50 Shades of Grey and Our Lifestyle – Good/Bad?

This is a huge topic that comes up all the time online on social sites and I wanted to address it from My side.  That doesn’t mean that you have to agree with it and honestly, I am hoping that some of you don’t and can give Me some counter facts that I may have overlooked.

The main topic here is whether the movie has done more negative or more positive for our BDSM community.  It is a highly debated topic and I seem to be a minority that think that it has done more positive then negative.  This has led to many the debates and surprisingly, a large number of those debating saying it is more negative, haven’t even seen the movie or read the books!  I have not read the books as I have heard the writing skills are dreadful but I have watched the first movie about 8 times and the second one three times.  Overall I am a fan of them but that isn’t the part that is up for debate. 😉

Everyone in the lifestyle that is on social media has seen the hate articles out there condemning the movie and books.  These are written by people in the lifestyle and are absolutely right for the most part.  To us in the lifestyle, that are educated, these movies do NOT in any way show people what a true BDSM dynamic is like.  I am in 100% agreement with that statement but we have to look at it from a vanilla person standpoint.

Ok, so lets look at a few of the reasons why the movie and books were so negative to use in the lifestyle:
Image result for 50 shades of grey negative

  • Consent was ignored throughout the movie.
  • Safety protocols were not established or were completely ignored.
  • Christian Grey is a stalker throughout the movie.
  • No aftercare was ever provided during scenes.
  • He is no control of his emotions.
  • He manipulates her on multiple occasions.
  • He isolates her from friends and family

That is just a bit of why it is a negative influence to us in the lifestyle.  I am sure there is more that I haven’t even touched on but lets now look at it from a Vanilla person’s perspective watching the movie or reading the books.  Christian Grey is a strong, wealthy, mysterious and good looking guy whom you know has mental health issues.  He is pretty much the spitting image of every guy in those really slutty novels that a lot of women read.  The difference is that he seems to have a power over women to get them to do what he wants them to do and that is damn sexy!  The readers and watchers know that this isn’t real life just like the slutty books they are used to.  They don’t know what consent means or anything.  There eyes are now open to something they have never seen before which is the elusive world of BDSM.

With so much negative, what could possibly be positive about the books and movies?  Glad you asked!

Before the movies and books came out it was hard to come out and explain to your friends and families that you were in a BDSM dynamic.  There were massive misconceptions about what the lifestyle entailed.  People would say “You mean like whips and chains?” or “Does he hit you???”.  Now, if a vanilla person has seen the movie or read the books then they are more likely to say “Oh, you mean like 50 shades of grey?”  which is so much better as a lead way into what you trying to explain to them.  It is the perfect time to explain what you practice and how (SSC) safe, sane and consensual the dynamic is for you.  I personally have had 100% success communicating with friends and family by referencing what I have with my wife in relation to the movie.  Let me know if you have experienced ANYONE say to you “Oh, you mean like that movie where the guy was abusive, stalker-ish, controlling and didn’t provide proper aftercare?”.

Now, what else has it done for the community?  The community of BDSM has grown leaps and bounds since the books and movies have been released.  The acceptance of BDSM as a legitimate lifestyle has increased.  This has had a negative and positive outcome which I will put into point form for everyone.

POSITIVE OUTCOME

  • As the pool of Dominants and submissive’s grows, you are more likely to find a match for you in a smaller geographic area.
  • There a TON of new people to the lifestyle and this has spawned tons of new informational and educational material over social media and the internet.  Even if you are experienced, there is a ton of new information available to you at your finger tips that you may not have known was available.  I have talked to many experienced Dominant’s and submissive’s who are constantly learning because this information is now available to them.
  • It is now easier for you to come out and tell your friends and family since you have a starting reference point to direct them too.
  • They broke ground with these books and movies.  I am hoping that this inspires other talented people from INSIDE our community to step up and take an interest in producing something that is a more accurate portrayal of what our lifestyle is about.

NEGATIVE OUTCOME

  • The ratio of Dominants to submissive’s has been skewed.  The majority of the readers were female and the ratio of male submissive to female submissive is so skewed to females that it is now a Dominants world.
  • The ratio of experienced BDSM Lifestyle people to Newbies has been skewed.  This means that experienced submissive’s and Dominants that are looking for experienced counter parts are having a harder time sifting through the masses to find someone.
  • Yes, the movies were not a good portrayal of the lifestyle but, I have never heard a vanilla person make reference to the negatives.  Most vanilla people think BDSM is about hitting each other anyway so they already have the wrong idea.  It has always been about educating the vanilla crowd which hasn’t changed from before the movies.

As I said, not everyone is going to agree with these statements but I hope it does open the eyes of some people that always bitch about the negatives without even realizing that there is a flip side to it.

5 Comments

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  1. Hello there.

    I think there’s this kind of debate any time a counter-culture or sub-culture tends to find its way into the mainstream. The commercially packaged version caters to the lowest common denominator and the old school “purist” crowd gets disenfranchised and edged out of their own scene. I’ve seen it happen a number of times in my lifetime, with the most common parallel being the guitar hero phenomenon that caused the number of guitarists to increase by geometric proportions. I remember a musician friend getting irritated that all of his favorite haunts for gear deals were getting raided by the new masses and complaining about being able to buy guitar strings at Target. I remember thinking, “wow, you mean I can get guitar strings at Target down the street rather than having to drive 10 miles and hit a specialty store during their inconvenient for me business hours?”

    There are positives and negatives.

    I feel the same way about FSOG. I tried watching the first movie but couldn’t handle it beyond the first 10 minutes. That’s a different discussion though and people have filled me in on what I missed (or didn’t miss) out on.

    The most difficult aspect for me is that I am someone that was raised when the old guard definitions and terms were still in play and there are certain aspects of the lifestyle that were always treated with a tremendous amount of respect and gravity that in many ways have felt cheapened by the new crowd. I recognize that thorough and unbiased resources just don’t exist anymore, so I can’t really get too upset about it. People learn from what is available. As they say in programming, garbage in, garbage out. I try not to come off too much like a stick shaking angry SOB yelling at the kids to get off my lawn. It’s our responsibility to educate them or we simply perpetuate the BS.

    I haven’t been active in my local scene in some time but I can say that the vibe and distributions have shifted a bit since FSOG. I used to do a lot of analysis on role, gender, and population in BDSM years ago, and things have changed significantly in the past 10 years.

    In the past, male subs vastly outnumbered female subs. The ratio was usually as low as 3:1 but was often as high as 10:1. A safe average was probably in the range of 4:1-5:1. Since FSOG, the ratio is probably closer to 2:1 or 3:2, with male subs still holding a slight lead.

    The number of couples who have attempted to inject D/s into existing long-term relationships has skyrocketed in the M/f realm but remained relatively stagnant in F/m.

    For this next bit it is important to distinguish between “real life dominant” (RLD) and “online dominant” (OLD). I qualify RLD as people who are trying to live this as a lifestyle, those who work through traditional BDSM channels, and those who are willing to actively participate either in online discussions or in person meetings like munches. I consider OLDs to be those who either limit their contact to online only or use an online presence as a means to gaining access to casual kinky sex, frequently pressuring people to go against the “you should know better” conventions when meeting in person.

    10 years ago I felt like RLDs were very common in M/f but the ratio of female sub to male dominant back then was sub-heavy, usually in the ballpark of 3:1 to 10:1 sub to dom. While FSOG significantly increased the number of RLDs, the OLDs blew up like a pandemic. If you go to an online community that is mostly OLDs and OLSs, you will find that they believe that dominants outnumber submissives. Even with taking the OLDs into account, the female sub population grew by an even larger number, so subs still outnumber dominants, the downside is that the percentage of quality dominants has severely declined.

    While FSOG seems to have impacted the M/f realm significantly, the F/m realm remains largely untouched. The male sub to female dominant ratio remains in the disgustingly awful realm of 200:1 to 5,000:1 depending upon your area.

    Although, an interesting byproduct I am noticing with the boom in the M/f population is that I am noticing a significant increase in people who are entering as a male dominant or female submissive and then changing roles later on when their M/f dynamic failed. The conventional thinking then gets turned upside down. “I’m a woman, I must be a sub.” “I’m a man, I must be a dom.” This acts as a gateway for people to introduce kink and/or D/s into their lifestyle but then realize that they are more drawn to or better suited for roles other than what they actually anticipated. I have come across more people who have switched roles in the past year than I had met in the previous 14 years.

    I don’t really have a point to all of this, I just wanted to echo that I agree with you that there are positives and negatives. People seem to get hung up on the ones that affect them the most. Usually it’s RLDs and RLSs that find themselves banging their head against the wall at the behaviors of the OLD/OLS crowd. It was a lot easier for a male dominant to convince a prospective female sub that they were responsible and of strong character back before the majority of subs weren’t horribly jaded by being hit on by “fuckboys” non-stop.

    That being said, as a submissive male I have faced that “guilty until proven innocent” mentality since I entered the lifestyle. That sort of general mindset tends to breed new, interesting, and creative ways for people to represent themselves. It forces them to put a lot of thought into their philosophies as well as to be brave enough to put them out there. In some ways it forces an evolution of those who are willing to put in the time and effort, and while it may be unpleasant, I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing.

    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, I absolutely appreciate your insight. My submissive and I are mainly online resource people because we haven’t been able to find like minded people in real life. I wish we had people in real life to talk to but that isn’t a reality in our area. Once you again you have provided me with some VERY interesting insight into things that I wasn’t aware were a thing such as the ratios of one group to another. I look forward to discussing many topics with you in the future. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pursuing activities mainly online. I am one of those people. Where I tend to differentiate what I would consider an OLD or OLS, it’s the people that say, use kik messenger to cyber-fantasy with someone and that is the extent of what they will probably do, times where they will stalk locals to get casual kinky sex, or things like that. It has created a new breed of predator that mostly key in on young and uninformed subs who are willing to do things like send naked pictures to someone they have known less than 20 minutes or meet up with a stranger in an unsafe location. You will also find subs who were convinced that “this is how it is done, you aren’t allowed to say no.”

        Back in the day, the only way to really meet people was through local groups and it was easy for a newcomer to vet someone by simply asking a couple of people about them. If someone had a reputation for being unsafe, deceptive, or had something like an STD they wouldn’t tell people about, newbies could be informed to protect themselves.

        Things like blogs and fet activity go a long ways in providing a “paper trail” for people. It gives you a history of behavior that can be drawn from. Most people who are trying to be something that they aren’t will be unable to keep up a facade for longer than a couple of weeks. I know that I would trust someone on fet a lot more if they had a series of journal entries and group posts that gave a favorable impression.

        The ratios and the like aren’t applicable to a lot of people because they are in a long-term relationship, but it is good information to be aware of if you end up interacting with different sorts of people. Being able to understand what people face in this life will often impact views pretty significantly.

        Take care.

        Like

      • D I agree it would be nice to talk in person with like-minded people. Remember next time you guys pass through, let us know and the 4 of us will hit a Tim’s together. 😊

        As you know I grew up in your city and get back there from time to time. Maybe one of these days we’ll stop by your store and surprise you both 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Personally I never gave the books much thought until after I ran into a website actually promoting the FSOG lifestyle as a D/s dynamic. I can’t agree with anyone advocating for the immaturity or borderline abuse that is actually written. (The movies are considerably different overall.)

    That said, anything that causes people to look beyond themselves and starts conversations is a worth while venture. I think the main issue here is for people to remember that FSOG is a work of fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

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