Fifty Shades of Nonsense?

15 Feb 2015 - 12:39 | Tags: BDSM, Fifty Shades of Grey

Kinky sex. It’s happening all the time. Never has it been brought to the mainstream in the past few years as much as it has since Fifty Shades of Grey was first published in 2011. Millions of middle class white women (predominantly Mum’s) have rabidly absorbed the books since then. The movie rights were bought in 2012 and now three years later the first of a planned trilogy has been released into theatres worldwide. But some troubling questions remain. Is Fifty Shades of Grey a true depiction of BDSM? If it isn’t, is that dangerous to people exploring BDSM for the first time?

Is it a true depiction of BDSM?
We asked a number of BDSM practitioners this question and the honest answer from all of them is that Fifty Shades of Grey portrays a mundane but potentially dangerous view of BDSM. It portrays a man who inflicts explicit pain on a woman who does not want him to do so, but fears him leaving her if she does not. It is this element of portrayal that practitioners of BDSM truly disagree with.

“Despite Christian getting Ana to sign a written legal consent form allowing him to hurt her (which wouldn’t work in the real world); she is clearly not comfortable with the things he does to her. In sections she is in pain and cries out. Whilst pain is an element to BDSM, it is consensual pain. There are always safe words in place should pain become too unbearable between participants. I fear that this book and the subsequent film shows people an unrealistic and potentially dangerous view of BDSM. You could get some guys thinking its okay to hurt a submissive without their consent or safe word. That is NOT okay.”
Barry, BDSM Dominant practitioner, Michigan

So Fifty Shades of Grey could be providing unrealistic expectations for people. Does that mean it’s dangerous?

Fifty Shades BDSM vs. Real BDSM
Fifty Shades of Grey is a fictional account of BDSM. That should be made very clear. If you engage in BDSM already and have read the book you will already know this. If you are considering trying it for the first time, our advice is to ignore the book and talk to people who have been doing it for years. You can consult websites for guidance or buy books about it. Our advice is to not let the lure of popular fiction influence your view or decision on BDSM.

By all means read the book and watch the film – it has got mainstream people talking about BDSM at least. Just take it with a pinch of salt.

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