Sometimes, I cannot believe I am addressing this 50 Shades nonsense. 

But I do anyway, because I would be remiss to ignore a cultural phenomenon that affects My precious community.

Getting down to it:

Essentially, 50 Shades of Grey created a fairly unhealthy, romanticized view of abuse for plenty of people (with little or no prior exposure to BDSM proper) who watched it. In BDSM, there is no shortage of outrageous nonsense, including aggressive blowjob videos that spin a BDSM session fantasy in many potential clients who believe I will be their "naughty porn star." So, it is not solely 50 Shades that I can blame for giving a false impression of either the community or members of it. In fact, even Short Bus (a film that I love), taken a bit out of context due to lack of exposure can lead some viewers to believe all Dominatrices are sullen, mopey, inherently submissive characters who lack a control over their own life that can only be replaced by controlling others. It is with this in mind that there starts to be a clear view of how inaccurate most media exposure in BDSM. But which came first, the chicken or the egg? One can suppose that it doesn't matter, or that these experiences may actually exist, these archetypes could be real, I just manage to somehow never see them... at any rate, your mileage may vary. But as for 50 Shades Darker - 

The trailer started off a typical romantic plot, full of platitudes and garbage. The very beginning invites you to forget the past. Christian Grey announces his lack of anticipation of how he felt for "the girl," who in turn demanded the situation must change if they were going to rekindle their "great BDSM love story" (that, mind you, didn't exist). He promises to change. Then eventually within the last 30 seconds, the plot thickens, everything escalates visually, and a crescendo of music lets you know that Shit Gets Real at some point.



It is not clear to whom this trailer is directed: people who want to get into 50 Shades but cannot bring themselves to sexualize abusive relationships? Those who hated the original film for putting out garbage on behalf of our community? An errant housewife who thought the first was a little much, but saw potential if things were corrected? Abusers who want to view themselves in this light? The demographic is confusing at best. 

There were many ways this story could have been told, developed, and ultimately marketed to audiences. Did they maximize the mainstream attraction to BDSM without all the responsibility involved? Perhaps. It could be argued that I am rehashing every Domme's unhappiness with popular depictions of BDSM in art. Or that "even bad publicity is good publicity" - a statement with which I do not agree - and I should just be happy that the average stay at home mom can use this piece as masturbatory fodder to get her juices flowing in the direction of D/s relationships. Sure, those points can be argued, but 50 Shades could have done their due diligence in outlining that this should not be the average experience for BDSM-led relationships.