There has been a lot of debate on the topic of 50 Shades of Grey concerning whether or not the book / film portrays a consensual BDSM relationship. Regardless of where you stand on the debate, we need to have the ability to separate fiction from real life and understand that just because freedom of speech / artistic expression allows authors to write about nonconsensual sex in a positive light doesn’t mean that we, as real life members of society, are entitled the freedom to carry it out.
Related Post – 50 Shades of Abuse
Even if the film clearly sexualizes rape (which is a debate that could go on forever), there is something to be said about allowing such films to create this bigger conversation that we’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in. Controversial movies and books are able to bring taboo topics, such as sexual abuse, to the mainstream where they belong. We shouldn’t be shy about making our definitions of consent as clear as possible and we shouldn’t ever feel the need to suppress honesty about our own personal boundaries. So for that, this movie has been a blessing. But, for every blessing, there is a curse.
It didn’t take long for someone to start using the tactics found in 50 Shades as their own. A young man, Mohammad Hossain, from the University of Illinois allegedly tied up his partner, beat her, and forced sex on her, even after her multiple cries for him to stop. When asked by the authorities, the 19 year old claimed he was simply trying to recreate scenes from the movie. Although, admittedly, he says he thinks he “might have done something wrong”. Read the full story here.
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He also claims that the sex was consensual, because prior to the incident, the victim had willingly taken off her clothing for him. We’ve said it before and we will say it a million times over if that’s what it takes for people to understand — Consent is required every step of the way. If your partner consents to some things, but not others and you do them anyway, then you don’t have consent. If your partner has consented in the past, but not today, then you don’t have consent. If your partner is into BDSM, likes to be tied up, likes it when you take control, or likes to be dominated, but they are asking you to stop… then you do not have consent.
Related Post – Consent In Relationships
As always, we support and encourage healthy sexual relationships of any kind. But if you choose to involve yourself in the BDSM lifestyle, please be certain of two things:
1) You create clear boundaries. You and your partner should create a safe word before you get involved so that each of you has a way out of the situation if problems should arise. Make sure you trust your partner to respect those boundaries. Be very clear about any limits you have beforehand.
2) Your have your partners consent. Just because you’re into dominating someone in the bedroom, or because you think it looked sexy in the movies doesn’t mean your partner is into it, too. Don’t assume that all girls / guys like the same things. Talk to your partner. Find out how they feel about it. Find out how far they’re willing to go, before you go there.
Talking to your partner ahead of time could be the difference between one night of incredible sex or a lifetime of being registered as a sex offender. Choose wisely.
**All opinions in this piece are of the writer, Pinky Anderson, and do not in any way reflect the opinions of A Voice For The Innocent, the Board Members, or any affiliates.