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50 Shades of BS - How to tell the Difference Between Kink and Abuse

Most of us who work or volunteer here at Scarleteen are bookworms, and are also really interested in following popular culture to see what's happening, especially in terms of frank conversations about sex, sexuality, desire and fantasies. When a lot of people started talking about 50 Shades of Grey, we started paying attention. And when a bunch of media outlets started falling over each other to either hail the book for making BDSM mainstream and celebrating female sexuality or condemn it for those same reasons, we got curious.

As a woman who often enjoys being sexually submissive and as someone who has moved in kink circles, I set out many times to start reading the book, but shied away from it again and again. BDSM, in all its variations and manifestations, has a pretty bad rep: a lot of the time when we meet characters in books or on TV who engage in BDSM, they are either leather-clad outsiders (who are also often involved in sex work - think Lady Heather from CSI Las Vegas), or de

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Is something wrong with me because I like BDSM? Can I like it and still be a feminist?

alice42 asks:

For as long as I can remember, I have been turned on my imagining my own pain and humiliation. I am going out with someone for the first time now, and we've been together for almost eight months. Recently we've started experimenting with very mild SM-type things--tying each other up, biting, spanking. I love it, and so does he. But is this normal? Should I be worried that this turns me on more than anything else we've done together? Is there something wrong with me? (I've never been abused). And can I still be a feminist if I get off on being dominated by men?

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