Vanilla is a subjective term commonly used as a noun (a vanilla person) or adjective (such as vanilla sex) and is interchangeable with muggles and 'nillas when concerning people that are considered to be part of a vanilla lifestyle or culture.
The term vanilla is a reference "the norm" or "blandness" and specifically points to a distinct lack of kink.
The term is difficult to define with precision as anything can be fetishized, including being vanilla, but the concept of vanilla is to have a distinct lack of desire for deviation from the status quo. As such, what is vanilla and what is not is largely up to how someone interprets the data in their own minds.
Some concepts that are commonly associated with vanilla behavior might be:
- A distinct lack of desire for any kind of sex position other than missionary.
- Experiencing a distinct discomfort talking about sex and other hot button topics.
- A lack of owning any sex toys.
- A fear or strong discomfort with content containing strong deviant overtones.
- A lack of conscious power exchange in relationship dynamics.
Vanilla kink is a term often used by heavier players to describe kinks that are often used during experimental phases of discovering kink that require little or no training. Examples might be light smacks and slaps, dirty talk and very light bondage/fuzzy handcuffs, sensation play involving feather tickling, and similar activities.
Because the notion of what is vanilla and what is kinky is strongly dependent upon the interpreters and their views of the world and how they interact themselves with their own aspects of sexual practice some have decided that their lifestyle, while most of what would commonly pass as vanillas would consider their lifestyle to be highly kinky, have decided to label themselves as vanilla because they see nothing deviant about their behaviors and view embracing their sexuality as highly natural.
Further, many that might pass as vanillas might consider some topics like oral sex to be highly kinky, while others see those same subjects as highly vanilla. The term itself is often criticized because of it's high degree of subjectivity (along with the term kinky) as not able to communicate meaningful ideas without strong context to support it. It is further criticized as it's only apparent function seems to create an overtone of divisiveness rather than unity.
Additional criticisms presume that some kinksters may look down upon vanilla folk as being less advanced, less liberated, or under-educated, though this assumption is considered baseless as many that self identify as vanilla are kink aware and simply have decided that such a path is not for them.
Respect and allow others to embrace whatever labels they choose and enjoy whatever level of kink or vanilla practice is best suiting to them without passing judgement.