Orientation Series: Kink vs Vanilla

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A lot of people think of orientations as binary. Of course, this is a myth. Everyone falls somewhere on a spectrum. In the case of kink, this means that people who are kinky are mostly not always kinky all the time.

I actually had a hilarious conversation with a vanilla friend of mine about this the other day. She asked how we could be kinky when it seemed like so much work to always have to get out toys and handcuffs and stuff.

There are two issues that I have with that:

1. Kink does not require accouterments. In other words, you can use whips and chains, but kink is about the power dynamic between two people. As long as there is a power dynamic in place, then you are having kinky sex. A lot of kink is in your mind.

2. It’s true that I am kinky. However, that doesn’t mean that all the sex I ever have is kinky. Sometimes I just want to fuck. Is that how it is for everyone? No! Every relationship is different. Every person is different. But for me, I enjoy vanilla sex and kinky sex. I am not one or the other, I am both.

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As far as orientation goes, there are a lot of different things that fall under the umbrella of “kink.” If you ask five people what “kink” means, you will get five different answers.

For example: I asked my vanilla friend Kevin what he thinks of when he thinks of kink. He said he thinks of “those freaks who dress up like animals and have sex.”

That is called a Furry Fetish, and while vanilla people might find it “kinky” to their own minds, not all Furries identify as kinky. In fact, Furries identify as animals, and mostly have vanilla sex (in animals costumes.)

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What I mean by vanilla sex is: There is no power dynamic.

I think the reason that you can ask five different people what “kink” is and get five different answers is because a lot of people who are not in the community think of “kinky” as things you do. You see these typical vanilla people sitting around debating if anal sex is “kinky” or not, and you just have to laugh. In fact, my vanilla friend Kevin even said once that his girlfriend Kat was “kinky” for being enthusiastic about sex.

So look: Individual sex acts are in the eye of the beholder.

A cisgender straight couple might think that anal sex is really wild. However, a gay couple will laugh this off because it is normal to them. A transgender straight couple might also think that fisting is “kinky.” A lesbian couple would very likely disagree. So what is “normal” to one person is not normal to another.

Kink is something else. It is the mindset of being in control or being submissive in a sexual situation. Let me give you a scenario and we’ll talk about it:

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Scene: A man meets a woman on a website called Back Page. He agrees to pay her to have sex with him. They meet in a hotel room and have sex.

There is a group of people who will shout and yell about how this is exploitation of one, the other, or both parties. There are people who think it should be illegal. There are people who will assume that the girl is trafficked and people who will be furious at the thought of this scene taking places.

However, I would argue that you have to look at what each of them is thinking before you make any value judgments.

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Example Female Perspective: Like most sex workers, Natalie picks her clients carefully based on what she is looking for. She has a kink for being exploited like a nasty little whore. It really turns her on. She picked this guy off Back Page out of hundreds of offers. She is pleased that she gets to fulfill her kink and make money at the same time.

Natalie’s husband thinks this is really hot. He has a cuckhold fantasy, so he gets really turned on by the idea of someone else fucking his wife. Sometime Natalie secretly records her Johns having sex with her so that she can watch it together with her husband. He loves seeing her in compromising positions with other guys, but his favorites are the really ugly guys because it turns him on to imagine her hesitating and having to force herself to submit to them.

For Natalie, the forced submission is a big part of the attraction. She is so involved in what the actions mean that she almost doesn’t feel them as they are happening. For her, it is just really hot to kneel before some John who is a stranger to her and who she isn’t attracted to. It is a fight with herself to become a better and more obedient submissive; one worthy of the title. If she can give herself willingly to someone because she was told to, it exemplifies her discipline and poise as a perfect sub.

Summary:  I want you to realize that these are real fetishes, and I know real sex workers who do it because it is their kink. The sex they have with their Johns is 100% vanilla, but it is kinky to them because they are fulfilling their fantasies of exploitation. So, even though their Johns just want a blowjob and then to fuck them in the missionary position, it is still kinky sex, because it is kinky in the minds of the women doing it.

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Example Male Perspective: Dan feels out of control. His life is not going the way he wants. So, he goes to Back Page and finds himself a good-looking escort and plans to meet with her to have sex. He doesn’t care that it costs $2,000, and it doesn’t mean he doesn’t like his wife at home (who he loves to fuck.)

The problem is that, with his wife, he has to think of her needs and be respectful of her. She doesn’t have to do what he wants with no reciprocation. He thinks of her as a person. But right now he doesn’t want a person, he wants an object to do his bidding and make him feel in control of something again.

For Dan, it is not about the sex. It is about being the architect of the situation and having complete authority over what happens. He is not turned on by the body of the escort that he has purchased for the night (although she is hot.) Rather, he is turned on by the fact that she has to do whatever he says. If he tells her to bark like a dog, she will. He doesn’t want her to bark like a dog. But, he gets off on the fact that this woman is in his control and that he is exploiting her for sex on his terms.

Dan fucks her roughly and cums on her face. This is something that he would never do to his wife. He respects her too much! That is why he is in a hotel room with some strange girl instead of with his wife.

Then he thanks Natalie and goes home feeling more in control of the world and more confident about himself. He has fulfilled his fantasy of being in control of a perfectly submissive woman, and that was all he really wanted out of the experience.

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You see, the sex itself was not kinky. But it was kinky in the minds of both Dan and Natalie. Both of them were satisfying their fetishes, and in their minds it was kinky.

When you look at kink this way, as a mindset, you can see that everyone is a little bit kinky.

Anyone could look at the average fetish list and find a few things that they are interested in.  (If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to try it.) However, most people only have one or two kinks. As long as they occasionally satisfy these kinks, they feel fulfilled.

Personally, I am of the more depraved variety. Most of my porn came to me on a flash drive because that kind of stuff is not available online. I like dungeons and orgies and all the toys. I am not just a little kinky, I am excited about all the kinks! The harder the better, you know?

However, I just want you to realize that everyone falls somewhere on the spectrum between kink and vanilla. It is not a binary state. And no one should be judgmental about where you fall on the spectrum.

I know I give vanilla people a hard time sometimes, but I am just playing. Like I said, sometimes I just want to fuck, too. We all have those days.

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