The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!

#114: Mutual Pleasure Requires Mutual Responsibility - how to expand your sex play safely

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, February 23, 2015

I don’t really like using a cheesy romance as a basis for sex education, but hey, with all the fuss about 50 Shades The Movie, here I go.

But before I do, let’s clarify a few things:

1. It’s a story not a documentary.

2. Research has shown that people who engage in BDSM are more psychologically stable than the population as a whole.

3. The final scene would not happen in real life if he was as experienced as portrayed.

Now, to the content. Overall, just like the book, it’s Mills & Boon meets BDSM. It’s romance genre, it’s not meant to be taken seriously. Just as no-one takes Game of Thrones seriously - I’ve just watched all four series and have never been exposed to so much rape, carnage, violence, abuse, sadism, and general machiavellian nastiness in my life. But hey, it’s good entertainment!

The movie, like the book, is about two people developing a relationship, interspersed with some soft porn scenes which are titillating, if mild sensual BDSM is part of your personal eroticism, bewildering or even disturbing if it’s not.

The difference between the movie and the book: in the book you turn the page after that awful scene where he seriously hurts her - and he’s completely horrified that she hadn’t used her safe word. In the movie it leaves you hanging having just viewed what looks suspiciously like domestic violence.

One of the essential requirements to expanding sexual play in any way is mutual responsibility. The more out there you go, the more important it is that you communicate with your partner about how you’re finding the experience, and your partner responds positively to that communication.

This is essentially what differentiates BDSM from domestic violence: mutual consent, equal participation, mutual responsibility.

She should have let him know it was too much for her.

Having said that, he should have realised that he was going too hard. That’s the most unrealistic part of the movie, an experienced dom like him would never be so unaware.

It’s like wearing a seatbelt when driving a car, you have a safe word when playing with BDSM. If you don’t, you might be fine most of the time, but if it goes bad it will be much worse without the seatbelt/safeword.

She wasn’t wearing her seatbelt, and admittedly he was driving too fast. Neither were playing safe and they both got hurt.

All sexual interaction, straight, kinky, whatever, is supposed to be about pleasure.

If it’s not pleasurable, don’t do it.

And if you do it, play safe.



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