After reading a few articles on the daily effects of other forms of privilege, I decided to write a piece on a rarely talked about form of privilege, vanilla privilege. Obviously, there’s straight privilege, cis privilege, male privilege, white privilege, etc etc etc.
This post has been edited to fix some problems with language overlapping and neglecting the fact that queer vanilla people and other oppressed groups are oppressed in similar way to kinky ones. I sometimes forget that not everyone who lacks one privilege that I lack, does not necessarily lack all privileges I lack.
Here are some of the effects of vanilla privilege):
- A vanilla person does not have to fear that discovery of their being vanilla will have an effect on their work life.
- A vanilla person usually does not have to worry about the potential legal implications of sex in the manner they prefer with a consenting adult partner (at least not because of it’s vanilla-ness, sex that is otherwise not privileged, queer sex for example will not receive this privilege in all cases).
- A vanilla person does not have to worry about their being vanilla as having bearing on whether they are considered fit to be parents.
- A vanilla person doesn’t have to worry about their being vanilla being thought of as diseased or pathological.
- A vanilla person will have an easier time finding depictions of people with sex lives similar to their own in the media.
- A vanilla person will not have their sexual orientation called into question due to their sexual practices.
- A vanilla person will not have their gender identity called into question because they are vanilla.
- A vanilla person will have comparably easy access to reliable information dealing with safety surrounding their sexual practices.
- A vanilla person seeking medical attention due to an accident that occurred during sex will not face scrutiny or be treated unsympathetically because of the vanilla nature of their sexual activity.
- Vanilla is not used as a pejorative.
- A vanilla person will not be assumed to be a sexual predator because of their vanilla sexual practices, nor will language used to refer to vanilla people as a group be used to describe rapists and perpetrators.
- A vanilla person will have an easier time finding media that portrays people with their sexual preferences sympathetically and accurately.
- Vanilla people will never have their sexual practices used for shock value.
- A vanilla person does not have to worry about outsiders perceiving their relationship as abusive or pathological.
- Safe spaces for vanilla courtship and socializing are not as likely to experience legal harassment in the way BDSM clubs do.
- A vanilla person will not have their being vanilla brought up during a rape investigation (either as accuser or accused)
- Vanilla people can assume their relationship partners will not find their sexual arousal pattern disgusting.
- A vanilla person will not fear their vanilla-ness counting against them in a divorce.
- A vanilla person will not be asked about the origins of the vanilla-ness of their sexual arousal pattern, or have it assumed their vanilla sexual arousal pattern stems from trauma or disease. (again queerness is a separate lack of privilege)
- A vanilla person will not have to worry much about their roommate discovering their vanilla-ness.
- A vanilla person’s actions will not be attributed to their being vanilla. (Many people link people’s bad actions to their kinkiness, “Well of course he’s a thief, he’s kinky”)
- Symbols of vanilla affection/romance will not be appropriated as “edgy” fashion statements (E.G. collars)
- Discovery of equipment associated with vanilla sexual practices, provided they are otherwise privileged (condoms, lubricant, even a vibrator) although embarrassing will not result people’s drastically changing their opinion of the person in question.
- A vanilla person will not have their masculinity/femininity called into question because of their dominance/submission in bed (I.E. A woman who enjoys being sexually dominant may be called unfeminine, or a man who enjoys being sexually submissive may be called unmasculine)
- The discovery of a famous person having vanilla sex (provided it is within the other realms of privileged sex, monogamous, heterosexual, etc) will not be considered news worthy.
- A vanilla person’s sex related equipment (E.G. Condoms, lubricant, dental dams) will be regulated by government agencies and tested thoroughly for efficacy and safety.
- Vanilla people have an easier time finding studies relating to their sexuality and sexual desire from the scientific community that do not treat them as marginal or pathological. (A vanilla straight person will have an easier time than a kinky straight person, a queer vanilla person will have an easier time than a kinky queer person, and so on)
- A vanilla person can usually count on the media to usually get the symbols associated with their relationships generally right (Here’s an example of the media getting it wrong, dominants generally don’t wear collars)
- There is accurate medical research on the effects of vanilla sex upon the human body, kinky people are left with scraps here and there and anecdotal evidence. We still don’t know if it’s safe to flog breasts.
- A vanilla person will not worry about how their vanilla-ness reflect upon their gender, sex, sexuality, age group, etc etc etc.
- A person’s political beliefs will not be called into question due to their being vanilla. (For example, a heterosexual man who identifies as a feminist and acts as a good feminist but is sexually dominant may be told he is a bad feminist for enjoying a dominant role during sex, same for a heterosexual female submissive, or a sexually dominant woman may be called an angry feminist due to her preference for a dominant role during sex)
- A vanilla person will have an easy time finding a counsellor who understands and is sympathetic towards their vanilla sexual practices.
- Vanilla-ness is not vilified or exotified by the media (For exotification/vilification of the kink community check out basically any CSI/Bones/Law and Order type show with an episode that deals with kink, or numerous episodes of shows like 1000 Ways To Die)
- A vanilla person can remain ignorant of terms involved in BDSM.
- A vanilla person will not be assumed to be sexually experienced because of their vanilla-ness.
- Vanilla is not taken to mean sexually available.
- A vanilla person can go their entire life without being called vanilla.
- As always, most importantly, a vanilla person can ignore their vanilla privilege.