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50 Shades Crappier: On Selling Abuse for Valentine's Day

I have written previously about 50 Shades of Grey, and the problems that I, and many others, have with the presentation of BDSM in the book. In short, the book purportedly explores a woman's sexual awakening in the context of consensual BDSM, but really portrays a woman's emotional abuse in the guise of kink at the hands of a controlling partner.

Which is why I was so disheartened to find out that 50 Shades would be adapted for the screen. I knew it would mean that the franchise would live on for another few years, and that we would continue to be inundated with the books/films and its characters until the screening of the final film. And as I feared, the way the film was talked about in the weeks and months leading up to its Valentine's Day release was fairly frustrating. I found it upsetting to see that the story was getting tied up with red ribbons and sold as the perfectly romantic Valentine's Day date. You could get anything from flowers to chocolate to champagne with a 50-Shades

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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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Working the Kinks Out

A lot of false assumptions are often made when people are talking about BDSM. Let's start with a little glossary to be sure we're all on the same page.

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