Friday, March 30, 2012

BDSM Popular Fiction?

Recently there's been a buzz about a book with an obvious BDSM theme to it. According to the reports, the book has been optioned for a movie. Originally I was intrigued, thrilled even, that an erotic romance had generated so much interest. That it had become a best-selling novel. Yes, I'm talking about Fifty Shades of Gray.


Then I read the book.


Now, I freely admit I have never indulged in a Dominant/submissive relationship, and, until recently, had never had a flogger or whip applied to my back, but I have tried to educate myself in the elements of the lifestyle. And, be aware this is my opinion, and my opinion only which I'm allowed to have and voice (at least in the USA). After reading this book, I am disappointed that it, and not better representations of the BDSM and erotic romance genre, has gained so much attention.


In my mind, entering into a BDSM or D/s relationship requires respect of the other person and an intent to approach the aspects of that relationship objectively. For me, that wasn't present in this book. Oh, respect was given lip service, but I didn't buy it. At least not when you consider the heroine's thoughts about the lifestyle included all the "d" words -- deviant, degrading, and debasing -- and how much she disliked it and only did it because she liked sex with the hero. She completely ignored the repeated assertions by Christian that his interest lay in seeing if she could grow to enjoy submitting to him and that she research the lifestyle before making her decision.


Anastasia's cursory research was never expanded upon. She never looked further at the lifestyle once she entered into the relationship and she definitely never looked at the difference between discipline and punishment. When she finally got what she asked for (i.e. a sample of the worst punishment she could expect from Christian), Anastasia flipped out and called him a disgusting and depraved (yeah, more of those "d" words) monster and stormed out. Heaven forbid she acknowledge she asked for the sample, or ask any questions about punishment and discipline.


To compound matters, Anastasia's mindset seemed to be that she needed to do this -- enter into the D/s relationship -- in order to "fix" Christian. To heal him so he wouldn't be drawn to such deviant and dehumanizing behaviors. With that thought process, it was no wonder the kid took herself off and refused to play anymore. She acknowledged the sex was hot and that she enjoyed the pain and how it heightened her arousal, but she'd be damned before she'd admit the lifestyle appeals to her "inner Goddess."


Now, the girl was a sweet, wide-eyed, little twenty-four year old virgin when she met Christian and he was her first lover, but the man encouraged her to do research; to explore the world he was interested in introducing her to. Naivete is one thing, stupidity and ignorance another, and, in my opinion (yes, I'm using this phrase a lot...but I want to make sure it's clear that this is how I think), Anastasia was stupid and ignorant.


I prefer books that respect the lifestyle by showing the participants as rational adults who investigate what they're getting into and don't pretend to respect their partner when in actuality they don't respect their choices and lifestyle. Who are so narrow-minded that anything that even hints at not being "normal" is to be shunned or ridiculed or in need of fixing.


Like I said earlier, I wish books that depicted the lifestyle more truthfully would receive the attention and respect due them. If Fifty Shades of Gray is an example of what makes popular fiction popular -- I don't want it. I'll stick with the good books!

11 comments:

  1. I am right there with you!

    Hugs,
    Donna

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    1. Thanks, Donna.

      Good to have the support.

      Qwillia

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  2. Replies
    1. It took me three days to finish the darned thing...and I hated every minute of it.

      Qwillia

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  3. I have better books I'd like to spend my time reading. Kind of like Elaine's decision if a man was "sponge worthy". I have to decide if the book is read worthy. It didn't past go.

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    1. I wish I'd read the sample, but I got it read and was actually able to return it for a refund. Totally not reading the other two books...

      Qwillia

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  4. Basically, if I could plagiarise your blog post, that would be my opinion!

    Who knew another author could write as stupid and unlikeable a heroine as Stephenie Meyer did?! But then, I guess that’s who Anastasia was based on.

    **It’s Fifty Shades of “GrEy”. The author is British!**

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  5. I was excited when I first heard about it, too. But then read some reviews, and decided it wasn't something I was interested in reading.

    While I'm happy for the author, that her books have taken off... I have to agree about wishing a better example of BDSM had been noticed by the masses.

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    1. I fluctuate between being angry and jealous and simply frustrated...the fact that she wrote a book is wonderful, I just wish she'd done a lot more work on it.

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    2. It was started out as fanfiction. I don't believe she had such high aspirations. She has been fortunate and great for her. Then I think about the reality show - Jersey Shores. I find it interesting some of those people think they are actors...

      The lessons I learned from this - If you are going to do something, do it well because you never know who might be watching. Sometimes the lowest common denominator is easier to get into the limelight.

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