10 Reasons Why Fifty Shades of Grey should never Tie any Self-Respecting Woman Down.

Via Waylon Lewis
on May 23, 2012
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Why are so many women turned on by dominance?

Excerpt, Fifty Shades of Grey:

“Christian is standing over me grasping a plaited, leather riding crop.

He’s wearing old, faded, ripped Levis and that’s all. He flicks the crop slowly into his palm as he gazes down at me. He’s smiling, triumphant. I cannot move. I am BLEEP and BLEEP, BLEEP on a large four-poster bed.

Reaching forward, he trails the tip of the crop from my forehead down the length of my nose, so I can smell leather, and over my BLEEP, BLEEP lips. He pushes the BLEEP, BLEEP BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEP etc…”

Every month, elephant inherits a few angry comments from readers who hate the fact that we write about sex (a lot). We get nasty comments vilifying us for sins like “objectification.”

…And then, today, and yesterday, and last week, and the week before…I hear from my interns, Kate our editor, Kate our editor again, and—you know—millions of women that they’re all reading, loving, and—you know—getting off on some dehumanizing trashy bdsm “porn for mommies” novel called…

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” the erotic novel by E L James, features cliche characters, highly implausible plot turns and dialogue that alternately induces cringes and giggles. (Sample line: “ ‘Look at me,’ he breathes, and I stare into his smoldering gaze . . . cold, hard and sexy as hell, seven shades of sin in one enticing look.”)

…Another benefit of a book such as “Fifty Shades” is that it just may get your mind off work pressures, the laundry or having to make the kids’ lunches — and back into the bedroom.

Speaking of gagging…

So save yourself 10 hours: go have some mutually-respectful awesome sex with someone you love.

Or if you want to “read” some porn, god bless, go get yourself some Anais Nin. She’s amazing.

{drum roll}

But now it’s time for my list: 10 Reasons why Empowered Women should find something more Empowering to do.

Deflowering a Poorly-Written Opiate for the Masses: 10 Reasons Why Fifty Shades of Grey should never Tie any Self-Respecting Woman Down.

This list is too easy.

1. You’re a hypocrite: Shades of Grey is (I hear) a glorified airport romance novel that is so a cliché-ridden and poorly written, it gives Twihards fifty shades of self-respect.

2. By romance, I mean abusive sado-masochistic 100-years-of-feminism-f*cking fantasy.

3. Not having read the book, I’m out of ideas.


PS: to all you angry masochists ready to comment and say “don’t tell me what to do, young man,” don’t worry—unlike, say, Christian the Somehow-Sexy Abusive Billionaire, I’d never think of bossing a woman around. This is my kind of play.



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


106 Responses to “10 Reasons Why Fifty Shades of Grey should never Tie any Self-Respecting Woman Down.”

  1. ravenguerrero says:

    Maybe women can decide things like this on their own. Maybe what women shouldn't be taking is a lecture on what they should or shouldn't enjoy, especially from a man. Just saying.

  2. elephantjournal says:

    Thanks for your sexism, sir. Good to know I can't have an opinion on dominance of women being un–sexy, because I'm a man.

    I may be a man, and I don't apologize for that. I'm also a feminist. I was raised by an empowered, amazing single mother. And this book makes Twilight look respectful toward women.

    As one cartoon put it about Harry Potter vs. Twilight:

    One teaches you to find your inner strength, overcome obstacles, love yourself…

    …the other teaches you to make sure you're protected by strong men. One of my (female) interns was repeating this cartoon over lunch today.

  3. GreenThumb says:

    I second the Anais Ninn recommendation. She's the real deal.

  4. ravenguerrero says:

    I'm glad you find it empowering to be telling what empowered women should and shouldn't be doing. And how easy it is for you to throw around accusatory "sexism" labels. I hope you did that "mindfully". And why so defensive? Nobody asked you to apologize for being a man.
    How about another list on what empowered women should do?

  5. mojorising says:

    3rd the recommendation..hands tied down lol !!!!

  6. I find it hilarious that the first comments were from a man who doesn't want you to tell women how to be empowered…so is it not okay for a man to stand up and encourage women to love themselves and not romanticize dominance? I missed that memo.
    I read it mainly out of curiosity and to write it up, but…don't think I enjoyed it enough to bother with the other two.

    Nothing wrong with some silly junk food reading from time to time, but if you want decent literary erotica, Anais Nin is definitely the way to go….or better yet, write your own.

  7. ravenguerrero says:

    Just to clarify: I think it's ok for a man to be a straight ally and encourage women to "stand up and love themselves". What I don't think is ok is for a man (self-declared feminist or otherwise) to be declaring what empowered women should or shouldn't enjoy in their private lives. What is the message of this post, anyway? If you're a woman who enjoyed "Fifty shades" then it means you're not "empowered", and therefore your "feminism" is somehow inferior. I haven't read "Fifrt shades", and I don't know anybody who does. But I know plenty of feminist women who enjoy the Twilight stuff, and I'm not gonna stand there and lecture them on how the movie they're watching is demeaning them. That's THEIR call, not mine.
    And PS to Mr Lewis: Maybe the women who reply "don't tell me what to do, young man." aren't ALL angry masochists. That's a lot of blanket judgement going around for a blog dedicated to mindfulness.
    I wish us all humility. I'm not here to attack any of you. But if there is anything I've learned from the whole John Friend fiasco, it is that sometimes, the most loving thing to do is to call people out on their sh*t.

  8. elephantjournal says:

    As for the whole "finally, women can talk about sex" line I'm hearing in the media…

    That's exactly what the mainstream media said about Sex and the City in the 2000s…"finally, women can openly talk about sex." And this is 50 years after Free Love and the sexual revolution, 90 years after Anais Nin.

  9. elephantjournal says:

    In terms of "nothing wrong with silly junk food reading"…you and I were debating privately on skype, just now, and I replied to that point:

    "I disagree…we're influenced by what we consume, whether food or entertainment. BDSM is not something I would feel good about my sister, brother, father, mother, daughter, son or lover (let alone myself) taking part in.

    But…leave your comment, I'll leave mine, it's a conversation worth having, that's what we do! And…you know more about it, I haven't read it, so I could be wayyyyyy off."

  10. elephantjournal says:

    I'm turned on, personally, by porn that depicts two people being genuine and enjoying some hot, fun, intimate, real sex. I've blogged up a few examples of "respectful" sex such as this on elephant. But yes, I don't want to be uptight here…my point isn't that we shouldn't have a good time, get all hot and bothered…my point is just that I don't find domination sexy.

  11. elephantjournal says:

    Amen, brother, I appreciate the respectful debate.

  12. I agree with that part—we are influenced by what we consume.

    And I don't find the idea of being dominated—physically or mentally—appealing. But I do think the fact that it has more women talking openly with each other or their lovers about sex is a good thing.

  13. ravenguerrero says:

    "You told me I shouldn't comment because I'm a man."
    Uh, I didn't. Where are you getting this from? Can you point it out? I think your post is condescending and judgemental in a patriarchal way, but that doesn't mean I think you "shouldn't comment". Having public opinions, like you have, means you also get public criticism.
    And as far as I'm concerned, sexism and patriarchy is about men making lists for women on what they should be ashamed of.
    Check yourself, brother.
    (And please, just as an aside, I wasn't questioning the way your mother raised you. I'm sure you're a great guy and your mother is a great woman, but "I'm not sexist my mother is empowered" is like "I'm not racist I have black friends".)

  14. ravenguerrero says:

    If anything, it might have been a problem in articulation. I apologize for the snarkiness. A lot of your posts are powerful, I just had to protest on this one.

    That being said, itching to reply to this post made me subscribe, something I've been planning on for a long time but procrastinated on. I guess life's just silly that way.

  15. I love this. That is all.

  16. Candice Garrett says:

    I don't have any interest in reading this book or the twilight series either. (Don't mention that to your gay hairdresser twi-hard when getting a color done. You will regret it, and your hair color.) I have read a few trashy romances here and there. They're like watching sitcoms, good for a time killer, but no real content. Having not read the book, I don't know to what level of bondage, etc this one goes to and I am not someone who is into pain. That being said, I think there is room for all kinds of play in the bedroom, especially between people who have been together a long time and who deeply love and respect each other. And besides, who doesn't like a little spanking now and again?

  17. Candice Garrett says:

    And you know how I feel about porn, it is a one way street, watching a couple do something when you could be having that interaction yourself. It's not bad, necessarily, just a bit one dimensional. I think there have been multiple articles published here, wondering about how it is to have sex with the same one person for years and years. You have to keep it spicy, fun, interesting and the wonderful thing is that comes with really getting to know someone and being comfortable with them. So what people do in the bedroom isn't really my business. I like what Duff said, above. People are complex. And maybe the bored housewife, who handles everything and is in charge of everything, wants a little change in perspective in the bedroom. Who knows?

  18. Sistersadist says:

    BDSM goes both ways. I haven’t read the book – mostly because I have no desire to engage in intellectual fluff-porn, but I know a few women who have, and there is nothing wrong with exploring sexual taboos. If anything, I think it gives one the ability and courage to explore all facets of their sexuality – be it dominance, submissiveness, or plain old missionary vanilla sex.

    You’d be surprised how many women and men find empowerment through BDSM lifestyles, many as submissives. By telling people that exploring their sexual fantasies in a trusting relationship is not acceptable is placing an unwarranted taboo on sexual intimacy.

    That being said – don’t let someone tie you up and flog you unless you trust them. And don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

  19. Agreed! Well said.

  20. […] You can keep Anastasia and Christian. […]

  21. Given my personal proclivities, I must chime in here. A wise man (although it's unclear which wise man) once said, "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. This principle is, contempt prior to examination." Anyone who has not experienced BDSM personally is not particularly qualified to comment on its potential effects. A wise woman once told me that being a feminist means I get to choose how I live my life and as far as I'm concerned, that includes who and how I want to f*ck. As long as it involves consenting adults who have mutually agreed upon limits, then it's all fair game in my opinion. One might be surprised to discover how many self-respecting, feminist women (and men, for that matter) enjoy being bound, dominated, and beaten. For the record, I am a well educated, successful, happy, well-rounded, self-confident and happy woman who also thoroughly enjoys the BDSM lifestyle. That said, it's important to be discerning and proceed with caution in that lifestyle as in all others. There are abusive assholes, both male and female, everywhere.
    Thanks for the heads-up that the book is a thinly veiled cheesy romance novel that is riding the coattails of the current mainstream kinky trend, I'll avoid it like the plague. If you want to read something more gritty, check out The Story of O.

  22. p.s. it it interesting to me when people claiming to be enlightened make assumptions about others' behaviors. I forgot to say that Love and Dominance/submission are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Similarly, love does not necessarily preclude having hot sex with someone. Here's a reading suggestion: The Loving Dominant

  23. Megan says:

    “I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically; but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated. I don’t mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding.”

    – Anais Nin

  24. Well played, dear!

  25. vish says:

    The quote is about Henry Miller, the weak man with whom she was having an affair with and later abandoned for other affairs. But Nin did not "Defiantly..abandon him as a lover" as this quote begins, for some time. Her next affair was with an analyst, a relationship I suspect would be considered unethical in modern practice. Were she around today (as I'm sure she is in hundreds different bodies) Nin would be considered a narcissistic mess, and in some instances on several pills to help her deal with the sexual abuse of her father. She is fun in fantasy, because that is where she lived, and where she wrote her gorgeous prose from. here is the link to google books for context- http://bit.ly/Juu4u3

    It's beautiful, and "revving" too. But no one is going to prescribe themselves living the fantasy without being called a danger to themselves. I don't think that Nin, even in her twisted way, was trying to say her passivity would be her will over his, or that it would be a mutual safe-worded equality.
    And further, I doubt John Friend's transgressions would be given a pass if he had just said, "I want to be the leader. I refuse to let women be the leader. I want them to live darkly and richly in their femaleness. I want a woman lying under me, always under me. My will, my pleasure, my desire, my life, my work, my sexuality the touchstone, my command her pivot. I don’t mind her working, holding her ground intellectually, artistically; but as a man, oh, God, as a man I want to dominate. I don’t mind telling her to stand on her own feet, not to cling, be all that she is capable of doing, but I am going to pursue, fuck, possess her by my will, a male in his time, my bidding.”

  26. cosmicmom50 says:

    I have no interest in reading Fifty Shades of Grey because I live the S&M life. By day I'm a powerful, in-charge, feminist boss, but when I'm off…I am sub to my Dom. Not a doormat, a submissive. And. I. Love. It.

    And speaking of Anais Nin: “I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically; but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated. I don’t mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding.”


  27. gothchiq says:

    Sadly, that's mild compared to what I hear many men say, even those who do not claim to be dominant.

    I know a lot of people are into it, but to me, all this pretend slavery and ordering people about and degrading your submissive, which is so popular nowadays, is terribly hamfisted. If your sub has to be ordered to please you rather than doing it joyfully of their own initiative, and if you can't command with a whisper but must make a great show of enforcing your power, then…. *shakes head and laughs* fail. Then again, I'm dominant by nature, *not* a sadist, and not a scenester.

  28. LIse says:

    First, agreed that a man telling women what's what is silly, at best. Second, don't bash romance. Romance is the biggest selling genre of popular fiction, and erotic romance (like 50 Shades trilogy) a very very popular sub-genre. Why women either enjoy the reality of submission (like I do) or merely the fantasy – whatever the reason – is not something that (as has been said above) indicates they are weak-willed, or anti-feminist (old feminist here). It just is what works for them, psyche-wise and sex-wise. No need to denigrate or bash or belittle or even comment! 10,000,000 copies of 50 Shades have been sold. Nuff said. But may I add, men can be submissive, too. It takes all kinds, so live and let live, and I won't bash all the fun things that men are so happy about. And yes, good call. Read THE LOVING DOMINANT and SCREW THE ROSES, SEND ME THE THORNS to get serious insight. Respect is everything.

  29. Christi says:

    OK, easy now….if you haven't read it, don't judge it. Now with that being said, I don't quite understand all they crazy hype, but they are decent books. They don't turn me on really, and they definitely don't make me want to masturbate myself silly (SNL skit), but they are pretty hot. I need to also throw in, there really isn't very much BDSM in it. I don't want to say much here because I don't want to give the story away. But it's more of a love story than anything. I also would like to say that I don't think that liking BDSM has anything at all to do with empowerment. I like SOME BDSM, and I don't think that means that I'm being disrespected by the man or disrespecting myself. Someone needs to take a half step down off their soap box… ESPECIALLY since they haven't read books.

  30. […] Life isn’t black and white. It isn’t right or wrong. There are many shades of grey. […]

  31. LIse says:

    Thanks for adding that Christi. I've read the trilogy twice. It is a good love story. Great characters that make you care about them. "Cheesy romance" novels happen to be favorites of millions of women, so when we're saying here that folks shouldnot tell people what's OK to do in the bedroom, they should not tell people what is OK to read either. They are entertaining and that's what they are meant to be. James wasn't trying to create great literature or an erotic classic so leave off the poor woman. Agree too that BDSM is empowering. And while we'er all up in arms on this, why isn't there more outrage, say, about spousal abuse? Or child abuse? Or the real damage done by non-consensual treatment? If you read the books, you'd find out that Anastasia is actually the powerful one.

  32. Sally says:

    Bought the book as I thought it was hot, not for the quality of writing. Unfortunately it’s incredibly stupid. Sexual games, submission included, can be really a turn on in literature (histoire d’o) as in life but 50 shades is flat, repetitive, incredibly dull. It’s called mummy porn don’t know why. I think mummies can teach the author a thing or two about porn.

  33. crb says:

    Thank you so much for your post. As I read down through the entries I began to wonder,”Isn’t any one going to respond to the stereotypes being cast about BDSM culture?”, and you have in a n elequent and beautiful way. I would like to reiterate that at its heart, BDSM is about consensual sex, it is an ongoing conversation rooted in trust. How it looks on the oustside is exactly that, how it looks on the outside. The dynamic that is present is often so much more. I would also like to add to my fellow delightful Elephant readers, that woman a few mats away, the man eating a gluten free acai berry muffin, well, you just never know, they love their pets, and their partners, they just might choose to express their sexuality a bit differently.
    To anyone reading this and having a moment of doubt or shame about their own inner desires or fantasies, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, there is nothing wrong for wanting what you want and feeling what you feel.
    (btw, loved the book recommendations).

  34. vish says:

    I hope to see a similarly strong position against the rape fantasies True Blood is based on.
    Everyone I've met "in the scene" or not uses power games and other controlled violence to channel their strong emotions. I think Girls and Boys like this stuff because they are out of touch with the depth of their own capacities and emotion, so turn to power games to place the responsibility for these depths and its power on someone else. A Chief Culprit keeping these hidden is Shame. Nobody should be ashamed; Shame is among the weakest arguments- should you not exist? Shame is used as an easy way to discourage exploration and deny empowerment. Fie on control freaks! Especially those who can't keep it in the bedroom, who would rather shut down than engage.

  35. Elle says:

    Regardless of agreeing or disagreeing, I find this to be a very uninformed article. With the author having not read the book he is reporting on, he focuses on feminism and BDSM, another topic which he comes across as very uninformed on. Where does he obtain the evidence to claim that these fictional fantasies, let alone actions are not " mutually-respectful"? He even goes as far as to use the term "abusive," which while I have not read the novel, if the choices of the characters are consensual, the term demeans both consensual practitioners of BDSM, but especially those in actually abusive relationships. Finally, the flippant comment about "angry masochists" further highlights his uninformed position. While masochism and submission can be enjoyed together, the two are absolutely different desires, and neither in any way constitute the other. Why does the author not address the men who enjoy these fantasies, as dominants or submissives?
    The author has a choice whether or not he wants to participate in either reading the book or BDSM, but telling others not to based off of an uniformed opinion? Please pass the ball gag, at least until he studies up.

  36. Amy Kenney says:

    Way to stir the pot! Well done.

  37. I believe the quote was used as a sassy response to Waylon's suggestion we should read some Anaïs Nin. But thanks for the history lesson and irrelevant comparison to John Friend's apparent narcissistic behavior and abuse of power.

  38. ahena says:

    that's right – I totally agree with you LIse. The submissive actually has as much, if not more power, than his/her Dom…

  39. Robin Turner says:

    “Not having read the book, I’m out of ideas.”

    I struggled through an Ayn Rand novel just so I could say with confidence that Rand was a terrible writer. If you can’t be bothered to read some light porn before writing a polemic about it, how do expect people to take you seriously?

  40. Sally says:

    For the ones who haven’t read it, a very good digested version by John Crace!!! Hilarious!!!

    The Guardian, Sun 29 Apr 2012 18.42 BST

    “I’ve got a cold and I can’t interview Christian Grey, the enigmatic multimillionaire tycoon, for the student newspaper today,” says Kate, my roommate. “Please take my place, Ana.”

    Wow! I take one look at Mr Grey and can barely speak. With his tousled hair, he is so mouthwateringly gorgeous. The epitome of male beauty. “G-gosh,” I say.

    “You seem to be struck dumb, Miss Steele,” he wryly observes. “I like that in a woman.”

    On the way home, my cell phone rings.

    “Come to dinner,” says Christian.

    “How did you know my number?”

    “It’s my business to know everything. I like to exercise control. My helicopter will pick you up at seven.”

    I am unable to resist. No man has ever affected me in this way before.

    “Here’s the contract for our relationship,” he says, slipping an oyster down my throat. “I will be the Dominant and you will be the Submissive. You will do everything I say and allow me to cane you, tie you up, sodomise you, clamp your genitals and fist you. In return I will buy you a car and a laptop.”

    “But Sir,” I exclaim. “I’m still a virgin, so I will have to draw the line at fisting.”

    “You drive a hard bargain, Miss Steele.”

    My inner goddess melts as he forces his tongue inside me. I have never been this wet before, etc. He bends me over his knee and slaps me hard. It feels wrong, but somehow very right. His enormous penis, etc. Juddering orgasms, etc.

    “Sleep with me, Sir,” I beg, as I try to draw his handsome body closer to mine.

    “I can’t. I had a deeply disturbed childhood and S&M relationships are the only ones I can sustain.”

    “Tell me about your commitment problems.”

    “They are too disturbing. You will find I am 50 Shades of Grey. Yet I find myself strangely drawn to your virginal, 20-year-old body in a way that I have never previously experienced.”

    My subconscious tells me I should run away from this control freak right now, but my inner goddess is telling me to stay. That I can help this poor troubled man. Christian changes into a sexy pair of faded denim jeans and leads me to his Red Room of Pain. I willingly allow myself to be chained to a crucifix while he thrashes my clitoris with a leather hunting crop. The pain is intense, but the pleasure more so. My inner goddess is panting for him not to stop until … juddering climaxes, etc.

    “I wouldn’t normally allow myself to be treated like this,” I say. “But somehow, Christian, it is OK with you as I can sense that one day we may have a loving relationship.”

    “It is the Submissive who has all the power,” he witters, “and I can feel myself slowly yielding to you.”

    Oh yes please, my inner goddess yells. Does he really love me as much as Kate keeps telling me he does? And why am I so jealous of his previous Subs, and why don’t I ask him a single question about his job or his life even though we have met one another’s parents in circumstances bordering on the unbelievable?

    Submit yourself to the greatest thrashing of your life, my inner goddess says, to prove how much you love him and to let him show how much he loves you. Torn ass cheeks/moist vagina/pain/yet more juddering climaxes, etc.

    “I love you, yet I have to go,” I sob.


    “Because we’re only going to get to the bottom of your commitment issues after you’ve spanked your way through the next two books.”

    Digested read, digested: What every woman wants. Obviously.

  41. vish says:

    You are welcome. Abuse of power is what is being reveled in in these stories. You can substitute any name for JF's, the relevance is that the fantasy is unacceptable outside the fantasy, and why Nin would be called a narcissistic mess were she to do what she did then today. BDSM has evolved to become a controlled event with set boundaries to manufacture the fantasy; it evolved to require consent. I may be thinking of another story, but isn't there a whole stable-scene in story of o about girls being chained up and always available whether they liked it or not? (to some mega-hung guy in a chastity belt?) These stories always seem to have at least one scenario where after the rape, they get into it.

    Perhaps you can provide some history and insight beyond the "cause I like it" the other comments begin and end with, to explain what BDSM addresses, why women like to be dominated (or dominate), why men do, why people stay with their abusers, and how these are separate issues.

  42. Juliet says:

    Your own personal tastes are unattractive when they are portrayed as an authoritative "right and wrong" pronouncement. Those shouldn not belong in Elephant, if you want this to be a respectable publication.
    Sex and what turns us on is probably one of the most variable and unexplainable things ever. So live and let live, please. Plenty of feminists who are women have kinks.

  43. elephantjournal says:

    That's the point, friend: I'm making fun of myself, and my own ignorance. I'd rather be able to make fun of myself than be taken seriously by anyone.

    And no, I can't be bothered to read by what in most reviews is badly written bdsm porn—I'm too busy responding to self-serious comments.

  44. elephantjournal says:

    My staff said that Christian, the protagonist, was abused as a child, and that was the root of his BDSM fantasies.

    Again, friend, I have little interest in reading up on or participating in things that don't seem in line with my personal values. That's my choice—similarly, perhaps, I've written criticisms of buying unfair labor plastic products. I didn't have to buy those products and sleep with them in order to know they don't help create jobs here in the US, and wind up (too quickly) in our landfills.

    This post is about fomenting discussion—no one's trying to (ball) gag anyone, here.

  45. elephantjournal says:

    Amen. Thanks for engaging with a respectful comment!

  46. elephantjournal says:

    Amen. I might be more tempted to dive in and read if, by all reports, the writing was half-decent.

  47. elephantjournal says:

    Amen. I hear that it's great for some people. That said, again, I think many folks have plenty of hot sex, and intimacy, as you say, without submissiveness or BDSM. Each to his and her own!

  48. elephantjournal says:

    "Live and let live," you say one sentence after "your view here, since it's wrong in my opinion, should not belong on elephant."

    And this is why I make fun of myself, because it's the only way to cope with my own tendency to take myself too seriously.

    And contribute an article about your view, and experience, which is equally if not more worthwhile! [email protected]

  49. elephantjournal says:

    Hah. That's how we get you—with uptight, ill-informed, wrong-headed arguments that just have to be rebutted!

  50. sherart says:

    Bravo to honeyryder512. Sometimes, those of us who enjoy these things aren't the ones who speak publicly about them. They are quite, pleasant, dark & joyful secrets of ours. But, perhaps it's time to start hopping out of the closet … only because he left the spreader bar on again. 😉 I absolutely second Story of O, as well.