This Vanilla Foolishness

I’ve been talking a lot over the last month about the weird clash between my vanilla life and kinky life. I’m taking a break at work right now to just say that I’m too through with the vanilla.

I am totally bored with all of this right now. I am at my job — a job which I’m tired of even though it’s mostly interesting. What am I doing here? Thinking of spanking and related topics. I am multitasking by doing my work, working on some fiction (which I will post later today as a Monday bonus), writing a blog with the occasional Tweat about whatever. My friends, at least the ones I give a shit about, are all in the scene. These are people I feel immeasurably close to compared with the armslength distance I keep folks in the vanilla world.

This came to a head last night after a day of the usual angsty soulsearching I do. I have a vanilla Facebook page where I’ve recently received messages from folks I knew in high school. It was after I perused their pages and saw some pictures of me at age 17 (hideous, btw — I look much better now) that I realized I wanted nothing to do with either my past or my present vanilla existence. It’s not just a notion nor an inkling — I really do despise my vanilla life even though that’s where I spend most of my life. At least my body does, my mind is often in the other realm. If only it was possible to chuck all of this fake shit that I cover myself with on a daily basis and be what I am all the time.

I’ve said it before but when I’m in the vanilla world, I feel like a complete phoney — more so around family. I’ve called it “hiding in plain sight” which is what it feels as if I’m doing. I’m not saying that I’m jonesing to play 24/7 (although those thoughts are never far behind). I’m saying that I feel most authentic as a person when I’m among people I can open up to and not feel the need to hide bits and pieces of me in front of. The only parts I might hide are the vanilla parts and I don’t really give a damn about them anyway.

The amazing thing is that some of the closest friends I have had in life are people I share a kink with. It’s not that the kinkiness is all we every talk about, it’s just that being able to discuss those aspects as well makes it possible for me to present myself as a whole person and see them as whole people, too. It’s a gift that I can’t ignore.

So I sit here saying, “Fuck vanilla life”. It may not be possible but at least I recognize that it’s the way I feel.


14 Responses to “This Vanilla Foolishness”

  1. It sounds, possibly, like you have a lot of kinky friends, close friends, including your wife, so that you no longer need to rely upon vanilla relationships for emotional support.

    I can relate to feeling disatisfaction with relationships where I am only comfortable (or safe) in presenting a sliver of my whole self. I am sick of the phoniness, but it is unrealistic to “come out” as a Spanko as one who is homosexual would “come out” to the world at large. The only feasible alternative is to build a network of fellow kinksters that functions as a primary or secondary family (do you like the term “shadow family”?) which is what it sounds like you and Sandy have done.

    • radagast Says:

      It’s not something I set out to do but it seems to have happened nevertheless. At this point, my kinky “family” feels closer than any real family I have.

  2. Jasmine Says:

    This has nothing to do with anything…but I wish you had an advice column. You could choose to answer only the most interesting, well punctuated pleas.

    • radagast Says:

      I should have an advice column for sure — my words are golden! “Ask Professor Rad” sounds good to me.

  3. IrishRed Says:

    Huh. I *like* my vanilla life. Yeah, I have to admit I prefer my time when I’m with kink-related friends but I think that’s more because they’ve become friends than because they’re kinky. But yes, I can be more myself around them and would choose them first for my side in the game of life πŸ™‚

    I like my vanilla friends, and I like having a secret life they don’t know about. They’re just different, is all. And I love my family. They mean everything to me, even if some would not understand this secret me. I think I’m lucky in this, and I wish everyone felt like I do.

    Anyhow, I’m off to spend a week buried yet again in deeply vanilla doings. Excellent column, Rad. As usual, of course.

  4. Interesting indeed, Rad! Many of my good friends too are in the kink — in vanilla life I have always been fairly standoffish even before joining the scene and only having 1 or 2 people I would truly call friends!

    I’m still raising kids, and am fairly close to my family so vanilla life is kinda a must to mix. That’s a BIG reason why I choose to be close to people in the scene who mesh well with vanilla life too….because we do, in a way, mix our vanilla and kink life. Several kinksters were invited to our wedding. And several are also on our vanilla Facebooks (with their OWN vanilla-only pages).

    I think perhaps I get more satisfaction out of my vanilla life and don’t feel so “phoney” is because I’ve been able to mix them, to a degree. Cuz the friends I have found in the scene I would most definitely be friends with outside of the scene, and sometimes have even gone on family vacations together with our kids! (Just this past weekend, a scene friend stopped in on her way to family vacation to save on hotel costs with her vanilla hubby and her daughter, and will be stopping in again on her way home to PA)

    Is it at all possible to mix the two in a limited way? Do you think that would help you more……”real” in your vanilla life? By making some of your closest and most trusted scene friends part of your vanilla life?


    • radagast Says:

      That is a process that I’ve recently started to work on — doing vanilla things with scene friends. That way it’s a real friendship as opposed to always about asses. The only weird part is explaining to people I know (at work, for example) why I have friends in such widely varying age ranges and occupations (and locations).

      • Does it always have to come up? I don’t explain how i know my friends — being an adult, my long time friends and family just assume (I think) that I run in circles apart from them. I’ll usually say “I have a friend in Florida” or “our friends from Pennsylvania are coming down…” (using the we thing also clouds the issue to whether they are inherited friends from my marriage to Zed, friends-in-law of you will, or not) When/if the question ever gets asked (and we don’t volunteer it), I simply say that we met online on a political debate forum online and that a group of us keep in touch. It’s how I explain pics from spanko parties (vanilla pics of course) popping up. YES, Zed and I travel to meet other friends that we met online on a political forum. No one questions it, and most seem fairly accepting of the explanation, especially when it’s the same people whose pics keep popping up with us. πŸ™‚

        I mean, face it, we all have friends in different circles — even in vanilla life — the others don’t know about.


  5. ps I want to add that when we vacation with our scene friends as “families”, it is always purely vanilla… spanking involved!! Lest anyone misunderstand!! LOL……but the fact that we’re kinksters yet able to integrate our friendship in our vanilla world as well makes it more fulfilling, and makes for a deeper friendship bond.


  6. Kathyca Says:

    I have to say I am pretty lucky. I have many scene friends and some who are not in the scene. I do not hide my kinky side but I do have some friends who are not comfortable with it so I do not share it with them.
    In my business I have many clients who are in the scene and many who are not. I do not mix business and personal so it is not a problem. I do not hide who I am to anyone either they can accepte it or not that is their choice. I never feel like a phoney anymore since I am who I am and like myself. I just live my life they way that makes me happy and if someone does not like it or looks down on it, that is their issue. I would never try to convince them to change their mind, because I know they could not convince me to change mine.
    I just live my life the way that makes me the happiest. Once you follow your bliss everything else seems to fall into place.
    Kiss kiss have a happy!!

  7. I know what you mean about the feeling of faking it with people you can’t be honest with. My life is almost entirely vanilla, and when my husband was alive, it was enough having our life together where we shared all this. In fact, it was maybe better because it was our secret. However, things are different now, and even with my closest vanilla friends, there’s a feeling of – you don’t know a massive and non-subtractable part of me; therefore I’m always slightly bored.

    I think, as you articulated, it’s about living the real deal vs. living the half-real (or phony) performance, hiding in plain sight.

  8. I know what you mean, Rad. I am constantly thinking in “vanilla life” terms, vs kinky life.

    We’re going on vacation with a set of our oldest vanilla friends at the end of July – I’m looking/not looking forward to it – I want to be able to talk about what I’m thinking about – which is the SSNY party, Paddles in August, Floating World, and Shadow Lane. Of course, I can’t – it would freak out the friends. Why can’t the twain meet, just for once?

    Looking forward to seeing you – whenever.

    Another fine blog you’ve given us, Rad!

  9. As IrishRed said: “Huh. I *like* my vanilla life.” I do. What I am discovering is that it’s more of a balance thing for me. I need both the vanilla and the scene in my life, but too much of one or the other and I start to burn out. I’ve been pretty vanilla-ish for a while now and having a great time, but I’m starting to feel a tiny bit of a pull back towards the scene… yes, it’s definitely a balancing act for me.

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