Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Word of the week: Vanilla

Okay, here's the theory, in case you missed it before. One word every week. What it is in general, followed by what it is in my books.

Basic definition -Vanilla: Conventional sex. (Taken from the ice cream flavour, if you're wondering. Meaning - plain, simple, no extra sprinkles or syrup involved)

That said, I think it's safe to say there are two versions of the word vanilla when you start to look at it in more depth.

Hardcore vanilla.

One man, one woman. Married (to each other!). In bed. At night. Lights out. Curtains closed. Covers pulled up to the neck. Missionary position. No oral/anal. No contraception. Foreplay optional. Female orgasm optional. Objective: to concieve a child.

It's pretty much the version of sex that a fair number of religons approve of. It's procreation, pure and simple. You don't, to my knowledge, find a great deal of this type of sex in erotic romance.

Softcore vanilla.

Sex that only contains activities that are considered sexually mainstream. Which makes things a little bit complicated when it comes to defining it. I've never spent a lot of time or energy working out what falls into that catagory. I'd guess that oral is acceptable, but anal isn't? You don't have to switch the light off, but you're not allowed to invite an audience?

I think everyone probably draws their own line in their own place, but it's pretty much safe to say vanilla sex doesn't contain - Bondage, dominance, submission, S&M, more than two people, fetishes, role play, voyerism, exhbitionism, etc.

It's sex that can be about pleasure, it can be a bit naughty, there may be a little bit of fun and games, but it's largely sex without kink. This is, to my mind, the sex you'll find in an erotic romance that isn't labelled as BDSM.

From my own point of view, there's one thing that I haven't covered in the definitions yet. Same sex relationships. They might not come under the first hard core definition of vanilla, but it really does wind me up when people treat them, or books about them, as kinky by default.

Unless there are whips / chains / some sort of obvious kink, two men or two women having sex is just as vanilla as a man and a woman having sex. A man having sex with another man is only inherently kinky if one or more the men involved is straight. Likewise for two women. Make sense?

Okay. That's the real world taken care of.

What is vanilla in my books?

Um... yeah, not really a lot to say here. I've never really got the hang of writing vanilla.There are some sex scenes in my books where the kinks are less obvious, but a bit of kink always creeps in.

I'll have more to say in the my books section of the discussion from next week on :)

That's it.If you have any thoughts, please do comment. This word of the week thing is still finding it's feet, so if you can see anything inherantly squif about it, now's the time to say :)


Other news:

Still writing Fair Play.

Still editng Sealing the Deal.

That's it, lol.


Merc said...

Heh, nice post. %-)

Yeah, I think your point about the same sex couples just having sex and it being "vanilla" makes perfect sense if you're describing sex with no kinks as vanilla. ;)

Am now very much looking forward to seeing what the next couple weeks' words will be!

Ta, Kim.


kav said...

*musing tone* your definitions on vanilla sex got me thinking definition of vanilla covers everything else that doesn't involve BDSM *grins* yeah, which means i classify menage/voyuerism/anal/oral et al as pretty much vanilla. The occasional rough/hard/fast sex is also vanilla for me...hmmm...i think i need to think! *LOL*

Kim Dare said...

*Grin* It is one of those things that's hard to pin down once you start thinking about it too much.

*Goes off to write this weeks post*