I’m pretty vanilla and that’s OK


“Can you only come when being beaten?” she asked. I receive questions like this often. When people hear that I’m the founder of Kink Club, they assume a number of things about my sex life. Some imagine me being tied down and fucked aggressively, but more often, people seem to imagine me in the dominant position. The image they see is me dressed in leather, riding crop in my hand and a man bowing down at my feet. They have mused about how much money I would make as a professional dominatrix. I would usually give a smile, sometimes a wink, but this coyness hides an embarrassing truth …

I’m pretty vanilla. About 90 percent of my encounters are a simple bout of oral, anal or vaginal sex. My last few times have been spooning while watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” This may sound boring and basic to many, but I’m completely satisfied.

Don’t get me wrong, though — I do love myself some kink. My favorite and most memorable experiences have left me in tears and covered in bruises. These experiences made me feel close with my partner and satisfied for days. Rather than being my normal horny self in class and planning my next fuck session when I should be paying attention, I would still be glowing at how they made me feel. The pain that was shooting through my body, the look in their eyes, the taste of their skin as I bite or moan into them. I am cornered, about to be devoured.

Despite how these moments shake me to my core, how my heart beats in my ears and my breath stays in my lungs, I only experience these moments every month or two (and occasionally, every three or four).

There’s a few reasons I only get kinky occasionally. For one, doing kinky things can take hella time. The pain may only last a short amount of time in itself, but the aftercare takes a while. After engaging in kinky things, I feel very tired and emotional, and I need to be held for a while. This is common in kink because of all the endorphins and adrenaline that gets released during a scene. Some just need a snack or to be left alone, but I need attention.

The main reason my sex is less kinky is pretty straightforward — vanilla is pretty damn good. As a kinky friend of mine once put it, missionary is oh-so-satisfying. There seems to be this conception that in order to have a good sex life, it has to be interesting. In the kink world, some use the term “vanilla” as people in the wizarding world use “muggle”: to describe someone who is unremarkable and unknowledgeable. But even outside of the kink world, there is a conception that if it wouldn’t make interesting porn, it’s boring. If you aren’t able to perform the “Kama Sutra” or deep throat a dick, your partner(s) would be better off with someone that could.  

But the fact of the matter is, there isn’t a specific formula that makes sex better. San Francisco Sex Information sums up the key to sexual technique the best — communication, exploration, do what works for you. I have heard the story of a young man in his early 20s who was convinced he had issues with early ejaculation, but when he finally spoke to his partner about it, she told him if anything he was lasting too long. When his therapists asked why he thought he ejaculated too early, he responded saying his conception of how long sex should last came from porn.

Exploration, the second key to awesome sexual technique, relies on open-mindedness and curiosity. Say a couple wants to try anal sex. They should first look into how to be physically safe. For anal, the key things are lots of lube, relaxation and receiver drives. Outside of that, it’s all about communication and being open to less-than-sexy things happening. It’s important to recognize that poop can become involved during anal, and that’s OK. We’re all human, and everybody poops, as the children’s book says.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is doing what works for you and your partner(s). Love anal? Keep doing anal. Hate anal? Stop doing anal. Love missionary and nothing else? Some people shame others for keeping it simple, but if someone likes it, nothing should stop them from sticking to what works. In my case, kink is pretty awesome, but I’m going to keep to my mostly vanilla sex life. What works for me is feeling connected to my partners and feeling pleasure, no matter what form it comes in. I don’t care about knowing the 25 best ways to give a blow job or eat a pussy, just that the partner I have in front of me is enjoying themselves.

Kylie Sammons writes the Tuesday column on Sex.

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