We often people talk about “vanilla sex”—sex that is plain, the same every time, and not too spicy. Vanilla sex is “the usual.” It’s our go-to sexual activity—the usual location, the usual sequence of activities, and the usual sensations.
Vanilla sex is often talked about in a negative tone, as in, “All we ever have is vanilla sex.” The idea is that vanilla is practically flavorless. That is, it has no distinguishing characteristics.
Vanilla is a flavor.
We’ve talked about this a couple times on our Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast, and I want to say it here, too:
Vanilla is a flavor.
In fact, vanilla is a great flavor!
Vanilla isn’t bland, but it is simple. When I have another flavor of ice cream, I am paying attention to the new flavor. Vanilla, however, is simple and straight-forward enough that I can appreciate the other qualities of the ice cream, such as the creaminess or the way it feels when it slides down my throat on a hot day. With vanilla, I can better savor the ice cream experience because I’m not so distracted by the flavor.
While I love many ice cream flavors, vanilla is always my backup. When I get a double-scoop of ice cream when we’re out, I usually make sure one of the scoops is vanilla. If the more flavorful scoop isn’t as good as I’d hoped, I know the vanilla won’t fail me.
At home, vanilla is the base for many great concoctions. Add a little crème de menthe and get a grasshopper. Cover it with chocolate syrup and get a sundae. Add fruit or whipped cream. Add butterscotch or caramel. Scatter M&Ms or sprinkles on top. Sure, you can do all these things to other flavors of ice cream, but vanilla provides the perfect starting point for so many wonderful sundaes.
When I have vanilla ice cream I am still having ice cream, even if I would have preferred something different.
Vanilla ice cream is not lesser ice cream than butter pecan or peach. It may be simpler, but it is ice cream nonetheless.
Vanilla sex is good.
Vanilla sex is important. It isn’t bland, but it is simple. It’s fun to spice things up, but I am easily distracted by the mechanics and new sensations of new sexual activities. When we do the usual, however, it is simple and straight-forward enough that I can more fully experience the other aspects of sex. I can enjoy the emotional connection. I can be in awe of the simple and natural way that God made our bodies to fit together. I better savor the sexual intimacy because I’m not so distracted by what is new.
Sometimes I do enjoy sex that isn’t quite vanilla. I’ve often found, though, that when we try something new, it’s fun for a while—and then we finish up by returning to the vanilla sex that hasn’t failed us yet.
Vanilla sex is the base for many great adventures. Add some props (silk scarves, special lighting, a new position, or hey, chocolate syrup and whipped cream!) to the usual, and you’ll get something new. Vanilla sex is a great starting point for new ways of being sexual together.
And even when we go through seasons of mostly vanilla sex, we are still having sex.
Enjoy your vanilla sex life.
It is important to learn to step outside your comfort zone and explore God’s bounty of sexual intimacy with your husband. It’s good to be able to spice things up from time to time. Shared adventure adds to the intimacy in your marriage.
But if you aren’t ready for that yet, it’s okay. If you are new to working on your sexuality, spend some time learning to fully enjoy your vanilla sex life. Spicy sex is fun, but vanilla sex is great, too.
Vanilla sex is not lesser than adventurous sex. It may be simpler, which makes it easier to fully savor.
Whether we’re talking ice cream or sex, vanilla is a lovely flavor.
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