Green’s Dictionary of Slang

vanilla adj.

also plain vanilla
[the plainest ice-cream flavour. The term was popularized in the 1980s+ but ? coined by the saxophonist Lester Young (1909–59) c.1935]

1. sexually conventional.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 184: vanilla bar a gay bar that is not SM. [Ibid.] 205: vanilla [...] 2. rigid, conforming, goody-goody.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 5 Nov. 7: The seven videos aren’t even hardcore [...] but, rather, a bastardised, hybrid form of ‘vanilla’ porn.
[US]Blackboiz for Other Boiz 🌐 3 Jan. Sexually, I’m French active/passive and Greek passive, mostly vanilla but potentially adventurous if the mood and the company is right.
[SA]K. Cage Gayle 102/1: vanilla adj. regular, ‘normal’ (usually referring to sex), with no kinky stuff (Don’t try anything kinky, she’s very-vanilla).
‘Chelsea G. Summers’ ‘Vanilla Sex’ in 23 Mar. 🌐 ‘Vanilla,’ like much of the best sex slang and the very best hook-up apps, migrated into the heterosexual world from gay male culture, who used the term to mean tame, boring, non-experimental sex.

2. plain, simple; bereft of authenticity.

[US]R. Price Breaks 193: It was exciting to me that she had been a ballsy student; it [...] took her out of the vanilla zone of townie blandness.
[US] N.Y. Times 11 Nov. n.p.: ‘What the White House needed after Mr. Bork’s defeat,’ [Kevin Phillips] continued, was ‘a plain vanilla Republican, not more conservative intellectuals with esoteric ideological fish to fry’ [R].
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall 9: vanilla – bland, nondescript, boring, not memorable.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Mag. 9 Apr. 20: He rebelled against both his vanilla surroundings and the hippie alternative.
‘Rev. of Jack & Ella’ at 🌐 Jack & Ella is a story of two lovers – one white, one black – who win a dream house in a vanilla suburb.
[US]C. Goffard Snitch Jacket 199: They’re selling this pathetic simulation [...] the vanilla Disneyland of the soul.
[US]C. Eble (ed.) UNC-CH Campus Sl. Spring 2014.
[Aus]G. Disher Consolation 41: What he’d give for a plain old criminal and a plain old vanilla arrest.

3. racially white.

[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 45: Fat and sassy like a vanilla pimp in his Windsor knot, matching cuff links and tie pin.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Real Life 18 July 3: Kirsty, 30, and a Scot, is one of the so-called ‘vanilla’ broadcasters.
[US]W. Shaw Westsiders 148: The modern American phenomenon of ‘chocolate city, vanilla suburbs.’.
[US]D. Winslow ‘Broken’ in Broken 4: [H]e’s a ‘vanilla milk shake’—bland, benign, and very white.

In compounds

vanilla dinge (n.) [dinge n.]

(US) a coloured man who prefers white women.

[US]L. Hansberry Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window in Three Negro Plays (1969) III i: You want to hear something! I was going to marry that vanilla dinge!
vanilla queen (n.) [-queen sfx (2)]

1. (US black) a gay black male who prefers white partners.

[UK]McConville & Shearlaw Slanguage of Sex.
S.A. Hay Ed Bullins 124: So, we finally gonna get some honesty out o’ the honkey and the vanilla queen.

2. a gay man who practises ‘tame’, non-experimental sex.

‘Roughed Up’ 🌐 I guess I’m basically a vanilla queen so I don’t have much personal experience with the topic of this book, so when I read this story, it was like being punched in the gut because I was sweating and sick and totally turned on all at once.
vanilla sex (n.)

(gay) a phr. for relatively conventional forms of sexual activity, usu. in contrast to sado-masochistic sex.

[UK]Kirk & Madsen After The Ball 304: The tamest, most vanilla-flavored gay sex – mere cuddling and mutual masturbation [...] Vanilla sex with one partner becomes familiar, tame, boring, and loses its capacity to arouse.
[US]W. Ellis Crooked Little Vein 26: It turned out that regular vanilla sex hadn’t been changed while I was away.
[UK]Sun. Times Mag. 19 Dec. 23/3: I don’know whether she’s expecting a triple-X-rated night or something more vanilla.
‘Chelsea G. Summers’ ‘Vanilla Sex’ in 23 Mar. 🌐 Vanilla sex held the inoffensive insipidness of a Nilla Wafer. The term named sex so wholesome it was contemptible, and it denoted a failure of vision.
[Ire]L. McInerney Rules of Revelation 196: [H]aving tragic vanilla sex with the mother of your son.