Friday, February 13, 2015

50 Shades of Grey: Topics of Consent versus Non-Consent

Y'all I feel so worn out by all of the media coverage on 50 Shades.  So much of it is inaccurate and thrives off of BDSM being an area of relationships that people are both wary and unfamiliar with.  I don't want this post to focus on advocating for the book series because I enjoyed them with a grain of salt.  The writing is terrible and I think E.L. James needed to do more research in terms of true and accurate BDSM relationships.  If I'm getting down to brass tacks, I think she may have amplified a few stereotypes BUT I also believe that it opened up conversations and discussions that you see today.  What concerns me are all the posts and articles that discuss abuse based on scenes from the novels that are taken out of context.  BDSM involves dominant and submissive relationships that people simply do not understand and it also involves a lot of research.  BDSM is NOT under any circumstances an abusive relationship.  To say otherwise is grossly inappropriate.  I don't believe that the book series is a good example of BDSM but I will use the book's contents to hopefully explain some of the topics.

1. There is so much communication.  Both partners (or multiple partners) are in constant communication to ensure that their partner enjoying themselves and are comfortable with proceeding.

2. Everything is discussed and communicated between partners.  BDSM involves checklists and scripts- you know what's going on or what could go on in a scene.  Grey actually sits down with Ana to discuss everything and puts it into a contract. They are actually able to discuss what they are and are not comfortable with, including the use or lack of safe words.  BDSM highly incorporates the use of safewords.  If Ana is not comfortable with anything, she is able to voice that and Grey will listen.

3. The submissive (sub) controls the scene.  It seems ironic (since it's the sub) but he or she controls the scene because if he or she is uncomfortable- where's the fun in that? BDSM is another form of pleasure and intimacy.  The articles I have placed down below are great resources to dive into those topics.

4. BDSM is not always about sex, it can lead into other areas of your life.  I think James went about this strangely with the book because I don't think people fully understand that BDSM doesn't have to be all about whips and chains, but simply control.  Christian does this frequently throughout the book without leading into sex, which people view as stalking.  I think James' lack of explanation and thorough use of research put people in an awkward place with understanding the narrative and the culture of BDSM. 

5. Your pleasure may not be someone else's pleasure.  I put this post together because I was really concerned with how easily people wanted to label 50 Shades as abuse- especially from so many bloggers and Christian websites.  That has been really frustrating because I've read the articles and I don't feel that they're sourced properly.  It just overwhelmingly seems that this is a topic that people are uncomfortable with it so they prefer to demonize it. 

With all of that said, you or I or anyone does not have to be into this.  That's the beauty of it.  This is one way to approach a relationship, but it's not for everyone.  I would just caution so many media outlets and bloggers from labeling it as abuse.  Especially since I keep hearing people say that they haven't read it or are garnishing their opinions from the comments section of an article who authors haven't read it.  

Here are some other great articles:

25 Facts About BDSM That You Won't Learn from Fifty Shades of Grey

Buzzfeed's Kink Video

My friend Nicole wrote a great article about Christian Grey and relating it to Christianity.

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