We Are Not The Freaks: The Truth About “Vanilla”

In fetish circles, people who don’t participate in some form of kink are often referred to as “vanilla.” Vanilla people are boring, vanilla people are unadventurous, vanilla people will look down on us, judge us, persecute us. Vanilla people are the ones that call us freaks.

The truth is that we are not the freaks.

Think about where we get the term: when is the last time you went to the store and bought a bottle of quality vanilla extract? It’s not cheap and the good stuff isn’t always easy to find. Most of what we call “vanilla” in our cooking is synthetic. It’s just a flavor that everyone recognizes. Real vanilla is much more rare than most people realize. The vanilla plant itself is difficult to grow, often needing to be pollinated by hand.

Vanilla. Is. Not. Normal.

What we see as “vanilla” sexual behavior isn’t the real thing, either. Why are people shocked when teachers and lawmakers and religious figures get caught in some form of display as sexual beings? Humans are not vanilla creatures. We are not precious, delicate, rare blossoms; we are dandelions, weeds, scrub-brush. We are spice and salt and no one should be surprised when the intensity of our sexual flavors flares up and demands to be tasted.

Spiciness is normal. We are not the freaks.

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