Ok... So, that book. Yeah, THAT one.
First, let's reprise 4 things we DO know about ... that book.
It's really bad. (In fact, it's so bad that I genuinely thought it was intended as a burlesque, or a lampoon, when I first read it.)
The title character is a fucked-up creepy psycho stalker with mommy issues. There's nothing authentically dominant about him whatsoever. He has a troubling attraction to helplessness and naïveté, and the story sure as hell doesn't help equally naïve readers distinguish between dominance and abuse.
The story certainly doesn't do BDSM or its cognoscenti any favors, either. (The title character is said to have first become submissive, as the result of, essentially, statutory rape -- and then somehow evolved into this faux-dominant poser. There are so many things wrong with this portrayal that I don't even know where to start counting -- or where to stop facepalming.)
But... it's a cultural sensation nonetheless.
Its effects have spilled over into the public consciousness, the incidence rate of STI's among the post-menopausal crowd, and even the inventory turnover of hardware stores.
OK, that's the background.
Now, let's talk about a MORE insidious effect of That Book -- about which I haven't heard as much chatter, either in real life or on the internet.
Thanks to that book... For a lot of people, fuckin' can't just be fuckin' anymore.
The most pernicious effect of this whole 50 Shades phenomenon, as I see it, is that many of the book's devotees have started to view EVERY sex act through the lens of "domination" and/or "submission".
EVERY SINGLE THING.
For these unfortunates... fuckin' has lost its ability to just be fuckin'. Sex can't just be sex anymore -- it HAS to be power games, all the time.
Don't get me wrong here -- I LOVE sexual power games. Deep in mah darkest deepest heart of hearts (yes, I actually have a heart), I'm one of the most sexually submissive creatures that ever rolled off the machines of God's North American manufacturing works. I had lurid fantasies at age 11 that would make post-apocalyptic warlords blush. I can have blinding orgasms just from being slapped across the face -- by the man I love -- with the perfect verbal lashing to accompany it... let alone more intense things. #fuckyeahmarriedlife
Even for a degenerate like me... MOST fuckin' is just fuckin'. MOST sex is NEITHER "dominant" NOR "submissive" -- but MOST sex includes a healthy complement of making sweet hot intense emotionally invested luuuuvvv.
...And THAT's the biggest problem this 50 Shades phenomenon has caused -- ALL THAT has been lost, for many of the book's biggest aficionados.
For far too many 50 Shades fans... BDSM limits, rather than enriches, their sexuality.
I've seen and heard discussions -- not only on the internet (where every imaginable manner of weird discussion prevails), but even in real life -- about things like whether it's "inherently submissive" to go down on a woman.
Sweet hell, I even heard a serious conversation once between a couple of thirtyish guys -- in the real, live, living breathing world -- about whether it was "submissive" to KISS a woman.
Yeah, they were a little tipsy... but... SRSLY?
Worst case scenario, there's going to be a whole army of disaffected women whose faux-"dominant" boyfriends are afraid to go down on them. Or even KISS them.
And however many thousands of men AND women with, essentially, stunted sexual growth. Unable to just make sweet love.
NO sex act is inherently "dominant" or "submissive".
Not a single one.
As an analogy, consider the word "bitch". "Bitch" is a word.
Think of all the different ways a man could say "Bitch" to a woman.
• He could be sniveling and butthurt, and it'll just make him seem even more pathetic.
• If she's afraid that she's rubbed someone the wrong way, he could say it sarcastically, and -- ironically -- comfort her.
• He could glower at her with fire and anger -- and passion -- in his eyes, and scream it at her because he loves her so much and hates her so much... all at once.
• He could say it while he fucks her into sweet orgasmic bliss -- to let her know in no uncertain terms that she's his bitch.
You get me.
With ANY sex act, it's the same.
The THINGS you do in bed are like words. They can communicate absolutely anything you want them to communicate. If you read something as "inherently submissive", then that's your fault, for having such a limited point of view.
With the right lover, ANY sex act can be "submissive"... or "dominant"... or loving... or degrading... or maybe all of the above, all at once.
Or none of the above. Because sometimes, fuckin' is just fuckin'.