The big entertainment news this week is the release of the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey, based on a book which originated as Billionaire Dinosaur fanfic. While I haven't read the books, because I value well-crafted writing, I have read up on some of the controversy surrounding them, specifically, their abysmal portrayal of kink. My amatory proclivities tend to be strictly vanilla (I'm more of a BDFM guy than a BDSM guy), but I do have a sort of academic interest in paraphilias (vore and macrophilia are particularly outré ones... for the record, one friend of mine was approached by a couple of "student filmmakers" who wanted to film her stomping on a crayfish, which she declined to do, and another friend of mine, an "alternative model", did a photo shoot in which she stomped on toy cars).
The paradoxical thing about kink is that its practitioners have to be more morally upstanding than vanilla folks- they need to set boundaries and communicate every action in order for everyone to have a safe, good time. The "Fifty Shades" books seem to elide this important prerequisite to the kinky sex acts they portray. In my personal experience, the closest analogy I can come up with is fighting- the important thing about fighting is that the participants have each other's health and well-being in mind. Every time we enter the dojo, we bow- originally, each dojo featured a shrine, but in our secular society, I look at this ritualistic act as a reminder that we, as judoka are leaving the ordinary world behind, that we are engaging in potentially dangerous activities. Similarly, we bow at the beginning of every class and we bow to our partners when we start a workout with them- every bow is a demonstration of trust and a reminder that we have to be better than our everyday selves. I wouldn't want to fight against someone with poor morals (not that I may have a choice in the matter, which is something I would be repulsed by). Similarly, I wouldn't want to engage in any kinky activities with someone who wasn't concerned with respect for a partner's health and well-being.
I sure hope the average "50 Shades" viewer has the savvy to study up on kink before engaging in it, I just don't trust the books' author or the movie's producers and director to make sure that there is a "teaching moment" to instruct the audience to take any of these activities very seriously. If you're going to play with whips and furs, you need to do it with someone with a sweet, sweet heart:
That last sentence was a happy coincidence, I wasn't aware of the video of the two songs back-to-back until a minute ago.