31st July 2012 - Guest Blogs - 9 Comments

Six Reasons Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t true to life.


I am thrilled to welcome Sophie Morgan author of The Diary of a Submissive to my blog today. She’s going to let off a little steam over that certain book everyone’s talking about! Now, over to you, Sophie!

Six Reasons Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t True to Life…

I’ve always loved erotic fiction that I could relate to, from my very first Black Lace novel (New Woman magazine gave one away as a free gift during my formative years, and it rocked my world) through to the short stories, novellas and books that currently fill my Kindle. But while Fifty Shades of Grey has encouraged thousands of women to spice up their love lives and talk honestly about their fantasies and things they want to try – which can only be a positive thing – the book has done little to remove the misconception that submissives are doormats or throwbacks to a pre-feminist age, and as someone who self defines as ‘submissive’ that makes me grumpy.

So here’s my top six misconceptions drawn from Fifty Shades of Grey – and yes, I know it’s fantasy, just be thankful that I haven’t also thrown in my ‘why The Newsroom is nothing like journalism’ rant too (I’ve inflicted it on about eight different friends this week, although still can’t stop watching – which probably tells you all you need to know about my masochistic tendencies)…

Being into BDSM doesn’t mean you’re somehow broken

No-one looks for profound reasons for someone who finds high heels sexually alluring to be wired that way. Or someone who likes the efficient secretary look, or corsets, or any other kink you care to name. Just because power play in some form or another floats your boat doesn’t mean you are the victim of abuse, mentally ill or in any other way unhinged.

Being submissive doesn’t mean suppressing your personality

Ana spends a great huge part of the books worrying (courtesy of her, frankly quite bitchy, inner goddess) about whether she can either change herself into what Christian wants. Putting aside the whole ‘why would you indulge in sex you didn’t enjoy to land a guy, even if he DOES look like Daniel Craig meets Alexander Skarsgard?’ thing, being submissive doesn’t mean either suppressing your desires, or quietly not mentioning them. You don’t have to be a Stepford sub – you can quite happily show your feelings and thoughts and react like yourself, even within the sexual context. No eye rolling or lip biting is necessary either (although, ok, maybe I eye roll a bit – my inner goddess if I have one is a bit of a sarcastic bint)

cuffs

Not all ‘punishments’ are equal

Pain and ‘punishment’ is a major part of the dominant / submissive dynamic. However, unless you’re uber hardcore (and most people aren’t) they aren’t the way real life disagreements and arguments are sorted. Christian Grey marking Anastasia’s breasts because she dares to bare while on holiday is not an act of sexual punishment, it’s the act of a horrible husband and no number of first edition books, gadgetry or helicopter flights to swanky restaurants is going to make up for it.

Micromanaging isn’t sexy

As a man who yearns for complete control, Christian Grey has an opinion on everything going on in Ana’s life – from her friends, to what she wears, what she eats (and when), even when she heads off to her GP. Suffice to say most dominants I’ve ever met are less hands on, shall we say. This isn’t just because some of my exes struggle to choose their own socks some mornings, but also because, frankly, the allure of deciding everything in someone’s life is just a bit dull after a while. Also, I’d imagine, knackering.

Orgasms: It’s not like retuning a radio…

Ana comes for the first time (ever – SHE clearly doesn’t read women’s magazines) as Christian tweaks her nipples back and forth. That’s all. It’s probably just as well more blokes don’t read the Fifty Shades trilogy, lest we end up with a generation of blokes who think the road to sexual ecstasy is nipple twiddling like a cat burglar trying to crack a safe.

tie

No room to swing a cat-o-nine-tails

BDSM doesn’t have to be accoutrement-heavy. Most people I know who indulge in such things don’t have that much kit to do so, and lots of them also manage it in shared houses or small flats with nearby neighbours. Of course the dominants don’t play semi-naked piano in their penthouse apartment after the deed has been done, so maybe I’m being churlish…

doas

Sophie Morgan is a journalist and author. Her book The Diary of a Submissive is published by Penguin and out now on Kindle / iTunes. It will come out in all good bookshops next month. It has been described as ‘the real life Fifty Shades of Grey’, although Sophie would like to point out she doesn’t bite her lip and would get Silence of the Lambs flashbacks if a strange man offered to show her his red room of pain. Follow her on Twitter at @mssophiemorgan The Diary of a Submissive is available on Kindle now.

9 responses to “Six Reasons Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t true to life.”

  1. Victoria Blisse says:

    Fantastic post. It seems to be the downfall of erotica that people seem to believe it’s all true and not only that but that you’ve done every single act you’ve written about even though it’s fiction. I’m pretty certain Agatha Christie wasn’t often accused of being a serial killer…but that’s my rant, maybe another day!

    Thanks for joining me today, Sophie and if you ever want to visit again just let me know!

  2. Thanks for such a brilliant post – this had me nodding my head and smiling.

  3. Wise words – but at least these books have brought the whole subject out into the open and the numerous debates and articles are certainly going to be educating alot of people about a subject close to our hearts…

  4. susiej says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this! Loved the sarky asides and yes, I have read the trilogy…too many friends were reading and recommending it…I told them not believe everything they read. I don’t know how much research was done but to me it seemed as though the author had read a few books and threw random scenes into the novel. I also strongly objected to her treating BDSM as an illness that could be cured. Rant over!

  5. Wendi Zwaduk says:

    Well said. I’ve gotten into more than one argument about the respect factor in this book. But you’ve said it all nicely and with great snark! Thanks!

  6. Fab post, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ve only read the first book so can only think the breast marking thing is in one of the other books. Sounds horrid.

  7. Kyoko Church says:

    ” It’s probably just as well more blokes don’t read the Fifty Shades trilogy, lest we end up with a generation of blokes who think the road to sexual ecstasy is nipple twiddling like a cat burglar trying to crack a safe.” Holy shit, laughed out loud! Hilarious. And very true.

  8. LOL! Thank you for this! As a writer who is actively involved in BDSM (I’m a switch) and writes about it, I say AMEN to your points. I haven’t, unfortunately, been able to read the books. But I’ve heard lots of ranting and teeth-gnashing on the same points you’ve mentioned from my friends in the lifestyle who did manage to read them.

  9. […] week ranting, very gracfully I might add, about a certain book. *aherm* I knew from reading ‘Six Reasons Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t true to life‘ that I was going to love her book, The Diary of a Submissive. I was very excited when it […]

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