What Is Vanilla Sex

What is Vanilla Sex | All you need to know about being Vanilla

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Whether you’re new to the world of intimate relationships or you’ve been in the game for a long time, you might have heard at some point the term “vanilla sex”.

But what exactly is vanilla sex and what is it like? 

Vanilla sex is a term coined by the BDSM community to mean ‘plain’ sex. However, it encompasses a whole lot more than that. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about vanilla sex. 

What Is Vanilla Sex?

Vanilla Sex is arguably a personal concept that one gets to define on their own terms. For me, Vanilla Sex is the opposite of Kink or BDSM – which is a kind of sexual encounter that involves some sort of power imbalance role-play. 

That role play can include elements of bondage, sadomasochism, spanking, and dramatized situations. 

Some call it sex with tender and touching enthusiasm. Others call it boring and unpretentious sex. 

Couple In Bed Cuddling

So what is vanilla sex like?

Having sex with vanilla is making love. These are mutual feelings, long foreplay, affectionate words, and a comfy bed, with comfortable pillows to support sexual positions

There are only three components to vanilla sex: love, you, and your partner. And the attributes of a fetish, physical pain, role-playing games, and much more are simply not necessary.

Americans call any ice cream without additives vanilla. That’s how the kind of sex without all the “excess” got its name.

Are Sex Toys Vanilla?

Some people will argue that in vanilla sex, it is only about you and your partner – nothing else. I disagree with that when it comes to sex toys and couples

Personally, I think sex toys are a great addition to vanilla sex – and to caresses and hand games. of course, sex toys can and are also used in kink sex. The difference here is how you and your partner use toys. 

Maude drop and Maude vibe sex toys

Are Threesomes or Swingers Vanilla?

Since vanilla sex is conventional sex, I would say that puts a threesome or swingers out of the basket of vanilla sex. 

With swingers and threesomes, you’re putting a kinky twist on the norm. Instead of just sharing love with your partner, you’re sharing lust (or love) with additional members of the party. 

That’s why, IMO, threesomes and swingers aren’t typically considered part of the vanilla sex umbrella.

Can Gay Sex Be Vanilla?

In vanilla sex, there are no gender or sexual orientation distinctions. As I mentioned before vanilla sex is just you, your partner, and the love in the relationship.

Any human being can enjoy pleasant vanilla sex, regardless of whether you’re gay, straight, or something in between!

The thing that makes sex vanilla is the lack of role play, kinks, and toys, rather than the gender or sexual orientation. That’s why vanilla sex can be for anyone. 

Gay Couple Happy

What Are the Boundaries of Vanilla Sex?

The boundaries of vanilla sex vary depending on the couple. That’s because each couple is comfortable with different things!

Consent is ultimately what will determine your boundaries. 

For example, my partner and I set our boundaries based on trust and communication. We ask each other before trying something new. 

In vanilla sex, you should be constantly communicating with your partner, both before, during, and after intimacy. 

That way, you keep healthy boundaries.

Where Does the Name Vanilla Sex Come From?

The beginnings of “vanilla sex” date back to the sexual revolution that took hold of Western counter culture in the 1960s and 1970s. 

The name of this type of sex was supposed to refer to something tasty, yet simple and timeless. Vanilla sex was supposed to be the opposite for lovers of harder sex, like BDSM.

Vanilla sex is sex that doesn’t involve sadomasochism or role play. ‘Plain’ sex, on the other hand, is usually cheerful and sweet. 

The reason BDSMers chose “vanilla” to describe conventional sex is because it reminded them of the classic ice cream flavor. It’s also something that everyone knows. But, it still tempts you with the familiar sweetness and pleasure of eating your favorite summer dessert. 

Vanilla is an ordinary flavor that forms the basis for additional ingredients for those who want a ‘twist’. When extra ingredients are added to sex, it becomes kink, not just plain vanilla!

The same is true of vanilla sex – sure, it might be something ordinary and familiar, but it’ll always be just as sexy and fun.

Couple In Love Eating Vanilla Ice Cream

What if You Want to Try Kink and You’re Not Sure What to Say to Your Partner?

As I mentioned before, communication is very important because it’s the basis of any healthy relationship. Don’t be afraid to open yourself up to new experiences and approach your partner about them!

The key when wanting to try kink is that both you and your partner need to have the right frame of mind. 

There has to be a balance in everything you and your partner do, even in sex. 

If you feel ready to venture into the forays of something new and kinky, go for it! But, make sure to communicate with your partner as you do. 

Just be yourself, express what you want to try, and wait to see how they’ll respond. As long as you communicate openly and honestly, everything will be fine. 

Is Vanilla Sex Boring?

Any type of sex – either kink or vanilla – can be both wonderful or boring! 

In other words, vanilla sex is not necessarily boring! I’m vanilla and my sexual life is not boring at all

Many years ago, I tried some light kink with a partner who enjoyed it. I didn’t mind the sort of light kink stuff we tried but, if I have to be honest, it did nothing for me. 

I loved going back to our plain cuddly sexual life. 

Allow yourself to get into your sex life. Whatever it is that you try, just make sure you’re comfortable. You might find you’re into kinky sex or you might find, like me, that you like good old vanilla sex. 

What Is the Most Used Sexual Position in Vanilla Sex?

Couple In Bed Missionary Position

The traditional missionary! This sexual position in which one partner is lying on their back and the other partner is on top of them is the most common vanilla sex position. 

That’s why missionary has the reputation of being the most used sex position. 

Even so, it’s also considered to be a position that provides some of the most pleasurable sensations. And, it’s comfortable! If you add a sex wedge pillow, it gets even more so!

Despite the fact that missionary is vanilla, it’s got a lot going for it. 

For example, there’s a lot of intimacy in missionary thanks to the eye contact. On top of that, it’s easier for the person on top to play with the person on the bottom’s butt, boobs, and other body parts

Another reason you shouldn’t knock missionary sex is because it gives you the freedom to move your legs as much as you want. That allows for deeper penetration. 

In other words, you can get pretty creative with missionary. Vanilla or not, I’d call that pretty fun!

What Are Other Positions in Vanilla Sex?

Even though missionary is the most common sex position, it’s far from the only sex position. Let’s take a look at some of the sex positions in vanilla sex. 


This is the classic vanilla position I mentioned earlier. In this position, one partner is on top of the other lying on their back. Both partners facing each other. 

The partner can support the legs on the bed, raise them or put them around their partner; you can put pillows under the pelvis to help provide extra support 

The multitude variations of this position allows for different degrees of depth of penetration and stimulation. It also allows for a lot of involvement from both partners. 


The spoon position is where the couple lies on their sides. One partner is in front of the other, so that their back is facing the chest of the other partner. 

In this position, both people have slightly bent legs. The partner in the back enters the partner from behind. 

Even though it’s a vanilla position, it allows the partner in the back to be a bit more dominant. That can be a fun way to spice up some vanilla sex!


In this position, one partner sits on a chair. The other partner straddles them, facing away from them. 

The partner on top moves up and down on top of their partner. 

Lotus Flower

In the lotus flower, one partner sits cross-legged on the bed (or on the floor). The other partner then sits in their lap. 

The partner on top can wrap their legs around their other half’s hips. Then, they can use their legs to pull themselves closer to the partner on the bottom. 


In this position, one partner sits on the bed with their legs spread wide. They usually lean back slightly on their arms to support themselves. 

The other partner then sits on top of them and they begin moving together.

Lying Dog

This is a modified doggy-style position. 

In this position, one partner is lying on their stomach with their legs spread. The other partner then positions themselves on top of their partner. 

What Is Vanilla Sex Like?

Vanilla sex is simple, tender, and natural. It’s a very sensual and intimate way of having sex. 

What’s great about vanilla sex, and what I personally love, is that it’s accompanied by long foreplay. 

That’s not just kissing, either. That could be massages and touching, too. 

Vanilla sex is usually accompanied by romantic lighting and music. The goal of the experience is to feel close to your partner and doesn’t involve twists or turns. 

Thanks to vanilla sex, I have been able to experience emotions that I have never experienced before. 

And, with the right partner, that’s exactly what you’re supposed to experience! 

It pays to abandon conventional thinking about sex (and about vanilla sex being boring) and open yourself up to new experiences.

How Do You Master Vanilla Sex?

I have never seen vanilla sex as a ‘skill’ to be mastered. However, you get better at sex by practising! That means the more you get to know your body, your partner’s body and how you interact the more likely you are to ‘be good’ at it.

In vanilla sex, you focus on your partner, on your connection, and on the experience together. 

On top of that, vanilla sex is one of the most comfortable sex positions. You can relax and let your partner excite you, all while feeling desired. 

So, how do you master vanilla sex? 

Just relax and enjoy being in the moment with your partner. It’s that easy!

Trust me, when you let go and just start enjoying your intimate moments, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. I’m confident that you’ll quickly become a master of this type of sex. 

Final Thoughts on Vanilla Sex

A lot of people are embarrassed to admit that they enjoy having vanilla sex, but there’s no reason why that should be the case!

Vanilla sex consists of various positions that, while simple, allow for physical and emotional closeness and enable sexual fulfillment.

At the same time, while everyone has probably tried it at some point or another, but not everyone was delighted with it. And that ‘s okay too!

What for some seems to be an ordinary bore, for others it becomes the perfect complement to their relationship.

So, where do you fit in the bucket? No matter where it is, I promise you’re doing great. Whatever it is that makes you and your partner happy is exactly what you should be doing.