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50 Shades of Grey: Not Safe, Sane, or Consensual

By Kristy Garry, CCASA Guest Blogger


With the Fifty Shades of Grey series becoming so popular I have heard quite a lot of talk about BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism).  I actually just started a job at a bookstore and it is one of the most talked about books.  I admit, I read all three books and I did enjoy the story but I hate that this novel became so popular. The reason I hate the popularity of this book is because it is giving many people the misconception that BDSM is abuse.  I am of the opinion that what happens in the bedroom between two consenting adults shouldn’t be judged.  We all have our likes and dislikes and that is perfectly fine. We all are different and we all have our own philosophies when it comes to relationships.  Personally, I love the philosophy in the BDSM community because I feel that everything should always be Safe, Sane, and Consensual (This is the BDSM community’s mantra). That mantra is also something that Fifty Shades of Grey seems to forget.


You see, Fifty shades of Grey definitely lacks the safety concerns (using a tie = lack of blood flow), sanity (stalking = not very sane), and consent that should always be present in a BDSM scene.   Now, I will admit, I have not seen the movie but I have read all three of the books and while I read these books I definitely had to stop psychoanalyzing them.  The first thing to note is that this book started out as Twilight fan fiction.  This means that the book glorifies an emotionally abusive relationship, just like Twilight.  Now I know that there are quite of few people that disagree with me but the facts don’t lie.  When you look at Twilight compared to the Domestic Violence check list it’s pretty hard to see the relationship as healthy.  The same thing goes with Fifty Shades of Grey.  Christian stalks Ana, he becomes increasingly jealous, manipulates her, and doesn’t respect her boundaries. If you’re looking for 50 abusive moments in Fifty Shades of Grey check out this blog post.


One of my main concerns with the trilogy is how consent is definitely lacking.  There is a scene in the first book that can (rightly) be argued that Christian rapes Ana.  When reading this particular scene I was in shock because this is not what BDSM is about.  If this were to happen in a real BDSM relationship the Dominant (Christian) would have stopped, they would have communicated about what happened and what made the submissive (Anastasia) uncomfortable.  The biggest thing in a BDSM relationship is trust and communication and this is highly lacking in Fifty Shades of Grey. 


Ultimately, Fifty Shades of Grey is filled with so many red flags that it is pretty easy to see that the relationship is unhealthy.  BDSM relationships are between two consenting adults that respect each other’s  safety and boundaries.  A good BDSM relationship will consist of communication and trust which is something that is lacking from E.L. James’ novels.   If you’re curious to learn more about BDSM and all of the things that Fifty Shades of Grey does not tell you, check out this article.

Image courtesy of http://disruptingdinnerparties.com/2013/03/15/got-consent-2-safewording-abuse/

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