And actually, this confusion is another good example of why one might use precise language instead of judgy pseudo language. You apparently mean something very particular when you say vanilla, which as long as you are having a conversation only including people who know the exact definition you are using (and are presumably not offended by the loaded term) then I suppose any shorthand would work.
I used this example for a similar discussion previously but I still like it so I'm going to use it again - the story that keeps on giving:
I was at dinner with a swinger couple recently, it was a big meetup of their swinger crew (about 30 people). Since I was new there was a bit of hub-bub about me in which there was discussion about "are you vanilla?" Now, this question is completely meaningless to me because I have no idea which vanilla you might be talking about? These guys were into BDSM kink stuff, they were into casual sex, they were into open relationships, they were covering quite a bit of ground. So to me, this question meant "are you exactly like me?" ... to which I say... "I have no idea... what are you asking me?"
Perhaps a more direct question would have prompted a more worthwhile conversation
Q: Are you in to casual sex
A: Not these days. When I was a bit younger I certainly enjoyed some casual flings.
Q: Do you practice any BDSM type activities?
A: I like it a little rough in the sack but nothing formal like you guys are talking about.
Q: Are you monogamous or do you practice an open relationship?
A: I'm not monogamous. You would probably classify me as polyamorous.
Q: Are you vanilla?
A: You would have to be using a very specific definition for me to qualify as vanilla. A specific enough definition that you could probably just use THAT word instead of hiding it behind a polarizing catch word.