3 Things About BDSM 50 Shades Forgot to Mention

3 Things About BDSM 50 Shades Forgot to Mention

What a BDSM Relationship Actually Looks Like
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There are so many articles bashing 50 Shades for a poor depiction of what a true BDSM relationship is like. Personally, I only managed to get one-and-a-half books into the series before my brain scrambled itself and oozed out of my ear. When I read them, I was not in a BDSM relationship myself, but now I feel experienced enough to write on the topic. For the sake of this article, I will be referring to the parties as the "Dominant" and the "Submissive" although there are a lot of other titles for the parties engaging in these activities.

Aftercare:

This is a huge point that was just skimmed over. Much like consent, aftercare is a key component to a successful BDSM scene. You can have the best scene imaginable, but if aftercare falls short, the scene can be ruined. Aftercare can be defined as "a soothing period, in which you reassure your partner that they are loved, respected, and cherished; activities to reconnect and communicate the appreciation the dominate has with his/her submissive". This can be anything from a warm bath, a fluffy robe and lots of cuddles, or sharing a meal together. Aftercare is also very verbal. More often than not, the submissive will go what I like to refer to as "down the rabbit hole". Engaging in these types of activities are as mental as they are physical. Chances are, both parties are going to need not only physical love and affection, but also verbal love and affection to remind them that they are in fact loved and cherished.

The snuggle game is real y'all.


Consent:

Let us just touch on this huge topic that this awful book completely shredded! Enthusiastic consent is sexy, not coercive consent, REAL consent. The submissive is always in full control of a scene. The goal of this type of relationship is to find someone compatible with what you enjoy, and then the ideal of compromise gets thrown out. If your Dom is really into dishing out a sadistic pain play and you as a submissive are not into that kind of thing, then maybe that’s not the Dom for you, especially if they aren’t willing to dial it down during their time for you. When you submit, you are giving a gift to your dominant, and you should never feel like you have to give a larger gift than you can afford. If your safe words are ever ignored, ABORT MISSION. Get rid of that “Dom”. A real dominant would never pressure or ignore safe words. The only instance where that might occur is during consensual, nonconsensual play, but that’s a whole other article.


Dom Drop:

No one talks about Dom Drop. It's real. It has happened in my dynamic, and it has happened to friends I know. Often times, the majority of the concern is on the mental well-being of the submissive, but there are times when your dom will bottom out. Once upon a time, I tied my partner to a chair, beat the hell out of him, and then untied him...I'm sure you can guess what was dished out to me. I was quite pleased with myself... but I digress. After we finished, he had an emotional letdown. There are a lot of brain drugs that pop off during these types of interactions. It's like getting high in a way, and some of the time, the come down is not so pleasant. He felt overwhelmed and physically exhausted. He felt an insecurity that maybe he had pushed me too far. This is why aftercare is so important. The dominant needs the affection and love as much as the submissive. The submissive has more time to ease out of the mind set, to come out of the hole. The dominant has to go from "You like that you dirty slut?!" to "You're the most beautiful creature I've ever seen" in the time it takes you to utter the safe word.


If you take anything away from these little tid bits about BDSM, it should be that these dynamics are a partnership; they are a team. They love and adore each other in those moments, and sometimes all the time. Think of it like couples bonding on steroids. It takes a lot of trust, honest communication, compatibility. Hopefully this has given you some insight into a real BDSM dynamic and not a poor, god-awful, bastardization of what these relationships are all about.



Cover Image Credit: Photo Credit : Crystal Green

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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