#3: Bonds, Boundaries, and BDSM
OK, on to the fun stuff (or what passes for such in Fifty Shades of Grey, anyway.) So, for all its questionable material, there are still some scintillating Fifty Shades of Grey sex acts which might do wonders for you in the bedroom, as long as you know what you’re doing.
Here’s just a quick list of some of those Fifty Shades of Grey sex acts, along with a few tips and tricks:
The BDSM Lifestyle: BDSM is an amalgam term for ‘Bondage and Discipline,’ ‘Dominance and Submission,’ and ‘Sadism and Masochism,’ all of which factor heavily into both the sexually-charged novels of D.H. Lawrence and, of course, Fifty Shades of Grey. Most of the Fifty Shades of Grey sex acts which have garnered the most attention have their roots in BDSM, but aside from those loose definitions, what does the BDSM lifestyle mean? In short, it’s all about power.
That’s an over-simplification, but for our purposes here, that definition works. There are many different types of BDSM play, and you’re going to want to find something which interests both parties.
One thing every responsible BDSM-practicing partner will tell you is that you have to both know what you’re doing and be ABSOLUTELY SURE your partner is with you 100%.
Some of the actions involved in BDSM play can be extremely dangerous when performed incorrectly, and as parts of the physical and psychological play verge on things like taking pleasure from pain or enjoying subjugation/the act of subjugating someone, you want to be completely sure that your partner is with you, and that you’re not inadvertently torturing rather than titillating your partner.
Spoiler alert: this is not advice which Christian Grey takes…let alone seems to care about. In fact, Christian’s attitude is a good guide to what NOT to do in BDSM play:
- DO NOT force your partner into Fifty Shades of Grey sex acts, it needs to be mutual
- DO NOT demand your partner enter into a BDSM relationship immediately, especially if they’ve never been in one before; this is a type of relationship which takes a lot of trust and can go horribly wrong in terms of physical and emotional pain when done incorrectly, and Christian Grey is wrong to pressure Anastasia Steele to enter into this kind of relationship when she is a virgin and has no prior sexual experience
- DO NOT put your sexual needs before those of your partner
- ALWAYS have a ‘safe word’ for usage if and when the BDSM play starts becoming too much (this E.L. James actually gets right, to her credit)
- ALWAYS make sure that your partner really does ‘want it,’ and be sure that they’re being truthful in their answer and not just trying to placate you, the way Ana goes along with Christian’s abusive actions, in part, in order to please him
- ALWAYS take the time, before and after engaging in Fifty Shades of Grey sex acts, to ask your partner how they are, and check their emotional as well as physical well-being; make sure that they aren’t concealing emotional or physical pain, and if they are, stop IMMEDIATELY and deal with said pain at once.
Cloth Bondage and Blindfolds: To be fair, one of the few areas where E.L. James gets the whole BDSM scene right comes when Ana recognizes that there’s a real chance that first-timers to the bondage scene can experience pain, and that a safe word is certainly needed.
She also has a scene in which Christian uses the shirt Ana’s wearing as a blindfold whilst they do the deed. Both of these maneuvers have potential in the bedroom…you may want to invest in a significantly less-sweaty blindfold than the shirt on your back, but that aside, these are some Fifty Shades of Grey sex acts with possibilities.
Part of the potential for fun in the BDSM lifestyle comes with the interplay between dominance, submission and, overall, power.
Unfortunately, Fifty Shades of Grey turns this portion of the equation into a nightmare (spoiler alert: if your partner reacts negatively to bondage or blindfolds, the right course of action ISN’T to say it’s your way or the highway and force them to take part..)
Think of the power interplay as a sort of tennis match—there are plenty of different maneuvers and ways to strike at what you want, but it needs to be a mutual back and forth.
Handcuffs: One of the more popular items in the BDSM repertoire, and used in quite a few Fifty Shades of Grey-style sex acts. Consider these a different bondage option. Handcuffs are a great for enhancing the trust and power aspects of BDSM.
Behind the back and cuffing to a bedpost are two classic scenarios which can allow you and your partner to act out different Fifty Shades of Grey sex acts…just with, you know, actual consent, instead of what Christian forces on Ana in the Red Room of Pain.
(Side note: if you and your partner associate your BDSM-inspired bedroom play with ‘pain,’ chances are something’s wrong.)
Spanking: Whether or not Ana enjoys this, there are quite a few who enjoy the ‘Good Vibrations‘ associated with a playful spanking. The object here is to produce vibrations or a certain sensation which is pleasurable but not painful. This will differ from person to person, but suffice it to say that as long as your partner’s up to it and consenting, this is one of the potentially-safer Fifty Shades of Grey sex acts to try out.
The book itself features or mentions a wide array of different implements, everything from riding crops to paddles to a person’s bare hand and back again. What you prefer is going to be up to you, and when looking to engage in some Fifty Shades of Grey sex acts with any of these instruments, you’re going to make sure you actually know what you’re doing. After all, a paddle or riding crop used the wrong way—or even the right way but on a person who isn’t used to or in favor of BDSM play—can hurt, and in a non-pleasurable way. Fifty Shades of Grey sex acts are (in theory) supposed to be about pleasure, so take the time to ask your partner what they’d prefer beforehand, and make sure you yourself feel comfortable doing whatever it is you plan to do.
The Fantasies of BDSM: To return to D.H. Lawrence for a moment, he features Gerald atop a horse for a reason. Lawrence’s Gerald—and, arguably, Lawrence himself—enjoyed the ideal of a horse as a sort of sexual fantasy in terms of Dominant/Submissive sexual play. Now, you may find that fantasy exciting, disgusting, or be completely indifferent to it, but remember that as long as a fantasy is kept to just that, and that both sides consent to its action, more often than not said fantasy is a personal matter.
The exception is when that fantasy starts to become reality in a physical, often violent way. Gerald takes that idea of rider-like dominance way too far, and tries to strangle Gudrun; likewise, Christian Grey takes his idea of dominance too far, to the point where Ana becomes afraid of him. Remember, BDSM is supposed to be pleasurable.
If one or both parties are experiencing unwanted emotional or physical pain, you should stop immediately. Ana, by way of her first person narration, continuously worries about Christian hitting or hurting her. Spoiler alert: if the prospect of pain your relationship, BDSM or otherwise, brings you fear, something is wrong with that relationship. Fantasies are fine so long as no one gets hurt, or fears being hurt.
If your fantasies are harming your partner, you need to stop immediately, and if you feel your partner’s fantasies are harming you, emotionally or physically, you need to ask them to stop or, if you feel they will not, leave and get help. (And if you’re looking for some BDSM-inspired fashion, look no further.)