The Glorification of Abuse in 50 Shades

Recently, E.L. James gave an interview in which she brushed off concerns that 50 Shades of Grey glorifies abusive relationships, and implied that anyone who is concerned simply doesn’t understand BDSM. This part in particular has upset many readers:

James says she “freaks out” when she hears people say that her book encourages domestic violence. “Nothing freaks me out more than people who say this is about domestic abuse,” she says. “Bringing up my book in this context trivializes the issues, doing women who actually go through it a huge disservice. It also demonizes loads of women who enjoy this lifestyle, and ignores the many, many women who tell me they’ve found the books sexually empowering.”

You can read the whole thing here.

In addition, she’s been blocking people who raise abuse concerns on her twitter feed and referring to them as trolls. In response to this mess, @50ShadesAbuse has been recently created to raise awareness of E. L. James’ failure to realize that touting her book as a realistic manual to finding the perfect relationship is misleading and potentially dangerous. A lot of people could stomach the phenomenon of this book’s popularity better if it were treated as fiction instead of a realistic, safe, or healthy model.

Unfortunately, that feed’s creation has also unearthed many rabid and often contradictory defenses of 50 Shades. You should read Jenny Trout’s excellent and calm rebuttal of all of these arguments.

This brings me to the point of my own post. I’m often lightly snarking 50 Shades on Twitter and here, but haven’t fully laid out what bothers me so much about it. There’s a danger of sounding redundant with so many recent excellent blog posts out there, but since E. L. James uses her clout to silence people who voice their opinions, the more awareness raised, the better.

50 Shades of Abuse

50 Shades of Grey promotes and glorifies abuse. It spreads its abusive taint over every interaction between Christian and Ana, including but certainly not limited to sexual ones. As a side note, the BDSM angles are actually rather tame compared to run-of-the-mill erotica, and the parts that stand out are memorable for the wrong reasons: lack of even basic safety precautions, and absence of any clear communication about consent.

Supporters of E.L. James like to turn accusations of this sort into evidence that the complainer is sexually repressed, unenlightened, and is sadly disgusted by any non-conventional relationship. Nobody is arguing here that BDSM is abuse. (If you are in fact arguing that, the rest of this article is probably not for you.) People are arguing that someone buying your spouse’s company in order to spy on her emails, deciding what type of birth control she should be on without her consent because you “dislike condoms”, flying across the country to meet her when she specifically wanted to go on vacation to get distance from you, and bruising your spouse so she can’t expose skin during a beach vacation is abusive. Abuse is present in the BDSM-lite interactions, but that is because Christian Grey is a fundamentally flawed character whose abusive tendencies extend to all aspects of his life, not that BDSM is fundamentally harmful. They do incredibly boring stuff like go out to eat pancakes at IHOP, and he’s still abusive to her there.

“You simply don’t understand kink!”

While the whole steaming heap of arguments in defense of 50 Shades are problematic, I need to take some time to explain that the specific rebuttal “that’s not abuse, that’s BDSM” especially bothers me. If I had encountered this book 10 years ago, there would have been massive emotional trauma as a result. I had a lot of controlling adults in my life growing up. I’m torn about giving details–I feel exceptionally childish making serious statements without an explanation, but don’t want to focus the post too much on myself. I’ll just give one example:  I had this one piano teacher who enjoyed videotaping lessons, screaming at me off-camera, and getting me to cry. He convinced my parents I was playing poorly because I didn’t watch the videos enough. So I watched myself crying on tape and being told I only performed well when I was yelled at for four years.

Needless to say, trying to reconcile actual adults being controlling and manipulative with the idea that BDSM was something I was maybe interested in exploring was a minefield as a teenager. All my actual experiences pointed to the fact that adults only used control to hurt each other and the last thing I needed to deal with was thinking about control/power issues in any context–even unrelated. I had periods of self-loathing, and tried to block it all out of my head growing up so I could focus on getting away from my family and town.

So to others who have been exposed to controlling/abusive relationships, the abuse angles may stand out more vividly instead of the tame (honestly) sex toys. I also think of readers that may be younger and more impressionable, that haven’t been exposed to something so drastic, but still have fears. If I suddenly want to stop, will this person respect my wishes–since I won’t be able to physically defend myself if my verbal plea is ignored? I’m new to this and very self-conscious, will I be made fun of? I’m not sure exactly what I like–is someone going to take advantage and manipulate me? What if I want to try something new and it was too intense, and now I’m an emotional mess without support? All the above scenarios have negative endings in 50 Shades, and instead of being treated as a badly-written work of fiction, people are treating it as gospel.

The way the book treats BDSM, already difficult for some people to openly admit to liking, discourages unsure or fearful readers from wanting to explore it further. And certainly fans smugly justifying things as “that’s not abuse, that’s the way things should be” is not going to make someone who has dealt with very real issues of powerlessness and abuse feel at ease. A lot of fans like to say that their sex life was better after reading this book, but if we’re going to play strictly by personal experiences, a large group of people also feel sick after reading this book. So let’s dispel the notion at the outset that all criticism of this book somehow arises from intolerance of non-vanilla relationships.

50 Shades in the Media

E. L. James vacillates between describing her book as a how-to sexual manual, when explaining its popularity, to touting her book as an imaginative work of fiction, when the accusations of abuse glorification pile up.

There are some other darker reasons why it’s popular. 50 Shades is a safe book for the media to use when describing female sexuality. It’s another way to belittle us. Women are meant to be voracious and undiscering consumers of culture, and this book poses no threat to the status quo. We need to buy clothing and makeup to find our hidden selves that we’ve lost. We need the right products to attract men we haven’t been able to lure otherwise. We’ve too stupid to understand math or science, but aren’t discerning or talented enough to make it in creative industries. We get mocked with shopaholic and fashion victim jokes all the time, except when it’s a wedding or birth, because those are Special Days that instead should get milked for their full and absurd monetary value. And now, instead of wondering if the Victoria’s Secret bra highlighted in [Generic Magazine] makes you look sexy or stupid, you’re staring in front of the cheesy 50 Shades-themed sex toy display.

It fits perfectly within this narrative that women are turning out in droves to buy a poorly-written book featuring a doormat for a heroine, whose one contribution to the landscape of popular culture is that it makes them work harder in the bedroom. Add to that a dash of class privilege–the origination of the “mommy porn” label from wealthy New York housewives apparently reading it during the day–and it’s a media darling. Everyone is comfortable with the interpretation that women have bad taste, want to spice up their sex lives, and enjoy being abused. There’s even a chapter where Christian decides that Ana should be on a birth control pill and justifies it as that he knows her body better than she does! (Her response is along the lines of “Yes…and oh god, he’s hot.”)

I also really can’t take reviews seriously that say this is groundbreaking erotica, when this series frequently uses the term “down there” to mean one of a dozen different body parts.

Glorifying 50 Shades

Attempting to view 50 Shades as both fact and fiction, as the author would like us to–depending on her mood–lead to amusing results. I got stuck on how Anastasia, the apparently inspirational heroine, was introduced to her alternate-reality version of BDSM. It’s quite the opposite of how a reader seeking insights would hopefully embark on a process of discovery. As a person who hasn’t even kissed someone before the book started, let alone masturbated, she’s plunged into an intense relationship that she’s not comfortable with any aspect of and is forbidden to talk about with her friends. She gets laughed at when she doesn’t understand the wording of the contract defining their relationship (yet another nonsensical idea presented without question in this book–not really standard practice for learning and exploring). She complains about the contract and her limits get overruled. He pushes her too far in their first intense exploration, and then guilts her into apologizing when she has an emotional breakdown instead of saying the safeword.

Somehow this is glorified. Christian buys Ana a diamond bracelet to hide the bruises he gave her through poorly restraining her (which itself was a misguided punishment for dressing too revealingly on the beach). While he makes her too nervous to eat, all of their expensive meals are described in loving food-porn detail. The book can sell any and all of this behavior as romantic because Christian is a wealthy and attractive male, something society drills into women to aspire to obtain as a life goal. Consumer culture wants your partner to spend lots of money on you, and Christian certainly fulfills that fantasy.  Five-course meals! First edition books! Computers and cars as gifts! Personal shoppers from Neiman Marcus! Honeymoons in Monaco! Olympians as personal trainers! As Roxane Gay put it in her brilliant article The Trouble With Prince Charming Or He Who Trespassed Against Us: “A prison is still a prison when the sheets are 1200 thread count.” It’s no surprise that spending money is viewed as the sign as a successful relationship. Would this relationship be just as exciting if Christian kept all of his stalkerish behaviors, but didn’t follow up each instance with an expensive gift?

To the people saying that 50 Shades is just fiction, or that we’re colossally misinterpreting it, or are giant prudes: you are discrediting the observations of people that have experienced serious abuse, and furthering the cycle by trying to silence them. If you enjoy it as fiction, I may personally disagree with your literary tastes, but that in itself is not an issue. The problem arises when readers do not respect that many people who have suffered trauma found 50 Shades to be a textbook for abusive behavior. Supporters seem to feel that the book is an introduction to novel sexual practices, and to enjoy thinking that some people aren’t cool or edgy enough to accept it. Unfortunately, people with even the vaguest understanding of BDSM practices tend to be among the most horrified at the sorts of behavior that this book presents as acceptable.

34 thoughts on “The Glorification of Abuse in 50 Shades

  1. It’s a pity that this kind of novel is touted as a new literary standard for erotica. If it were written half as well as many of the other stories in this category, it would no doubt be condemned as smut by most of its supporters. And if it were at all realistic about the topics it addresses, it might’ve even been a good read.

  2. Excellent blog post. These are many points that most people, including the media, haven’t thought of, or want to brush under the carpet. Hopefully more people will wake up and realize what kind of book this is. I don’t believe in censorship; people are free to read whatever they like, mediocre or not. However, if the best thing out of this horrible book can be awareness of domestic abuse and how to prevent it from happening to more people, that’s the most important thing.

  3. I’ve had no interest in this book. After reading through a couple of your blog posts and enjoying your writing however, I did read through this post.

    The second to last paragraph, as well as your own experiences struck home a little closer than I might like. My father was a considerably abusive and manipulative person, much like this character you describe or even your piano teacher. I know you mention that there are other instances in your life you don’t wish to talk about, and I can respect that fully. I would like you to know that reading this was positive in knowing there are others out there fighting against their past. Additionally, even if you’re at a point where you don’t want it or need it, you have my support.

    P.S. Thanks for all the theorycrafting work you do, thats what brought me here.

  4. I stumbled across your article, after reading something in my university paper, and am so glad I did. I myself have actually read the first two books of 50 shades, and found I was getting more and more uncomfortable reading it, to the point where I had to stop reading it. The place in the book where he leaves marks on her body left me disgusted. Thank you for this blog!

  5. Thank you for this informative and well-written article. I work with women who need support to get out of abusive BDSM relationships, and sadly there are few resources out there for this group.

    Glad to know about @50ShadesAbuse. I am following them now.

  6. Thank you so much for your post. You address truthfully and thoughtfully the real issues of this book. I sincerely wish your voice will be heard loudly and widely. Keep on.

  7. THANK YOU for speaking out with the TRUTH.

    It’s truly a sick culture we live in.

    We need MANY more alternative forms of news and media so that we aren’t ALL fooled by mainstream media that everyone thinks this is okay.

    MORAL people are actually in the majority. Turning on the TV, would convince you otherwise.

    For many years now, perversion and abuse has been normalized through *in your face* depictions of every twisted fantasy, addiction, fetish, mental disorder or sadomasochistic urge.

    TV and Movie writers and producers have no problem making it seem like those who practice any morality at all are nothing but boring prudes.

    That if it *feels good – do it*, and then you too can be one of the *cool people*!!!

    It’s NO surprise that that now the money-hungry book publishers are pushing the same abhorrent agendas.

    We need to realize that these VERY same writers, publishers, and producers SHIELD THEIR OWN PRECIOUS FAMILIES from the perverted horrors they create both on screen and in writing.

    These SAME people, raking in obscene amounts of money from publishing this garbage, would not let their teenage sons/daughters read this sort of thing, but they have no problem if YOURS DO.

    You might want to note, that at my local library, these very books, were in OPEN view and easily at the EYE LEVEL of five year old children, you know, the one with the handcuffs on the cover, yeah, nice!!!…..

    THIS is okay? REALLY? I live in a tiny coastal town, as quaint as a Norman Rockwell painting, and yet this disgusting smut has slithered into my little town to infect the minds of the innocent. I can’t even imagine what it’s like in the big cities.

    Oh, wait a minute, that’s right…. unwed mothers on the dole from the government, rampant disease and crime, abortions used as birth control….yeah, that’s what’s happening in places like NY city and Los Angeles where *ANYTHING GOES*…….

    This is simply another attack against morality, seeking to completely annihilate any sense of innocence, unity, or REAL love that’s left in the collective human spirit.

    Many have no problem believing that marijuana is a *gateway* drug for harsher and more lethal substances, and yet, they will deny the correlation between sadomasochistic relationships and the continuing objectification and misogyny being perpetrated against both women and children.

    Some may not go out and ACT on these fantasies, but others will.
    Many young girls are getting messages EVERYwhere they turn, that they are nothing but sex objects.

    Enormous sex slavery rings exist that are kidnapping OUR children and teenagers in order to satisfy the evil desires of a very tiny percentage of our society.

    If the masses think these types of books aren’t the first rung of a very treacherous ladder, they are sadly mistaken.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, The FBI launched a 72-hour nationwide operation targeting pimps who prey on children — an undercover mission that rescued 105 teens ranging mostly in age from 13 to 17 years old, with the youngest victim being NINE YEARS OLD.

    It’s all happening RIGHT HERE in America.

  8. I recently left a man who is an abuser. He has injured me in the past, and I have foolishly reconciled with him. Sometime during the last two years, he became “friends” with his best friend’s daughter. She is 25 years younger than he is (he is 66). He would go visit her home which was 4 hours away from ours, and stay several days. Naturally, I became suspicious. He wanted me to meet her so she and I could be “friends” too. I went against my better judgment, and that is when the shit hit the fan. I found out she was a phone sex operator and a dominatrix. It all came out then. There’s so much to the story and not enough room here to tell it all. He had been giving her lots of $$ and they had been role playing. It all started to make sense. The bleeding wrists and ankles he had no explanation for. Welts and bruises on his upper arms. Thrash marks on his back. And, his excitement at planning and going on these trips to visit this sociopathic woman. I am afraid he has become addicted to it. I was even afraid that they would try to enlist me in their forays too. I learned they have taken it to a whole new level with other submissives, tops and bottoms, gang rapes, etc. It sickens me. I can’t believe I even know as much about the domme lifestyle as I do, and I wish I didn’t. He has always been a control freak and somewhat cold. I cannot see how this lifestyle will benefit him in any way.

    • It sounds like your ex is willingly participating in some kinky play. While he might not be acting responsibly in your eyes, I am assuming he is of sound mind and able to consent.

      The fact that you are uncomfortable with this kind of activity does not make it wrong, or harmful, in and of itself.

      • Does she give consent?
        Is she educated and informed about what she’s being asked to do?
        Are her boundaries respected?
        Are her objections heeded?
        Is she allowed to make important decisions sober, at her own pace?
        Is she able to tell him “no” without fear of repercussions?

        No, no, no, no, no, and no.

        SO much abuse. What else would you call it?

        • She is consensual she signs a contract he warns her what she is getting in to she has a full right to leave at anytime she has means to stop him during any sexual activty i can tell you now if abusive reletionships Where like that having been through one myself they would be 100x safer

          • 1) Consent needs to be informed (you must know exactly what you’re agreeing to), enthusiastic (you agree because you like it), and not coerced. Ana was at her first sexual experience ever, didn’t kiss anyone, didn’t know what masturbation was, plays sub just because that’s the only relationship Christian will allow and because she thinks that doing what Christian “needs” will make him love her in a more “normal” (for her) way, was stalked at her workplace, had her phone tracked and her bank information illegally acquired by Christian. So, no, it’s not consent.
            2) She never signs the contract. And the contract isn’t legally binding anyway (though she initially believes it is – and Christian does not correct her, nor does he answer the question “When you were going to tell me [that it wasn’t legally binding]?”).
            3) He never tells her what he’s going to do in each scene. Plus, he says he wants a Dom/sub relationship but acts as if it is a Master/slave one (D/s are limited at the bedroom, M/s not).
            4) The contract states that she has to submit a request to him, and he’ll consider if letting her go or not.

          • 5) When she emails him “Okay, Ive seen enough. It was nice knowing you”, he shows up unannounced in her bedroom. When she throws herself at him, he grabs her, pins her on her bed, and kisses her, even though she never said “I want to have sex with you”. When he takes off her shoes and she says “no”, he replies with threats to gag and tie her. So, no, he won’t respect her “no”.
            6) When she safewords on him in chapter 11 of the third book, he takes it as if Ana wanted a divorce for no reason. He harps on it until she apologizes for safewording. Even though the reason she safeworded was because he was so angry at her, he would’ve continued using orgasm denial to punish her if she did not safeword. And the reason he got angry was because Ana went out with her friend Kate – and don’t tell me he was worried that Hyde could’ve harmed Ana, because it’s exactly BECAUSE Ana went out with her friend that she wasn’t at Escala when Hyde broke in.

  9. I honestly Do not see the problem with the books. Most women I know want to be controlled in the bedroom. You cannot tell me that someone forced you to read the books or to buy them for that matter. We knew what kind of books they were when they first came out. Yes violence is an issue, always has been always will be. But do not blame a book. If you don’t like it, then don’t read it. I’m sure there are many panties that got wet while the woman was reading this book. There are a lot of women that like to be “punished” while in the bedroom. Self included, there are also those who do not. You know what you like and what you do not. So don’t blame it on a book…

    • Hate to be the bearer of bad news, Brittany, but I don’t know any women who go for that submissive/controlled garbage. Personally, I’d throw a dude out on his thick, meaty head for trying–just ask my husband. I made his ass go stay at his Mom’s for two months with no contact for holding me down against my will. I nearly divorced him.

      So, you can’t blame a book? How old are you, Brit? 12? Obviously you must be, otherwise you’d see Christian Gray for the monster he truly is–let alone that books and media do give teens and morons bad ideas. Case in point, last year, a movie came out called “The Purge” about the government making all crime legal for 12 hours. Just a week ago a bunch of stupid teens and moronic adults hosted the first ever Purge on Facebook, where for twelve hours you could post whatever you want with no repercussions. Can you guess how many idiots are being charged with distributing child pornography? Yeah, don’t blame books, huh? Kind of hard not to when idiots act out what they see, hear and read.

      “Panties got wet”? Yeah, you’re 12. WOMEN don’t say that, especially on the internet. Do your parents know you’re reading that book? “Punished in the bedroom”? You call him Daddy, too? If that’s so, you’re both sick.

    • The point is not whether women choose to read this, or whether they enjoy it.

      The character of Ana is presented as being in a horribly abusive, controlling relationship. It is never referred to as this. In real life she’d need to be getting the police or doctors involved, but the book promotes her situation as desirable, romantic – even sexy. The author repeatedly dismisses criticism from women who have EXPERIENCED THIS EXACT THING.

      You seem to be suggesting that, since *some* people enjoy kinky or rough sex, that it’s OK to do it to anyone whether they actually enjoy it or not.

      Ana is not someone who enjoys what’s happening to her. She doesn’t like it, want it, consent to it or understand it. The fact that (often naive) readers are being sent the message that it’s OK to be forced into sex or relationships you don’t want – that’s a big, big problem.

    • As a woman who does go go for that Dom/submissive garbage as you call it, I’m offended at most of your statements. Though info agree that the 50 shades books glorify not only mental and physical abuse but also rape.
      She does not give her consent and says no multiple times.
      I hate the stigma these books cause for my community.

      • I know many people that are against the book, and none of them relate it to real BDSM and I think that’s the point, this is not a healthy BDSM relationship, even if you take out all the sex scenes, there’s still abuse, that’s the point.
        Don’t think it was very polite to call it garbage, but I’m not sure if Lisa is calling it that because it’s a controlling one sided relationship instead of one where there’s consent on both parths.
        Trust is crucial in any kind of relationship, I remember a friend once told me her submission to her husband was a privilege he had to earn, and she’s by far one of the most strong and independent woman I’ve encounter, she has a mind of her own and doesn’t need permission of her partner to go out on vacations, and I think that’s how every relationship should be, regardless of your kinks in the bedroom.

  10. Great read. A year after this article was written, and this lame excuse for a book is still heinously being hyped by the media–anyone seen the March cover of “Elle” lately? I gag whenever I hear the phrase “50 Shades of”…even when the article has nothing to do with the book; they just use it because it’s become a “chic” phrase to use. (Bullshit!) That the book is now being turned into a movie shows how low our culture (or at least pop/entertainment culture) is stooping down to (as if it couldn’t get any lower with the perpetuating popularity of no-talent, reality show famous-for-nothings), and whoever in Hollywood gave it the green light I hope gets fired soon.

    There’s actually a more hilarious read/review of this book’s series, which is found here: http://katastrophiccuriosity.blogspot.com/2012/08/fifty-shades-of-bad-writing-those-of.html It will give you a good laugh.

    And to JD & Brittany, get your brains checked. And to Brittany, easy for you or anyone to say “if you don’t like it, don’t read it.” I’m getting that you didn’t like this article, so why did you read it (I presume) in its entirety?

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  12. As someone who has been domestically and sexually abused, I surprisingly enjoyed the somewhat badly written trilogy. I guess my perception of the books were different but even so, I do agree with the valid points brought up in the article. Before anyone suggests that I am ignorant or whatever, I would like to share WHY I don’t see this book as glorifying abuse. In my opinion, this entire trilogy wasn’t about the sex. It was about how this ordinary girl got this control-freak, sadistic man “into the light” as per the quote in the book. I find that more intriguing than anything else. I have met women who dated men who were “dangerous” for the sole purpose of somehow CHANGING them. Does that really work in reality? Nope, it escalates into abuse. But in these books, it does happen. Which is probably why I find it interesting.

    I do NOT condone the madness that Christian starts in the beginning but I would say that blaming his character entirely, is ignorant. We have this 22 year old woman who willingly gets into this mess with him and then after being spanked says that she is shocked that she likes it. She could leave at any point but she chooses to stay and continue with the nonsense. She does leave and then return into a somewhat saner relationship with the man but obviously they have their ups and downs which is mostly him being controlling and she yelling at him. He stops with the playroom business and she wants to go back in because she enjoys it so I would say that this book glorifies naivety more so than abuse.

    Naivety because this would never happen in real life. Think about this. There are thousands of books with sex and bdsm and abuse. Why would this one be so popular? Because it makes women think that they can make someone like a celebrity overcome their traumatic past and change their monstrous ways for them. The real problem is the readers being unable to separate fact from fiction.

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  14. I watched all the james bond movies AND read the books. i’m still not going round blowing the hell out of anything or anyone. it’s fiction people. fiction

    • James Bond is marketed as fiction.
      GTA is marketed as a +18 fictional videogame.

      EL James markets 50 Shades as a romantic love story with no abuse or stalking. She markets it as a way to improve your sex life – she’s proud of all the women who used it to “spice up their bedroom lives”. Why are you against ELJ?

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  16. As a member of the BDSM community, I feel like its my job to speak out against these books.
    For those saying “ITS NOT ABUSE ITS BDSM!” 1- Its not BDSM. Its tame kink. 2- Fine. The sex was 100% wanted and consented too (it wasn’t but for the sake of argument let’s say it was) Look at all the other things he does to her. Tracking her phone, buying her company, following her across country, scolding and punishing her for things she did NOT agree to be punished for, controlling her… Take out all the sex, its STILL textbook abuse.
    Also, if a guy like this walked into ANY respectable BDSM club or got with an experienced submissive, he would be out on his ass. BDSM, the sub makes all the choices, they are in control. The sub doesn’t like something it stops. The sub wants to slow down they slow down. The Dom doesn’t make a single move without the sub’s complete okay. Christian ignores the safe word (BIG nono in the BDSM community) she says “no” and he continues when they NEVER discussed rape fantasy play which again is 110% perfectly okay so long as the consenting adults know what they’re getting into. Just like being a 24/7 sub/Dom is perfectly okay, so long as the people are consenting. Anna didn’t consent. To either of these scenarios. She didn’t have trust, she felt ashamed and guilty… BDSM is about feeling good and making your partner feel good. Christian may have gotten Anna off a few times but it did NOT make her feel good after.
    Anyone saying “BDSM is abuse!” Is as idiotic as the people going “FSOG is the ideal romance and a how to on BDSM sex!”. It actually upsets me that people who may have wanted to try out the BDSM lifestyle is being discouraged bc of these books. They believe all Dom’s are controlling and abusive and believe they have to be a sub in every aspect of life when in reality 99% of Dom’s I have met are kind, sweet, people with normal childhoods, same as sub’s, and outside of the bedroom they’re as normal and non threatening and non controlling as someone who hasn’t had any sex sans missionary (which is 100% okay as well) in their life.
    FSOG is not BDSM romance. It’s a Law and Order: SVU episode without the hot brunette breaking down his door to arrest him.

    • Maybe that’s what Leila was trying to do? :D I keep wanting to write a Christian X Leila fic where they both work through their massive psychological issues.

      Seriously, though, thank you for your expert contribution.

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