Ever since I made the site public I’ve been getting bashed about it from “twue” kinksters, all of whom are horrified by the books and disdain anything ‘associated’ with it. But I have a different view.
When I first read the books, I was SO angry. For me, kink is a HUGE part of my identity, both personally and professionally and the fact that this trilogy, with so much misinformation, had made such a high level of mainstream success horrified me too. I wrote a scathing review breaking down why the books were so wrong, but before I posted it I started having random conversations with women who were reading the book or talking about reading the books. These conversations gave me the chance to gently and respectfully point out the misconceptions and stereotypes the books promote and to point those women in the right direction to learn safe information about bringing their “Fifty Shades” fantasies to life.
This is when my opinion changed. For the last 10+ years it has been my mission in life (and will likely continue to be for the rest of my life) to help anyone who’s interested improve their kinky sex life. What can I say, I’m an information slut *wink*
I still think the books are horribly written, basically around a 5th grade level. I still think that the books promote dangerous ideas about what a dominant/submissive relationship is all about. I still think that it’s unfortunate that *these books* have become mainstream lexicon for kink and have been the catalyst to get society talking about kink in ANY way. All of those things trouble me about the trilogy.
But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a HUGE opportunity for those kinksters that want to reach out to all these new ‘kinky people’ and guide them in a better direction. Many who read the books, simply see it as a fantasy. They like to role-play the characters and ‘act out’ the activities online or on twitter (where a lot of “Greysessed” fans communicate) and that’s fine. The books weren’t meant as a how-to and those fans don’t see them as a how-to. However, now the books have been so completely commercialized that they’re selling kits of kinky gear with the books and branded by the books. They’ve even been “personally chosen and approved by E.L. James”, who has admittedly never had kinky sex in her life. This is where the books start to be turned INTO how-to books and that is the most dangerous thing about them.
Personally I don’t agree at all with the Gorean line of kink, with all the misogyny and ‘rules’ coming from a series of sci-fi book. But Gorean kink is generally accepted as a part of the BDSM world, even if not everyone agrees with the basis for the kinky interactions. That doesn’t mean I go into their groups and bash them and call anyone who’s into it a fake or a phony or any of the other things Fifty Shades fans have been called on places like Fetlife.
Every single “twue” kinkster had to start somewhere. Some started with comic books and cartoons with damsels in distress. Some found porn magazines and discovered they weren’t the only one who had a foot fetish. Now that the internet is SO prolific, many have discovered and expanded their kinky interests online, either through porn or a site like Fetlife (or CollarMe, or Kink Academy or whatever) because while we may have the desires, we all need to learn how to express them appropriately and safely. Every single kinkster started out as a ‘tourist’ in some capacity. Looking and learning and watching and wanting.
For some who have fallen in love with these books, kink will simply be a fad or a phase and those people will eventually fade out. But many will find that this is a real part of their sexuality and will pursue their kinky experiences more deeply. Wouldn’t you rather they have safe, solid, expert information to turn to, in a language their newness can understand? I would.
More than 3 years ago I started building KinkAcademy.com which was born from a desire to help the kinky people in the world who didn’t have access to live classes or were tired of books and singular DVDs being their only educational sources. Some kinky acts are fine to experience as a trial and error type thing. But not ALL kinky acts should be taken that lightly. And when someone comes from the perspective of a love of Fifty Shades, I don’t think they should take ANY kinky act lightly, exactly because they have started from a place of misinformation.
So I launched FiftyShadesRomance.com as a place for those people to go and learn about bringing their fantasies to life safely, consensually and from genuine BDSM educators. I built them a special site because some of the exotic activities on KinkAcademy.com can be intimidating for those just starting out. I built them this special site because Fifty Shades is something they recognize and catches their attention. I have NO shame about speaking to them in their own language and ‘hooking’ them with something they recognize and are already interested in. I have NO shame about providing more informed education for those who do want to continue their kink adventures.
So for those that say I’m “taking advantage” of “those who don’t know any better” (that’s an exact quote from someone bashing me in a Fifty Shades group) try to see the broader picture. Try to understand that the kink community is so absolutely important to me that I want to help counteract the misinformation in the trilogy. Try to see that this is an opportunity, although one we kinksters didn’t ask for, or want to come in this form, to educate society on what kink, BDSM and D/s is all about. Because whether we like it or not, Fifty Shades is out there in a major way and if we long-time kinksters DON’T speak out, those books really will become the societal reference for the kink experience. And that’s something I’m pretty sure none of us want.