationships are those where everyone involved gets what they want out of it, and this is particularly true when it comes to sex.

Sexual compatibility is a key to the best relationships, regardless of the specific desires or indeed the type of relationship a couple have.

This is especially true for people into kink, as for every person who wants to be tied up, teased with sex toys, edged, hit with a whip, all of the above and/or far more besides, there will be other kinky people who do not enjoy that at all.

A particularly common concern for many people into BDSM is starting to date someone, only to find out that they are vanilla, which can lead to some very difficult choices.

However, as with everything else in sex, kink and vanilla are not inherently binary opposites, and the latter has so many layered meanings that what the term does and does not mean is often muddled in practice.

What Actually Is Vanilla?

Much like the ice cream flavour which it is named after, vanilla sex is the delicious, satisfying default way that people have sex with each other. It is sex that is not kinky, and that is about as far as people agree when it comes to the term.

In kink circles it is not (or at least should not) be a judgement on the quality of sex; the artificial cheap ice cream found in choc ices and the artisan pod-filled tubs are both vanilla ice cream after all. Vanilla sex is not inherently worse sex.

As well as this, vanilla sex is often defined by what it is not, and this can be relative to what a particular group finds to be kinky. Some people may find cowgirl to be completely vanilla whilst others see it as kinky. This can also be seen with spanking and other soft BDSM.

What If Your Partner Is Vanilla?

Because vanilla is as complex as the flavour is in reality, it is essential not to assume that when your definitions of vanilla are entirely the same. Everyone has different experiences and expectations in bed.

A better way to know what they mean is to talk about what types of feelings they seek out, or what they have been comfortable with in the past. Some people who consider themselves vanilla may have tried spanking, biting or even choking in the past.

Much like how everyone practises kink differently and has different expectations, many people have their own ideas of what is and is not vanilla, as well as what they are comfortable with.

However, if they are vanilla in the more classic definition of not being interested in any form of kink at all, that is fine and their sexual preferences are just as valid as kinks.

Be patient; it will take time for a vanilla person to know what they are comfortable exploring, and whether there can be a middle ground where everyone is happy.

There may be alternative ways to engage with that kink, such as an open relationship or solo play, whilst retaining the relationship with the vanilla person, but sometimes it might be a sign that what you need and what they need are too different for the relationship to be right. 

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