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French Vanilla

When Someone is Kinky, But Doesn't Know They're Kinky

By Neal LitherlandPublished 6 years ago • 2 min read

We all like to think we're normal, for the most part. It's not until we get out of our comfort zones, and start meeting other people, that we find out there are folks who think it's weird to put pineapple on your pizza, who don't like watching scary movies right before bed, and who think it's a little weird that you coordinate the shoes you're wearing with the gun you're carrying.

The world is a big, complicated place, and if you've spent any time out in it then you know that "normal" is nothing more than the setting on your washing machine. But when it comes to sex there are a lot of folks who think that "kinky" is just something other people do. Not them. The kind of sex they have is perfectly average and run-of-the-mill.

Even if they want you to tie them to the headboard while wearing a gimp mask and doing a Darth Vader impression. Because that's just what normal people do when they want to be intimate with those they love.

I have a term for folks like this, and it's meant to act as a sort of shorthand. French Vanilla; for folks who are kinky, but who don't seem to realize they're kinky.

So This One Time...

I first developed this term to describe a partner I met while on the road. I was at an event, and we got to talking. We hit it off, and things seemed to be going all right. She was a healthy drive away from where I lived, but we agreed to get together in a few weeks to see how things went. We went out, had a good time, and when we got back to my place we decided to have sex.

So I asked her if there was anything we should talk about. What were her red buttons, what things did she like, and was there anything I should know about before we climbed into bed together? She said no, she was a pretty average girl. Nothing exciting or unusual about her.

Then, about halfway through our first session, she asked me to suck her toes.

Now, to be clear, that wasn't a deal breaker. However, afterward I mentioned that it would have been nice to know she had a thing for feet before we got started. She looked genuinely confused, because it seemed none of her previous partners informed her that involving one's feet in a session isn't really a "vanilla" thing to do. Her confusion turned to outright surprise when I told her that, of all the partners I'd had, she was only the second who wanted her feet touched, much less involved in erotic activities.

We spent the rest of the weekend with her running down her full list of likes and dislikes, re-evaluating which ones fell under the "vanilla" heading, and which ones got the kink label. There were several, but that's another story for another day. The point was that I needed a quick way to explain to other people this kind of experience, so the term I came up with was French Vanilla; mostly vanilla, but with a twist you weren't quite expecting.

If you like this piece you might also enjoy:

What's The Difference Between A Fetish and a Kink?

The Danger Word (It's Like The Opposite of a Safe Word)


About the Creator

Neal Litherland

Neal Litherland is an author, freelance blogger, and RPG designer. A regular on the Chicago convention circuit, he works in a variety of genres.



Blog: Improved Initiative and The Literary Mercenary

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