A Very Short Review of this Weekend’s Big Cinematic Release

Alice’s Review:

Fuck this book.

And fuck this movie.

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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.

CaaBP = Shame-Free Zone

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”

Lauren Slater on writing memoir

lauren slater lying

You can’t invent other people’s lives, but you can invent your own. You do it every day, of course, as you are living it. Your life is a series of enacted acts that come to crescendos and conclusions, minute by minute, day by day. So when you are writing a memoir you are really reinventing what you have already invented, and, in the process of reinvention/revision, you find angles and screws and coils and cogs that you missed the first time around; I say, put them in now, for god’s sake.

Memoir is the only second chance you ever get at life. It is a willful turning back of the clock, a logical impossibility, and yet you do it, because your mind exists outside of time. If your memoir is really good, really honest, really from the roots of your heart, you yourself will not even know what is invention/reinvention and what is “really real” because the act of remembering imaginatively blurs those distinctions for you, forever.

Lauren Slater, from Salon’s guide to writing a memoir

Slater’s Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir is one book on my shelves I really gotta reread. Soon.