I’ve yet to see the predictably awful “50 Shades Freed” movie that recently hit theaters. I don’t think I’ll waste my time because it’s not necessary to this review. This is a review of the reviews, of the hysterical mouth-foaming hydrophobia this film and book franchise induces in millennial bloggers.
For background: I’m a woman whose lifeblood is BDSM relationships. In my lifetime, I’ve had very few “vanilla” encounters. I hated all of them and felt my orgasm was wasted. Like filling up on white bread before an actual meal. I’m understating it. I’m into hardcore 24/7 power exchange and anything featured in 50 Shades of Whatever pales in comparison to the edgeplay I get down with. I relish in bruises, ligature marks, and blood. I obey commands. I live it, I love it, I consent to it. I don’t consider it a fetish. Since my gender preferences are fluid, I consider BDSM my true sexual orientation; as valid and as worthy of mainstream acceptance as any other.
Being that kind of woman, I know it doesn’t matter that 50 Shades is a bland, unrealistic, caricature of real life, full time, BDSM relationships. Even though he seems to be the prime target of scathing reviews, what bothers me most about 50 Shades isn’t the character Christian Grey. Yes, he’s a piss poor fictional dominant who’s only redeemed by his wealth and beauty. I’d love to have his dungeon and his private aircraft. Anastasia is what had me bitchy, taking shots of vodka, and yelling at my TV a few months ago when I sat through the first two films. She’s an awful submissive who would’ve never been collared by any serious dominant. Being hot isn’t enough. She’s not into the lifestyle, she constantly tries to change the dynamic – in fact, she’s topping from the bottom. She’s an overwrought gold digger character. As a woman who can’t be emotionally and physically satisfied without a 24/7 dynamic, I despise Anastasia. She needs to go get herself a basic bro boyfriend and stop trying to change Christian Grey. With a more appreciative and kink-affirming submissive he wouldn’t have such a toxic relationship. Though he’s hardly redeemable himself and I won’t get started on his statutory rape story line. It paints dominants with broad strokes as emotionally damaged. Though the film Secretary is far hotter and perpetually in my spank bank, even it suffered from treating the lead male as a broken man and the submissive as a clueless girl.
In short, Hollywood doesn’t know how to portray a real BDSM relationship. And it doesn’t want to, either. Mainstream audiences can barely handle full frontal homosexuality. But who knows, maybe some legitimate lifestyle submissives or dominants truly do enjoy 50 Shades for the fantasy it is. Maybe they enjoy Hollywood renditions of the lifestyle. While I’m critical of the movies, because they don’t suit my tastes as a slavery slut, it’s not my place to shame those people. Just like you, my reader, aren’t entitled to shame me for calling myself a slavery slut. Back off, deal with it, and stop being such busy body fascists like we’re all living in a dystopian Home Owner’s Association.
The quality, accuracy, or mainstream appeal of the franchise doesn’t matter. What matters is the reviewers are primarily sex negative internet feminists who view power dynamics and romanticized gender roles as anathema. They’re prejudiced against the subject of BDSM and are, mostly, uninformed about our lifestyles. The reviews are insincere.
Insincere because 50 Shades is BDSM fantasy written by a woman for vanilla women. The reviewers were never interested in reviewing it as fantasy for bored women who will likely never, in their lives, participate in a real 24/7 total power exchange (what we call a “24/7 TPE”). And as such, however it misrepresents the lifestyle will turn out harmless. It’s softcore porn. Not an attempt at a cinematic masterpiece deserving of such hyperbole. A few women will get spanked, lightly, and decide it’s not for them. Not full time. 50 Shades will prove to be innocuous. The worst to happen so far is the price of BDSM gear has skyrocketed at sex shops.
And still, it doesn’t matter that 50 Shades is a bad movie, with B movie acting, that represents submissives/slaves as flaky, indecisive, victims of coercion. It doesn’t matter that 50 Shades of Grey is puerile fantasy written by a woman for women. If there were a big budget Hollywood film that represented my lifestyle accurately, it would nonetheless come under heavy fire by secular puritans as being “anti-feminist” and perpetuating rape culture.
Dominants would still be viewed as broken man-children who don’t enrich their submissives through strong leadership, emotional comfort, and sexual gratification. Submissives would still be viewed through the lens of coercion and internalized misogyny. Romantic ideals regarding gender roles would still be viewed as toxic and counter-revolutionary. Exaggerated fantasy versions of our lifestyles will nonetheless be viewed as guides to rape and exploitation. The revolution doesn’t believe in fantasies if they’re not, themselves, politically correct. Hence, the revolution believes in thought crime. The revolution loves consent and sexual orientation but hates sexuality itself. It thrives on politicizing the personal and even the imaginary.
Our consent, as a community, as a sexual orientation, will never matter to the people getting worked up in all the wrong ways by 50 Shades. And one day soon, I suspect, they will target our lifestyle as a whole for being counter-revolutionary. The insincere attacks of 50 Shades are only the opening volleys.
P.S. Kink shaming isn’t feminist.