Let’s Get Drunk
and Spank Each Other

Because safety isn’t sexy.

There is so much to chew on in the eighty two pages of Fifty Shades’ version of BDSM culture, but for now I’ll restrict my chomping to the front and the back of the magazine.

The Front:

First of all, the magazine copied Entertainment Weekly’s cover in uncanny detail:

Lindy West just wrote a piece for Jezebel about how she found herself oblivious to the nakedness of a woman on a magazine cover – even when all the other versions of the mag’s issue feature clothed men. We are so used to seeing images of naked women, we don’t even think about it. It’s internalized sexism. (Thank you, Patriarchy!)

So let’s take a moment to think about the nearly naked faceless woman gracing the cover of Fifty Shades of American Women Who Love the Book and Live the Life.

Why is this magazine using a sexy lady body to sell magazines to heterosexual women? If these women who “love the book” are so enamored of Christian Grey, why are they being sold the side boob of Anastasia Steele?

Let’s also take a long hard look at the various Fifty Shades magazine features on BDSM:

There is not a single reference to safe practices on the cover. Inside the magazine, the editors dedicate half a page to BDSM safety tips, and four pages to a woman who heroically “use[s her] body to fix broken men like Christian Grey.”

Safety’s not sexy. It doesn’t sell magazines.

The conspicuous absence of talk about safe, sane BDSM in the Fifty Shades magazine underscores Fifty Shades’ dangerous misrepresentation of BDSM encounters.

In SM 101: A Realistic Introduction,

Jay Wiseman includes a Negotiation Form for participants to fill out together prior to the SM sexual encounter.

This form allows sexy-time havers to identify both sexy-time interests and sexy-time boundaries. It encourages readers to talk about what gets them hot and what turns them off. It establishes the play firmly within the realm of informed, enthusiastic consent.

Nothing like this appears in the Fifty Shades series, and nothing like this appears in the Fifty Shades magazine.

Instead, we get “Christian Inspired Cocktails.” Which brings me to…

The Back:

This ad implies that it is normal to engage in BDSM encounters while drunk — but it’s not.

From SM 101 (emphasis Wiseman’s):

Don’t Do This If Anyone Involved Is Drunk or Stoned:

As I’ve said before, will say now, and will say again later, SM is the riskiest form of sex.

This form of erotic play requires coordination, empathy, attention to detail, and the ability to react quickly and correctly to unexpected developments, including emergencies.

If somebody is too intoxicated to drive, they are too intoxicated to play.

Fifty Shades has introduced the concept of BDSM to the American mainstream, and that’s a good thing. But the books and the culture that has sprung up around them perpetuate an unhealthy representation of BDSM practices. That’s not sexy. That’s dangerous.

3 thoughts on “Let’s Get Drunk
and Spank Each Other

  1. I’ve owned at least three copies of SM 101. I lend it out to the curious, it never makes it back to my library. ;-)

    I should just break down and get it as an e-book.

  2. I’m damn near getting to the point where I might actually have to read 50 Shades just so I can cite specific reasosn for blasting it, not just for how carelessly it markets BDSM ot everyday couples (please note I did not say “married” or “dating”, though a Dom/sub or Master/slave relationship can be just as intense, if not more because of the deep psychological bonds and expression)…

    I’m not into the Lifestyle…to use the lingo, I’m “vanilla as hell.” What I am is “tech support”…when I post to the BDSM community site FetLife or meet privately with a client it’s because I’m being commissioned to make either gear or costumes for play sessions. However, I’d make an ass of myself in a heartbeat if I did not familiarize myself with BDSM practices and etiquette…and 50 Shades, according to discussions, tramples on both.

    Since the release of 50 Shades there has been a tidal wave of magazine articles (Cosmopolitan being the most egregious) suddenly wanting to get in on the hiney-smacking money. Most are so simplistic as to be considered laughable…frozen pennies, really? (theyd warm long before causing frostbite…and I know that as both a medic and metalworker) Others can cause problems if done wrong…for instance, it would suck to have to destroy a silk tie because a knot got sweaty and impossible to untie. And yet others could be downright dangerous…the same silk tie, tied tightly enough to restrain, might tighten further in the throes of passion…yeah, it’d be sexy as hell to have to amputate someone’s hands because circulation got cut off for over 15 minutes (fuzzy handcuss good, homemade tournequet bad). And alcohol when you have a WEAPON in your hand capable of inflicting severe pain, permanent injury, or death (the human ass is mostly made of two large muscle groups, the gluteals, but between them is the extension of the spine called the sacrum…and just above them are the kidneys…how much control do you have when drunk?)…anyone doing that in a dungeon would be CRUCIFED, and not in the fun way.

    And then there’s the example of Christian Grey himself…tech CEO, bajillionaire, physical description bordering on equstrian proportions…a caracature of virility surpassing the ridiculous. Abused as a child, compensates by becoming an uber-successful businessman…grabs a girl with no sub experience and forces her into a FPT (Full Power Transfer) contract right out of the box. The reason I want to read the books is to see how the fictional Seattle BDSM community (the real one is hanging its head in shame or up in arms over the slander) reacts to that nonsense. In reality Christian Grey would have been ostracised from any dungeon or play party simply for trying to be a Dom with his background and abuse issues…landing a sub in a full FPT would get him lynched and her being recommended for serious therapy…other Doms wouldn’t touch her afterwards. Throw in writing described as “just plain bad” and this isn’t just a book trilogy worth pointing and laughing at, it’s bordering on criminal…people are as always responsible for their own actions, but this representation of the BDSM Lifestyle, combined with equally pitiful magazine articles, is making huge strides in undoing everything the BDSM community has been working so hard to make socially “acceptable.”

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