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Fifty Shades Darker: Consensual or Abusive?

Almost everyone has heard about the Fifty Shades trilogy by now. If case you have not, it is an erotica romance book series originally written online as fan-fiction by E.L. James. The series consists of Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. Universal Studios adapted the trilogy into a movie series, the first movie released back in 2015. The second one was just released on February 10. Which is why we are sharing this information now. There has been a great deal of controversial speculation that the series (both book and movie) has glorified abusive relationships and further distorted the reality of those actively participating in BDSM. Most experts say it has and many public outspoken members of the BDMS community have said “there are healthy, ethical ways to consensually combine sex and pain,” according to Emma Green in her article Consent Isn’t Enough: The Troubling Sex of Fifty Shades written for the The Atlantic Daily. The storyline revolves around the intimate relationship of two characters participating in BDSM, short for bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism. The main characters take on dominant (Christian) and submissive (Anastasia) roles. In the practice of BDSM, the dominant maintains control over the submissive for the gratification of both parties.. This type of control is viewed as healthy and nonabusive by many real life participants because they have given CONSENT. In the first movie the submissive character was encouraged to do research regarding the practice of BDSM and both characters go through a long contract regarding everything they are willing or not willing to perform.

There is abuse shown in the second book and movie though. Fifty Shades Darker goes through the storyline of Christian’s past and how he was abused as a child, which led to his introduction into BDSM. There is also a former submissive that is introduced in this movie that is disturbed and stalks Anastasia. Christian is not considered an abuser due to the fact that he does not posses those qualities such as, extreme jealousy, constant belittling, erratic mood swings, or possessiveness. According to the University of Michigan, “consent is when someone agrees, gives permission, or says ‘yes’ to sexual activity with other persons. Consent is always freely given and all people in a sexual situation must feel that they are able to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or stop the sexual activity at any point. Always remember that consent should not be assumed.” Disclaimer: BDSM is not a sexual practice that should be taken light-heartily; expand your knowledge of the practice. Due to the popularity of the Fifty Shades franchise, more people may be experimenting with these practices. Do not ever let someone pressure you into trying something that doesn’t feel right for you..

50shadesdarker blog post  
50shadesdarker blog post