I have always liked to think of myself as a curious and adventurous person. I love traveling new places, trying new foods, and meeting new people. However, when it comes to sex, I’ve learned that’s one part of my life where I’m completely happy being vanilla. What does vanilla sex mean exactly? Well, according to the always helpful UrbanDictionary.com, vanilla sex is defined as: "Sex that involves no twists or kinkiness, and no S&M. Basically plain regular sex." Sounds great to me! Whips and chains may excite Rihanna, but personally, I find soft pillows and comfy slippers more appealing.
It hasn’t been an easy journey for me to come to terms with being vanilla. When I was growing up, my friends and I would read Cosmopolitan after school and eagerly discuss our thoughts on the “384 Craziest Sex Positions” or other similarly-titled articles each month. I was learning a lot about gymnast-level, gravity-defying sex-positions before ever even having a first kiss.
In high school, high-speed internet came blazing into my parent’s house, and all of a sudden every form of pornography under the sun was just a click away. I think it’s great to be aware of all the different options for expressing yourself sexually, but all of this information was a lot to take in before I had even started trying out the basics. Only 24 states mandate sex education in schools, and only 13 require it to be medically accurate, which means that a lot of people, myself included, were trying to piece together our sex-ed from books, movies, and google.com.
Being someone who is naturally adventurous, when I started having sex, I wanted to try it all. I wanted to have the craziest, wildest, coolest sex-life out there. I wanted to be great at sex like Samantha from Sex & the City, a woman who was up for anything! And then, I realized, something was missing. I wasn’t having any fun. I was putting pressure on myself to recreate things I’d read about or seen in media instead learning what felt good to me. I was trying to impress my partners instead of communicating with them.
It took me years to realize that the key to good sex isn’t necessarily doing the craziest Cosmo sex tip (I’ll keep frozen grapes in my morning smoothie and out of my blowjobs, thanks), but taking the time and care to figure out what makes you feel good, and communicating that with your partner.
All forms of sex that are consensual and pleasurable to everyone involved are great in my book, but regardless what your kink or favorite variety is, communication with your partner is key. It’s important to honestly express what you desire, what you are comfortable with, and what your boundaries are. And for someone as vanilla as me, I have to express my boundaries a lot. But doing so has really taught me about the importance of communication.
Now, I’m happy and comfortable being less Samantha and more fleece pullover and Sandlewood candle. Great sex comes from listening to your body and figuring out what feels good to you, regardless of how exciting (or boring!) it may be. 💖