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Hello to all and happy February! I love the month of February because we get to celebrate one of the best holidays around, and since this is my second Valentine’s Day with my significant other, I am pretty excited to see what this day holds for us– even though I’ll be working at my serving gig all day.

Recently within the past two years, February has not only been the signified month of ‘love’, but it has been the month of, should I say, lust? Covetism? Passion? Sexual appetite? Some of you may catch my drift, but two years ago on Valentine’s Day the movie Fifty Shades of Grey dropped into theaters and changed women’s lives everywhere. Now, this Valentine’s weekend, Fifty Shades Darker will be hitting the scene with high anticipation.

I feel awkward talking about sex on an open forum such as the Internet because I know the people who read my posts are more than likely my friends and family or whoever stumbles across it. This could the first impression you have of me, so let me assure you all that I am not necessarily talking about myself throughout this blog, but about the importance of being sexually aware and not judging the things that some people find sexy and appealing.

I did not watch Fifty Shades of Grey when it first came out in theaters, but finally got around to watching it a few weeks ago. I was expecting something completely different than what I watched. The way people were criticizing this movie, I was expecting something more outrageous… The movie was shockingly tame. I feel like I’ve seen more controversial sex acts on national television or on shows like Game of Thrones. I honestly could not understand how someone could watch this movie and be appalled… We’ve all seen much worse, lets be real.

If we’re going to be honest here, I loved the movie. It kept me entertained, the plot line was great, the passionate moments were canny and the actors were superb, but keep in mind this critique is also coming from someone who loved Twilight movies and thought Robert Pattinson was the ultimate sex symbol in my young life.

This movie has kept my mind wondering more about BDSM, S&M, dominance, submission and other things that most people don’t really want to talk about in a *healthy*, educational manner. I remember when this movie came out, a lot of people (mainly women) were up in arms and distraught over the fact that such a risqué and “anti-feminist” movie that provoked and glamorized “rape” or “unhealthy” sexual desires was being made into a silver screen movie. Then, more people were upset when this movie turned out to be fantastic.

As someone who has studied and devoted my time and professional education to psychology, social work, and understand the epidemic of what “rape culture” is, I am here to tell you that what this entire movie is about isn’t disgusting, but what is natural to human sexuality.

I’ve asked so many of my friends and peers what they think about this movie and how they feel about the main character, Anastasia Steele, being a submissive to the dominant, fierce alpha, Christian Grey. One of my friend’s said, oh, she must be weak. She must not value herself or her identity. She must not even respect herself.

I was shocked to hear those words come out of her mouth, because if anything, I felt completely opposite of my friend. I feel like Anastasia Steele has to be one of the most strongest, most self-respecting characters that I have seen in a movie.

Nobody likes to admit to strangers what they like behind closed doors, nor do we deem it appropriate to talk about our sexual fantasies over dinner with friends and family. But, we can sit around and even form groups bashing the men and women who enjoy living a dominant or submissive lifestyle.

Some of the most influential, dominant, strong, respected people in the world like the idea of being controlled. Why? Probably because they’re controlling every other aspect of their world and by giving all power to their sexual partner can be quite liberating and very freeing for some people. In many ways I can understand why control freaks would want to let go.

Imagine you were the submissive in a dominant sexual relationship. Here I will show you how this type of sexual desire should not be frowned upon, but instead looked at as being empowering and insightful.

Here you have your life partner or whomever you’re deciding to have this relationship with. Obviously you can’t go into this type of situation blind, so you start with an outline. You discuss what you like, what they like, what you hope to gain out of this, what they hope to gain, and what really drives you to act in this sexual manner.

This is where you’re establishing sexual boundaries by creating an outline and discussing your hopes and thoughts about this type of sexual play. Within this outline you’ll establish what you like, what you don’t like, safe words, what you’re willing to try, what is strictly off limits and what signs your partner should look for when you’re enjoying your time together or when you’re not. By establishing this, even as the submissive, you are indirectly being dominant. You are still in control. You still have all the pull of the reign. Never once have you lost anything, but have gained so much insight and mutual respect (and less awkward encounters) by being front-forth with what you both want.

I think when many people think of a submissive/dominant relationship, they think of being completely controlled beyond their will. That is not the case. The dominant partner does not get all of the satisfaction and SHOULD be just as worried about the submissive having a good time as much themselves. Many dominant partners look for submissive partners to make them (the submissive) feel good, not opposite. So, again, if you think about it, the dominant wants to control you and make you feel great while also gaining personal satisfaction, but ultimately you’re still in control as a submissive just by receiving satisfaction.

This movie and this lifestyle does not glamorize or promote rape culture, or bring feminists back at all… There are plenty of homosexuals who also enjoy this type of sexual desire. This type of genre within sex is not age restrictive, gender discriminating, or harmful to anyone. I think there can only be positive things to come out of exploring your body and your mind, as long as you’re willing to be open about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I can see where this can go sour. Maybe a partner may have expected something different or maybe they didn’t enjoy what was happening in the moment and felt vulnerable. I’m sure we’ve all felt that way at least once in our sexual encounters. It is so awful to feel self-conscious and vulnerable. It is awful to feel unsatisfied and alone in the most intimate form of human contact. But, most of the time when we feel this way it is because we have not established ourselves within sex or we have not been vocal enough.

It is not wrong to say stop, it is not wrong to tell your partner no. If they are understanding and respectful of you and the outlines you’ve set, then a “stop” or a “no” should not make them feel emasculated or embarrassed. I’m not a sex therapist or a guru or even someone who is experienced enough to be talking about this– But, I do know that any good sexual relationship should be open. You should be able to talk freely about what you want and don’t want and what is best for both of you. BDSM or any type of ‘advanced’ sexual play is not something you can just do… Because then yes, it may feel like someone is raping you or holding you against your will. Only the uneducated would say that BDSM or any other type of submissive/dominant relationship is harmful.

I also can see where people could make the connection to rape with this type of sexual play. I do not advocate for rape survivors to engage in these types of acts, especially if ‘different’ type of acts are triggers for you. I am completely understanding of that and would never downplay someone’s feelings towards this type of sexual desire as being negative. I get it… Extreme BDSM is something I would probably never dabble in either, because I know my limits, my partner knows my limits and I would never want to feel triggered. But, there is a difference between consensual submissive and dominant behavior than being forced against your will. Just because some people have had bad experiences and unfortunately have been raped or molested doesn’t mean that other people can’t enjoy what makes them happy. If we’re going to go this far, then maybe we all shouldn’t have sex because people can be raped and nobody enjoys that. You can’t just frown upon something because you deem it inappropriate. To some people, a submissive or dominant lifestyle is so beneficial and liberating.

Think of all the ways you’re dominant or controlling in your own life… Or in your own relationship. Is that wrong? Is that disgusting? Should that be frowned upon or be called something as serious as “rape”? Probably not.

I am sure this post will have a lot of mixed feelings, and Dad, if you’re reading, I am sorry… But you know, I am open book! I just hope whoever reads this can maybe not be so judgmental and maybe be understanding towards others– even if it is something like their sexual desires. We are all different and that is what makes us so unique. That is what makes us so fascinating and beautiful. Humans are creatures of habit… But, you can’t sit there and tell me you’ve never had fun exploring things outside of your realm. That is what BDSM is like for most people.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. If you read all the way through, you’re awesome.

Taylor

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