Friday, 13 February 2015

Whatever Floats Your Boat...

Dressing up floats mine.  There, I said it.

There was a fantastic discussion on BBC Radio Humberside this morning, on Fifty Shades and the many, many issues some people have with it (myself included).  My awesome co-campaigner, Natalie Collins (literally, I couldn't love her more) was one guest.  Another was a real-life sub, Pixie, discussing how Fifty Shades misrepresents the BDSM lifestyle.  During the resulting discussion, Pixie said something that really stood out:  "We all have a little bit of kink in us."

I clapped at my phone, nodding furiously at the Listen Live webpage I had open in my browser.  Because yes.  Yes, we do.  And if you're outraged, eyes wide and hair standing on end, it might just be that you've not found (or admitted to) yours, yet.  Please don't shake your head in horror at that, because I'm not suggesting that you, dear reader, have a secret desire to be flogged or anything (although who knows, you might!).  The range of things different people enjoy in a sexual scenario is vast; from dirty talk to food in bed.  From handcuffs to role-play.  From simply dimming the lights and popping on a Barry White CD to turning the lights right off and keeping things distinctly "vanilla."  Because maybe "strictly vanilla" is a kink all of its own.

And that's the thing:  what people like is what they like.  It's a personal choice.  I can no more say "hey, you're wrong to eat mushrooms, because I think they're disgusting" than I can say "eurgh, you like something sexual that I would never, ever do and that makes you gross."

If we can accept that it's not our place to judge a person's taste in food, because it's so inherently personal, why do we feel it's acceptable to judge someone's sexual taste?

I ask, because I'm one half of the team representing Fifty Shades Is Abuse and the very first thing our critics usually throw at us is that we're prudish or anti BDSM.  And let me be very, very clear:  I am neither.

Pictured: Total prude.

It's a very dismissive attitude to suggest that because I'm referring to EL James' novel as romanticising abuse, that I am equating safe, consensual BDSM between two fully informed adults with domestic violence.  It's massively offensive and kind of makes my blood boil, to be honest.  Not once, not ever, have I suggested that BDSM is wrong, or should be judged.  I've actually been at pains to say the total opposite.

And yes, there are people who protest Fifty Shades purely because of the sexual content.  Those people do not speak for me.  They do not represent my views.

As far as I'm concerned, as long as whatever two people of legal age are doing is 100% consensual, safe and not breaking any laws etc, then who are we to judge?  If sex is a form of expression - whether of love or lust is besides the point - then why do we think it's our right to pour scorn on how one person chooses to express themselves?  Why is there one acceptable form of sex, whilst all others are judged?

This is a conversation that needs to be ongoing and requires much more time than I really have to devote to it this evening, but in light of accusations of being prudish, of trying to dictate what adults get up to in the privacy of their own bedrooms and of being anti BDSM, I felt it was necessary to publicly state that in no way am I any of those things.  Nor is the Fifty Shades Is Abuse campaign.

For more information on myths spread about the aforementioned campaign (and the debunking thereof), click here.

In the meantime, whatever floats your boat...Go for it.  This girl won't be judging.


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