What 50 Shades Got Wrong About BDSM

"Fifty Shades of Grey" by Vintage Books - www.thefilmguy.net. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Fifty Shades of Grey” by Vintage Books – www.thefilmguy.net. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

When the book 50 Shades of Grey was published, it shined a light onto the BDSM community. Now that the movie as come out, BDSM is more talked about than ever. This popularity has given rise to a lot of misconceptions about BDSM, mostly portrayed by the book and the movie. To try and clear up the confusion, below is a list of all the things that 50 Shades of Grey got wrong about BDSM.

1. The dominant is always abusive. This is absolutely not true. The person in the dominant role cares deeply for the person in the submissive one, and they would never do anything that the person doesn’t enjoy. Yes, the dominant person likes to be in control, but they do not do so at the well-being of the other person. This is where safe-words come into play, and they are agreed upon beforehand.

2. The dominant is in control. This is not entirely the case. The person in the submissive role is actually the one in control, with the person in the dominant role only acting that way for the pleasure of the submissive. The dominant one controls the action, but it is all for the benefit of the one in the submissive position.

3. Dominants had a bad childhood – Not true. In the book/movie, Christian Grey wanted to be a dominant because of his troubled childhood. In fact, your upbringing has nothing to do with whether or not you enjoy BDSM in either position. Childhood trauma is not a valid reason for practicing domination.

4. If you enjoy BDSM, there is something wrong with you. False! In fact, most people who enjoy BDSM are often college educated, have good jobs, are in a position of power, are drug free, and are mentally stable. Some have suggested that the smarter you are, the more vivid and detailed your sexual fantasies will be. You then need to go to greater lengths to achieve these fantasies. Also, for those people who are in a position of power throughout the day, being in the submissive position is a nice change of pace.

5. Submissives have low self esteem – Again, not true. In fact, it is usually the opposite. You need to be strong and sure of yourself in order to give up the control to another person. People with low self esteem generally have trust issues, which will not work with BDSM. You need to be able to trust your partner in order to let go of the control and put it into their hands.

While 50 Shades of Grey may be entertaining to some, it does not do much to paint a good picture of BDSM activities. The book and movie has led to a lot of misconceptions about these acts, some of which I hope I was able to clear up above. While the book and movie may be entertaining, we should all keep in mind the truth as we enjoy them.


Myths About BDSM

"Gag-tapegag-lorelei-15610" by Lorelei7 at the English language Wikipedia. Licensed under ">CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Gag-tapegag-lorelei-15610” by Lorelei7 at the English language Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

When people hear of BDSM, they start to picture 50 Shades of Grey. They only get one picture in mind, when in fact the BDSM community is very diverse. There is a wide spectrum within the community, and 50 Shades has gone a long way towards amplifying the myths about it. Below we cover some of the most common myths about BDSM, and tell you the truth regarding each one.

Myth #1: 50 Shades was accurate – This is very far from the truth. Unfortunately, with how popular the movie has become, this is what many people believe. They think that each person that likes BDSM is another Christian Grey, and this is certainly not true. In fact, most people who belong in the BDSM community are not even fans of the book because of its portrayal. One criticism of the book is that the main character is pressured into trying it, and that she is being controlled in other areas of her life. BDSM is all about consensual fun, and the book/movie does not do enough to show this.

Myth #2: It’s all or nothing – Another common myth is that you are either into full blown BDSM, or you don’t like it at all. In reality, you can fall anywhere on the BDSM spectrum. Some people may just like wearing the clothes, while others enjoyed being tied up but don’t see the point of wearing all that leather. It doesn’t matter where you fall on the spectrum, as everyone has their own tastes. It is all about what you are comfortable with and what you enjoy.

Myth #3: It’s a fetish – Technically speaking, BDSM is not a fetish, all though many people believe it to be. A fetish is when you get sexual excited from one specific thing rather than intercourse. BDSM is more kink than fetish.

Myth #4: Men Are Dominant – Our fourth myth is that in all BDSM action, the man is the dominant one. This is not the case, as many women like being in the dominant role as well. You could also prefer both roles, and switch on and off with your partner. There is no one specific role you have to play based on your gender.

Myth #5: BDSM is dangerous – Lastly, there is the myth that BDSM can be dangerous. However in the BDSM community, guidelines and boundaries are the norm, not the exception. In fact, when compared to vanilla sex, it may even be safer in some regards (such as unprotected sex).

As you can see, there are many myths about BDSM that are simply not true. I felt it was my duty to expound some of these myths so that people can better understand what really goes on during BDSM. Hopefully this article was able to clear a little bit of that up, and these myths will eventually start to fade away.