Word of the day: vanilla

These days, there’s no shame in looking online for a partner. Indeed, it’s all the rage in certain circles. The online dating scene has come a long way in a short period of time and there’s been an incredible diversification of products available,  with users now able to access everything from Muslim dating to S&M one-night stands!

A friend of mine recently signed up for one of the more conventional types of sites and was pleasantly surprised by the range of men she was matched with. She hit it off with one guy in particular and they started chatting online using the backroom messaging service. Things all seemed to be going swimmingly so they decided to escalate things and arranged a Skype so they could see each other face to face. Her impression thus far was of a fairly normal guy with two kids from a previous marriage, a good job and an enthusiasm for travel and cooking . . . so imagine her surprise when she called up and found him sitting waiting for her – in a full bra and suspenders outfit! As she put it, “Whatever it was he was into, I knew it wasn’t my bag! I suddenly felt very vanilla. I mean, since when has THAT been a thing?!”

Vanilla, that most boring of all ice-cream flavours, has recently become a synonym for the commonplace and the ordinary. It’s often used to describe things of a plain and basic type, with no special features – and it’s used in particular – but not only – with reference to your sexual tastes and habits!

If someone describes you as vanilla, it may mean they think you’re unadventurous – both in life AND in bed; or that you only follow the mainstream or whatever’s currently in with your circle of friends – rather than making your own mind up about things and having individual tastes of your own. In this latter sense, it means you’re overly concerned with not being seen as a loser to their outside world and so you never admit to having any kind of flaws, you only buy what you think are the right brands and try to be seen in the “right” places in the “right” clothes with the “right” face for the surroundings and their friends. In other words, you’re shallow and superficial and a bit of a sheep!

Anyway, going back to my friend, after a couple more similar shocks, she ended up deleting her account on that site . . . and is now back trying to meet new people the hard way – in the real world!

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  • Have you ever met anyone who made you feel rather vanilla?
  • Do you follow the mainstream or are you more interested in underground / altenrative culture?
  • Have you ever deleted an account or an app? Why?
  • Can you think of anything that’s all the rage at the moment where you live?
  • How do you feel about online dating? Why?
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