50 Shades of Grey

fiftyshades14f-1-web

For the longest time I saw no point in reviewing this book. I saw no point in writing a blog about it, or even bringing it up. I didn’t even know what to say, and in any case, it has been written about over and over by so many people that one more voice didn’t seem like it would add much to the collective dialogue.

I mean, even Dave Barry wrote about 50 Shades of Grey! I definitely didn’t see that one coming. (But it was really funny and you should read it.)

My point is: everything that could be said had been said, and I didn’t know what I could possible add.

But a recent Google search for something kinky again pulled up more 50 Shades of Grey links and pictures, and I found myself miserable that a community I have been in for so long is associated with something so bad. I suddenly felt that this was an “if you see something, say something” situation like stopping men from harassing women or anyone from beating a child. I didn’t care if it had all been said. I was going to say it again!

So first, I have a reading list of good books related to kink that you can read. So you should know right away that there are excellent source materials out there that are not very bad erotic fiction written by someone clueless about kink.

Second, let’s talk about the BDSM slogan: “Safe, Sane, and Consensual.”

It is not safe to date someone who stalks you. It is not safe to date someone who forces you away from your friends and insists on you keeping things a secret. Those are the behaviors of abusers, and you need to stay away from abusive men and women. No one should ever try to isolate you from loved ones like your friends and family, and no one should ever come to your home after you tell them to leave you alone. It’s not healthy to break boundaries that are set by your partner, and is not sane behavior to stalk someone.

And remember that consent is a really big deal. I totally make people fill out consent forms. I have them fill out checklists over tea. I do intense scene negotiations to make sure I am clear on what someone is okay with. And that is how BDSM is supposed to be.

The relationship in 50 Shades of Grey is super unhealthy, as plenty of people before me have said.

I read the book because of a friend of mine named Doctor Xtreme who makes interesting sex toys. He lives in Denver Colorado, and he reported to me that the book store near his house had a pallet of the first 50 Shades book brought in each day and sold out by nightfall. Of course, he was in no way implying that it was a good book. Only that it was a popular book.

Why does that matter? Well, as many have said, it reflects upon the community.

And the truth is, this unhealthy relationship between Ana and Christian reflects very poorly on our community. It will bring new people to our munches and fetish proms who are looking for abusive relationships; coming to us with horrible standards for what they think BDSM is.

It was also pretty awful writing. As an avid reader my entire life, I think I can say that. It was very hard to get through already for ideological reasons, but then I also had to force myself to keep reading (the way I do with a dull textbook for a college course that I’m not into.)

And now they are going to make a movie of the first book, and when that goes well, I bet they make the whole set. I am dreading it. It’ll bring it all out into the public eye again where we all have to discuss it some more, and that won’t be any fun at all.

Anyway, I just wanted to add my voice to those arguing for safe and consensual sex. I hope in the future, more people will come to realize that the BDSM community is a wonderful place, and that 50 Shades of Grey is not representative of us.

Misconceptions

Ah, the age old power struggle over who belongs in the kitchen…

 

I’ve had a lot of people act really uptight at play parties and stuff lately. I feel like there’s this misconception that because BDSM involves pain, and sometimes discipline,  it somehow has to be serious all the time.  BDSM does not have to be taken too seriously. Lots of people have fun with it!

Perhaps some of this overly-serious behavior comes from the fact that the desire to get involved in the community is something people usually have for many years before they find a way in. I feel like BDSM urges often end up buried pretty deep in someones’ mind. By the time they finally get up the guts to express them, they’ve been feeling shame about having such urges for a long time. Don’t be ashamed! There is nothing wrong with wanting to join our awesome community!

There is also this misconception that has cropped up a lot because of 50 Shades of Grey, in which people think a submissive in bed equals a submissive all the time. On the contrary, I find that it is the most powerful, aggressive people who have the desire to submit sexually. I have had powerful men come to my dungeon, and I feel like it’s the control and leadership they display every day that makes them crave some total and complete submission at night.

Sure, some people are always submissive. However, I wouldn’t ever presume to make assumptions. I meet couples often where one is always telling the other what to do out in public, but then I’ll talk to them more and realize their roles reverse in bed.

Also, I have a of girls ask how they can incorporate sex into a scene where they are being a Domme. The have this idea that being fucked in a submissive act. It’s not; and it’s absolutely possible to be a female Domme and still have sex as part of your play. You just have to know what you want, and order your partner to do it.

I can’t dispel all the myths about the community in one post, but those are just a few things I’ve had on my mind lately that I needed to get out.

/end rant

Bringing People In

Yay bondage!

 

Lately, I have had a lot of people who are in vanilla relationships tell me that they want to know how they can introduce their partner to BDSM. I feel like it’s probably a lot of girls who just read 50 Shades of Grey and thought it was hot… and I’m going to skip over the larger issues I have with that and just give some generic advice.

First, communications is key. I have already written a post about scene negotiation. Talking about anything you find awkward in terms of sex follows the same process. Find the method of communication that is best for you, and be as open as possible.

I find that with BDSM, porn is only helpful sometimes. It’s good for little things, like: “See how they’re using nipple clams? I want to buy some of them.” It’s not good for entire scenes, because most porn doesn’t have scenes in it. It’s just people in leather and vinyl fucking. There’s not a lot of things that most submissives consider fun, like verbal degradation and structured play where a Dom gives orders and someone follows. The really degrading stuff (like making someone suck on your toes or lick your boots) doesn’t translate well into porn, because it’s the headspace you’re in at the time that matters, and you can’t capture that in a movie.

The absolute best way to communicate is to write out scenes. I know it’s hard to get up the guts to do this, but it’s the best way to introduce your partner to the idea and help them get excited to try it.

For guys, remember that I recommend contracts. If you’re going to hit a girl, you need to get it in writing that she said she wanted it. Maybe even have her fill in a worksheet or two with her various fetishes. Make sure you’re protected in case she goes to the cops later saying you abuse her. I guess I think this is a good idea for everyone, but it’s more important for men because women are not often brought up on abuse charges.

Remember that the most important thing is to be open yourself. You have to be able to talk about what you want openly and honestly. Practice in front of a mirror, or to your friends, or in whatever way helps. Write things down  first if you want. Just remember that if you’re not able to talk about it, you can not expect your vanilla partner to be okay talking about it.

I am always surprised at how much resentment can build up in a relationship because of sex. People feel like they can’t talk about it, so they just get more and more frustrated. Every time they have sex with their partner they think about what they want. Maybe they are thinking “I really need him to spank me” or “I don’t understand why she won’t suck on my toes.” If you don’t ask for what you want, then you’re not going to get it. However, it seems like people can be too afraid to ask, and then still resent their partner for not doing the things they want.

The moral of the story is this: Those words inside your head? I can’t hear those! You need to tell me what you want, or I can’t give it to you.

With me in particular, my favorite thing to do is make people’s fantasies happen. I love when people tell me about something they have always wanted and I can make it happen for them. It’s the same with the play parties I throw where people have a great time. I love creating experiences that people can enjoy.

HOWEVER, I can not read minds.

One final thought: A sense of humor is essential. If I fuck you in the ass with my strap-on, there’s a chance that we might have a little accident and there might be some poo that comes out. If I’m wearing 6 inch stilletto heels, I might slip and fall on the tile because it’s wet with lube. This stuff could be really awkward, or it can be hilarious. Make it hilarious! Laugh at the mistakes and moments that aren’t as sexy as you want. Have fun with it. Sex is supposed to be fun- even when there are whips and chains involved. You NEED a sense of humor if you want to have a good time while pushing boundaries and experimenting with new things.

A female friend was watching Sex and the City once when I came over. It was an episode in which one of the girls was worried that her boyfriend would never want to have sex with her again because she farted in front of him. I was so disturbed by this that it still makes me mad to think about it now.

With BDSM you learn that your body does stuff sometimes that you can’t control. You might start laughing uncontrollably due to shock the first time you get flogged. You might get air trapped inside you the first time you try fisting. All kinds of things that you don’t expect can happen. So please, keep calm and have a sense of humor about everything you do. A sense of humor has saved many, many relationships!