Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

'50 Shades' sets dangerous standard

With the upcoming release of the ‘50 Shades of Grey’ movie, fans and critics alike are anticipating the films portrayal of the raunchy, BDSM activities that the characters participate in.‘50 Shades of Grey’ has caused a phenomenon across the nation, and people of every age have taken the time to read the series.
For those unaware, BDSM stands for: “bondage and discipline/ domination and submission/ sadism and masochism”. The characters in the book series, Christian Grey and Anastasia (Ana, for short), develop a sort of romance based around the former’s interest in BDSM.
While many are hopping on the ‘50 Shades’ bandwagon, they are misinterpreting what the BDSM community is really like. ‘50 Shades of Grey’ gives dangerously unrealistic expectations to it’s readers, because it gives the impression that the BDSM lifestyle is just about romance and kinky sex.
In the actual BDSM community, it’s all about building your trust with your partner(s). Most of the time, there isn’t even sex involved.
The most common roles to find in these relationships are the simplest ones: Dom and Sub. The Dom (dominant) controls the situations in almost every aspect; the Sub (submissive) follows suit. There are a variety of variations to this dynamic.
So, what makes these expectations dangerous?
There are many predators who are taking advantage of the ‘50 Shades’ craze. They know that newcomers think it’s as simple as being tied down to add a little kink to their sex life. In reality, once these pseudo-Doms’ have control of the situation, they will hurt or abuse their victims who have been led astray by fiction.
This lifestyle is all about building trust, being comfortable in your skin, and escaping what is known as the ‘vanilla’ side of life.
There is a very distinct line between domination and abuse.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying ‘50 Shades of Grey’, nor is there anything wrong with wanting to explore your kinky side.
There just needs to be some steps of caution to be taken before divulging your BDSM desires.
The most obvious thing is to never experiment with BDSM unless you are with someone you trust. If you’re looking to be submissive, which is definitely the most vulnerable role, you can visit websites such as
This is a legitimate website filled with forums, definitions of different terms you may encounter, and Q and A’s for all newcomers. This website offers an entire page entitled “Stay Safe” on their main menu, and it would be a wise resource when first trying out your deepest ‘50 Shades’ fantasies.
Whether you think the novel is literary garbage or you love it and it’s open kinkiness, the world of BDSM is a strange, exciting one that many people could find themselves intrigued by. Just be sure to use caution before jumping into the arms of who may or may not be your Christian Grey.

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'50 Shades' sets dangerous standard