Last night I went to the pub for a meal with a friend. As we dressed and prepared to leave I commented to Mr Jones that we should really do this kind of thing more often. We almost never go out for a meal just because it seems like fun. While we do go to our local swinger’s club for drinks and socialising reasonably regularly we never go to a pub to catch up with friends or to see a band.
When I was younger I didn’t have the social circle or the budget to be at the pub or partying on every weekend. So I was never really in the habit of going clubbing with friends. Heading out to see a band was a big deal for me. When Mr Jones and I started swinging our night life changed a lot. But all of the partying and socialising we did had particular focus that usually saw us naked and fucking by the end of the evening. Going to a bar to pay the crazy prices they charge for drinks just for shits and giggles has never been part of our regular schedule.
So we arrived and had a great meal with our friend. It was good to catch up and hang out. After our meal we ventured into the main bar where karaoke was cranking up. It was interesting seeing how the other half party. The drinking was similar. The weird behaviour and conversations over loud music were the same as I remembered and the same as most parties.
The thing that struck me was feeling at odds with how flirting worked. A woman came up to me and full on ran her hands over my body. I was taken aback. I thought she was with a man. I was with my husband. Later in the bar another man was giving off flirty vibes but he seemed a little reluctant. Obviously the presence of husband was an issue. I kept to myself. Unsure of where lines were and what was acceptable and what was not.
In the wash-up I am unconvinced it is something I would like to do every week. Maybe every now and then. I would rather hang out around a camp fire with some like minded souls. Or even at a pinch head out for dinner and drinks with similar like minded souls. At the end of the day the only thing in this world that should be vanilla is ice cream.
During last week’s TMI Tuesday there was some discussion about the amount of sexual content in the blog. Many of the people I interact with from there feel the same way as I do. We like the way it is and we are happy with the way our blogs are. We don’t feel the need to turn the sex down or, conversely, pressure to be sexual all the time.
It did get me to thinking about the way the minds of some people work. Urban Dictionary defines Vanilla as: Unexciting, normal, conventional and boring. In my vernacular I interpret this as people who are not sexually open. Vanillas are a strange bunch. A lot of them like to TALK about sex and get some kind of thrill out of thinking about radical sexual ideas but most of them wouldn’t act out their fantasies in public or follow up on attractions to people not deemed as their partners.
Sometimes they get brave enough to dip their toe into waters that take them past their sexual boundaries. Perhaps they will participate in a meme like TMI Tuesday or perhaps they will get very brave and visit a swing club or a fetish party. Sometimes they find that being in this environment is not how they thought it would be and they start having fun, despite themselves. Sometimes they come over to the dark side and they will never be vanilla again.
Sometimes though they find themselves reverting to their vanilla ways. Most of the time they act like adults and they retreat back to their regular haunts with their regular friends and they never speak of their adventures. Sometimes though they want to keep the little bit of kink in their lives so they try and convince the people in the kink world to turn it down a little bit for them. They make suggestions like, “lets just chat” or “Why does everything have to be about sex” or “maybe we should have a space where nudity is restricted” little by little they try to change the space they are in until it resembles their regular haunts with the sexy stuff just behind the door.
What they don’t get is that the thing that makes these spaces so sexy is the freedom. That being vanilla is all about rules and conventions. It is about worrying what other people think of you. It is about acting a certain way because someone said it is the way to act. When you put vanilla aside the only rules are respect and honesty. Everything else is on the table.
Putting vanilla aside gives a person the freedom to be who they are at all times. If they are sexy today they are sexy, if they feel like sharing cake recipes then they seek out friends to do that with. What Non-Vanilla people don’t do is ask other Non-Vanillas, or Vanillas for that matter, to conform to what they are looking for. It is about consent and respect. When you visit my blog the same rules apply. You will get sexy most of the time because that is the most interesting thing TO ME. Some days I will share things about teaching and some days just general rants. I probably won’t share my recipes here. Or my holiday snaps. If I feel the need to do that I will make a new space. Where unsuspecting people don’t get ambushed (or surprised by my bush!) because I am a respectful adult.
I don’t own TMI Tuesday and so my opinion on what the questions should be about has little impact. All I can say is if it does go off on a more Vanilla direction it is likely I will lose interest. I will be sad because I have enjoyed being part of the juggernaut for so long but I am honestly not interested in being part of something that is designed and run by a bunch of Karens.