i’ve had a common theme come up the past few days…the notion that people who do BDSM are fucked up. And i absolutely HATE that notion!
It came up when we were with Kilt and Rhodie. Rhodie kept apologizing when describing their kink, worried she might be offending us, and to assure her, Maximus said, “Don’t worry, you’re just as fucked up as we are!” Now i love Maximus and i know what His intent was, to make Rhodie realize that their kink was not offensive to us and that we are completely kinky too, but His words suggested that there were something wrong with all of us. i know He doesn’t believe that, but the words struck me negatively. i didn’t want to embarrass Him and call Him out in front of them, so i simply affirmed that “we are extremely kinky and there probably isn’t anything that will offend us or change our feelings about you. We’re excited to learn about your kink!” Later, after Rhodie and Kilt left, i brought this up with Maximus. He thanked me for “calling me out on this.” He hadn’t realized the negative connotation His words portrayed and He really did mean to say we were kinky.
Last night, i watched The Secretary for the first time. i had seen this movie on a list of must-see BDSM movies and then Rhodie mentioned it when we were together, so i took it as a sign. The first scene is so hot, Lee, the secretary, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, glides through the office during her secretarial duties while her wrists are bound to each end of a spreader bar connected to the back of her collar. But then it flashes back to her release from a mental hospital where she has been treated for cutting and self-mutilation, presenting her as mentally unstable, damaged, insecure, and uneducated. She meets Mr. Grey, a lawyer played by James Spader (Oh yes, the character is named Mr. Grey), who hires her to be his secretary because she is an inexperienced, insecure, young woman. The relationship is Dominant/submissive from the start.
The media, including movies like The Secretary and books such as Fifty Shades of Grey and Maya Banks’ Breathless Trilogy, generally presents one or both characters in a BDSM or kinky sex relationship as damaged goods, fucked up, and this irritates the hell out of me! BDSM is not a mental illness, even the American Psychiatric Association removed kinky sex, including fetishism and BDSM, from their lists of mental disorders, as long as it is consensual and doesn’t cause harm to themselves or others. Movies and novels seem to present that BDSM is expected when one person is screwed up mentally or has been abused in their past, as if to say they have a proclivity toward deviant, aka kinky, behavior. i would love to see a storyline that includes educated, professional, balanced people involved in kinky/BDSM relationships–something that i think is much more the reality than fiction. Obviously, society is showing an interest in reading about, watching movies about kink, isn’t it time there is some reality to it?
We are NOT fucked up. We are kinky, in a consensual relationship involving power exchange, Domination/submission, pleasure and pain. We aren’t vanilla, but we are normal, sexual, sensual beings. Let’s not allow ourselves to be labeled as fucked up, especially by ourselves!
50 Shades of Grey is the runaway bestseller and cultural phenomenon of the last few years. I’ve never read it, and heard that it doesn’t really do justice to BDSM, but it shows that it’s mainstream.
I think people are jealous. Goodness I know I read dozens of posts online from women wishing their husbands were a bit more dominant.
My experience with BDSM in media is limited to watching The Secretary, and the porn The Submission of Emma Marx, and I think to me the latter shows BDSM far better than the former, and I haven’t yet read 50 Shades simply due to the reaction of many in the lifestyle to it. My blog is working to show that BDSM is, like you said, not about being fucked up, but more about enjoying different things than what those in society can accept in the bedroom. Thanks for a great post.