I am a real-life practitioner of BDSM. I am a switch and submit only to my Sir, although I identify as a Dominant in all other areas of my life. Consensual BDSM is NOT abuse any more than any other kind of consensual sexual relationship between consenting adults.
The key word here is CONSENT.
For those of you who now want to learn more about real-life BDSM–great! But keep in mind that FSoG (book and movie) are NOT how-to manuals for BDSM. If you enjoyed them as fiction, good on ya! But keep in mind there is a WHOLE world out there of BDSM that is NOTHING like FSoG. What you’ll learn in real-life can be both far more boring and mundane–or even freakier–than in the books or movie. But what will always be there when it’s done right is CONSENT. That might sound kind of boring to you, but the truth is if it’s not consensual then it’s assault, and no sane, responsible practitioner of BDSM will violate consent.
For those of you who are hating on FSoG because of the BDSM aspect?
Before you get on your high horse and start railing against BDSM on the basis of a MOVIE based on a BOOK that was written by a VANILLA person and which does NOT accurately depict a HEALTHY, CONSENSUAL BDSM power exchange dynamic to start with, how about taking a deep breath and remembering one key thing:
Consenting adults can pick however they want to express their sexuality with other consenting adults. They don’t need your permission or approval. Full stop. Period.
It doesn’t have to be in a way you like or approve of, and whether it’s a heterosexual couple getting freaky with bondage, or a gay couple doing little more than missionary position, it’s NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS.
If you insist on trying to portray healthy, consensual BDSM as abuse–when it is NOT–you are only showing the greater world at large your ignorance, bigotry, and your refusal to objectively think and reason about a subject.
A healthy, consensual BDSM dynamic might not even involve impact play. It might simply be a relationship dynamic. It might involve impact play with no relationship dynamic. Or anything in between. Or none of the above. There is NO one-size-fits-all BDSM descriptor.
How a healthy, consensual BDSM dynamic differs from abuse–which can also be verbal and emotional without a physical aspect to it–is the CONSENT.
Abusers do NOT use safewords or respect limits. They take without giving. They domineer. They do harm. All things that are anathema to any sane and consensual practitioner of healthy BDSM. Are some practitioners of BDSM abusive? Yes, but probably at no greater percentage than abusers in the vanilla population.
Just because YOU don’t like consensual BDSM doesn’t mean you have a right to try to stop it. Some of us like it. Some of us need it. Some of us want it. Or any combination of those.
The Women’s Lib movement gave women the FREEDOM to CHOOSE how they express their sexuality, and just as with freedom of speech, you don’t have to like how we choose to express it, but you damn sure have ZERO rights to try to control HOW we express it. By you trying to kink-shame us and control how we express our sexuality, you are no better than all the men over the course of history who’ve tried to keep women under their thumbs.
So knock it the fuck off.
If you don’t like kink? Then don’t do it. But don’t accuse someone of being abused (or an abuser) because they enjoy something different than you. Because when you do that, it shows how unenlightened and small-minded you really are.
If you enjoyed FSoG, more power to you. Just remember, regardless of which side of the kink fence you sit on, that it is FICTION and is NOT representative of a vast majority of the people who practice healthy, sane, and consensual power exchange dynamics and BDSM.