Thoughts on the use of the adjective “vanilla” (ADULT subject matter)


I apologize for the serious and random nature of this post—no wait, I totally don’t. #RandomGen has fused with #RantyGen today with just a titch of #BitchyGen for extra “sprinkles” on my cupcake as my dear friend Penny always says. Feel free to back out of the post if you don’t want to hear it and/or are easily offended.


The number one definition of Vanilla (adj) in the Urban Dictionary is: Unexciting, normal, conventional, boring.

In Websters: (adj) lacking distinction, plain, ordinary, conventional

And for the Brits in the room, the Oxford definition: (adj) having no special or extra features; ordinary or standard.


I was thinking the other day, and not for the first time, why the use of the word vanilla as an adjective rubs me the wrong way. Think: nails on a chalkboard, Styrofoam squeaking, “Are we there yet?”… sort of irritation. It’s not like I haven’t used the word myself on occasion, or have friends who use the word and I think nothing of it when they do. It’s true. But I came to the conclusion it’s because amongst these few individuals and I, (and you know who you are) we know what we mean by that adjective and it is NONE of those definitions. It simply means “not living a Dominant/submissive relationship or regularly practicing the BDSM lifestyle”. No value-judgment, just a simple manner of categorization so as to know to what particular activities we might be referring in a conversation/book recommendation. So, yeah, “vanilla” is easier to say than all that in a conversation with each other. We understand each other just fine.

But when others use it… man.

I tell you what, nothing irks me more than individuals who want to be understood and accepted for their own choices and yet they, in turn, feel they have a right to judge the value of others’ lifestyles. By its very definition above (and by that I mean Urban Dictionary, Websters, Oxford, common parlance, the manner in which it is used on blog, and in writing) it places  an inherent value, or more correctly, de-value on something.

The very definition is judgmental.

Ordinary… BORING… lacking distinction… unexciting.

My dear blog followers, I count myself blessed and lucky to have friends from all walks of life, cultures, and lifestyles, from the ultra-conservative to the ultra-liberal, from countries near and far. So, I can’t fathom what on EARTH entitles a person in any culture/subculture to make a judgment about the sexual satisfaction a perfect stranger receives no matter HOW they like to get jiggy wid it. What makes certain folk think because some people DON’T engage in a D/s relationship or practice all the elements of BDSM on the regular that their sexual life is “vanilla” ie, as we’ve defined above, BORING, LACKING DISTINCTION, UNEXCITING?

Geeeeeeee, ok. /Sarcasmfont

For YOU, you meant to say, right? RIGHT?

‘Cause I’m down with that. We are beautiful, amazingly diverse creatures, us human beings. We are all different and we all like different things even within a sub-culture. For ME, receiving a spanking would be BORING, UNEXCITING, ORD—well, not ordinary—but HAVING NO SPECIAL FEATURES. Just like for one who craves, with their mind, emotions, physical being, a good ass-paddling NOT getting that would be—I’m extrapolating from the ubiquitous use of the term above—quite mundane in nature and lacking in appropriate stimulation (physically or psychologically). I don’t know for sure though, I’m just guessing. Because you see, otherwise, I don’t understand the use of the word vanilla AT ALL. Surely you don’t mean that because I don’t lead a D/s sexual life that my sexual life is somehow unfulfilling or boring or ordinary or lacking excitement or having no special features. And yet… there. it. is. Inherent in the use of the word itself, which you just used to describe me.

So I say with kindness in my heart (believe it or not) check your prose the next time you speak, just like I make sure and never use value-laden words such a “freaky” “perversion” “abnormal”… Hell, I even stop and cringe before I use the word “alternative” which I know many of my friends engaged in so-called “alternative” lifestyles have no problem with me using. I dithered, I kid you not, for HOURS before I used the word “naughty” on my “Cupcake’s Naughty Corner”, because that word also carries connotations that sex is somehow “not good”. I don’t like using words that place judgment on such a natural human act. After all, I would never want to assume I have the arrogant right to deem another’s sexual life to be “lacking”, “unexciting”, or “boring” because they don’t have heterosexual, monogamous, spank-free sex like I do.


A wise man once said:

Different Strokes for different folks…

And a wise woman once said:

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”



PS–Join me on Monday when I interview Bad Penny on What’s What with the What’s New in her BDSM/Erotica writing universe. YAY! Fun on Cupcake’s Corner of the #NaughtyCouch!

Wisdom from Cupcake (aka #RandomMomentofGen)

Recently (ish) I was sort of metaphorically adopted by #Naughtyville. Actually, I followed Penelope Jones  home one day on Twitter and she was all “Can I keep her, huh, huh, can I keep her?” And strangely (though, now it’s not strange at all, but at the time it seemed strange) all these really nice but naughty minded people adopted me as their resident vanilla cupcake. This is great because I generally have a fairly dirty mind myself. Alright, a very dirty mind. I just *write* less naughty than most of them on the scale of naughty to puritanical. Though, as my inbox would indicate, I am still a wee bit too spicy for some. Eh. I care not. And then there’s a few, though distinctly less, who were disappointed because I often hang out with the BDSM crowd on Twitter and there was that one time I wrote some erotica (not BDSM but there *might* have been a wee bit of kinky going on, ehem…) and then they read Bird Day Battalion and they’re like….oh, that’s just…romance with sex…

SO, too spicy for some, not spicy enough for others. Must be doing something right. Ha!

You may be wondering (as usual) what on earth am I rambling about?

Penny adopting random stray cupcakes got me to thinking. You ever notice how those groups who have to battle the most fiercely against stereotypes and unfair marginalization are often THE most welcoming people on the face of the planet?

I have.

It makes me sad to think of all the many different and truly fascinating groups of people I have met online over the years not just in the course of writing but being a regular visitor to websites about books, TV shows, sports, what have you, the ones that are a part of the most powerful, mainstream or elite groups can often (yes, I’m generalizing based on anecdotal experience) be the LEAST welcoming to new people and people who don’t share their Group Think. If you offer up the dissenting opinion or encourage others to critically examine their own kneejerk opinions you are dismissed, scoffed at, sometimes even drummed out.

Sadly, it has been one of the most consistent things I have observed and experienced in the cyberworld. The groups with the most numbers, or the most clout tend not to tolerate those that think differently than they do and the groups *most* used to experiencing that very sensation of censure, condemnation, or prejudice are often the best place to find refuge when you feel like an octagonal peg in a square world.

Ah, there are exceptions to the rule, I know.

Just like I am the exception to the #Naughtyville rule.

Because it’s been a while since you’ve had a truly random moment of Gen. #ASMSG


I love…

Love and friendship and monogamy.

I love that feeling that comes from absolute trust. I love long silent cuddles on the couch that may or may not lead to sex. Soft, gentle, missionary style sex. Rough animal kingdom sex. Kinky sex. Sex with props, sex with nothing, sex with words, sex with emotion.

I love the fact there’s family members reading this and rolling their eyes and thinking, ‘That’s so Gen. Inappropriately honest.’

But I love understanding and acceptance the most.

The joy and freedom that comes from understanding yourself, your partner, your minds, and souls and hearts.

(And run on sentences, clearly.)

For some, like me, this comes in the form of a single pair bond. I need that. I need my man to give me what I give him; loyalty, fidelity, trust.

But for some this is NOT what they need. For some that would be a prison of sorts. And just like it would be wrong for someone like me who needs…demands…such singularity to suffer through the pain of repeated infidelity from someone who will not or cannot give it, it would be wrong to demand such of a soul who does not willingly give it.

Because that is what love is.

Willingness of soul, of mind, of heart.


Someone who needs to be free to express themselves, who feels suffocated from monogamy or moral codes not of their own choosing should not be with someone whose heart and mind would be crushed by their unwillingness to give that. Nor should the other, if love is truly there, want to force their own moral code or rules on someone whose mind rebels against it. Call it cultural relativity, call it whatever brings you happiness, and whether you understand or accept it or not, I will acknowledge your right to do so.

For me, there is nothing as perfect as two souls who understand each other. Two, four, six, however many. For others, there is no such thing as a soul, so the whole thing is a moot point anyway.

And because I prize understanding and acceptance above all,


I respect that.