I keep seeing posts and articles about the movie Fifty Shades of Grey wherein commentators suggest that women are abused, the BDSM community is wrong, and consent isn’t enough. Forget about the characters for a moment. I want to talk about another side of it. I want to talk about judging the BDSM lifestyle based solely on a poorly written book and a movie.
Disclosure: I read the book but haven’t seen the movie.
Let’s make this clear: it sucks that Christian Grey and Ana Steele are the poster children for the BDSM community. They shouldn’t be, and EL James has done the community a great disservice by presenting this as a normal BDSM relationship. From what I understand from members of the community, it isn’t. But…it could be. No two relationships in the community are the same. But consent is key, and it’s a huge part of the “safe, sane and consensual” banner that is so proudly celebrated.
I know a couple who practice the Dominant/submissive lifestyle. They are in their 50s and they have kids. They’re normal people. He’s so loving and protective of his wife; he even jokes that she bosses him around even though he’s the Dominant. They are the most loving couple and most folks are shocked when they learn that they practice D/s. They’re totally open about their lifestyle and they enjoy educating people about it.
It’s not our place to judge what people do in their personal lives. Newsflash, people: some people get off on being bossed around and tied up.
Perhaps we should steal a page from the BDSM playbook and implement contracts in all of our personal relationships. That way the boundaries are set and the rules are clear. Break the rules and it’s game over. Many BDSM couples review and renew their contracts on a semi-annual basis. (For more information, see links below)
FSoG is not a great way to learn about the BDSM community; instead of judging the community based on the film’s depictions, do some research: