As we face the end of the year and the promise of a new facet of our relationship, Sir and I have been talking a lot about why we both are doing this. Next year (you know, tomorrow) will bring its own set of new challenges; we hope to buy a home, new job. But all that has only helped us focus on what attracted us to this lifestyle in the first place and why. See, Sir has always been interested various types of BDSM. I remember, when we were engaged, we watched Secretary (2002) together. I had no idea what the movie was about and he tried to give me the general plot before we sat down, but I really didn’t get it. About half way through the movie I was shocked into silence and by the end of it I was balling. I just remember looking at him, scared and crying, asking “is this what you want?”
A lot of reviews that I read of FSOG focused on the poor writing style. Which, I agree with in principle, but let’s be honest and say that the quality of grammar is not why this book series sold so many copies. There was something about these books that really spoke to people. And, in all seriousness, they spoke to me too.
The story is about a relationship, like any other romantic novel. Except in most historical romances that take place in the wild west or the highlands of Scotland, the damsel needs saved. In this piece, it’s ‘prince charming’ himself that needs a rescue. The traditional template has the female lead making some life-altering change, i.e. location, family, job, emotional growth. Anastasia’s growth in this story is of her own doing; it is Christian who really has the tough choices. Relationships, if they are going to work, require compromise, few traditional romances achieve this. And trust me, I’ve read a lot of them. But across the three books (originally one big one that editors chopped up) there is an evolution. A meeting of two people, that just happens to include an equipped sex dungeon.
To me, the sex got boring. I mean downright repetitive after the first book. But I kept reading in spite of that. The factual information given about BDSM was all accurate. The terms and toys and even the contract used, was believable (at least to me). It may not be how everyone plays, but I could conceivably see a Dominant out there who wanted a relationship within the confines that Christian Grey wanted. Some saw it as an abusive relationship, which if you only read book one, I would agree with. But I hope those same naysayers continued through the series to see a balance that most vanilla relationships struggle to achieve in erotica novels. This book, if nothing else, encouraged people (myself included) to research on their own. I’m sure not every scene turned on every reader, but it got them all thinking for minute. And, even if they didn’t end up going to their spouse/partner/fuck buddy dragging a single-tail behind them, it did start a dialogue.
Sir and my dialogue was surprisingly short. I encouraged him to read the books and told him that the entire thing turned me on, like a lot. He read it, didn’t really like it (he couldn’t get passed the writing style), but came to me and said ‘I’m game’. I think he was actually saying ‘Are you kidding? This is what I wanted years ago, now you come to me like it’s some new idea and take credit for it!’ But his inner rage kept quiet. And here we are.
I am not going to see the movie in the theatre. Sir and I have talked about seeing the director’s cut if/when it comes out on DVD or Blu-Ray. I’m sure it won’t be that great. And if Jamie Dornan keeps talking about how the movie won’t be gritty or disgusting so that it can appeal to the general public I will boycott it completely. I mean seriously, you are playing a Dominant sex god, just own it. Your unnecessary jokes about taking several showers after visiting a BDSM club during your character research is just the most irritating thing. Just for giggles, I encourage you to read Dumb Domme’s post on the subject. She and I differ in view, but she hasn’t read the books and has no intention to, which is fine. This series, as the above hopefully shows, has had an enormous effect on me, so I guess I take it a little more personally than someone so self-assured in her BDSM role (I hope she wouldn’t take offense to that). But I digress…
I understand that the books aren’t for everyone. I cannot fault those who hate the writing, or find the character’s unbelievable, or those in the lifestyle who hate how BDSM is represented. But for me, this book was a window to showing me not to be scared. That not only was I strong enough to try this type of relationship for Sir, but that I might actually really like it. And I do. I love it. It’s a little daunting and I am often still unsure that I am everything Sir wants. But thanks to these books I have dived down the rabbit hole and I cannot fall fast enough.