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Ok, yes, I know. The release of the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer and the coming release of the film in February means that an even wider audience is going to be exposed to the incredibly inadequate portrayal of BDSM in that story.
And yes, I know. That means that a whole bunch of wannabe kinksters with fantasies bigger than their pain tolerance will be flooding into kink clubs all over the country.
But guys, buried inside of all of that rough are some seriously large diamonds. So let’d all take some deep breaths and look on the bright side.
First and foremost, the influx of brand new people gives us, as a community, a chance to focus for a little while on 101 level kink education, something that is sorely lacking in many communities. I encourage even prominent national and international presenters to dust off their “Intro to Flogging” and “Basic Rope Bondage” classes and get them onto the schedules for February and March. Because there are going to be people who really need those classes. Better yet, “How to Negotiate” or “Recognizing Abusive Relationships Disguised as BDSM” might be good topics for the Spring, too.
Amid the numerous newbies who will attend one event and never be seen again are some people who are genuinely interested and this is a great opportunity to give them a great first experience. Take advantage of it. And keep the douchebag “Master Grey” types away from them.
Second, while it may make it harder to distinguish the serious players from the fantasy types, it is a good thing that BDSM is going mainstream. The more old housewives who read it, and the more spoiled rich kids get caught doing it, the faster the laws will shift to de-stigmatize and decriminalize it. There may be a period of increased hostility first, but the trends all say that most people are fine with consenting adults doing freaky things with each other.
Third, and I can’t stress this enough, our community really, actually needs new people. The big conventions and local clubs alike have begun to experience plateauing or declining membership and attendance. The vendors who produce our awesome shit are running out of customers. And more and more of our single kinksters are looking around and seeing that everyone else is already partner’d up. We really need a new wave of kinky people. And like them or not, these books are getting more people interested.
So embrace it for what it is. And stop pretending the last several generations didn’t have popular, wholly unrealistic BDSM smut that shaped them, too. (I’m looking at you Sleeping Beauty, and don’t think you get a pass, either, O).
Treat this event as a threat and bad things will come of it. Approach it as an opportunity and it just may save, or even resurrect, some of our dying or dead communities and help keep our events in the black.
Here’s the Trailer, in case you haven’t seen it, yet, and want to.