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Monday, October 10, 2011

Chit Chat and All That! Vanilla Sex in the 21st Century with Dawne Prochilo and Ken Charles

Today on Chit Chat and All That! we have the delightful duo, Dawne Prochilo (DP) and Ken Charles (KC) discussing Vanilla Sex in the 21st Century. 
So sit back, relax, grab your drink of choice and read on.


     KC--When is the last time you saw either a mattress ad or a furniture ad wherethe couple was looking at twin beds or mattresses? “Oh look, dear, that cutelittle table would look great between our beds.” When is the last time a tv show or movie that depicted a bedroom scene of a bonded couple showed twinbeds? The Dick Van Dyke Show hits 50 this year, but Rob and Laura Petrie’s bedroom is long a thing of the past. Sharing a bed is the norm for a couple,regardless of sexuality. So sharing a bed is “vanilla”.

DP--Is vanilla even a term we can use anymore? In the past (decades ago),vanilla erotic romance was unheard of- now it is used to describe (in myopinion) the Harlequin-esque sweet romances. No entering the bedroom for the'rough and tough' sex we all crave, just the insinuation. Harsh words anddialogue are left to the readers' imaginations whereas erotic romance invitesyou into the bedroom, offers you a seat to watch and uses the words we allcrave to hear, read and visualize.

KC--The “sweet romance” that you describe may be the last vestigial remains ofthe pre-Age of Aquarius mentality. ABC has a new television series set in theearly 1960‘s called “Pan Am”, about the adventures of stewardesses. In thesecond episode, a stewardess is sexually assaulted by a passenger, and pokeshim with a fork to defend herself. The stewardess is at fault. One of thepilots offers to “put her over my knee” to placate the irate customer. TitleVII isn’t around until 1967. The point is that the female didn’t know herplace. In the bedroom, that meant performing her “wifely duties”, laying thereuntil the male got off and got off. Since readers, for the most part, no longerexpect a woman to have “wifely duties”, the author needs to show that sexual relationsare a mutual give and take venture.


KC-- The missionary position, by definition, is “vanilla”. But is it really? Oris it merely an arbitrary designation bestowed on cowardly writers like myselfwho are unwilling to take on James Michner’s immortal takes on the missionaryposition in Hawaii? Is it just more fun to write about doing it “Cowboy”?That’s not new. Look up the definition of “ride rantipole”.

DP--The actual act of intercourse/sex is bland when left to the missionary position. Mix it up...add some toys to enhance the dirty... be spontaneous... role play.

If you prefer the act bland and predictable, then continue with the missionary position.


DP- Whether the man adds a 'blue pill' or the woman adds a battery operated toy, these additions were unheard of decades ago. You enjoyed what you weredealt and people frowned upon (or hid) the fact that the woman loved having avibrator being used in her. This was taboo whereas now, couples are more openwith the contributions that outside enhancers can add to the bedroom.

KC- It’s not so much that “enhancers” were unavailable heretofore, as thatthere has been a cultural shift that has allowed people to publicly acknowledgethem.

Males--Having crossed age fifty, I’m not the man I used to be. I’m losingmuscle mass and my testosterone production is dropping, and has been for years.So what? That’s not news. But now it acceptable to acknowledge that fact both“in the locker room” and in public. “Erectile Dysfunction” or “ED” cures are astaple for advertising on any sporting event. There is also a correspondingincrease in access to enhancers. One need no longer order from the classifiedads at the back of a girly magazine or an Adam & Eve catalog. Accordingly,there is no longer a stigma attached to using a male enhancer.

Females--We’ve crossed a new sexual Rubicon. There are TV ads for female sexualenhancers that make “that moment” all the more momentous. The word “orgasm” maystill be taboo, but at least we can acknowledge that women can derive pleasurefrom sex. You don’t have to consult with the pharmacist (that’s a chemist forthose of you who speak with British or Australian accents). You can just pickup the box off the shelf at the corner drugstore and take it straight to thecheckout counter.

Toys--Toys have been available from time immemorial. However, it is nowacceptable to admit to their use, and to encourage others to try them.

· So what is “vanilla” today?

KC-- “Vanilla” is not so much a course of action as it is a state of mind.“Vanilla” is limiting oneself to primal, instinctual intercourse for thepurpose of propagation--up, in, out. The same description is used by a localcar mechanic’s shop, and is almost as exciting. As soon as one opens up to theendless possibilities of prolonging, enhancing, and varying sexual interactionwith a partner, “vanilla” falls by the wayside.

DP- Vanilla by definition is a softer (soft-core) erotic where description isleft to the readers' imagination. Vanilla allows you to live partially throughthe characters but leaves out the harder core text, visuals andimplications.

JUST some this and that opinions of Vanilla in the 21stCentury
·     On this site are lists some of the terminologyused to differentiate erotic vs vanilla ( )

·     DP- As an avid romance reader in the 1980's andup to the present, I have seen the dialogue and phrases change as societybecomes more acceptable of 'showing' sex. In the public eye, some forms of sexualrelations are permissible while others are still taboo (ex. bdsm, glbt) but the'old' vanilla style of erotic writing is now such a passe form that people aredemanding more (more sex, more encounters with bdsm, etc)- so in my opinion,gone are the days of sweet vanilla romance, the general public are looking formore aggressive sexual moments in literature

·     KC- Attitudes have changed substantially overthe last thirty years. When I was ten, circa 1969, I tried to buy Vampirella #1(see my photos) at a 7-11. The lady at the counter wouldn't sell that"filth" to a child. The clerk that came on after her did not shareher reservations.

DP- Prudes are alive and well now still butthe main focus is same sex relationships but contradicting that statement - samesex, glbt sales are number one across the board with all erotic rom pubs-explain how that is? Closet readers? The advance technology of nooks, kindlesthat offer anonymous purchases? Yes, I believe so. The ones scorning theloudest are probably the biggest readers.

KC- Undoubtedly, the fact that one does nothave to go into the back room at a news stand, or one of "those"stores to pick up erotica has helped substantially.

·      DP-Discretion is the key word here- I, myself, never read erotic until the lastfew years- unless you count VC Andrews in on that- incest? Yes... attractive tothe young girl's mind...absolutely. But she wrote the scenes in such a way thatpeople overlooked it- but now, incest is one of the 7 taboos (as I Like to callthem) that pubs refuse to even look at. So was VC Andrews onto something earlythat we are all now just realizing? Interesting argument- one that I did myEnglish/Literature thesis on for my college degree- raised some eyebrows in2004 with that one.


Ken Charles

Dawne Prochilo

Next weeks Chit Chat and All That! will see the wickedly devilish delights of Cassandre Dayne and Abby Hayes discuss the difference between Sex Play and Scene Play today.

Remember we always appreciate comments!


  1. Excellent chit chat really enjoyed it immensely

  2. Interesting. I still think though that there are topics that perhaps should remain taboo. I am by no means a prude, but incest screams NO! to me. Over all an awesome post!

  3. I agree Alexx- there are still some taboo topics (rape being one) but the dialogue ans acceptance of erotic has been overwhelming to the romance genre- women mainly, are more comfortable, open-minded and willing to explore their own sexuality, hence making erotic a mainstream to them

    Dawne P