I should really finish a series before giving my view on the entire thing. Unfortunately I jumped the gun a bit in my last post Fifty Shades of Annoyed. I stupidly assumed that every book in the series would be as well written and well thought out as the first book. I was sorely mistaken.
I wish that I could pop into the mind of Ms. James while she wrote books two and three of the series. I wish I could understand what (if any) BDSM history she personally has.
Let me first start by explaining the difference between a “sexual sadist” and a “sadist” in the BDSM sense of the word.
A sexual sadist is someone who seeks to hurt others whether they enjoy pain or not. In fact, most sexual sadists get off on the fact that the person they are hurting does NOT enjoy the pain at all. A sexual sadist enjoys watching others in pain, heart-wrenching, gut-clenching pain that etches across their faces and is visible in many other ways across their bodies. He does not care for their safety; he does not care for any rules set up before a scene. Usually a sexual sadist has some dark past that he is trying to control by repeating the scene over and over in the present. Mr. Grey admits this by telling Ana that he beats dark haired girls who remind him of his mother because she didn’t protect him from her pimp and because he wants to punish his mother for abandoning him at such a young age.
A sadist, on the other hand, is someone who controls their temper and works very hard not to lose control, especially while in a scene. They put the safety of their submissive first and make it very clear that the submissive has an out if she needs it (via safewords, signals, squeaky toys and various other techniques). A sadist doesn’t get off on giving pain to anyone or pain in any situation. A sadist only gets off on giving pain to someone who clearly enjoys it and only in certain settings. For example, a sadist would not enjoy watching a masochist (someone who enjoys pain) have her bones broken, or go through heart wrenching emotional pain. He only gets off on the pain that he gives her, and only to a certain point that both parties have agreed upon beforehand.
Outwardly, a sexual sadist and a sadist may appear identical, until just before and immediately after the safeword is called. A sexual sadist will continue regardless of the safeword or will be completely and totally shocked when the safeword is called. He will have lost himself in his needs instead of in the needs of his submissive. A sadist on the other hand, will probably stop before the safeword is called because he pays that much attention to his submissive, that he is able to tell when she is about to cry out for the scene to end. If she does find the need to call out the safeword, the scene stops immediately and the sadist spends the next several minutes (sometimes hours) attending to the needs, desires and wants of the submissive. He goes over the scene verbally with her to ensure that both parties understand why there was a need for a safeword and why it was called. He does his very best to make sure that he never puts the submissive in that place again, after all his goal is her pleasure, not her pain.
Ms. James also seems to think that all submissives are weak, overly-dependent, child-like creatures who will break at the slightest bit of wind. She portrays this by having Mr. Grey confirm to Ana over and over again that she is much too strong to ever be his submissive. Ms. James goes so far as to have the only two submissives we meet in the book be extremely weak characters, one of whom attempts suicide and then is found stalking Mr. Grey and Ana. The brief conversations between Ana and Leila (the submissive in the books) show Leila to be a very fragile creature that is to be handled with extreme care because she is so emotionally unstable. The very fact that Mr. Grey would choose a character like Leila to be his submissive speaks volumes to me about what kind of a “dom” Mr. Grey was.
Another thing that royally pissed me off about the Mr. Grey character is his overwhelming jealousy. Someone in his position, with as much power and control as is needed to be the leader and CEO of so many different companies, would not be an easily jealous person. Jealousy is a sign of weakness and weak people don’t run companies for long, they wind up getting eaten alive by people much stronger than they are.
At several points throughout the book we are told that Mr. Grey is more of an adolescent than a man, at least emotionally. Even his therapist tells Ana this at one point. I am appalled that Ana continued to date and eventually marry Mr. Grey after learning so much about him. Yes, she certainly has unconditional love for him, but in my honest opinion, her love shouldn’t be unconditional. She is not his mother, she is not his sister, and she does not deserve to be walking on eggshells for the rest of her life worrying that Mr. Grey is going to lose his shit over one thing or another.
There are so many red flags raised by Mr. Grey’s character that I wound up resenting him and Ms. James’ portrayal of BDSM. She has one fucked up viewpoint on the whole scene if you ask me. Please understand, healthy BDSM relationships do not look anything like that of Mr. Grey and Miss Steele.
Please excuse any and all grammatical and spelling errors; this post was chicken pecked on my Droid.
Peace, love, happiness and bondage,