Unless asked/forced to, this is the only amount of oxygen that I'm going to give to the whole 50 Shades thing. I'm working hard at not worrying about things that don't matter to me - this is one of them.
I'm a kinkster. I'm a female submissive who found BDSM and specifically Dominance and submission (D/s) at around the time 50 Shades of Grey was at the height of its popularity.
Some will think I've read the books. I haven't.
Others will assume that they (the books) inspired my interest in BDSM. They didn't.
Most will think I have some opinion which will range from it's evil and poorly written to it's the best thing ever. Those people would be wrong.
I Don't Care About 50 Shades
The honest-to-God truth is that I don't give a rip about 50 Shades. I tried to read an excerpt a few years ago, and I couldn't get through it. Her writing style isn't my thing. Okay, in all honesty, I found it painful and thought my eyes were going to bleed.
But there's a good possibility someone says the same thing about my own writing.
From every description, quote, and reaction from most kinksters who have read the book, Christian Grey isn't my kind of Dominant. But Anastasia isn't my kind of submissive either. Without having read it, I liken it to every other BDSM erotic tale featuring a billionaire and his secretary, the lord and his serving wench, the rich guy and the hooker - sounds nice on paper, but probably won't happen in real life.
The books, the characters, the story line - none of it affects how I see and talk about BDSM and D/s - other than to know that some hapless person who read it, took it as fact, and is now trying to figure out whether they're a big D or a little s probably has a million questions and a few misconceptions. Those misconceptions aren't much different than the kinkster who discovers D/s thanks to erotic imagery in Tumblr or a few stories on Literotica (where I found it, thankyouverymuch).
But It's Eeeeeviiiiiiiiiiiiiil
Do some people walk away reading those books thinking that's what BDSM and D/s are supposed to be like? Yeah. But how many people walked away slightly turned on, had a few nights of really great vanilla sex, and never ventured into BDSM? A lot more.
Those who discovered our lifestyle after reading the books - did they, if they were so curious, find your book, my blog, or one of the many prolific writers on the lifestyle, too? A quick Google search would have helped them. Hell, when I search "submissive" on Google, something from A Submissive's Guide usually pops up towards the top. Fuck, apparently I show up for certain terms. If anyone cared enough to search, hopefully they care enough to read and realize there's more to this world than what's contained in a few hundred pages of erotica.
If it brought people into our world of BDSM, no matter how misinformed or uneducated they were, and those people stuck around, learned something, and are now having fulfilling sex lives - who cares about the rest??
Let's put this in perspective, shall we?
I've watched all kinds of movies and read all kinds of books, and never once have I stolen a car, robbed a bank, killed someone, attempted to fly around on a broomstick, or cast a spell on anyone. So let's stop and realize that for many people, quite a lot, this is a turn-on, titillating, and may result in either great masturbation or awesome sex afterwards. For many, many people, that will be as far as it goes. For the person who sees the blindfold, the gag, the red room, and whatever else, they may get curious and come looking for more information. If you want BDSM to be viewed in a certain way, start putting out good information yourself. I promise you, someone will find it and be changed by it.
But This is Our One Shot and It Makes BDSM Looks Bad
No, this isn't our "one shot." Secretary came out in 2002. Quick confession: I was turned on by it, but had NO clue it was BDSM or D/s related. I really was that innocent at age 22/23. Because of 50 Shades even more writers are publishing or being published who write about BDSM. Sure, the hard core stuff is typically self-published, but there's an entire section in my local Barnes & Noble devoted to some of the heavy-hitting BDSM writers. It's not a big section, but it's a start.
Have your opinion about 50 Shades. Write about why the movie and the books get it wrong. Represent BDSM in the way you want it to be viewed. That's how you make BDSM look good.
In real life, a lot of kinksters in my community aren't concerned about 50 Shades. For them, it's the crap that can be found on Fetlife or even Second Life. Their biggest concern has nothing to do with a movie or books, but people who are "practicing" BDSM in the online world and have no real-life experience. Those are the people who can be dangerous when they finally bring their fantasy to life - according to a few of my kinkster friends.
My opinion, seeing it from both sides, is that anyone openly engaging in the lifestyle online has a responsibility to portray a certain reality to it. I don't mean writers who love crafting a sexy scene can't add an element of fantasy - most readers are smart enough not to take us literally. But I do think that when we talk about our view of the lifestyle and how it affects us that we should be as open and honest as we're comfortable with. Most newcomers are shocked that their problems don't magically disappear simply because they submit or dominate. They think the sex will always be perfect, that mistakes made are a reflection of them as a person, and that somehow life will become perfect. It's up to those of us who live the lifestyle and are willing to share it to show them differently.
And that, boys and girls, in my humble opinion, is how you "combat" the misconceptions that people will have after they read any BDSM erotica that brings fantasy to life - whether it's 50 Shades or anything else.
With that, I say, go forth and read the smut that's interesting to you.
Your book isn't my book, but your book is okay.