Before I start this rant (and oh believe me, there will be a rant) I invite you all to check out the blog of someone much more eloquent and knowledgeable than myself. He also writes from a Dom’s perspective, which is not something you come across often.
He hit on a few things about Fifty Shades that I wanted to address … But as a submissive I have a whole other list of issues on top of these.
I admit that I struggled to get through the book. I started it and put it down several times in the course of the last three years, finally biting the bullet and charging through it when my mother informed me that we would be seeing the movie next time I was in Jersey. I wanted to see how much alcohol I would need to get through it.
I consider myself a well-read individual. I went through a phase in middle school and high school where I would gobble about a book a day down. I have never had to look up so many word definitions for a single book in all my LIFE. Yes, Ms. James, you are very smart. Clearly you’ve shown this with your fancy big words. This was just a knit-picky thing through the majority of the book, until the second to last chapter or so, the scene where Ana is flogged.
This one little scene, and one little vocabulary slip, showed just how little research Ms. James did into actual BDSM. She insists on calling the ends of the flogger fronds. They’re tails. Nothing fancy. Occasionally I’ve heard the business end referred to as lashes. Again. Common words you don’t need to Google in order to understand their meaning. Literally if you Google “what are the ends of a flogger called?” this is what you will find. Why use fancy words for absolutely no reason, to the point where they actually take away from the authenticity of what you’re writing?
Now then, let’s move onto Mr Fifty Shades himself, Christian Grey. I am a submissive woman, attracted to Dominant men. I am not attracted to Christian.. For quite a few reasons. One being that the way he approached Ana would be the opposite of any Dom I have ever met.
A good Dom would sooner cut off their manhood than try to change their submissive’s nature. I have had Doms as both friends and lovers and they’ve all said the same to me.. That they fear their lovers getting consumed by the relationship. That they want their lovers to serve and be themselves and not completely deny their personal needs in order to fulfill their Doms.
Most of all, no self respecting Dominant that I know would EVER ask a woman to submit who was NOT A SUBMISSIVE. “You are completely inexperienced and know nothing else… I know this is kinky and taboo but screw anything vanilla and try it my way”. Yeah. No.
Christian hounds Ana. Stalks her. Allows her no breathing room to figure out her own sexual identity and instead attempts to mold her to his. Wrong. Wrong all over the place.
One thing I want to address before moving onto Ana’s character flaws is that you have to be “50 shades of fucked up” to be into BDSM. Speaking from personal experience, it takes a lot to come to terms with taboo sexual desires and accept yourself as you are. There is such a stigma attached to kink, to someone being twisted enough to want to be beaten, or want to hit someone.
I grew up in a stable, loving home. My parents are still happily married. I can count the number of spankings I got growing up on one hand and was never hit in any other way as a child. I have no daddy issues, get along great with my parents, and still talk to them at least six times a week even though I live 3000 miles away from them.
And yet I get pleasure from being taken over someone’s knee and spanked until my ass is bright red. I love being bound to beds. I crave the bite of a flogger, a hand wrapped around my neck and buried in my hair, pulling it. I get GREAT pleasure from anal sex. I get gratification from getting on my knees, crawling between my Dom’s legs, and pleasuring him like no one else can.. Etc etc
I’m not saying my kinks are normal. I know they are far from it. But I don’t have some fucked up past that brought me to want this. This is just in me. It’s a part of me like my height, like my interest in art or my bookworm personality. I’m a submissive. I’m an artist. I’m a night owl. It’s a segment of what makes me, me. And it’s not for anyone else to judge, because I’m not going to be judging you if you think vanilla missionary is the most fulfilling thing in the world. If it is for you, fantastic. Different strokes for different folks. But it took me, as it’s taken others before me, a long time to come to peace with our kinky selves. It took many of us a whole to realize we WERENT fucked up. We were just different. And different is good. Different is what makes this world exciting.
So, Ms. James, don’t you dare turn our different into a horrible vice made for fucked up people. Because our different can be beautiful.
Now, to address Ana.
As I’ve mentioned, I identify as a submissive. I get pleasure from pleasing others in any number of ways. I love cooking for Kane and helping him when he desires my assistance just as much as I enjoy serving him in the bedroom. It’s part of me, part of my nature, and comes out even when my clothes are on.
This is not something anyone has morphed me into. This is something I’ve figured out about myself through time and relationships.
Ana is not a submissive woman.
It’s mentioned over and over in the book and the movie. She gets no pleasure from it. She does not want to do it. She is merely a lovestruck idiot who wants to keep her man.. “Red Room of Pain”. Do you KNOW how much fun I could have in that room??! That playroom is a submissive’s dream, and yet it terrified her.
I’m not even going to touch on the fact that the twisted perverted figure of Christian corrupted the so-virginal-she’s-never-orgasmed Ana. Really. Can we get any more archetypical?
There’s a big word for you, Ms. James, and it makes sense.
Still, with all this, I trudged through the book, and it was bearable until the last fricken chapter. When Ana asks for punishment.
Punishment is not fun. I still flinch every time I see a riding crop. No sub likes actual punishment. It means we’ve screwed up. We disappointed our Dom. We did wrong. But it is a quick, cathartic way to make everything alright again. We go through the punishment and then all is forgiven. Past sins are gone and we go on with a clean slate.
This is not explained at all in the book, and so Christian comes off as a twisted fucker who wants to hurt women.
Which, in part, he is, but still.
Ana does something very stupid, as an inexperienced not-subby woman. She asks for the worst punishment he can give her. The most painful.
Do you think we get this often? The worst? Doms don’t like doling out the worst any more than subs like receiving it. It means there’s been a big fuck up. It will hurt like hell and require aftercare for both Dom and sub.. Because it’s emotional. It’s hard. And it’s trying.
She asks for the once in a blue moon big fuckup punishment. And when he gives it to her, and then reaches to hold her for aftercare (again, not explained or touched on in the book) she calls him a monster. And I wanted to hit her. Really hard. Because I am protective of my Dom, and of Dominants I am close to. They are not monsters for giving punishment. She knows nothing. RAWR.
I want to touch on the movie quickly at the end of this post.. Yes. I sat through it. It wasn’t as horrible as I expected… The actors had no chemistry and she had an ass double for the kinky scenes.. But the sex scenes surprisingly turned me on. The time line was jumbled and made little sense.. But that wasn’t my biggest problem.
My biggest problem with the film was that Christian could not do THE VOICE. The almighty Dominant panty disappearing voice.
EVERY Dom I’ve met, and frankly every lover I’ve met (good, bad, or indifferent in the sack) has a sex voice. Where suddenly they sound like they’re coated in honey. Every word is sweeter. You hang on their every syllable in anticipation of what is to come.
He didn’t do that. Sex orders and whispered desires were said in a monotone. This made me want to scream in frustration.
All in all, my main problem with 50 Shades (besides the piss poor writing) is that it is marketed as a BDSM novel. This is NOT an example of a D/s relationship. I love books that are. If any of you have any interest in well written D/s romance novels check out Tara Sue Me, Maya Banks, Alison Tyler… There are many more. I can give specific recommendations if any of you desire them.
But not this. Call this a twisted love story. A romance novel. But do not associate it with my world. Do not call it D/s.. Because it does not come anywhere close to a proper D/s relationship.
Yours out of breath from screaming