1000 Shades of Wrong

Okay, yes this post mentions “50 Shades of Grey” by EL James, but I am not here to harass her for her writing style. Just because you don’t like it, does not make it bad. Plus, I doubt she cares what people think of her writing style – it hasn’t held her books back any, has it? Obviously there are many who enjoy it.

I am however going to discuss what I consider wrong with that particular series – the way it paints those in the BDSM lifestyle. Hollywood and authors the likes of E.L. James love to color those who are attracted to BDSM as psychotics, mentally deranged child abusers, and every other unkind and disgusting visage they can come up with.

I’m not saying that doesn’t happen. Sure, the odd degenerate will come in and try to make themself at home, especially online where any tom, dick, or sarah can call themself Master. And yes there are those who have been abused who are into BDSM. But guess what? There are also a lot of people who have been abused who aren’t into BDSM. And there are a lot of people into BDSM who have never been abused.

Kayt Sukel wrote a great article for The Huffington Post entitled “50 Shades Of Grey (Matter): How Science Is Defying BDSM Stereotypes”. I suggest you follow the link and read it. It debunks several myths about the BDSM lifestyle as are presented in 50 Shades.

Some of the myths she discusses:

  • BDSM is violent.
  • Men like Christian Grey are into BDSM because they were abused as children.
  • Men like Christian Grey lash out because they are unable to emotionally bond with others.
  • Men like Christian Grey are very unhappy and express that unhappiness through BDSM.
  • Men like Christian Grey have brains that are not wired to properly process pleasure or pain.
When “50 Shades of Grey” was announced a few months ago and the large advertising blitz started, I found a copy of the original fan fiction to see if it was something I might want to buy once it came out. It did not take long before I knew I would not buy it. For two reasons:
First, like I mentioned – E.L. James paints those in the lifestyle with a negative brush. 
  • You have the main character of Christian Grey who was abused until he was four, then became a sub of a friend of his mothers when he was but a teenager, thus furthering the abuse idea. 
  • Then there is the fore-said friend of his mother’s – the Mrs. Robinson character. She is abusive and territorial. Even though Christian is no longer her sub, she lives in a dream world and still thinks of him as hers. 
  • Last but not least is the former sub of Christian’s who went off the deep end when he released her and wants to kill Anastasia because of it.
  • Not to mention the fact that as soon as Christian realizes he ‘loves’ Anastasia, suddenly he loses his desire for Sadist behavior thus leading back to the idea that being in the lifestyle means you are sick in the head.
Second, the play scenes were obviously written by someone who has never played before. This obviously does not matter to those who haven’t played – in fact there seems to be quite a divergence in how people feel about the book. Those who have never played think it is scintillatingly erotic and that the sex scenes are just too juicy. Those of us who  have played look at the scenes and go “eh, not hot.”
There are a few authors out there who get it right. They understand that the desire for kink, the desire to dominate and the desire to submit do not have anything to do with mental-abnormalities necessarily. To these authors I thank you!
One I would sincerely like to mention is Cherise Sinclair. Her “Masters of the Shadowlands” is absolutely delicious, the characters and story well developed, and the play scenes cream-worthy.

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