Fuck this book.
And fuck this movie.
Now, some brief contextualizing…
I ran across a meme recently, defending fans of FSoG with a very Wil Wheaton-esque message of “don’t let anyone make you feel bad for loving what you read.” My intent is not to shame anyone for the content of either their bookshelves or their fantasies. I just want to be sure we’re all starting from a common point of understanding.
Simply put: If you find yourself all hot-and-bothered at the thought of “Mr. Grey will see you now,” you are indulging in a fantasy about rape and abuse.
And not a fantasy about BDSM.
As long as you acknowledge that, then you and me? We’re good.
Plenty of people — both with and without sexual damage in their backgrounds — fantasize about rape and/or abuse. Just like plenty of people who engage exclusively in non-stigmatized sexual behaviors and relationship patterns may (or may not) do so for reasons relating to their own histories of trauma or eff’ed-up family dynamics.
I do strongly recommend, should you and your sexXy funtime partner(s) decide to role-play from this novel, that you follow actual BDSM best practices, including:
- negotiate the sh!t out of every detail in advance, so that both Dom and sub get their needs met safely and and with fully-informed consent;
- have a clear safeword explicitly in place before beginning; and finally,
- provide aftercare like everybody’s life depends on it.
Scenes based on rape or abuse are a pretty extreme form of BDSM play and — like any extreme play — can run the risk of harm to participants if not practiced responsibly. [/public service announcement]
Not that you would know any of this from reading EL James’ book. Continue reading “A Very Short Review of this Weekend’s Big Cinematic Release”