The American female population is still breathless over “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the best selling trilogy of novels detailing an S&M (sadomasochism) sexual relationship. But I breezed through the simple book with a yawn. Not because I have experienced such a tangled and titillating sexual relationship in real life, but because, well, the whole scenario was rather textbook to me.
Yes, I studied this stuff in graduate school. And it was like I knew the plot before it played out, even if the ending was more like Cinderella than Cruella de Vil.
Boy meets girl.
Then boy entices girl into painful, exciting sex. They establish green light/red light code words. Girl likes it. Girl changes bad boy. He falls in love. They live happily ever after. Boring! And far from the truth.
To the average American woman who prefers vanilla sex, the arousal that comes from reading explicit sexual material may have been new and novel. And the details about the tips and tricks of bondage may have been eye opening.
But to anyone who participates in such a lifestyle, this was like reading a boiled down version that missed all the emotional nuances that play out between a “top” and a “bottom.”
“If you do run into a boyfriend who likes a little more
than a slap-and-tickle, don’t think you can change him.”
S&M is more often a lifestyle rather than a part-time hobby.
Some people are just plain wired to be dominant (sexually and otherwise), while others get pleasure being on the bottom.
By the way, my book group was surprised when I asked the question of “In an S&M relationship, who is being served?” It is the bottom, of course. The top is doing all the work, while the bottom is happily tied down and can’t give much while getting a whole lot of pleasure.
And when I say it is a lifestyle, I mean it. It is very common for tops and bottoms to live together very compatibly, with one doing all the serving outside the bedroom and the other doing all the serving inside the bedroom.
The green light/red light code words are standard safety practice (or should be!) so that the words “no” and “please stop” can be used creatively in role playing fantasies.
If you’re thinking of doing a little experimenting in the area of S&M, just to spice up your sex life, there are a few safety rules you need to learn:
- Limb restraints must be loose enough not to cut off blood pressure.
- Airways must be kept unconstructed at all times.
- Knots should be “break free” knots in case of emergency. (Knot-tying techniques are available on YouTube.)
- Never leave a person in bondage unattended, even for a few seconds.
- Always respect code words to stop when asked.
Finally, unlike Christian Grey in “Fifty Shades of Grey,” if you do run into a boyfriend who likes a little more than a slap-and-tickle, don’t think you can change him. That’s where the book has become a serious fantasy.