Is Vanilla Just Another Spice?
vanilla times fill our lives around the kinky moments
some say vanilla is just another spice
anything but vanilla…
I’m pretty far from being a vanilla person. In fact, I’ve described myself as being anything but vanilla. Michael Samadhi is a kinky guy, no doubt about that.
I’m ‘out’ about my lifestyle as well. It wasn’t always by choice, as you’ll see, but it seems like it’s almost always been that way.
Although she did not approve, my Mom always knew about my lifestyle. My Dad has Alzheimer’s disease, so he doesn’t remember I’m into BDSM, but he once knew too.
Back when I was much younger, I was known among acquaintances as the ‘guy with ropes attached to his bed’. Somebody had gotten nosy at a party, started looking under bedspreads and such, and my secret was out. A decade later, a business associate, while staying in my home, picked the lock on a footlocker to look through my stash of adult toys.
My former boss, the politician, heard rumors about wild sex parties. He once asked if my wife and I were swingers. So, I told him the story about the discovery of ropes attached to my bed in 1982. Explained about the former co-worker getting into my toy stash. Then I said that my reputation far exceeded my actual actions…
That part was a lie of course. The rumors of debauched private sex parties at my home were very much true. If anything, the truth was far beyond rumor. What can I say?
a sex radical – certainly not vanilla
My facebook friends include individuals like Patrick Califia, Hardy Haberman, Laura Antoniou, Ernest Greene, and Janet Hardy. They all could be described as BDSM authors. Although some are certainly more radical than others, I’m pretty sure most folks would consider the whole lot of them to be sex radicals.
It’s pretty easy to see from the company I keep how I view myself.
My liberal politics are considered radical in the Unnited States, especially my environmentalism. I once subscribed to the Earth First! Journal. There’s a well-read copy of Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching somewhere here at Chateau Samadhi. Although I ultimately declined the offer, Greenpeace attempted to recruit me for what would have been a very nice position.
While a small handful of my local friends have online journals, I’m one of the very few in the area willing to blog about their kink. I’ve written here about working to live life on my own terms. I’m sure that’s a theme I’ll come back to again and again. I see my own personal path of Mastery as being primary in my life.
With all of that in mind, I’m probably the last person my friends and readers would think of when the word vanilla comes to mind.
No matter how hard a person tries to live an authentic life, there are almost always limits. Vanilla is a spice that’s sometimes inescapable.
Most obvious, at least to my mind, is child rearing. It’s also likely to be the case in our professional life. But, there are other times still. Little moments where slipping from a D/s or M/s style relationship into a more egalitarian mode will likely happen.
It would seem we are all humans first, Master and slaves second. I believe that the harder we work to live a life that’s authentic to our kinky core, the less time we spend in those vanilla moments. Still, it does happen…
No matter what, it seems, there are usually times when it’s necessary to dress up in a vanilla exterior, regardless of how authentic your life may be.
all that and still a vanilla shell
I consider myself to be ‘kink to the core’. My skills with floggers, canes, paddles, and single-tail whips have been practiced until they are part of what’s called ‘muscle memory’ by athletes. Do not misunderstand, I am always looking to improve my technique. With that said, I’ve developed strong competence, if not quite mastery.
I’d like to think I’ve developed a command presence, cultivated to reinforced my dominance. I’ve committed to Mastery as a personal path. In case you are wondering, that means mastering myself first and foremost before I even attempt to Master others. I’m even giving myself a self-taught version of a liberal arts education in kink and BDSM. That means reading sociology books on the kink community, studying the history of the BDSM community.
I don’t say any of those things to brag, I’m not here to toot my own horn. Instead, it’s only meant to illustrate a depth of commitment. Intended to display how deeply kinky I am.
Yet, there really are plenty of moments where the vanilla shell is right there, choice or not.
Developing my skills as a photographer is part of the map I’ve created for myself to become a “Renaissance Dom”, part of my path to Mastery. In the dungeon, it’s pretty simple to remain my ‘kink to the core’ self. Out and about, developing my eye with landscape and nature photography, I’m likely wearing my vanilla shell.
Developing further skills with the digital darkroom – editing and filtering images for effect – is another part of my personal path. I’m likely in that vanilla shell there too.
I solicit Sinnjara’s opinion on my photo editing a good bit of the time. It’s not that I don’t trust my eye, as much as I know most individuals view art differently than myself. I desire a woman’s opinion, as culture and sex role socialization impact an individual’s artistic tastes. While I always listen to her opinions, I actively seek her opinion on my artistic endeavors. It’s different. It’s the old vanilla shell.
I’ll call vanilla a flavor
Technically vanilla is a spice. It’s said to be the second most expensive spice, after saffron. I’ve never been much for technicalities. I’m fooling myself in refusing to elevate vanilla from flavor to spice, I know. Still, Mom always used imitation vanilla extract, she was quite frugal in some areas.
I have trouble with calling vanilla another sexual spice. While the flavor of vanilla is pleasing enough in the kitchen, the mere whiff of vanilla (in the sexual sense) will have me rolling out of bed. Lacing on my boots. Walking away as fast as I can.
I’m not a vanilla guy. I’ve never claimed to be. I choose not to have children, in part, to avoid having to make the relationship compromises inherent in parenthood. I’ve always wanted a 24/7/365 M/s relationship. It’s not as simple as being a desire, it’s a need. Pure and simple.
I try to limit the time I spend in my vanilla shell. While time inside the vanilla mindset may be nearly impossible to avoid, it’s also possible to consciously seek to avoid it. It takes mindfulness. Self-reflection. Self-discipline. It’s all still a work in progress for me, it might always remain a work in progress.
my kink is not your kink, and that’s ok
As with everything in life, my way is not the only way. Your mileage can (and will) vary. In fact, my way is relatively unique, and that’s ok. It was probably far more unique 20 years ago than it is today. More folks today follow similar M/s paths than ever before. That’s ok too.
You see, vanilla might be the most exquisite spice in the world to your palate, just as it may be your taste in the bedroom as well. Whether you prefer to wear your vanilla shell everywhere outside the bedroom, or whether you prefer to wear it as little as possible, it’s all good by me. It’s ok as long as your vanilla doesn’t have to mix with my kink.
To me it’s a flavor, and not an appealing one. No offense intended to vanilla lovers anywhere, not in any sense the word ‘vanilla’ might imply.
Now, after having to write that damn ‘v’ word so many times for this post, I’m starting to smell that flavor on my hands, in my nostrils. I think I need a shower…
EDIT – I should make it perfectly clear that my disdain for vanilla as a flavor does not extend to anyone/anything beyond myself. My path is the ‘leather path’. As such, it’s not for everyone. I know that.
If vanilla is your favorite flavor, or perhaps even the only flavor you enjoy, that is great by me. Really…
It may not be my path, but it may be the path that is best for you. I very much wish for everyone to be on their own path of self-fulfillment.