Fifty Shades Of Grey VS True BDSM Culture

For those who don't know Fifty shades of Grey is a book series that was then turned into movies. They are about a man who identifies as a dominant, he meets a girl and introduces her to his BDSM world. Eventually they fall in love, get married, blah blah blah. Fifty shades of Grey took the world by storm, the whole world was reading the books and lining up to see the movies. All of a sudden everybody was “Kinky”, everybody thought the books were gospel and everybody who read them was suddenly an expert.

For people not already in the BDSM scene, it was showing the world that you don't have to fit in the box and it's okay to explore your desires. A lot of people new to the scene were expecting to meet their Christian Grey instantly, but life isn't like the movies. With these other messages important to BDSM were being misrepresented by the author and/or misinterpreted by the audience. Themes surrounding consent and abuse plus the propensity for the audience to pick up toys and tools without knowing how to use them properly made for a storm of issues.

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For some people coming from the vanilla world, there was a big culture shock. The expectations set up from 50 shades didn't reflect real life or the real BDSM scene. The idea some rich person coming along, spanking you, calling you a naughty girl/boy while fucking you 6 ways from Sunday was what appealed to most people. But lets face it, for every Christian Grey there are 10,000 normal BDSM guys out there; not rich, but can still rock your world given the chance.

Vanilla people coming into the scene also didn't know basic rules, etiquette and protocols that BDSM players follow at events, how could they? 50 shades didn't touch on the wider BDSM community. So new players were coming to events and getting themselves in trouble or breaking peoples consent without even knowing it, or worse, knowing and not caring. Another main problem was new players watching experienced players doing a play scene or stage show and thinking “hey that looks easy” then picking up and using a toy or tool without really knowing how to use it. Most long term BDSM players have gone to seminars, lectures and classes over many years, they have built up experience and have practised a lot before being at that level. They know about where to do thing, when, how long, reading peoples bodies, the bodies nerve structure, bones, blood, skin etc and have a level of trust with their play partner based on experience and knowledge.

The lack of Christian Grey's in the real world isn't the only shock some new people to the scene got. The breadth of kinks shown in 50 shades is very limited, very sexually connected and doesn't show the larger scene; so stepping into the real world and being exposed to more extreme kinks like needle play, blood play, knife play, hook suspension etc can be a big shock if you aren't ready for it. I still remember the first public BDSM event I went to, I walked in and a stage show was happening, I eagerly walked over to the stage and saw a woman torturing a mans genitals (CBT).

It was defiantly a shock, but the longer I've been in the scene; the more I got exposed to and the more I was able to just turn a blind eye to kinks that I wasn't into. There is even a common saying in the scene “Your kinks not my kink and that's okay.” Everybody likes something different, so don't judge people; just walk on and find what you do like.

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For people already in the BDSM scene the 50 Shades franchise meant people looking into our clandestine world and wanting to shine a light on it like never before. This meant judgement from new people, some of who weren't ready to see more extreme BDSM kinks that aren't seen in 50 Shades. This influx of people coming to public events meant steady BDSM players were given new opportunities to teach newer players and show the world about the real scene; not the misrepresented version the 50 shades books and movies showed.
While the movies and books brought in a lot of eager people wanting to try new things, it also brought a lot of bad people coming to take advantage of them, abuse and use them and definitely not give them what they actually want in the scene. Consent is real people!

The representation of the BDSM scene and BDSM relationships by the author upset a lot of BDSM players. A lot of long term BDSM players see the relationship development of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steel as an abusive and manipulative situation. That Christian decided it was a good idea to take a virgin who has no clue about BDSM, Dominant, Submissive, toys etc and go straight into a D/S relationship was at best a lack of judgement, at worst taking advantage of a naive young woman and abusing her. One of the simplest and most important concepts from the BDSM scene is overlooked a lot in this franchise and that is consent.

It is not enough to have somebody say Yes to doing something, if they don't know what they are consenting too. Anastasia doesn't know a lot of what is involved with BDSM relationships and because of that agrees to things she doesn't understand. And having no experience she doesn't know what is a normal D/S relationship is meant to be and what is abuse. I like using the rule of enthusiastic informed consent.
Enthusiastic because you want somebody to say hell yes! To doing something not umm yeah I guess because if they aren't sure and really wanting to do something then it's best to not do it. They might regret it later and feel like they were made to do something they didn't really want to do. Informed because all parties need to know what they are doing/ going to do.

It is implied by the author that this is why he is the way he is...

The author makes Christian Grey a millionaire and because of this we're all meant to fawn over him. He's rich, handsome, the right amount of damaged that women want to save him. But, if you think of the things he does in the movies or books but think of the equivalent actions being done by a poor; trailer trash man with a beer gut etc doing them; it becomes abuse and revolts most people instead.
Luckily most people in reality are somewhere in the middle. Not too broken, normal enough but still into BDSM to get all fun and twisted.

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Another thing brought up by the author is that Christian Grey's was abused and neglected as a young child. It is implied by the author that this is why he is the way he is, Christian even thinks so himself. I personally don't think the abuse made him the way he is when it comes to BDSM; dominance doesn't come from abuse. It come from a profound need to have control and stability in all areas of life. This need comes from early inconsistent relationships as a child, all though some people are just born that way. This need for control is evident in his personal and professional lives too, not just limited to BDSM.
I believe his young introduction to BDSM by an older women when he was underage may have moved ahead his BDSM interests. Though by all accounts Christian doesn't see the bad side of the underage BDSM relationship that he was involved in, numerous studies have shown; that when children or underage teens are exposed to violent porn or even normal porn at a young age this can warp their perceptions of what a normal sexual relationship is meant to look like. Christian was lacking structure and that's what he wanted and needed from that relationship not the sex or BDSM. Introduction to sex shouldn't happen this way, the best thing for kids is for them to feel safe to come and talk to a parent or caregiver, it is important they know that they will be allowed to ask questions and get answers from a trusted adult; not graphic adult content on the internet. Normalising sex positive conversations with your child is the best education they can be given. (But I hope to touch base on this more in another article later, so watch this space.)

you understand that it is a lot more that a group of people sitting around hitting each other.

There is a lot of perceptions from the vanilla world that people in the BDSM world are damaged, messed up, mentally unstable etc. To them, who would want to want to hit somebody or be hit if they aren't mental? But once you understand the drive behind people wanting to participate; you understand that it is a lot more that a group of people sitting around hitting each other.
But the other side of this is, quiet a few people I have met in the scene do have mild mental health issues, but from my experience this depression, anxiety or whatever it is they are dealing with; is normally caused by trying to be who they aren't to fit into the vanilla world and what the rest of the world wants them to be.
After a while of being ourselves as a child and teen we are bullied, abused and/or shaped and moulded by teachers, parents and society to be what they want us to be.
We try to fit this box for so long and then one day we explode. We realise that this isn't us, that we are miserable and somethings got to give. So we reside ourselves to a life of being that or we go and find our tribe, that's what a lot of people who find their way to the scene have dealt with. But the trauma from the past sometimes lingers, but with finding ourselves and being ourselves with the help of friends we can be better than ever before.

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There is a lot of perceptions from the vanilla world that people in the BDSM world are damaged, messed up, mentally unstable etc. To them, who would want to want to hit somebody or be hit if they aren't mental? But once you understand the drive behind people wanting to participate; you understand that it is a lot more that a group of people sitting around hitting each other.
But the other side of this is, quiet a few people I have met in the scene do have mild mental health issues, but from my experience this depression, anxiety or whatever it is they are dealing with; is normally caused by trying to be who they aren't to fit into the vanilla world and what the rest of the world wants them to be.
After a while of being ourselves as a child and teen we are bullied, abused and/or shaped and moulded by teachers, parents and society to be what they want us to be.
We try to fit this box for so long and then one day we explode. We realise that this isn't us, that we are miserable and somethings got to give. So we reside ourselves to a life of being that or we go and find our tribe, that's what a lot of people who find their way to the scene have dealt with. But the trauma from the past sometimes lingers, but with finding ourselves and being ourselves with the help of friends we can be better than ever before.

It is about support, connection, love, honestly, communication and trust.

It is about support, connection, love, honestly, communication and trust. For a bottom or submissive; it's about giving somebody every part of you, giving them every way to break you and hurt you, but trusting them not too. It's about pushing yourself further and further to the edge to learn about your own strength and wanting to push yourself further to please your partner. For a top or dominant; it's about receiving that trust and not breaking it, bringing somebody closer and closer to the edge and pushing them to be more than they think they can be. It's about doing things you enjoy but they do too, building on connections to explore more together.

Through the BDSM scene I have met some truly great people, strong people and people who accept everybody no matter the colour of their skin, where they come from, their sexual orientation, their gender, what they identify as in the scene, if they want to be a dog, cat or goat.... it doesn't matter, be a good person and they will accept you with open arms.

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All in all, 50 shades has shown some people a path to explore their kinks and not feel ashamed of them, has lead some people to the BDSM scene in positive and negative ways, has opened the BDSM up more to the world and has angered some and been loved by others. But whatever your view on the franchise, it has irrevocably changed the BDSM scene and the people in it. But it doesn't really matter how you came to the scene in the end, all that matters is that you learn, are a good person and have fun being who you are.

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