I like ice cream. A lot. One nice big scoop of creamy chocolate on a traditional sugar cone is how I like it best.
“Bo-ring!” I’ve heard from those who insist on half-dipped, nut-encrusted waffle bowls and all manner of mix-ins—sometimes from friends and, unbelievably, sometimes total strangers.
It doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes like vanilla soft-serve with rainbow sprinkles. I’ve been known to kill a pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk (and don’t even get me started on those crumbled-up cookie things in a Carvel cake). But mostly, I like my plain-old ice cream cone, and I have no time for haters. You’d think that at the least, Baskin Robbins would remain a sacred place where people could just eat their upside-down clown cones and not concern themselves with how another human being enjoys her dessert.
Alas, it is precisely my appreciation of uncomplicated chocolate ice cream that makes me balk at the term “vanilla” in conjunction with humdrum, run-of-the-mill sex habits. For in the bedroom, as often as the kitchen, one person’s uninspiring vanilla is another person’s Fear Factor food challenge.
Mouthing OffThese days, 29-year-old Max can laugh about it, but in the past it made him cry more than once. “I’m a gay man who was afraid to put a dick in his mouth,” he says plainly. “I’m unsure where the psychology came from, but my boyfriend is glad he met me post-prude.”
Max realized he was gay very young and came out quite early. “I attribute that to my amazing family. They probably knew anyway, but the important part was that they didn’t care.”
Like many of us, Max came of age exploring porn whenever possible. “I liked gay magazines—the tame, ‘vanilla’ sort,” he says, chuckling. “I am absolutely 100 percent vanilla-gay, no question. I’m not even sure I was vanilla until I was 22. I was less than vanilla. I was ice milk.”
And what about sex on video? “I love the oral scenes. I don’t even really like watching anal. It feels better than it looks, in my opinion. But the first time I was really able have an adult encounter (at 18), I chickened out.”
“I decided not to give this guy head after he’d already given me mine. I still cringe thinking about it, it was so embarrassing. He was nice about it, but he never called again. I don’t blame him.”
Why was oral such a hurdle? “Too young, I guess. I wanted to do it so badly, but I had performance hang-ups.” Two years passed before a patient, loving partner brought him around. “Now I have to get over my distaste for rimming,” he laughs. “I swear I’m a freak among freaks.”
He Came in Through the Bathroom Window
“I left it cracked open,” says Linda, 47. It was the only thing about that evening—once set in motion, anyway—she had any say in. “But that’s what I thought I wanted.”
She’s speaking of the night that at age 33, with the help of her then-boyfriend, “someone I really thought I was going to marry,” she near-whispers, she lived out the rape fantasy she’d been harboring for a decade. “In the fantasy,” she confides, “I’d be unlocking the front door at night and a stranger would come up from behind and push me in…”
The event, which they’d planned at length, would be a simulated break-in. He would “attack” her in bed. They designated safe words, discussed what they would and wouldn’t do, and set a night.
“In hindsight, there were things I didn’t consider,” she admits. “I wanted a level of realism, so I told him to surprise me a little. Make it more authentic.”
She hadn’t counted on the ski mask—a touch her beau thought would help him get in character. “But when I saw it,” says Linda, “I was terrified. Really. I had these awful visions that it wasn’t him, it was a stranger.”
He wouldn’t answer, even when she pleaded with him. (Something she’d requested beforehand: “Don’t stop, even if I beg.”) In sheer panic, she forgot the safe words. At that point, she says, it was no longer fantasy. “It was a rape… total animal-like terror, like a horse in a barn on fire.”
Linda didn’t blame her lover, but afterward, she felt damaged. The relationship never recovered. “It took me a while to come down feeling that I was a genuine victim,” she says, adding that it’s something that she would never romanticize or sexualize again. “And I’m not certain he didn’t feel worse.
He’s a good person, he was just doing what I asked, and I made him into a rapist.”
Hot Tub Swing Machine
Happy marrieds Jack and Danica began the evening by fulfilling a common fantasy among parents: dropping their kids off at Grandma’s for an overnight. For many, this simple act would be all the foreplay necessary, but these two have staying power. They headed out for drinks and apps with another couple.
“Eventually,” says Jack, “it was time to move the party. We opted for naked hot-tubbing back at our place.” Not a big deal—they’d done it a few times previously.
Drinks were going down smooth, Danica recalls, “bolstered by a sense of spontaneity….” At some point, the gentlemen dared the ladies to kiss. They giggled it off, but tipsy men are not easily dissuaded. It was January in the Rockies and there was a foot of snow on the ground with more falling. The girls got playful.
“We said if they got out of the tub and ran a lap around the backyard, we’d kiss.”
The men were off and running in half a second and the women delivered on their promise. “It was a good kiss,” says Danica of her first girl-girl experience. “Plenty of tongue and hands exploring. The whole time I was thinking, My God, Jack is totally loving this!”
The heated make-out session morphed into a soft-swinging episode; each couple allowing things to take their natural course. For Danica, who isn’t sure she even looked at her friends at that point, just the sound of them having a go was the fire in her furnace. And then there’s her exhibitionist streak, something Jack has lovingly cultivated. “Knowing these two other people could see all of me—and watch me fucking—that felt very much like a fantasy. It was like something out of a Penthouse letter…
Jack admits he’s attempted to manufacture such situations in the past with no luck. “That night everything fell into place. The kids were gone, the conversation took a sexual turn at just the right moment, nobody got too drunk…. [On evenings like that], you order another plate of wings, all of a sudden everybody just wants to go home and sleep it off.”
Danica, laughing, concurs: “There are a lot of obstacles to overcome before you end up naked in the hot tub with your friend grinding her pussy into your hip.”
We’ve all got lines. And fantasies. If and when they’re crossed or fulfilled or worth doing twice is up to the individual. I’m as liberal as the next girl. Probably more so. And yet, when my friend’s 9-year-old daughter comes back from the toppings bar with Gummi Bears peeking from her Tofutti like they’ve been caught in a non-dairy avalanche, I suppress a shudder.
Gummi Bears. In ice cream. That’s just fucking deviant.