Not everything in the sexy trilogy is exactly accurate ...
As someone who has identified as kinky for over a decade, both professionally and personally, I have to admit I was absolutely appalled when the 50 Shades trilogy first hit the mainstream. I read all three books, and as I read some of the myths and stereotypes, I had to do some deep breathing.
I couldn't help thinking, "these are the books that have become the cultural reference point for kink?" As I thought this, a bit of my kinky little heart broke. But, my opinion has changed since then.
I still think the books are poorly written and that there is much better erotica out there. Regardless, these are the books that have everyone talking about sex and kink. At this point, the value of that far outweighs some tired writing clichés.
So, 50 Shades of Grey has suddenly made it trendy to "be kinky" or at least talk about it. My hope is that those who have found themselves turned on by the books start to learn and explore kink beyond these pages. But for that to happen, some of the misinformation has to be rectified. So, get ready for 50 shades of mythbusting.
1. Anyone who is interested in kinky sex must have had an abusive past.
Busted: A huge study in Australia proved that mental illness does not occur more frequently in the kink community. There certainly are some people that use BDSM to regain control, regarding a past trauma. There are also some that use BDSM as a way of justifying abusive behavior. But, the overwhelming majority of people who engage in kinky play are nice, normal and respectful.
2. A "slave" contract is required to have a relationship with a dominant and submissive dynamic.
Busted: There is absolutely no requirement to have a contract in order to enjoy some kinky power play. However, the contract in 50 Shades of Grey does cover an important part of healthy BDSM relationships, which is negotiation.
It is very important to talk clearly about what you and your partner do and don't want to do. It is best to be very clear at the outset about what kind of experience you are each looking for and that should be reevaluated occasionally to see if any activities should be added or removed from the list.
3. Simultaneous orgasms happen every time, multiple times a day.
Busted: While it is a fantastic fantasy and can technically be achieved through studying Tantra, it's pretty unlikely. It's particularly unlikely for someone as sexually inexperienced as the lead female character is. Her name is Ana Steele and she is a 21-year-old virgin who has never even touched herself "down there." Suddenly, she can orgasm on command. This is possible, but very unlikely.
4. People who enjoy sexual control will want to control every aspect of your life.
Busted: Lots of people who enjoy being in control in the bedroom have no interest in controlling the minutia of every day existence. Giving sensual commands to your lover during sex is incredibly different than expecting your partner to get your permission every time they need to eat or use the restroom. That is not the way most people explore erotic control.
5. It is sexy when women sexually submit. It is pathetic for men to sexually submit.
Busted: Dominance and submission goes both ways equally well and the only thing that matters is what you and your partner want. Some women love being in charge in the bedroom and feel powerful and sexy with their lover trembling. It can be an incredible aphrodisiac to play with the taboo of a strong, sexually dominant woman. More men would like to submit to that commanding woman than traditional media would have you believe.
So, there you go, some of the biggest myths written about in the 50 Shades trilogy have been debunked. The books can be fantastic fodder for fantasies. They can also inspire conversations about sex that may have never happened before and remind women all over the world that their sexual desires haven't disappeared.
If you're interested in learning more about how to explore kinky sex, please check out the most extensive kink education site on the net, KinkAcademy and its sister site PassionateU.