Kinkster Contemplates 50 Shades of Grey.

Like last time, the public popularity brought by the 50 Shades franchise will bring both curiosity and scrutiny. Many other kinksters have written their own thoughts on the subject matter and I thank them. We need people willing to step up and be heard when the record has to be set straight.

No one expects themed works of fiction to be perfect, accurate representations of bdsm. That would be a very boring book filled with contracts, negotiations, awkward kink ice breakers and a lot of last dates. Many of us enjoy tales of sexy billionaires and completely unrealistic situations. The problem is when a fictional representation such as 50 Shades of Grey uses themes that are harmful to the audience. Not like “you shouldn’t say such things!” harmful but “Call 911!” harmful. Understanding of consent has real affects on people’s lives. Consent is a line that should never be blurred and this franchise blurs it.

The victim in these books and movies looks like a real victim though. That’s something the creator got right. In that type of abusive environment, the victim may not realize they’re being mistreated because the abuser keeps them enchanted by apologizing and appearing to make sincere attempts at redemption followed by blaming the abuse on the victim, also known as gas-lighting. I fear that the backlash from the bdsm community may have caused real life victims to be more fearful of coming forward for help. The book and it’s characters have all been viciously rebuked by many kinksters very publicly. Men and women in similar circumstances may be feeling disenfranchised by a community I know to be very supportive and helpful in these situations. The franchise and those reacting to it have unwittingly done far more damage than they realize. While the critiques are necessary, everyone seems to have forgotten about the victims who will be reading these rebukes. All of our vehement demonizing of 50 Shades has been piling more shame and guilt on top of victims of gas-lighting. So while we need to set the record straight, we need to do it with respect to the victims who could be in our audience.

An abusive situation is being romanticized by 50 Shades. It’s popularity means misinformation is spread in farther and faster and that makes an unacceptable situation look acceptable. Thankfully, members of the community have been working hard to correct that misinformation where they find it. If you discovered an interest in bdsm through the 50 Shades franchise, that’s ok. A lot of kinksters enjoyed the books and the movie. They’re works of fiction, not howto books. We all start somewhere (like here!). The important part is that you were interested enough to do some research and find the truth rather than accepting the false image.

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