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Friday, July 15, 2005


There are times when single women like myself may have difficult conversations with our mothers. They might include:

“I’m pregnant”;

“I’m a lesbian”;

or even,

“I’m thinking of becoming a nun and living in isolation, away from the family, for the rest of my years”.

Explaining what Vanilla and BDSM mean however, are not topics one might expect to cover, but this was the challenge I faced today.

Our conversation started off innocently enough: talking about a forthcoming wedding. Moving on from the normal issues - who’s going, what to wear, what to bring - we found ourselves discussing the groom.

In my opinion, I think he is young, dumb and full of cum and may eventually cheat on his bride; his serial long-term monogamy up till now has limited his sexual experiences, thus leaving him in possible need of self-discovery via casual shagging with other women.

My mother however, disagreed, stating that perhaps he is satisfied with his wife-to-be, that not every man needs to shag around and get sexual notches on their belt. I pointed out his wandering eye and suggested that at some point, he might follow things through with someone else. Again, my mother argued that just because he might look at other women in a sexual way didn’t mean that he would have an affair.

I was quickly losing this argument. Damn my mother and her open-minded progressive outlook. So I raised the stakes. I ventured that I imagined their sex life to be very vanilla and that at some point he may wonder what else lay out there for him to try.

“What’s vanilla?” my mum asked.

I stared at her and realised what I had said.

“Is that when white people will only have sex with other white people?” she said, “isn’t that rather racist?”

Bless my mother.

“Um, no” I replied. “vanilla is the opposite of BDSM”.

There was a pause.

“What’s BDSM?” she said.

I dropped my head in my hands and couldn’t believe I that I was going to have to describe this to her. Of all things to talk about with your mother, explaining forms of ‘alternative’ sex is not top of the list.

I tried to quickly explain:

“BDSM stands for Bondage Domination Sado-Masochism”.

She looked at me. “What? Say it again.”

I groaned quietly. “BDSM is Bondage Domination Sado-Masochism”; ways of exploring sex that are considered transgressive.

“Ah”, she said, “so vanilla must mean boring then.”

“No no, not at all. Vanilla just doesn’t include, well props, or role-playing and stuff like that, but it’s still great, you know, Missionary and the like…”

I realised I was trying to sell my mother the idea of vanilla sex being fun; now I know what that expression about teaching your grandma to suck eggs means – replace granny with mother, and eggs with cock, get an image in your head of your parents together, and you don’t want to be having this conversation anymore.

I tried to change the subject, veering it towards the location of the ceremony. My mother looked at me studiously and then said,

“Have you ever done BDSM then?”

This was seriously turning into a time when I wished the ground could open and swallow me up; I did not for one moment want to explain to my mother about my enjoying being handcuffed, spanked, and fucked hard from behind. Nor did I wish to tell her about my whipping a guy and sitting on his face till I climaxed repeatedly. I especially didn’t want to tell her my desire one day to dominate a man with a strap-on dildo. No, I didn’t wish her to either know, or visualise any of this, in any way.

So I was economical with the truth. I told her that I knew of BDSM, was open-minded about it, but that essentially my tastes were vanilla. (Not totally a lie, since I enjoy both, but not entirely truthful either).

Thankfully she then dropped the subject and moved onto more positive things, like how I only have a few childbearing years left in me; that I’d better find some work soon otherwise I’ll be wasting my life; and that the top I was wearing didn’t suit me and made my arms look flabby.

Mothers - you gotta love ‘em.

Even when they are quizzing you about your sexual habits.

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