• Sunny Megatron, BDSM Educator, Demystifies the Vanilla to Kink Crossover

    Sometimes it seems there can be a real 'us' and 'them' attitude, when it comes to vanillas (people who engage in conventional sex, often, it is interpreted as sex which does not involve such elements as BDSM, kink, or fetish activities) and kinksters (according to Wikipedia: "Kinky practices go beyond what are considered conventional 'vanilla' sexual practices as a means of heightening the intimacy between sexual partners.")

    If you’re one you can’t be the other, right? You should never let it be known you occasionally associate with the opposing side... It’s also assumed if you’re on one side you think the other is less than worthy.

    Breaking it down to basic stereotypes, vanillas think kinksters are scary and weird. Kinksters think vanillas are unadventurous and boring.

    "Vanillas" might not be as open about sexual proclivities, but that doesn't mean what they do in private is much different from activities kinky people engage in. Crossing over to the kinky side is not necessarily black and white.

    I can’t tell you how many times a self-identified vanilla has asked me, “How do I tell my partner I want some new things in bed? I’ve never told them I like some light spanks and nibbles. I’d love for them to take charge a bit more and be more demanding. I also really enjoy role-playing, but I don’t think I’m into, like, *makes the face* BDSM or anything. All that crazy stuff is just too freaky for me!”

    I’m not sure what most people think BDSM is? Let’s break down the acronym and examine a few “other side” observations about BDSM.

    Guest post by Sunny Megatron



    The Acronym

    BDSM stands for Bondage & Discipline/Dominance & Submission/Sadism & Masochism

    It can be one or more of these things but for many it’s rarely all. Do you like your lover to take charge, pin you up against the wall and give you directions? That’s dominance and submission.

    Fluffy Handcuffs

    Do you like to give your partner a slap on the bum or hold them a bit tightly? What about a little bite or nibble? Have you ever left a little mark that’s visible the next day? Sadism! If you like receiving, that’s masochism.

    Do you enjoy restraining your lover? Pinning their hands behind their back or above their head? Perhaps tying their wrists or ankles together with a scarf or tie? Have a pair of Furry Pink Handcuffs from the local novelty shop? Bondage!

    If you have done any of these things, you are practicing elements of BDSM without even realizing it. Also, kinky people do not necessarily like every kind of freaky activity under the sun (most don’t). Just because you enjoy being tied up every once and a while does not mean you also have to like pain and vice versa. If you are into the BD but not the SM you are still technically considered a practitioner of BDSM. It’s a common misconception that people have to be into everything to be considered kinky.

    The Gear

    Don’t assume you need to have expensive floggers, whips, ball gags etc to effectively practice BDSM

    Have you ever used a scarf or tie to blindfold a partner? Yes? Then you’ve engaged in sensory deprivation on a dime! Use that same scarf or tie to restrain their hands or feet - we’re back to bondage again.

    BlueBella Neat & Naughty French Maid Costume

    What about that French Maid costume from three Halloweens ago you got out that one night to surprise your partner just for kicks? Sexual roleplay!

    You can even grab some clothes pins out of the laundry room for impromptu nipple clamps. Even something as simple as a kitchen spoon makes a wonderful paddle.

    Whether you’ve used these items in a vanilla setting “just for fun” or thought to use them for sinister and mysterious (sarcastic!) BDSM, you’ve discovered pervertables! Pervertables are common household items repurposed as sexy/kinky accessories. With pervertables you can get your kink on for little to no money. Many of us, vanilla and kinky alike, have used pervertables (think cucumbers...)

    The only piece of gear you must have to practice kink is your mind. They always say the greatest sexual organ is the brain - the same goes for kinky sex. All you really need is your imagination and creativity. Add communication and initiative and you're really on your way.

    The Outfits

    Practicing BDSM does not require special clothing

    Yes, I’ve heard people say, “How silly would I look practicing S&M!? No one wants to see my muffin-top popping through a latex catsuit!” Or “I wouldn’t mind taking charge a little bit, it could be fun - but there’s no way I’d even try kink because of those outlandish get-ups they wear!” You can be naked, in work clothes, lingerie, jeans (or panties) and a sassy sweater - whatever you like!

    The clothes in no way define the action. Yes, the leather and whips are what we see in media - that’s because it’s flashy (and hot to spank it to). It’s also a stereotype. Nope, I don’t want to see my muffin-top in a catsuit either and I can’t walk in heels to save my life - but I still practice BDSM. I often do it in my old nightgown!

    Public Play

    Some people who practice BDSM enjoy playing in public, that doesn't mean you have to show off your kinks to own them

    Shiny Cat Suit Customer Photo “BDSM sounds sort of interesting but I just can’t do it. I can’t have sex in front of people or go to kinky parties! Also, I’m in a happy monogamous relationship, I can’t do that with other people - That is just NOT my thing!”

    Yes, some kinksters do go to parties, play publicly and play with multiple partners even if they are in a committed primary relationship. Those folks are only a small piece of the pie, however. There are scores of people who identify as kinky but only share that with their partners. They don’t belong to internet groups, go to parties or shout it from the rooftops.

    We’re not sure how many of those are out there, but I’m willing to bet it’s quite a few. Then add to that the people who are kinky who don’t realize they are (the “I’m into hair pulling and spanking, but I’m not into any of that freaky BDSM stuff or anything” types).

    Public players are usually very dedicated to their sexy hobby. They also aren’t afraid to tell everyone about it. These folks have blogs dedicated to kink, join BDSM social groups and websites, they are even the people writing the BDSM books.

    Just because the public kinksters are out and proud, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are an accurate representation of the entire kinky pie. Many of the pie filling people don’t even realize they are kinky! How could that be? How can someone not know they are practicing BDSM? Namely because there really is no “US and THEM,” a least not in a clear-cut sense. When it comes to vanilla vs. kink activities there’s a huge crossover.

    The Truth

    Everyone likes different activities but we're not really that different at all

    Let's break it down like this, for instance:

    Bondage Rope

    Vanilla acts = Regular intercourse, oral sex, kissing, light touching, giggling, etc.

    Kinky acts = Spanking, retraining, biting/nibbling, telling someone what to do/doing as told, pain (hair pulling, squeezing, pinching, etc), role-playing, using toys, etc.

    Most of us, self-identified whether kinky or vanilla, engage in activities from both categories during play. I’m kinky but I still engage in intercourse, oral sex and pretty much everything from the vanilla list. I can guarantee a large percentage of the vanilla folks dig some of the stuff on the kinky list too.

    When it comes to sexual/intimate activities we can’t always put a label on something as kinky or vanilla. To some sex toys and vibrators are kinky but to others they are commonplace. On which list would you put anal sex? 69? Tickling? Firmly pinching nipples? It’s all subjective.

    Bottom Line: Don't Worry About Labels, Try Something New

    So what’s my point? Let’s stop playing "Us and Them." There's no need to point the finger at others. Labels prevent us from experimenting, growing and discovering what we enjoy sexually no matter which side of the coin.

    Satin Bondage Kit Judging some behavors as "kinky" or "dirty" with a negitive connotation ultimately keeps us from being happy. For example a heavy BDSM player should feel comfortable with telling their partner they would like a slow, tender vanilla lovemaking session, without fearing they’ll think I’ve lost my edge. If I’m vanilla and have been longing for my lover tug at my hair and give my butt a good smack, I should be able to ask for that without being afraid they’ll think I’m a weirdo.

    Happiness is not about living up to your self proclaimed label, it’s about doing what feels right.

    Your task: Ask your lover to try out that thing you’ve been thinking about but we’re too afraid to bring up for fear they’d think it was out of character for you. You might find it’s easier than you imagined to delve into some of those things you always thought would remain just a fantasy.


    About Sunny Megatron

    Sunny MagatronSunny Megatron is a pleasure advocate, sex blogger, sexpert and adult sexuality educator. She teaches various workshops around the country including: Networking for Kinky People, BDSM 101, How to Give a World Class BlowJob, Exploring Non-Monogamy, ZAP! Electric Play, The Female Orgasm and Junk For Your Junk: Sex Toys 101. Most weekends she hosts Red Light District Sex Tours and bachelorette parties in Chicago.

    Although Sunny covers various subjects, her specialties are the female orgasm and alternative sexuality - from LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) topics to swinging, BDSM, nontraditional relationships, extreme toys, G-spot techniques and more. She particularly enjoys helping those curious about adding a little spice to their sex lives that aren’t sure where to begin.

    You can read Sunny's blog at SunnyMegatron.com, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @SunnyMegatron

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