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What is the Definition of a Vanilla Relationship?

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  • 2021-04-11
  • By: Jane

A vanilla relationship refers to the traditional way of making love. The partners prefer the conventional methods of expressing themselves sexually. It fails to include fetishes or additions such as toys. This kind of relationship is pretty basic. The most common sex position in this relationship is the missionary style. Many women view it as a relationship that enhances vulnerability and intimacy. They feel it provides comfort and safety.  Communication and trust are essential in any relationship. It is common to find less conveyance of information in this kind of relationship, leading to a lot of guessing. That is especially if the partners have been together for so long. Communication can be in the form of body language and facial expressions.

A while back, people in the kink community coined the word vanilla to distinguish a person's sexual preference. Vanilla referred to the non-kink community. It comes from vanilla ice cream, which is the plainest flavor. The word stuck when it got to the media. Most people, therefore, view it as the boring version of sex. There is a lot of exaggeration in the media making people try to adopt unrealistic sexual expectations. Freely available porn reinforces that.

However, it is essential to note that some of the initially kinky things are now vanilla to most due to cultural shifts over time—for example, sensation play, oral and anal sex, and light bondage. We can attribute the change to subjectification and sexualization. Subjectification refers to people being sexual entrepreneurs or subjects. That is why more people are advocating for techniques and tools that improve sex. Sexualization, on the other hand, involves making sexual information more accessible and ensuring there are diverse practices.

Non-vanilla relationship

As the name suggests, this kind of relationship refers to any lovemaking that goes beyond convention. Some categories that fall under this relationship include:

· BDSM. That refers to bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism. It involves a lot of erotic role-playing, often with bondage, submission and dominance, and sadomasochism. Most people refer to it as a lifestyle. The doms or masters communicate with the sub or slave to reward or punish them. Both parties must be clear on their boundaries, desires, and wants.

Boundaries provide spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional safety. In BDSM, the partners have to negotiate the limits first. They, therefore, have safe words in case one partner no longer feels safe. Some people may find pleasure through the physical aspect, for example, spanking, while others opt for the mental one, which may include letting the dom dictate what they should do.

· Role-playing and fantasy. That involves using a lot of your imagination. It could range from sharing a dream you have with your partner in bed to putting on costumes and acting out scenes you like. 

· Group sex. That refers to intercourse that involves more than two partners. It could be a sex party, orgy, or threesome.

· Exhibitionism or voyeurism. The former may include having intercourse in public places. The latter refers to getting sexual pleasure by watching people or a person undress or have sexual intercourse without them knowing. 

· Fetishes. That involves using body parts not considered sexual such as feet and non-sexual objects such as rubber and leather. A fetish is a particular requirement that you must have to enjoy sex. For example, you may require your partner to choke or spank you during sex for you to orgasm.

Is it okay to be vanilla?

One significant problem people face in their sex lives is comparing what they are getting with others. Sex is also not a topic people talk about openly or transparently. That means that you will look for barometers such as television shows to measure your sex life and assure yourself that you are up to speed with what is going on in the world. 

You can't figure out your preferences if you are always looking at what others like. You latch onto the fear of what outsiders may think of your sex life. What matters, though, is consent and to feel comfortable with your partner. Remember to consider your partner's boundaries.

It is important to note that there is no right or wrong way for consenting adults to enjoy having sex. It is okay to like vanilla. The point is to enjoy yourself. After all, good sex begins in your mind. So instead of judging yourself harshly, carry out a self-assessment. What blows your mind during sex? What makes your feet curl? In case your worry is whether your partner gets bored, talk to him or her about it. If something feels wrong when making love, share it with your partner.

Differences between vanilla and kink.

There is a thin line between the two types of relationships. That is because what one person may consider as kink, another person may view it as vanilla. However, the following are some slight differences.

  • Kink involves a lot of exploration in comparison to vanilla. When it comes to vanilla, most partners try to stick to familiar ground. However, one can     still switch up the basic styles to make them more attractive.
  • Kinky relationships require the partners to talk about their preferences beforehand. In BDSM, they come up with safe words. So if one person crosses     the boundary and the partner is not okay with that, they can stop immediately. Kink, therefore, encourages a lot of communication.

Below are some tips for someone with a vanilla partner.

Your relationship may be significant in every way, but you feel the sex is not the best because you have some kinky fetishes. Below are some practices that would boost our sex life:

  • Avoid making assumptions. Sex makes people  feel vulnerable. Your desire may be to please your partner, and you, therefore, go for the vanilla sex because it is more familiar to you. As time moves, chances are you will stick to it because it is a comfort zone.     However, your partner may be kinkier than you think but is also sticking to the vanilla sex because he or she thinks that's what you prefer. Talk to your partner and find their preference.
  • Share your fantasies with your partner.     Communication is key. Get to know what your partner is willing to try with you. Then proceed to try out what you both agree on doing. Do not be afraid to ask for what you want. Remember, only you know what is on your mind. You do not need to defend your preferences.
  • Teach your partner and be patient with him or her.     He or she may not know how to go about what you want, so you have to guide     them. Avoid getting frustrated if they do not do what you expect. Just have fun and correct them lovingly. Sex is sometimes awkward. So trial and     error is the way to go when you are learning a new skill. Laugh together when it gets weird or embarrassing. Keep working on it till you get a good     result. Avoid putting pressure on your partner by threatening to leave or nagging them. That never ends well.
  • You may need to adjust your expectations.     Sometimes even after lots of practice, you may not get what you want. That     is when you have to figure out if it a deal-breaker for you. If you do decide to stick around, focus on the stuff that satisfies you.

Below are some reasons why you should retain your vanilla relationship:

  • It is pretty straightforward. Vanilla sex does not require acrobatic expertise or too much effort compared to kinky sex, making it default for many people. The fact that there is very little pressure is a bonus.  Unlike kink, it does not have rules. You, however, need to seek consent from your partner, which is necessary for all kinds of sex.
  • It provides a lot of comforts. To avoid too much monotony, you could switch up the sex positions from time to time. This fact makes it easier to perform regularly. You can do it in the comfort of your bed, and you do not have to worry about anyone walking in unannounced.
  • You focus a lot on your orgasm. Kink  involves a lot of exploration, meaning you will probably be doing something new most of the time. That easily distracts from the primary goal, which is to give and receive pleasure. Vanilla, however, is more like a routine. Once you know the small things to do for your partner, it will be easier to achieve mind-blowing orgasms.
  • It boosts your confidence. Vanilla is familiar territory for most people. After your session, you will come out feeling sexy.
  • It increases intimacy. Positions such as missionary allow you to have eye contact with your partner. It does not require a lot of effort or time, so you will be able to cuddle with your love afterward.


It is okay to prefer a vanilla relationship over the kinky one and vice versa. Partners from both spectrums can coexist and lead satisfying lives. The important thing is to communicate constantly and to be kind to each other. When your lover expresses his or her desire to you, avoid being judgemental and instead listen intently. If you are not okay with their wishes, then you need to communicate that.


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