Friday, February 13, 2015

50 Right Ways to Approach BDSM/TTWD: Getting to Know You

Welcome to my new blog series for the next few days!

In honor of Valentines Day and the questionable movie/book series that is being associated with romance this particular Valentines Day, I'd like to differentiate (for anyone wondering) between a healthy approach to BDSM/TTWD and what is portrayed in these popular books.

Yes, I've read them. I won't comment on the writing, since that subject has been thoroughly trashed and exhausted by pretty much everyone. The point is, the books were written, and they were a smash hit. And now many women may be fantasizing about this type of beautiful relationship, that we know to be about a delicate exchange of dominance and submission between two caring, often loving partners. 

With everyone and their mother now weighing in on the subject, I've seen BDSM, as a whole, equated to abuse. In fact, I saw a sweeping statement made by a psychiatrist that said "A healthy woman dreams about wedding gowns, not handcuffs." Really??? What kind of psychiatrist makes that sort of generalization about "healthy women?" (Remind me never to see her, should I seek therapy.) 

This may be a long list--some of the points very obvious--but it's worth writing, and I'm all about symbolism. I'm even dividing them into phases to ensure posts that aren't a mile long. This first phase is the "Getting to Know You" phase of my series. So, here goes--50 Right Ways to Approach BDSM/TTWD:

Getting to Know You

1. Christian Grey finds out where Ana works and shows up uninvited--a healthy dominant asks where his potential partner works in the course of getting to know her and does not show up there, unless invited.

2. Christian Grey visibly changes his demeanor when Ana talks to other men--a healthy dominant realizes that a potential partner will inevitably talk to other men and is OK with the fact that she may even choose to pursue a relationship with one of them--after all, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

3. Christian Grey tells Ana that she should find him intimidating--a healthy dominant is warm and approachable to a potential partner, because he wants to establish a trusting relationship in which neither party is intimidated.

4. Christian Grey warns Ana to stay away from him--a healthy dominant knows that he is a safe person and will do his best to convey that to a potential partner.

5. Christian Grey tracks Ana's whereabouts through her mobile phone and, again, shows up uninvited--a healthy dominant gives a potential partner space to live her own life and, again, only shows up when invited.

6. Christian Grey takes Ana back to his hotel room when she is too drunk to consent and even remember what happened--a healthy dominant only invites a potential partner to his hotel room when both parties are sober and able to consent.

7. Christian Grey says "If you were mine, you wouldn't be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday"--a healthy dominant does not use threatening language like this, unless the potential partner is, in fact, his and has consented to being his.

8. Christian Grey finds out where Ana lives without telling her--a healthy dominant will, at a comfortable and natural stage in the relationship, ask where a potential partner lives, and, again, not show up unless invited.

9. Christian Grey shows Ana that she will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement--a healthy dominant AND a healthy submissive are comfortable and trusting enough of each other, that they can make a mutual, verbal agreement to keep the details of their adult activities private.

10. Christian Grey overwhelms Ana with a long contract and demands a list of her "hard limits" before she is ready--a healthy dominant will make a new partner as comfortable as possible, and will slowly introduce desired elements of BDSM by asking first, when he thinks she is ready.

That's it for this post...and this was just the Getting to Know You phase! To recap what a healthy dominant does when looking for a potential partner in BDSM:

  • asks for details of his partner's life in the natural course of getting to know her
  • does not show up uninvited
  • gives her space
  • makes her feel comfortable and tries to gain her trust
  • gets her consent before doing or saying anything as "her" dominant
  • ensures there is mutual trust and respect for privacy before starting anything
  • eases his partner slowly into his style of BDSM, by introducing one thing at a time, and asking first
Stay tuned for the next phase!


  1. Hi Autumn, I loved reading your list. I am a FSOG fan, but treat it only as fiction and am fully aware of the weaknesses the story has. I would be dead scared if somebody stalked me in real life, like Christian Grey did in the story. Haha, and I would call hubby to deal with that, because it would be a safety issue. :)

    You are absolutely right with what a healthy dominant should do and I’d say that most of these points are valid for the sub too, because the dom has the same rights of being safe and not pushed. Can’t wait for the next part, great post. Happy Valentine’s day!



    1. Oh yes, Nina. I could probably do an entire separate series for what a good *sub* does in a D/s relationship. But since the current movie focuses on a dominant man pressuring a vanilla girl into doing what he wants, I figured I'd focus on that aspect of things first ;)

  2. Hi Autumn! :) I love your post. I too am looking forward to the rest of the series here.

    I loved the 50 Shades books. I took them for what they were. They did lead me to explore and I would not be here if it had not been for them. However, I do not look at them as a notable representation of proper BDSM. For me they are just a fun fictional story. I am going into the movie looking to enjoy, and not criticize, and with an open mind. At the same time, it is all just like you say- so NOT what is depicted in the book/movie. Real life is so very different.

    You are right- there will be a ton of media that will diminish all who practice BDSM. That is how the media gets its readers/viewers. It is a shame. So good for you for talking about what it really is. Many hugs,

    <3 Katie

    1. I like the books, if only for that reason--they led more people to our awesome little world, where we tell it like it is! So glad you did further exploration before jumping right in!

  3. We saw the movie last night. I agree it is even worse than the books, particularly in its portrayal of the Dominant party as damaged goods. Also, it just isn't very sexy, and he is utterly unconvincing as a Dominant. I wanted to see someone with an edge, who exuded a sense of authority. Definitely not going to see that from this Christian Grey.

    1. I think I'll wait for the bootleg copy to come out.

  4. Oh guys, don't get me wrong, I read the books and absolutely had to take a cold shower after most of the sex scenes. But I found myself *wishing* that those sex scenes would be transported into a different book, with a plot that involved two healthy, confident partners who not only love and care for each other, but also take the time to build trust and mutual respect.

    I found myself hoping that if anyone wanted to try TTWD or BDSM after reading these books, that they would ease their way into it, and take the time to find someone who really respects them or--if they're already married--realize that it would take months and/or years to get anywhere near "Christian Grey" level.