Disclaimer – I have not seen the film (and have no intention of changing that status), but I have read the first book of the trilogy. As did my then-fifteen year old son (nothing to do with me, he sneaked his nan’s copy) who gave up a few chapters in and said it was ‘boring’. If a teenage boy thinks your sexy novel is tedious, then you maybe need to reconsider your definition of ‘sexy’.
These things will happen and there is nothing you can do to stop them.
Gaggles of overexcited ladies making the cinema a no-go zone – seriously, do you want to stand in the popcorn queue next to a giggling, slightly tipsy woman brandishing a whip and tottering on six inch heels that she’s not used to but which apparently make her feel ‘empowered’? Thought not. Although spare a thought for her husband, who’s probably sitting at home with the kids feeling faintly nervous.
The inevitable uproar from people who think that all kink is awful based on the film – because ‘that sort of thing’ is all PERVERTED FILTH, amiright? ‘Normal’ people would never do anything like that, oh no – if this plague of lust is not wiped out right now then the suburbs will be awash with people painting their spare rooms red and buying out B&Q’s stock of nylon rope and cable ties. WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?
The inevitable uproar from people who think that all kink is brilliant based on the film – ‘But it’s FANTASY’, they will cry! ‘It’s not abusive at all…he’s a billionaire, see, and he buys her a MacBook before he spanks her, so even if she doesn’t actually want to be spanked SHE IS EMPOWERED!’
No, I don’t know how that one works, either. If you tell someone that you don’t want to be spanked and they still insist on spanking you, then get the hell out of Dodge, sister. Healthy BDSM (and of course there is absolutely such a thing) should, above all things, be consensual. If you’ve never done it before but fancy dipping your toe in the kinky waters, then read up on it first – this article is a good place to start.
Calls to the fire brigade from people needing to be unhooked from the bedstead because they followed the story’s suggestions to the letter and discovered just why no one in their right mind actually uses cable ties. Cable ties are a really stupid idea. Pull one of those fuckers too tight and you’ve got a blue hand and a trip to A&E, rather than an evening of elegantly sexy restraint. Buy some proper cuffs and be done with, for heaven’s sake.
BDSM-themed stuffed toys. Bleuuurggrhhhhhh. Teddy bears carrying bondage gear are not, never have been and never will be sexy. If you find this thing sexy than you have bigger problems than a basic lack of taste.
There are better, more real, and way sexier movies out there. Try watching Secretary – James Spader’s character would eat Christian Grey for breakfast and is one of the hottest things I’ve ever seen in a mainstream film. And he doesn’t use cable ties.
I’m not sure Secretary is really the image those of us who support safe BDSM want to promote either. But it seems to be a go to for everyone in contrast to 50 Shades. People are throwing a fit about Christian Grey’s ‘abuse’, but James Spader’s character isn’t fault free. His ‘secretary’ has no idea of any BDSM arrangement when he first hits her. She is dealing with a lot of emotional baggage and he takes advantage of that. Consent, at least at the beginning, is questionable.
But on everything else, you are right. This film is going to bring out those shouting ‘abuse’ or ‘moral ineptitude’ in all things BDSM. Movie theaters will be packed this weekend with a mass of middle-aged women wanting to see the steamy scenes they read three years ago. And news and social media outlets will be flooded with pictures of a half-naked Jamie Dornan talking about how his ‘togger’ doesn’t make an appearance.
But then it’s over. This hype will dissipate. After this weekend, or maybe even next week, it will all be gone. The movie will quickly come out on DVD, it won’t receive any Oscar hype, and people will worry about the next big sporting event or election result. Those that care about real BDSM will go back to their regular lives, and those that shout abuse will move on to next horrific thing that our children must be protected from.
Yes, it sucks. But it will go away. Part of me is entertained at how much exposure BDSM is getting. The calls of abuse are focused on the book. I haven’t seen anyone link BDSM to abuse in their rantings. I’m not sure we’re taking a PR hit here. And all those who are screaming from the rafters about how they never have and never will read the books are all already in the BDSM lifestyle (where you can find much better written D/s erotica).
Even if there are two more movies, they won’t get the advertising that this one did. And BDSM’s day is the sun (or on the spit, depending how you look at it) will be over.
Thanks for such an interesting and in-depth reply. What I should have made clear in the article is that I do not personally identify as being involved in the BDSM lifestyle. Although I write about sex regularly (both real and fiction) and am supportive of all legal, consensual sexual tastes, my views are that of a friendly supporter rather than an active participant. I guess Secretary is then, to me, a film that explores BDSM from a reasonably mainstream perspective. That said, I can totally see what you’re saying re consent. Where big budget movies are concerned, I guess that ethics will always be a grey area.
“Although spare a thought for her husband, who’s probably sitting at home with the kids feeling faintly nervous.” That made me snort!
Martha – hopefully the wife will have overindulged in the Lambrini and fall asleep snoring 😉