Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching this weekend means the big-screen debut of Fifty Shades of Grey will, at last, arrive as well. Will I, a self-proclaimed sexuality geek, be attending a viewing?
At the lunch table this afternoon, my coworker described her lack of interest in both the books and the new film, and my boss agreed. Trying my best to not blush, I delivered a close-to-home-yet-pruned-for-work rant about my disgust with Fifty Shades and its heinously inaccurate depiction of the BDSM lifestyle.
My mom “accidentally” read Fifty Shades a month or two after it became big.
Why? …because a lonely, horny friend of hers had highly recommended it, and while my mom was reading the first few free preview pages on her iPad, she clicked the fateful “continue reading” button and unbeknowingly purchased a digital copy of the entire novel.
Naturally, she felt obligated to read the book because she had inadvertently purchased it — wink, wink.
That’s when our fun began.
After she had digested every last word of the volume the following morning, my mom proceeded to tell me how the author’s trite, repetitive writing style killed any potential she would have had of enjoying the Harlequin-esque novel.
Continuing, my mom verbalized in eloquent horror her feelings about dominant Christian Grey (or as I caught myself calling him, Dorian) and proceeded to generalize his abusive, controlling, non-consensual behavior to all dominant sexual partners. Anastasia, on the other hand, was innocent, sweet, and above all else, naive. My mom identified with Anastasia. Anastasia was no monster; the monster was her dominant. No… wait. The monster was all sexually dominant individuals. (Thanks, Mom.)
Did I mention my mom is naturally submissive? I haven’t told her yet that I’m a domme. I don’t think her poor old heart could take it.
Anastasia and Christian did not have a true BDSM relationship; theirs was abusive. Any feminist, kink-friendly blog you find on Google can probably do a satisfactory job of outlining why, so I won’t recreate the wheel here.
Go figure that a novel whose male love interest is not only brilliant, but also young, gorgeous, obscenely wealthy, and hung like a stallion would not be realistic. HMMMM.
If an author isn’t going to bother to adequately research a lifestyle around which she intends to write a whole friggin’ trilogy, I’m not going to bother reading it, seeing the films, or in any other way financially reinforcing her half-assed attempt at erotica.
The last thing the continuously ostracized, misunderstood, and abhorred BDSM community needs is for one of the few mainstream depictions of our interests to have gotten things so, so, so wrong. As I’ve said before and will spend the rest of my life preaching to anyone with open ears, BDSM is about consent.
True kink is safe, sane, and consensual. Fifty Shades is not.
If you’ve gotten off to the drivel of Fifty Shades, that’s fine. We’ve all felt tingles and jingles about forbidden fruit before. My point is that this garbage does not represent what BDSM stands for, despite the allure of bondage and steamy sex.
So, rather than furiously grit my teeth in an overpriced theater this 14th, I plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my beau at his college’s rendition of Eve Ensler’s brilliant “Vagina Monologues”, followed by cheesecake. Lots of cheesecake.