Post-film analysis ofFifty Shades phenomenon you won't read anywhere else, 50 mythbusters getting to grips with the grey areas of hype-perverly & the views of those who haven't read the book or seen the film
TWO: The film is terrible. The film is 'Not Shit' and that's my review. I'd love to see that on the poster. But Rotten Tomatoes has it rated as 24% (as of 26/2/2015) when, speaking as a film buff and former film reviewer it's really a 60%. Why so low on the site? That's because...
THREE: ...The reviews are accurate? Mmm, a proper film review would have to split their assessments into three: 1) as a general piece of entertainment for regular film-goers, 2) how kink-credible was it for proper perves? and 3) how faithful was it to the book? Bearing in mind the novelty of Fifty being a kink blockbuster (so affecting the review by those scared and those wanting more) as a film I'd give it 6.5/10, for kink 4/10 – and that's just for the 'Red Room of Pain' – and 7/10 for it's narrative loyalty to the book.
Does Humour Belong in BDSM?
SEVEN: It's just geared up for a franchise. Well of course there are sequels, respectively due out in 2017 and 2018. Fifty Shades uses the template of fan-fiction favourite, the Twilight Series. Think young, dark, obsessional love.
EIGHT: It's Twilight with kink. No, it's not as Twilight 'fan-fiction' as critics make out. Fan-fiction is the development of characters via a forum and it's this where EL James has been criticized, for not having a valid base to claim such a culturally significant influence. But this gets to the heart of the obvious point that Fifty Shades is just plain popular, and the Twilight series and Fifty Shades Trilogy themselves share elements of immemorial story models such as Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights and Dracula.
As Fifty Shades, at it's nub, deals with raw sex and BDSM it's radically different to Twilight. Plus it has then get's likened to Secretary, Nine and a Half Weeks and well... the more influences it seems to have then you just have to say, well actually, it's quite a good synopsis for a story.
NINE: Dakota Johnson as Anastasia is miscast. Actually, she's just the author, but younger and slimmer. Author EL James has stated that the book is her fantasy and it seems that millions of readers are using her as a conduit for their imagination.
TEN: Ana was already perfectly cast. Agreed. Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary.... Check out this cool interview talking about her role as masochist Lee Holloway and note that the 'Mr Grey' she is referring to is her boss (E. Edward Grey) in the film, played by James Spader....
ELEVEN: Lip-biting is still cool. Now It treads the line between being cute and being cringeworthy. Post-Fifty it could be construed as a childish affectation, and using it as a flirty signal is at the owner's risk of being typed as a Fifty Shader.
TWELVE: It's a blemish-free perfect fantasy zone. Actually, both Ana and Grey's characters have imperfect bodies. Grey has scars as part of his character as well. You wouldn't expect that for such a supposedly commercial-looking film.
THIRTEEN: Jamie Dornan's lower abs are too perfect. Understandably, such are the demands for the modern box-office-guaranteeing acting style I guess we have to commend Jamie Dornan for his great hip-work in complementing the trademark hipster jeans. Men who frequent the gym, you will be jealous. But then it was a big thing in the book and for EL James. We have to wonder if there was some personal wardrobe auditioning involved?
FOURTEEN: The music is exceptional. Unfortunately the film missed a trick here, because it was missing a classic love or Grey musical theme. Strange considering how the book was so obvious in flagging up the music in the character's lives. However, the reboot of Crazy in Love by Beyonce was a standout soundtrack choice, her uh-oh never sounding so deliciously sultry at the end. Hear for yourself.
FIFTEEN: Grey and Ana are a believable match. This is perhaps something the film could have got around with with chemistry of the actors. But it's not really there. It's important because it would then justify the story being elevated from pure erotica. However, in the spirit of fairness can we say that because it's a fantasy tale then unbelievability is the norm? I'll leave this with you. And those elves over there.
SIXTEEN: It's not just 'mommy porn', it's hugely influential. Well, there are those women who read Fifty Shades as a fapfeste in the same way many men fantasise over reckless ego-led dominatrixes – they will never go there, and such ideas stay as erotica. And there are those who will be inspired to try kink having realised Grey is a fictional character and not actually written as an abusive rapist. But, busting this very bust is the reminder that perhaps now kink in the mainstream is less a stigma and more a raised eyebrow with a smile. Is this thanks to mommy porn? Actually, this is due to mostly to the last twenty years of pop culture appropriation through music videos, art, films and fashion multiplied by the internet equalling people's need and ability to explore, that led to the book (and my kink guide) being written.
SEVENTEEN: People are hurting each other because of this. We don't want this. Good, (positive) kink is safe, sane, consensual, communicative (before, after and sensorily, during); plus psychologically smart and ultimately caring. The point is to commune with your partner further than normal (dare I say vanilla?) sex. But, regarding actual Fifty Shades-linked accidents?: Handcuff incidents are relatively low, to be honest. And the 999 emergency call spike for 293 rings removed from male genitalia relates to practices not described in Fifty Shades. But the marketing of the book did extend to half-price stands in Tescos where children walk, and I think there needs to be some responsibility from retailers, publishers and authors to at least top-shelf such material.
EIGHTEEN: The Red Room of Pain is a nonsense. Described in the book and revealed in the film, the Red Room in my opinion is a fetish in itself. Non-kinky people think they're going to die here. Proper perves will think it's to die for. Here's 3D visualisation by Anita Brown Design Studio. Pretty good way to work out your dream play room I reckon. Here's a glimpse of red from the film.
TWENTY: It's a true story (all BDSM is like this) and everyone's in danger. Wrong on two counts. Firstly it's fiction. And secondly, every arguement about fictional characters being this or that is kind of irrelevant: It's what you and your consenting partner discuss and decide to happen between you that's important. To be honest, this is the facilitational message my blogging and my book and app is all about. It's the opposite of being a killjoy: It's about setting up a framework of safety so all the fun, excitement, ecstasy and even mystery can be explored. It's not about being drunken or mashed, smug or uninformed freeform jazz bullshit trying to be cool, just as it's not about two characters from an airport novel.
TWENTY-ONE: Fifty Shades is fetishy. For a start there is no rubber. A travesty. That still hasn't stopped it help latex sales though. Hurrah! Here's a nice and bondagy, gratuitous latex picture.
TWENTY-THREE: The story is badly written. Without sounding like I'm defending it, It's just EL James' fantasy. Ever read people's fantasies online? Don't like it? Write your own one. But a word on Fifty Shades as erotica: The whole thing is really a sex-love story with kink in it, than a kink-love story with sex in it. Why? The denouement of the third book, which, damn, spoils it for you now. But also, well the sex with kink is pretty much what a lot of people are not embarrassed to say they are trying these days. Tying up, handcuffs, spanking? (These are all covered in the Beginners Games section of my book and app.)
TWENTY-FOUR: It's what kink and love are all about. Ok, so this the nub of the story of the first film of the Fifty Shades Trilogy. But kink is supposed to improve the connection between you and your partner through the art of practicing clear communication. Ana and Grey's problem's begin because the love is unsaid – in fact Grey spells out what he wants very clearly, and it's not love – and the kink therefore suffers. Ana can't overcome her fear and ignorance of BDSM practices, and Grey can't overcome his fear of revealing his past and who he thinks he is based on his urges. Too psychological? Maybe... but the point is neither of them discuss any of it, and so it ends becoming emotional drama instead of anything truly connected. Perhaps the misfires for both of them struck a chord with many readers.
TWENTY-FIVE: Dakota Johnson is a typically beautiful leading actor. Actually, Johnson is not stunning. She's a little bit dowdy, demure and bookish and doesn't behave like she wants to be submissive. Let's define that: Ana is herself: Not feminist nor typically sub, in that she's desperate for spanks. She's new to kink. But as the film seems to show, she becomes more attractive with each passing S&M scene. Or is that revelation just me? Or is that the way kink can make outer appearance less a priority and beauty appear in the unlikeliest places?
TWENTY-SIX: The negotiation scene is realistic. Mmm, vaginal fisting anyone? Yes, needy sub at the front, you might think it's a good idea, but even you know that these kinds of extreme play take time spent with your partner and at least a programme of 'training'. And remember, we are discussing the imaginary scenario of Ana the virgin discovering kink for the first time and not your omnipresent instant lust.
The reason this point is important is to reveal that Grey the Paradoxically Protective goes straight into kink couple contract mode, actually an advanced form of BDSM (but explained in mythbust 38, later). Most expert tops and doms and mistresses I am aware of would know that to meet a future sex partner such as the virginal Ana and go headlong into asking for such intrusive play is the unrealistic part of this fantasy negotiation.
Okay, so Ana is empowered by saying 'No' and crossing the more intense kink practices off of the list. But most active partners in real life know that even if they are openly manipulating a partner like Ana to their will, the revelation of their kinkiest kinks pose the threat of not only unsettling the realm of trust in the pace of their journey together, but also risk scaring them cold or worse, away. Perhaps this happens in the story anyway. But this goes against Grey's intelligence and sense of protection, making him less kinkcredible, in my blog.
TWENTY-SEVEN: Grey's tailoring was impeccable.This is a personal myth bust for me, as to be honest Christian Grey poses a threat to all men. No, I jest. I just wanted the billionaire character's clothes to less off-the-peg looking and more bespoke in their cut. There is an obvious cinematic parallel with the best of James Bond (Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, the Fleming book version) – aloofness, womanising, the high life, danger – and the style ought to also have been as deadly as an international secret agent. But it wasn't.
TWENTY-EIGHT: This is the first time we've seen a character like Grey on screen. Well, Grey was already perfectly cast (see mythbust 4 and 10). Yes we have mentioned Benedict Cumberbatch as a present-day missed opportunity, and James Spader hovers directly above this article. But the model I think for Grey should have been Sean Connery's Mark Rutland in Hitchcock's Marnie. Never was a man so simply beautiful in his raw masculinity and dodginess in mentoring his deviant prey Marnie Edgar played by Tippi Hedren. Helped by ahead-of-his-time direction, influenced by Fritz Lang, the air of confusion is different every time you watch it. Unlike Grey, Rutland takes his wife non-consensually – a polite expression for rape –'taking' his pleasure from Marnie on their 'honeymoon'. As Rutland does the deed, the camera turns to a cruise-ship porthole and a defiantly flat sea. Only the superb acting and direction could have got away with it, detailing and exploring as it did the peculiar notions of sexual expectations, psychology and morality of the time.
THIRTY: Grey is responsible as the active pursuer. Yes, we'll get to that. But first, both partners are responsible and both are twentysomethings goading each other on. Ana is drawn to him and is changing him as much as he is changing her. Of course, the S&M needs are his, but these also change over the course of the story, as ultimately there has to be an element of redemptive love where female readers through Ana get to believe they save Grey from himself – and his BAD KINK... which they got off on throughout the three books.
We've repeated that this is fiction several times, so it's as relevant as you want to make it. What the uninformed are worried about is the effect on feminism Ana's passiveness will have and the influence Grey's 'abusiveness' will have on men. So yes, Grey is responsible, but not for abuse. Okay, Ana said 'do your worst', when we all know an experienced kinkster would want the kink to happen and mean: 'do your best'.
In other words she said 'do your worst' naively and gamefully, expecting terrible pain and a bad time. But it wasn't fair of her to expect Grey to second guess that, nor to indirectly imply NOT to do it – that's a baiting game too far.
Interestingly, in the way that Grey takes the fall for being MR. BAD KINK while conversely turning the readers on, he takes the fall as a bad guy who culturally represents the myth that ALL KINK IS BAD. You have to wonder: Do both the romance-seeking reader and the defenders of our gender morals use kink to keep themselves uninformed and smug?
The truth is, Grey should have seen Ana was emotional and denied her 'wish'. He should have seen her crying and stopped the flogging. All the good dominants I know would have not have even begun that scene. Grey kept going not only because he was doing as she requested, but also because he was guilty of lacking objectivity and common sense. Again this goes against the protective dom we are encouraged to believe, and so exposes itself not as a character flaw, but as a flaw in the writing of the character.
Well, we did need this 'scene' to be a cliffhanger for the next book, so like her readers and moral critics, even EL James is exploiting Grey.
THIRTY-ONE: Grey is some kind of serial killer. Really? It always amazes me when people jump to hysterically scary conclusions when kink is mentioned. It's an amazing insight into their own minds when they hyperlink kink to paedophiles, rapists, lunatics and murderers. This really speaks of overexposure to tabloid media and trash TV & movies (bearing in mind that Fifty Shades has the honesty to try and deal with S&M relationship issues head on). That said, the comparably minute percentage of psychopaths – and by this term I mean those who lack empathy and emotion – also do include politicians, CEOs and business leaders, and that actually brings us back to Grey's character. There are shades. But killer potential?
It's a simple question: Do you think the story would have been as popular if the were secretly a Mike Myers slasher type? Still, one can still get mileage out of misconception. I only scored 11/15 on this bit of fluff.
"The thrills for edge-players are dicing with danger, trumping taboo, fucking with the mind and even risking serious injury or even death. It may involve serious adult play with breath; blood; body modification; fire; guns; knives; or excrement. It may involve crossing mental lines like acting out fantasies of incest; rape; or racial abuse. The discomfort that many of us would feel reading some of the areas of edge play is what draws others. It's important that you are aware such things exist when you explore the world of kink, to help define your personal list of fetishes and hard limits. It's too easy for me to say it's ok to try edge play as long as you are safe, sane and consensual, because edge players get their excitement from breaking away from this credo"
THIRTY-THREE: Grey is not a hardcore edge player. I doubt this, for he is one or has been one, without a doubt. His refusal to deal his past shows shades of psychotic behaviour you may or may not be able to link to edge play. So perhaps he is borderline. The thing is, he would have known not to treat a newbie in such a way as to continue flogging them to 'six' when they were crying at 'one'. Before, when Ana enjoys her first bondage scene he says: "Welcome to my world", as if to reveal how great kink is. If he is her guide then why spoil the 'tour of this world' by being nasty? It's important to know edge-players sometimes agree to play without consent. Before Ana's flogging Grey asked if she was sure. She said yes, albeit emotionally. Even a proficient edge-player would have not proceeded, and that this is merely plot devising. It's too easy to blame his past and blur mad kink with madness. See mythbust 30 for my view on this.
THIRTY-FOUR: Fifty Shades is beyond debate. No, in reality it's a great conversation starter between kinksters and those intrigued by where it might lead them. The interest in fetish and BDSM over the past decade or so leads me to conclude we are in the midst of a sexual revolution anyway, and the upcoming generations will teach us to chill out even more I suspect. The phenomenon of Fifty Shades is a good starting point for many, and the themes are more complex than people realise, despite the deceptively simplistic or pedantically obsessional writing. I've yet to meet a reader who didn't have questions, theories and an eagerness to understand more.
THIRTY-FIVE: Being into Fifty Shades is a bit naff. Well it is a bit marketed. it does taunt the reader with a lack of imagination that forced many to put it down. But more naff than
decrying those with a need for erotica or an easy airport novel is the bad judgement of those who haven't read it and seem to know everything about it.
Isn't any route to kink a good or valid route? And that's assuming so-called kink sexperts aren't patronisingly assuming that Fifty Shades readers don't know the difference between fiction and fact, or indeed what kinky practices they really do or don't want for themselves as a result, with their partner's consent.
THIRTY-SIX: Fifty Shades will influence people to be bad. Is this because fictional Grey is a bad man, or because readers and filmgoers hope he is? To avoid the ensuing minefield that predicting reactions can cause I'm just going to say two things: One, no one speaks for everyone, so this includes those claiming to represent all women looking to protect women from themselves who love the story. And as Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder sang in that slice of supercheese Ebony and Ivory 'There is good and bad in everyone'. Two, in my experience, those that have been influenced tend to be at a beginner level and are looking for a little spice with their partner, ie they're not on a mindless nightly foray looking for sadistic, emotionally-stunted billionaires. Referring to those at an intermediate (and above) experience of kink play, they tend not to take Fifty Shades too seriously.
Bearing in mind that I don't speak for all men, have we not got bigger fish to fry with the proliferation of our gargantuan instant porn culture? Through apps, tablets, phones such an influence not only demeans and reshapes our view (literally) of women but contributes to men's low self-esteem when they fail to match screen physicalities and performances. For a great article and infographic for ProjectKnow detailing the negative effects of porn on men, click here.
THIRTY-EIGHT: Grey is masterly. Well, he loses his cool, so no. A master in the traditional M/S (master/mistress/slave) sense is less about romance and more about contract, unless a consenting M/S dynamic has discussed it differently. The contract and negotiation in Fifty Shades is more about Grey's legal position and to clarify what his newbie partner Ana doesn't want to do. This is more an initial dominant/submissive arrangement (note I didn't say relationship) because Grey likes his life 'just so', where Ana has her own bedroom etc. He is not being exactly a 'master' because Ana is not being controlled and she agrees to everything: She has not agreed to giving up her own free will, in other words.
The confusion arises from the classic erotic fiction idea of a protagonist male being 'masterly in the bedroom' (see pic below). And as the finalé of the film shows, by giving Ana six severe flogs Grey is not aware of all he supposedly surveys. Have we flogged this point too much?
Game 63 from The Book of Kinky Sex Games A Life of Service shows you how to practice a master or M/S dynamic once availed of all the related implications and potentially legal ramifications.
It's important to note that Grey appears to 'take care' of Ana in real-life: saving her from being horribly drunk, putting her to bed, buying her expensive stuff, no matter how 'controlling' this appears. This is not a true reprobate.
I saw a dommy guy intentionally tying someone's hands up too tight as a bit of mischief, while I was told about another dom spiking his sub's drink with twice as much gin. The first dom got away with it because the sub was titillated by his actions (silly girl) and there were people like me around to untie and comfort her. In the second case it was a risk to the female's sub's health and ultimately a little vengeful or uncaring, ie not sadistic for mutual fun. This is just a small example of how situations, people and dynamics are multi-faceted.
What kind of bastard or bitch is required to get your kinky love going? If they threaten your safety or sanity then they are beyond being a simple 'git' worth your time, as the mutual care isn't there.
FORTY: Ana is a submissive. Shock! Horror! But I don't think she is. Such an obvious point, but this is probably key to the book's success. At no point does she have a identity crisis montage to say, 'Well I guess I must be a sub'. Nor is this fundamental aspect explored. She is more about being knowingly seduced, while resilient and fighting for love. Ana doesn't just accept nor lie down to Grey's whims. She challenges: The arrangement for weekend play doesn't really have a rhythm.
So generally it's not an abusive relationship, nor is it anti-feminist: no matter what Sophie Green might have said in The Guardian. Ana consents to everything, including I'm afraid, the nasty flogging. Narratively, it's a story of relationship struggle, and as the tale unfolds it seems Ana is getting to the 'bottom of the mystery' of 'Fifty's fuckedupness'. In fact many of the submissive-feminists reacting with shouts of 'abuse' seem to miss this crucial point. Having read all three books I say this, because there is an important arc (albeit with a confusing epilogue) that kind of wants to have its cake while gorging on it: That Ana saves Grey from his shades of strangeness, so all is well and safe.
FORTY-ONE: This is the nasty, 'wrong' side of BDSM. Well, to be honest, mistakes happen all the time. In my guide The Book of Kinky Sex Games I discuss the notion of 'proper wrongsex', where the proper part comes from our consenting kink scenes being encouched in as much safety and awareness as possible: the wrongsex part is our shared love of perviness. Yes, there are elements of the fiction Fifty Shades where things go wrong. However this isn't to say mistakes don't happen in real-life kink play, because they do. Perhaps kinksters are understandably reticent to focus on when BDSM goes wrong wrong for fear of naysayers using it to badmouth our practices, but the fact remains that like in all areas of physical (eg sport, travelling) and psychological (eg hypnotism, therapy) activity mistakes do happen. Thankfully the true horror tales are few and far between and tend to become the stuff of legend. And the more gentle mishaps reveal just how robust we are human beings and also just how plain funny we can be.
FORTY-TWO: The story is humourless. Well, the book is, but not the film. And a crucial part of kink is missing from the written play scenes, and that element is FUN. There was a lot to be had from wry smiles and suggestive smirks that was missing from the oh-so-serious Mr Grey, however cheesy doing that sounds. However, the film does almost get to that, where the humour to be derived arises mostly when the characters acknowledge the absurdity of their situations and give in to each other a bit, like in the negotiation scene where they both strike out hard limits for Ana: "Find anal fisting. Strike it out", is a brilliant line. This positive review in The Telegraph enjoys this as much as I did.
FORTY-THREE: Fifty Shades is evidence that your childhood experiences make you kinky. Mmm, the question of how our childhood experiences formulate our perversions is under continual debate throughout the kink circles of the world. But the fact remains, we all possess personalities and minds that are either receptive, tolerant, indifferent or repulsed by kinks, regardless of previous experience. Grey has had terrible traumas, as revealed in Fifty Shades Darker and ...Freed, the next instalments, but do you believe anyone, fictional or actual, wants to relive their negative traumas? The better answer is that only these receptive kink explorers are investigating, harnessing (literally!) and learning to control adrenaline rushes at their behest, in a consented-to environment: the exact opposive of negative and traumatic situations of yesteryear. Yes, in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the outland interests of kinksters are 'potentially problematic'. But this is because fetishists, BDSM practitioners and all manner of sadist, masochist, sub, dom/domme, top, bottom, mistress, master and slave have not just had more experiences, and are not the only ones open to new experience, they've actually been more conscious of experience happening (the aforesaid receptive element). Subsequently they are curious about what is happening and will happen in their minds. In other words, their minds are expanding for real. This probably explains why it's constantly being proved again and again that the 'kinky sex people' can be psychologically healthier than those who are not about 'the kinky sex'.
FORTY-FOUR: Fifty Shades as a work is dangerous. Well this comes under a discussion of books, followed by films. Firstly if a book is 'dangerous' then what would that make an infinitely more accessible and commercial blockbuster movie? I think this kind of talk is patronising and belittling, showing a disdain and lack of credit for the intelligence of readers in general. I've already shown in this blog how misunderstood this book is, both from the point of view of kink experts, to feminists, journalists and authors: Their ignorance is the dangerous part. Mostly Fifty Shades is a psychological adventure yarn, meticulous to the point of mundanity, stopping short of 'lists in pages' like other culturally significant works such as Lord of the Rings (histories of Middle Earth), Moby Dick (whaling), American Psycho (brands, yuppie consummerism and Genesis) or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (philosophy of quality), to become accepted as high-brow 'art'. And it's not The Bible, and look how many people that continues to be responsible for killing. Kathryn Casey says: "I’ve seen over and over again is that a man who needs to dominate, humiliate, and physically abuse a woman isn’t a hero". No he isn't. But that is to assume that a fictional character with not unlike the impact of Dracula is a hero. He is not, he is a conduit for the reader or viewer's dice with danger.
FORTY-SIX: Fifty and Grey are not culturally significant. And not important because the writing is not good enough? One has to remember the story is worked-on fan-fiction for online friends, the author's fantasy, and then marketed as an airport novel pageturner, so what do you want? Mythbusts 8 and 16 have more on this. The significance part comes because it seems to have hit a nerve of kink within and for the masses. I'm not so sure, I think it's more a conduit for people's intrigue and titillation and it seems readers and viewers enjoy remaining intrigued, mostly as consumers of erotic fiction. In other words, Extra Strength Harold Robbins, Shirley Conran or Jackie Collins. And to clarify, it's been bought into as story with these (extra) multiple dynamics, one of which is the perception that the reader is on some sort of beginner's course in BDSM. The resulting debate that it really isn't plus the column inches dedicated to it's perceived effect and influence, plus it's true effect and value has really given the trilogy and film(s) it's cultural relevance. That and the fact it sold 100 million plus.
FORTY-SEVEN: It's a beginner's course in kink. Eh-hum. It certainly isn't. In it's defence (as if it needs me to defend it!) and as we have reiterated, being EL James' fantasy means it's not unlike like an extended version of anyone's entry-level writings on an erotic forum. But this time it's actually written, detailed and then edited better. Just ask her husband Niall Leonard, who said in The Guardian: "She'd write a new chapter every week or so, and I would proof-read it, checking her spelling, adding and subtracting commas, cutting back on those bloody ellipses..." This means it has the enthusiasm of someone discovering kink and giving it more of a story framework. However, as it seems to be many people's entry-level reading into BDSM, a mass appeal that EL James did not apparently foresee, a lot of kink safety is missing:
Examples of excluded kink safety:
- pre-session discussion and aftercare
- extended discussion over what will and won't happen during the scene
- warming up before spanking
- caution with advanced play involving a newbie learner
- caution about mixing play with a mentally imbalanced or demanding partner
- a discussion about the passive partner's preferences
And the fact is that if you don't practice kink safety then your play session will run the risk of being a random emotional mess. If you're in a couple, then you risk driving a wedge between the both of you. If you're a long-term kinky single and you're worried that you don't have a lover, then perhaps you can look at whether you're conveying that it would be reckless to let you be the dominant, or as a passive player lack the emotionally maturity to compartmentalise play scenes and real life. There is a safety section reviewed as 'worth the price alone' in my acclaimed kink guide.
FORTY-EIGHT: Kink should be like Fifty Shades. Because you read it in a book? Yes, well, see the previous point and read my book, which is in fact, not fiction. But I will say this: it's glamorous. And many kinky people I know aspire to a more affluent and glitzy life. It's because kink is a cereberal and celebrational pursuit for those seeking to broaden their experience and refine their imagination. If this is what you're thinking, that your life should be more full of Egyptian cotton sheets, Seattle skylines and... gliders, then perhaps your needs are more generic and financially far-reaching than your present understanding of safe, sane and consensual kink between loving partners.
FORTY-NINE: But Grey is controlling. And yes, he's overbearing. But he's a billionaire industrialist and so this, supposedly, is part of his character. I'm sure you would have dinner with one just out of curiosity. The thing is, when people are quick to slate his characterization they miss the fact that the point is Ana sees past Grey and overcomes the psychological obstacles to literally lay herself down or put herself on a cross for him. It's like a weird love test she has to go through to earn her hold on HIM. Ana doesn't except the expensive books and car and the reader roots for her integrity. Yes, Grey is attempting to control, but can't really. This is just a strong romantic fiction device for female readers, and makes any attempt to label it anti-feminist a little unthought-out.
FIFTY: You must be glad of Fifty Shades for helping your blog. Personally I make nothing off this blog focusing on Fifty Shades, potentially it's not that great for my kinkcredibility. My interest is purely cultural and intellectual – at a time when misinformation can be instantaneously spread through social media and the internet.
My reputation stands and falls on daring to educate further than most. I hope some of the above mythbust examples here have shown you that there is more to kink than simply attaching it to an opinion about Fifty Shades, or vice versa. Having been promoted as the real-life Christian Grey, and having met at least thirty people (okay, women) who have projected me or wanting me as this type (some kind of sexually-entertaining dominant psycho I guess) I have to inform you that fortunately I have consistently failed to take advantage of the outrageous opportunities presented to me. I'm glad to tell you this because what I am in private is frankly, much more exciting. Being a fictional character is limiting, being yourself has endless possibilities. Be yourself. Perhaps you can argue that writing under a psuedonym I am only almost true to you, but then we didn't have a pre-blog discussion did we?
Play safe and have lots of weird adult fun