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11 July 2012 @ 08:11 pm
Fifty Shades of...?  

People have been going on and on about Fifty Shades of Grey without actually saying what it is. I've been seriously tempted to get it just to find out, because really, curiosity is a curse. But I finally found out without reading it.

It's D/s. Only...not really at all.

It's more like...D/v. The "v" could be "virginal," or "vanilla." Take your pick. Because, really, there's a big difference between fantasizing about bedroom games, and actually living in this type of relationship.

-

Basically, virginal girl Anastasia (who is called "Ana", but now that I know the Slavic diminutive, I can't get used to it) gets taken in by really rich guy, Christian Grey, whom I'm already suspicious of because the only other character I can think of named "Christian" is Dr. Christian Troy of Nip/Tuck. He convinces her to become his submissive, and she's altogether reluctant and isn't really submissive at all--she basically resists every step. The book ends with her leaving, although I'm not entirely sure why; I'm sure it has something to do with her whole, "You don't own me," thing, which is cool because she's not really a submissive.

But there's two more books to it, and I'm sure it'll involve one of them changing for the other. And since the first one is D/s, I'm sure the others are going to involve her continuing to be submissive.

It's all rather anti-feminist, really. Especially when you take into account an interview I saw with the author, revealing several truths:

1. She's never lived the lifestyle. She did "research," tried a few new things in bed with her husband.

2. The thing that inspired her was fucking Twilight. Serious, lady? (And yes, he does the whole, "You should stay away from me. I'm no good for you!" thing. Except that it's even more pathetic than a vampire saying it cause he's not a vampire. He's just a Dom. It's not like he's in danger of eating her.)

3. She doesn't actually read her book. She wrote the series, and didn't open them again.

4. There two other trains of thought that fueled it:

          4.1 "As women, we do so much. Wouldn't it be nice to have a guy who made all the decisions for us?" ...That's just lazy. Seriously woman, every relationship has a give/take to it.

          4.2 "What if someone asked you to do something and you didn't want to?" ...Um...you say no? I may not know a ton about being in a D/s relationship, but I do know about safewords. Why don't you?

-

Anyway, I found all this out, and I was just like, "Eh...nah, I don't think so..."

---

 
 
 
aaa_mazingaaa_mazing on July 12th, 2012 01:43 am (UTC)
You are faster than me, I had it on my must-find list.

To start with, I think that ANYthing inspired by Twilight, sucks by default.

Then, I would not come anywhere close to writing D/s, if I had no experience in it. We all do "some things" in bed with our partners, but to call it D/s? I would think twice.

And as far as I know, the lifestyle is not about taking decisions for your sub. At all.

Btw, haaaate Ana.:)
MissTeacakesmissteacakes on July 12th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)
I've skimmed through it; I can't find it in downloadable PDF format, but...yeah. Honestly, he keeps calling her "baby," and I can't stop myself from rolling my eyes every damn time.

It's totally this fantasy D/s world. He punishes her by spanking her then having sex, and with how much she apparently enjoys it, it's not really much of a punishment. She won't start misbehaving on purpose cause it'll ruin the fantasy world, but still.

Yeah, he makes all her decisions, fights him about it, and then gives in. Because that's what a good sub does. Not. (The lifestyle has as much exchange of caring for each other as every other relationship in the world, I'm sure. Just in different ways.)

And yeah, Ana is...well, Anas different girls than Nastyas, I'm sure. (It's kinda a yucky spelling of the name, too.)

Edited at 2012-07-12 01:58 am (UTC)
Alexanderashmedai on July 12th, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
LOL! Everyone was going on about this book, so I read some reviews out of curiosity (my favorite one is here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2JF7E91JJVHAT/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0345803485&nodeID=283155&store=books), but it made me resolve never to read this pile of steaming horse-shit.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a guy who made all the decisions for us?" ...That's just lazy.

Excuse me? I don't know how many snap decisions I have to make as a sub every day, most of them taking his judgement into consideration as well as my own. Sure, it can be nice to have a scene and just give yourself over, but you're still responsible for your own damn self too. Enough people already think BDSM means "check your brain at the door" for the sub. Or that old baloney "My Dom knows me better than I know myself". Erm, yeah...no he doesn't, he's not God. Being a sub for me means being capable of taking care of both him and his "property" (me), and that involves a lot of responsibility and decision-making.

"What if someone asked you to do something and you didn't want to?"

Sometimes it's hot to be subjugated and "forced" (I put that in quotation marks on purpose, because consenting to be "forced" isn't actually force). But if it's something I absolutely don't want to do, I would safe-word, and that's why you have things like talks where you find out each others' hard limits (and yeah Doms have limits too). I wouldn't play with a sub whom I could literally force to do something he doesn't want. That's psychologically damaging and I'm not into non-con.
MissTeacakesmissteacakes on July 12th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
I think it's great that I can give a practical summary like this having only watched an interview and skimmed the text.

I figured there was plenty of decision-making involved in being a sub; it's all part of the weirdness that is this fantasy-world she's created. I feel like it should be as much the Dom taking care of the sub as the sub caring for the Dom, cause that's what you do in a real relationship. But I heard her say that sentence (or something along those lines), and was just like "...what?"

And yeah, it seems entirely wrong, the amount of coercing that he needed to do, even with just the little things. I felt like there was a lot of, "We can only be in a relationship if you're my sub," and she was so desperate to be with this guy that she did things that she didn't really want to.

And the other thing that seemed to get me is that the author seemed almost to attribute his Dominant behavior to his psychologically damaging past. Not having actually read it, I can't say for sure on that, but the parts that I skimmed seemed to imply that. I ended up getting insulted for the sake of the people I knew, like you, who chose the BDSM lifestyle.

Edited at 2012-07-12 08:06 pm (UTC)
Alexanderashmedai on July 12th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
I feel like it should be as much the Dom taking care of the sub as the sub caring for the Dom, cause that's what you do in a real relationship.

Absolutely, it's a give-and-take, just with different roles. And any decision made takes the other person into account, that goes for both Dom and sub. Sure there are those who want a completely subservient slave, but that's the exception, most want an equal partner they can respect and whom they don't need to micromanage (and seriously, who has time or energy for that?). I think if I walked up to Chris or Connor and asked, "Sir may I wear these socks? May I eat this carrot?" they'd think I'd gone fucking crazy. LOL

I felt like there was a lot of, "We can only be in a relationship if you're my sub," and she was so desperate to be with this guy that she did things that she didn't really want to.

Well that's not BDSM, that's abuse, and I hate when the two are confused.

And the other thing that seemed to get me is that the author seemed almost to attribute his Dominant behavior to his psychologically damaging past.

Aarrghh, yes that old hogwash again! Sure you'll find people with an abusive past in the lifestyle - because you find all kinds of people in the lifestyle from all sectors of society, and fact is some just do have an abusive childhood. But most don't. In fact, after talking to hundreds of people, I'm sure it's inherent, just like being gay, straight or bi, and can't be changed (I've also talked to people who did try to change, and the result was always a catastrophe). Most people I've talked to tell me about being attracted to dominance and/or submission at a very early age, long, long before sex ever became a part of the picture around puberty, and I can say the same for myself.


MissTeacakesmissteacakes on July 12th, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC)
Well that's not BDSM, that's abuse, and I hate when the two are confused.

It's also a good part of the reason I felt like the book seemed anti-feminist, too. Cause we all know she's going to go back to him, and they'll eventually live happily-ever-after. (Blech.)

It's all personality type. It's amazing, I think that we (as a society, not you and I, obviously) can accept Type A personalities, and their role in business, a lot faster than we can do so in relationships, or accept those who are submissive by nature.

And I think the fact that I don't really like what's described, as opposed to the apparent vast majority of women, has something to do with my extreme practicality and devotion to accuracy/realism, and that I know people who live in D/s relationships. (There's something a little weird about the lack of monotony, too. I mean, who wants to have that much excitement all the time?) As much as I like fiction, I need it to have a a strong ring of truth to it.
Alexanderashmedai on July 12th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
It's also a good part of the reason I felt like the book seemed anti-feminist, too. Cause we all know she's going to go back to him, and they'll eventually live happily-ever-after. (Blech.)

Two sequels? Guraranteed. And yes...blechhh!

It's amazing, I think that we (as a society, not you and I, obviously) can accept Type A personalities, and their role in business, a lot faster than we can do so in relationships, or accept those who are submissive by nature.

Most subs - and this surprises some people I've talked to - are absolute type-A personalities, total driven control freaks. But that doesn't surprise me since it goes for me too. It takes an iron will to be able to bend your own will to that of another, and if you can't control yourself, there's no way anyone else will be able to control you.

(There's something a little weird about the lack of monotony, too. I mean, who wants to have that much excitement all the time?)

People have been surprised when I said how infrequently we actually do a "scene". Most of our D/s stuff is met outside the bedroom, so it's actually mostly vanilla sex at our house, instead of cuffs, whips and swinging off the chandellier. That kind of thing is just a bit unrealistic. At some point you have to relax and admit your submissive thing has been met by something as mundane as chores and whatnot. 24/7 isn't a reality, I always say. It's maybe a goal, but it's never met. People just don't have that kind of energy to stay in role all the time.

Edit to add: Not everyone is like that, however, and not every sub is a 24/7 type - some are really just into the sexual aspects, and that's fine. I can only say how it is for me. :)


Edited at 2012-07-12 10:11 pm (UTC)
MissTeacakesmissteacakes on July 13th, 2012 10:39 am (UTC)
Most subs - and this surprises some people I've talked to - are absolute type-A personalities, total driven control freaks.

It makes sense when I think about it; I still think that as a society, we're much more receptive to dominant behavior than submissive.

Not everyone is like that, however, and not every sub is a 24/7 type - some are really just into the sexual aspects, and that's fine. I can only say how it is for me.

I figured as much; while there are plenty of wrong ways to go about any type of relationship, there isn't any "right" way. In the end, it's what works out best for you and your partner.

Alexanderashmedai on July 13th, 2012 12:27 pm (UTC)
I still think that as a society, we're much more receptive to dominant behavior than submissive.

True. But then subs often aren't "generally" submissive. Like me, I'll submit to one or two people like now, but nobody else, and I'm not generally submissive in the least.
MissTeacakesmissteacakes on July 12th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
I think if I walked up to Chris or Connor and asked, "Sir may I wear these socks? May I eat this carrot?" they'd think I'd gone fucking crazy.

I forgot, I was going to say that it would be that, or you'd drive them fucking crazy, asking to do things every two seconds.
Alexander: WWIDashmedai on July 12th, 2012 09:57 pm (UTC)
I think both - lol.
april hope: darth tamponwouldbedorothy on July 13th, 2012 04:37 am (UTC)
There is a brilliant sporking of this horrible, horrible book at the das_sporking comm. They're going chapter by chapter and are up to chapter 8 so far.

Beyond the complete misrepresentation of BDSM, the writing is just... bad. Really bad. She can't even remember what she writes from one chapter to the next. And anyone who supposedly edited that thing should be fired. From their job, and then from a cannon. Into a pile of garbage.
later2nite: write thislater2nite on July 13th, 2012 09:23 am (UTC)
I so agree with wouldbedorothy. I picked up this book in a store and skimmed through it for about 3 minutes just because I was so freaking curious about all the hype when it first came out.

I was absolutely shocked at the poor writing, thinking to myself, "how did this ever get published?" I found myself actually looking for the name of the publisher and editor to see who in their right mind would claim responsibility for such atrocious grammar and punctuation.

Bring on the cannon... *iz sorely needed*
MissTeacakesmissteacakes on July 13th, 2012 10:48 am (UTC)
Luckily, I wouldn't have bought it in a store, just because I have this thing against carrying that type of book up to a counter; I tried to find a bootlegged version online. I had actually forgotten about it after it first came out, and was reminded when I saw this lady come in to work with it in her hand. (Seriously, who reads that shit while eating at a restaurant?)

With a lot of newer books, I'm asking myself how they got published. We live in a world where fanfiction writers have higher standards than publishers!
MissTeacakesmissteacakes on July 13th, 2012 10:42 am (UTC)
We live in a time when publishers will pick up just about anything to make a buck. I'm not sure whose fault it is that this gained so much popularity, but they need to be smacked.
shf1210shf1210 on July 14th, 2012 04:12 am (UTC)
Your Wrong
And your missing an amazing read but if you don't like m/f relationship books I guess it is not your cup of tea. I inhaled all 3 books in under a week and I had to wait 2 days for book 2 & 3 to arrive from Amazon. Your loss she has sold of 20 million so far guess we all who have bought it could be wrong but I doubt it.
MissTeacakesmissteacakes on July 14th, 2012 11:27 am (UTC)
Re: Your Wrong
Despite how my LJ makes it seem, I have nothing against m/f; my problem is her misrepresentation of a D/s relationship, as well as other parts of the little fantasy she's built.

I don't take sales to be any indication as to quality. I've read reviews of it, and even portions of the book. I understand that there are people who like to read about the "perfect man," but I feel like those books just don't have enough plausibility for my taste.