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According to experts, we're all having — and loving — "boring" sex. Vanilla sex is widely considered to be the most basic way to bang. But I bet if you asked 10 different people to define 'vanilla sex,' you'd get 10 different answers. Because I did ask 10 different women to describe what they consider vanilla sex and every single answer was distinct and nuanced. They were similar, sure, but each person's take on vanilla flavor was just that — their own — and way more complex than the reductive term implies.
The rise of sex boutiques and underground orgies, not to mention the new mainstream awareness of kink left in Fifty Shades of Grey's wake, nurtured a feeding ground for this obsessive worry about being "vanilla" to take hold as the bedroom barometer du jour. The reality is, there's no wrong way for two or more , if that's your thing! Whether your style is wild or mild, the goal "is really about just giving ourselves the permission to like what we like," says Marin.
To help us kick our vanilla judgments to the curb, we asked our favorite sex therapists and dating coaches, as well as women across the country, to share their definitions of vanilla sex — and why it's bad rap is totally bogus. The Millennial's slang Bible, Urban Dictionary , refers to it as "plain regular sex" alongside a list of acts that it is not , which highlights the term's ambiguity and leaving it wide open to interpretation.
Nicole, a Miami-based lawyer in her early 30s, and her husband have their own definition of vanilla sex that they call 'starfishing. For Manhattan publicist Nadia, vanilla sex is "reserved for someone I'm really close with because it feels more intimate" while adventurous, wild sex is "easier to have with someone random. Relationship expert Laurel Steinberg, Ph. Ironically, the root of the phrase vanilla sex was coined by the kink community to differentiate sexual preferences — and the idea that vanilla was kink's boring little sister has been reinforced in the media ever since.
Even Friends — in a scene that would now be considered wholesome by today's standards — featured a vanilla storyline with Phoebe's refusal to believe that Rachel kissed a girl during college, telling her, "It just seems pretty wild, and you're so vanilla. I've done lots of crazy things! But at the same time, I only like missionary with guys I'm in love with because of those really intimate reasons.
Violet, a lawyer in San Diego who is living and loving the single life, agrees that there's a comfort level attached to vanilla sex, even if she's not currently searching for a longterm partner. Plus, sometimes good old missionary just hits the spot, if he's paying attention," she adds.
Mariana, a Brooklyn-based mixed media artist, considers her sex life with her husband to be "pretty experimental" but on the year's most special days, it's a different story. I want to be tangled and look him in the eye. It's easy to become swept up in that type of thinking, says Steinberg, jokingly asking, "Whoever wanted to be described as doing anything in an uninspired way?
Steinberg suggests banishing this extreme black and white thinking, which can add unnecessary pressure. If you love it, then it means you're doing a great job. Bottom line: You get to decide what good sex looks and feels like — and there are no rules for your relationship to be deemed exciting, says Otoya. Some swear that the secret to great sex starts in the mind, but if the hamster wheel is spinning in unhelpful, negative ways, it may be time to step off and get clear on your 'why'.
According to Marin, it's exactly that type of judgmental thinking that can lead to a serious intimacy disconnect with your partner. What is it that makes sex feel great for me? Claiming and naming the specific things you enjoy with your partner can help quiet a distracted mind and feel more secure with what you're experiencing during sex.
At the end of the day, Steinberg offers this reminder: People simply aren't wondering about your sex life as much as you think they are — so you shouldn't be embarrassed about your preferences. Case in point: "When I'm telling my friends about sex with a new partner, no one is asking me 'was it vanilla? By Kaitlin Clark Jun 16, am. Save Pin FB More. By Kaitlin Clark. All rights reserved. Close this dialog window View image.Seeking what s in the sex live have a look
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We asked 64, women what they look for in a partner. The most important thing? Kindness.