How 50 shades of grey influenced the BDSM culture?

The influence of the popular young adult novel Fifity Shades Of Grey has been very intense and dividing amongst the BDSM community. The Twilight fanfiction spin-off deals with Christian Grey, a charismatic, handsome billionaire, who after getting the hots for the main character, proceeds to have a very BDSM-heavy relationship with her.

First and foremost, the biggest issue the BDSM community has with 50 Shades Of Grey is that it heavily misrepresents BDSM relationships, or at the very least, doesn’t present a healthy one. Even BDSM porn presents a much healthier and genuine picture of a true BDSM relationship.

The biggest transgression the movie makes against the BDSM community is Grey’s blatant disregard of safe words. While the duo do set up a safe word, once it is screamed multiple times, he elects to ignore it. In the movies and books, this is played off as passionate, romantic and intense, however in real life it can cause significant discord between two partners.

Safe words, and by extension trust, are two of the most important components of a BDSM relationship. Disrespecting your safe word is akin to disrespecting the submissive party, ignoring a safe word often ends up in a fight, or worse, a breakup. After all, would you really want to have Bondage sex with someone you felt like you couldn’t trust to untie you?

Another major issue with the BDSM displayed in the hit film are the very acts being depicted. The books were obviously written with someone whose only experience with BDSM was seeing it in a porno once or twice. The horrible acting doesn’t help this much either. It depicts BDSM acts in a romanticized, often skewed, or even outright wrong perspective, many of the scenes presented are either unfeasible in real life, or can even be dangerous.

Another issue with the film is that it displays BDSM relationships as these obsessive, possessive, crazed things. It represents the BDSM community as people which are essentially messed up in the head, this is mostly due to Christian’s behavior in the books.

He shows blatant possessive, obsessive and abusive behavior in many scenes, while this is glossed over by the average reader, it reinforces dangerous stereotypes about the BDSM community. This makes the movie rather unpopular in the community, however a  positive of its impact is that it brought attention to the BDSM community, and brought it into the mainstream.