I must admit I had absolutely no idea what vanilla sex was until I read 50 Shades of Grey. As a sex and relationships writer I felt quite ashamed that I could name every position in the Karma Sutra and give advice on an orgasm lasting as long as a pig’s (30 minutes!) but didn’t know that sex had a flavour.

I’ve always had a very open mind, my parents saw to that, and I’ve always loved trying new things in the bedroom. Many of my friends (and my mum) share the same philosophy so I was a little surprised when EL James opened my eyes.

She didn’t teach me anything new, I’ve known about spanking, bondage and full bladders for decades, but she did make me believe that I’d let things slide.

As I met with friends sporting carpet burns and bruises from an eventful experimentation the night before (that was just the men!) I thought maybe it was about time I upped my game and showed my second hubby what for.

In the early days we had put so much effort into sex, as we’d both been keen to experiment and get to know each other, yet as children and life got in the way we’d been sailing along quite happily just fitting it in where we can.

As I gave advice on how to introduce bondage gently I decided to practice what I preached and maxed out my credit card on a mixture of rubber, leather and lube.

I convinced myself that I was the actress famed to play Anastasia while my hubby had a Christian Grey inside just waiting to be unleashed.

It Takes Time

The first time we tried we were interrupted by our eldest child who wanted to know why I was wearing a leather swimming costume minus a bra. The second time the phone rang so many times we thought we better answer it so we could get on and play only to be greeted by an in law demanding to know why we took so long getting to the phone. (I swear some people never have sex after children).

The third time we booked a whole weekend away, sans children, and prepared for a night of passion.

Who’s Who?

It took some time deciding who was who, as my husband hadn’t read the books, he was quite clearly going in blind. Have you ever tried having sex with both of you handcuffed to the bed? It’ not a nice experience and not one I wish to repeat. When we settled on our roles we got into the swing of it but it took time, a few laughs and a couple of accidents too. At 34 I don’t mind admitting that by the end I was shattered, looking forward to a long hot bath and catching up with Doctor Who.

I’d Rather Be a Plain Jane

Although it was fun and eventful with all the props in the way it seemed harder to make that connection. The bond you develop when enjoying simple vanilla sex, two naked bodies entwined doing what they do best.

I’m not saying there’s no place for experiments, bondage, spanking or fun but it’s perfectly normal to love vanilla as it does feel like coming home!