*Due to the content and nature of this posting, this is for a mature audience of 18 and older.
A couple of weeks ago, The Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James made mainstream news when it was discussed on the Today show. I have been aware of the trilogy for a long time because it was originally a Twilight fan fiction called Masters of the Universe that the author changed the names and got three books published from it. That’s a really big deal. I read the first book, Fifty Shades of Grey about a year ago. I thought it was good. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.
I found it surprising that this trilogy was getting so much press. BDSM is always a brown paper, top shelf kind of genre. The fact that it was on the Today Show and had women at my lunch table talking about it, had me agape. I love reading BDSM, it was surreal to hear some of my co-workers discussing it. Apparently, it’s sweeping book clubs across, not just the country, but the world! I find that incredibly exciting. I think that these women are waking up to their inner sexuality that has always lain dormant, because until you are exposed to that thing that gives you a tingle low in your belly, you don’t know it exists. When you find it, that window into your sexuality becomes a door. And through that door is sexual satisfaction, which even the promise of, is heady.
Women in these book clubs are saying that the books are lighting a fire under their marriage bed. Again, awesome! I want to start a BDSM book club in my neighborhood! The other thing that I found shocking was according to the Huffington Post, “Dr. Drew, a board-certified internist and TV personality, told the TODAY Show that he finds the novel "disturbing" and even suggested that the submissive sex the book depicts is essentially violence against women.”
What? Dr. Drew! Dr. Drew of MTV’s and radio’s Loveline of my youth, believes that BDSM promotes violence against women! I was so disappointed! I always felt that Dr. Drew understood female sexuality, physically and psychologically. I was so disappointed at his narrow view. Plus, he hadn’t read the book at the time he made that statement! Later, for his show on HLN, he read the book along with his wife and a panel of three other women and stood firm in his stance that it promotes violence against women! Fifty Shades is not exactly hardcore BDSM but it’s not Sugarkink either. (Sugarkink is how some refer to light BDSM, as in being tied to the headboard or an erotic spanking). It’s also not the series I’d recommend if introducing someone to BDSM literature; it’s very deep on a psychological level. Even though much of BDSM plays out in the player’s minds, Fifty Shades has what amounts to relationship mind games in my opinion.
So, I’ve just got to say, BDSM is a consensual power exchange. BDSM is a very wide spectrum of sexual practice, so the psychology behind those practices is infinite. There’s a great article on Psychology Today about BDSM and Fifty Shades that states, “It [BDSM] is not weird, it is not pathological, it is a flavor of erotica, just as chocolate (and vanilla) are flavors of ice cream.” Is it really so hard to understand why a person would want to give over complete control? It’s freeing. And just as I said in an article I wrote a few months ago, in a Dom/sub relationship, it’s the submissive that has all the power. In a time when some people, like say..the women who are reading Fifty Shades in their book clubs, are responsible for everything from their job to bills to carpools, is it so hard to comprehend that that person would want someone else to have absolute responsibility for their pleasure? Is it equally so hard to understand why someone would want to be in complete control of something, even something as simple as pleasure for one’s partner? It isn’t for me. To me, it’s psych 101. In a time when people feel like they have little control in their lives, one’s own sexual practices are something everyone should be in control of.
I want to make clear that Domestic Violence is in no way consensual and there is no power exchange, one person claims all the power, usually by force. 99% of violence in domestic relationships have this dynamic:
There is no consent given, no safe word, no protection. The victim receives no pleasure from any part of this cycle and spends most of their lives in a state of hopelessness. If you are in this kind of relationship, please get help. 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) is a the number to call. It must be said that most Doms would kick the ass of an abuser, as good Doms are incredibly protective by nature. And remember, after the spanking comes the aftercare. The aftercare is sweet. It’s the back rub during an endorphin high, it’s the spooning after sex. It’s the reconnection while coming back down to earth.
So what do you guys think? Does BDSM promote violence against women? We want to hear from you. And I think we need to send Dr. Drew some Cherise Sinclair. Who’s with me?
***This guess poster will remain Anonymous. I am thankful that she and her blog did an guest posting on this blog.