Saturday, February 14, 2015

50 Shades of Reality

With 50 Shades of Grey opening wide in theatres February 13, we thought we'd each share our feelings on kink, our D/s dynamic and our BDSM, hopefully demystifying and debunking some of the bullshit found in E.L. James' bestselling books.

To start, I've never read 50 Shades of Grey, but I have read enough about it. I know the basic premise, the vacuous characters, the lack of true research into our scene or the in-depth interviews with real, stable players in the lifestyle.

I am not a multimillionaire. I don't have a fancy office, a helicopter, or a "red room of pain." I make a decent living. I have a cubicle with a treadmill desk. I have a radio controlled helicopter. My "red room of pain" is black and grey and is the Clubhouse (read: private dungeon) I enjoy. Or my bedroom, which also happens to feature black and grey. I don't control every aspect of my life. Some of it I leave to blind luck, fate and the efforts of others.

I do enjoy controlling others, namely those that are in a predetermined submissive relationship with me. The power exchange is hypnotic. I am a sadist. I get off inflicting pain on others, particularly those that are in a predetermined submissive relationship with me.

I love beating, then fucking, said same person or persons.

I know women in the lifestyle who have experienced personal trauma and abuse, but not all of them. I have not experienced any abuse of my own. Personal trauma comes in the form of typical childhood and adult stuff—nothing to turn me into a sadistic beast.

Most of the people I choose to be friends with in the lifestyle aren't crazy, fucked up, abused wrecks. They're twisted, demented fucks, much like me.

Certainly you can argue that any of the stuff we consent to do—spanking, whipping, caning, cropping and mastery, submission, debasing, humiliating and more mind-fuckery—is just that, completely consensual. I don't mess someone up without being there to pick them up again. Any time where that's actually happened in the past I feel really terrible about and try really hard to never do that again.

I love, admire and respect most women.

In my D/s relationships I choose to support, help and better those in my charge.

From what I understand, a lot of the above can't be said from the two-dimensional characters in 50 Shades. Again, I've not read the book. When Lizzie and I were talking about what to write as we approached Valentine's Day I thought it would be interesting to speak about how the reality of our dynamic and how our healthy "co-dependency" is utterly unlike the misogynistic, all-too-vanilla quote-unquote kink presented in 50 Shades.

What's your personal experiences in the lifestyle like? I'm sure your 50 Shades of Reality are quite a bit different than the monotone books or the tone deaf movie.
I have read 50 Shades of Grey, unfortunately. I read the first book, but despite having the rest of the series on my kindle account (because I share the account with my sister, not because I bought them), I haven’t any desire in reading more. There are plenty of places you can read about all the things wrong with the books, so I won’t go into that too much.

I'll only say that I detest modern virginity romances. It's a storyline that doesn't do anything for me. I set my virginity aside when I was 19, with the help of a carefully selected boy who made me laugh. There was no love, no crush, no lust, and no real pain when I walked away. I’ve enjoyed exploring my sexuality and I think it adds to my understanding of who I am and what I want.

This may be our reality, but I am living my fantasy. Our lives may not be the fodder for Harlequin style “wealth porn,” but we have a house in Los Angeles that we’ve made our own. We travel for pleasure quite a bit. Craig has even taken me on a helicopter ride! In Alaska, to walk on a glacier, so he’s beaten Mr. Grey there. But that isn’t really the objectionable part of the book, anyway.

There is no graphic childhood abuse in my past, just the garden variety struggles of growing up. I did have an abusive previous marriage, but it was not related to my kink. I know people in the lifestyle with experiences all along the spectrum, just as I do in my vanilla life.

But the lifestyle didn’t find me - I looked for and found what I wanted. I don’t remember a time when I was not fascinated by spanking. The best sex I had in college was with a boyfriend who would cut off my clothing and tie me up with it. We had rough, sometimes kinky sex without formal negotiation or even really naming it for what it was. We just did what we enjoyed and what worked.

I went in search of the lifestyle. First, I went to spanking parties because I’d learned about them in my early online searches. There, I found people who wanted to do more than spanking, as I did. And I found Craig.

We’ve done formal scene negotiation, mostly through email. We’ve done scene negotiation through story, highlighting the hot parts and nixing the things that didn’t appeal to us. We attend events and classes, to see new things and learn about different approaches.

But mostly, I think, like any healthy relationship - we listen to one another. We care about one another. We try new things to see if they will work to our mutual pleasure.

Our power dynamic is a part of that. I get off on being told what to do. I get pleasure from serving Craig. And I’m a pain slut, of course. Our relationship works because the flip-side of those things appeals to Craig as well.

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