Women’s Empowerment and Wellness Coach
Fifty Shades of Grey. A Review from the Dungeon.
After ignoring the chatter about this ‘mommy porn twilight fanfic’ for the last several months, finally, someone pointed out that it was also BDSM themed, and before I could finish reading her 140 character tweet, I had downloaded it to my iPad.
For, you know, research on my fellow mommy bloggers reading habits. You know?
It is indeed… hot! I devoured the first couple chapters. Talk of a slave contract and playing in a red room of pain kept me on the edge of my seat wiggling in joy despite the horrible writing, editing and, you know, writing.
SPOILER ALERT: I talk about all kinds of plot points in this review. They come from my point of view as someone who has played in the dungeon for twenty years. Someone who has signed slave contracts. And someone who has suffered abuse.
Ana started to bug me with her complete naïvety. It’s one thing to be sheltered, but seriously, a college senior that has to borrow her roommates computer? Who has only kissed two boys and who has never, ever masturbated or explored her own sexuality? Or even thought about it? One who lives in the Pacific Northwest, yet doesn’t drink coffee? Wha??
Grey is somehow a self made bazzilionaire even though he is only in his mid twenties and never really seems to work. (As a start up widow, I especially take issue with this.) He jealous, controlling, possessive and, for lack of a better word, smarmy. He drinks coffee, but when in Portland heads for the nearest available coffee shop instead of Stumptown. Whaa?
So, with crappy writing, and rather lackluster characters, the only thing that kept me reading was the slave contract, and the upcoming BDSM play.
But halfway through the second book, that’s still not coming into play. There is plenty of hot sex, even a tiny bit of bondage. The first play session in the Red Room is a fun diversion, but certainly nothing I would consider more then mildly kinky. The second time, Grey pushed Ana well passed her limits, didn’t check in with her, then chastised her for not using her safe word saying “I can never trust you.”
This is where I stopped enjoying the book.
In real life, subs have safe-words and experienced Dommes can tell when a sub is getting close to using it. We learn to read body language; movement and breathing and, if you are topping a boy, watching the Peter Meter. A raging hard on generally means he’s not getting close to safe-wording. But I digress. Even with woman, there are LOTS of signs that you are getting close to pushing or breaking limits. If I ever finished playing with someone and they backed away from me in terror, I would be totally ashamed of myself.
I would know that they would never be able to trust me!
BDSM is a place built on trust and to watch Grey repeatedly manipulate Ana in real life, in a non-consensual way bothers me. I feel like women have so many (SOO many) bad examples of how to be stomped all over and lower their self esteem, that they don’t need one more.
Repeatedly in this book Grey gets terribly jealous of tiny non-starters and grabs her, kisses her deeply and makes hot panty twisting love to her while telling her that she is HIS, and only HIS.
For me, in the dungeon, this is totally hot. Generally I’m playing the possessive strap-on wielding Top and my subject is a cross dressed man. We have talked about limits and safe-words and health issues and created a safe, trusting place to explore.
To read about this happening in a real life setting, I just felt like Grey was an abuser and it was the beginning of a spiral of abuse that would end with Ana’s self esteem in the crapper telling her mom that she asked for it. That if she could have just followed his rules just a little bit better, that he wouldn’t have had to hit her. Grey does come from an abusive home. (Doesn’t everyone who is interested in BDSM?)
Which brings up, the question of where did he learn about BDSM? From an older woman, in her late 30’s early 40’s who was still, “surprisingly attractive.”(Um. OK. I’m 43. Ouch. Let me pull up my support hose and straighten the tennis balls on my walker.)
Wait. Be right back. My metamucil just kicked in.
Shuffle Shuffle Shuffle…
OK. Now what was I talking about? Oh yes! That’s right! My grandkids… would you like a cookie while I show you their photos? I just picked them up at Walgreens! I got double prints in case you want one!
OK. Whatever. I’m not her intended audience. I know this was Twilight fanfic, but … ouch! Remind me, should I ever write a book, let’s leave it at “Attractive older woman.” No numbers. No surprise at the fact that she could still be desirable after she’s left her 20’s behind.
But wow. I digress on a lil caffeinated rant there. Sorry. (pours more)
Grey learns to be a Top as a teenager from a woman who is a friend of his mothers. Reverse that for a minute. What if Ana learned about BDSM from a friend of her fathers when she was 15? Would this book still be topping (heheh) the New York e-Bestsellers list? Would it still be referred to as Mommy porn? Or would many of those same mommy’s be actively and vocally boycotting it?
While I’m very glad to hear that a book that centers around BDSM is such a bit hit, I’m a little appalled that it promotes jealous and controlling men as sexy.
Ladies, we’ve come too far for this! We aren’t property. It’s not OK for your new boyfriend to get pissy when you talk to a boy at a bar who has been your friend for several years. Even if said friend drunkenly tries to kiss you. And seriously. If he drags you aside caveman style because you casually mention possible plans that you haven’t discussed with him, toss that controlling fucker to the curb.
Unless we are in the bedroom and it’s consensual. Sign a slave contract. Submit to your partner. Do the dirtiest leg spread fuck show for him. Worship his feet. Let him smack you around. Beg him to smack you around. To call you a slut and a whore and choke you a bit. But fer fucks sake. When you are done, let him watch the kids and clean the kitchen (unless that’s your job in the slave contract) and head out to coffee with your friends. Male or not.
I know this is not a popular view. Everyone loves them some Fifty Shades. I feel like an over protective mother. Grandmother? But I just wanted to get it out there. I hope you still like me.
And yes, I will continue to read them and report back when I finish. Perhaps Ms E. L. James has a plan that I’m just not privy to yet.