Big girls carry water, small girls play with dolls

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Fifty Shades of Grey

I’m gonna go see it. Have not read the books. Been reading why everything about it is awful and wrong and harmful to women and that it is not an accurate portrayal of this or that, most of the people who are going to see it don’t mind.

A lot of outrage or concern includes saying bdsm isn’t being portrayed right. Well, the roots of bdsm go back to libertinism and the modern cohesive structuring of it into an actual community happened late sixties to early seventies and everything that it’s become since is sort of elaborate refining so it seems like a healthy relationship/lifestyle archetype to undertake.

Before today and this decade it was hugely influenced by counterculture, a take-off from normal heterosexual monogamous vanilla sex practices in a decade where social upheaval, drugs, war, music, and literature flourished like the world was going to end and everyone wanted to feel something they might not be able to again because the world was on the edge of blowing itself up.

Before that we see the roots of sadism and masochism before they are named, again we see the social pressure cooker that influenced a need for these works or fostered the state of mind they were written in, The French Revolution in de Sade’s case and the political upheaval of unification of the German states in Sacher-Masoch’s.

Having not read 50 shades myself but having read the commentary about it and on it and the varying laurels and criticisms it’s gotten I think bdsm as a lifestyle with its rules and promotion of safety and the community of people who practice it are in a very different bubble than those of us who are going to see 50 Shades.

There’s the lifestyle of bdsm and then there is the sexual interest in power-domination fantasy, realistic or not, acted out or imagined. Most people have the sexual interest part somewhere in their formative sexual identity, influenced by normal healthy childhood and adolescent pre-sexual experiences. The common female sexual fantasy of having a nonconsensual encounter with a man or the roleplaying scenario of being a sex worker and one’s significant other being a client, these are common sexual tropes and they exist in the sphere as lifestyle bdsm practices, I feel as if one should have a trademark stamp next to it.

This sexual interest in bdsm most people have is documented well in books such as “Sex and Human Loving” By Masters, Johnson, and Kolodny and there it is distinguished not as a lifestyle but as a sexual fantasy. Other common contents of sexual fantasy are: Experimentation, Conquest, Switching Partners, Group Sex, Watching, Rape, and Idyllic Encounters.

50 Shades plays with themes of experimentation, conquest, watching, rape, idyllic encounters and sadomasochism.

The point is that there are two types of bdsm, lifestyle and fantasy. I don’t think 50 shades set out to be an accurate portrayal of bdsm, it exists in the same vein as novellas like Justine, Venus in Furs, and movies like Secretary. It plays on a theme, on a fantasy.

The core demographic seeing the movie is women probably 25-65. By 25, most young women have some college education, some sort of start to financial independence if not security, and a well-established sexual identity. To think that one movie whose marketing campaign is a Valentine’s day release, whose highly stylistic sexiness does not even warrant NC-17, and whose theme is the fantasy of a middle-aged female writer who has no bdsm lifestyle eperience, is going to influence hoards of nubile young sexual inexperienced girls to put on dog collars and let our overpowering male sexual aggressors flog us while brooding like batman and turning us all into quiet girl-pets who want dick instead of human rights is just goofy.


Filed under 50 shades of grey me writing

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Interview Magazine: I thought chest hair was back? What happened?

"Is it back? Is it? Well I’m fucked. I haven’t got a thing. I could paint them in. Transplants." 

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