Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fifty Shades of BDSM

Fifty Shades of BDSM


BDSM is not new, and Fifty Shades of Grey was not the first book to appear under the romance genre.  Back in 1999 I read this series by one of my favorite vampire authors, Anne Rice.  It was titled The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.  This book was found in my local bookstore under Romance, and I have to admit that I was blown away when I read the first pages.  I'd never heard about BDSM, and to say that I was shocked would be a huge understatement.  Imagine if you will expecting to read some sweet Harlequin romance novel and instead discovering people being hung on walls and tortured, and you'll understand my mindset when I first read the Beauty Series.

I remember vividly sneaking into the bathroom to read these books, because I didn't want my grandmother to catch me reading them.  I was fascinated!  This was a world that I had never heard of before, and I was aching to soak up every single minute of it.  I had to know more, did people actually do this kind of thing in real life, surely not, I thought to myself.  At this time I was on AOL (back in the days of the paid subscription), and I ran across a little chat room called LeChateau.

For the next year I would talk to people online who lived this lifestyle and learn things that would change my life forever.  I won't go into those experiences, but I will say they opened my eyes to a completely new world, and eventually I moved to Chicago for a summer to research even more. It was a summer that will live on in my memories for eternity.


So let's discuss BDSM.  In it's basic form BDSM is Bondage, Discipline, and Sadomasochism.  It's a lifestyle that is not hindered by religion (we'll discuss that in a minute), race or financial status.  Society, in the past, has labeled it as perverted and even a form of mental illness.  That was changed in the DSM-IV in 1994 when studies concluded that BDSM did not impair social, occupational, or other factors in life.  You can read about those findings and the subject of BDSM on Wikipedia.

The people that I was fortunate enough to meet when researching had professional titles.  Some were physicians, lawyers, nurses, and even a psychologist.  They were all members of the BDSM lifestyle.  I think the biggest shock was meeting people who were very religious, and chose this lifestyle stating that it went along with their belief that a woman should submit to her husband, that it was biblical.  I was raised in the Bible Belt, so it was very significant to me that religion was not a deterring factor.

What many people fail to understand is that you can have a BDSM relationship without sex.  While most of the romance and erotica books that discuss BDSM revolve around the sexual nature of the lifestyle, it's not a given.  It would take more pages than I have available on this site to delve into the many different ways people incorporate this into their lives, so I suggest you research.  Follow the List of BDSM organizations, to discover more about what this lifestyle is truly about. 

In conclusion, while Fifty Shades of Grey brought BDSM to the mainstream with it's popularity, there is so much more to it than the fiction you read in books.  I encourage all readers to find out the facts before believing that everything you read in romance or erotica is reality.  With our latest book 10 Nights, we delve into some of the scenes of the lifestyle, but it is still a work of fiction.  Tears of Crimson promotes Safe, Sane, Sexuality and the exploration of all fantasies, but we also caution you to educate yourself prior to experimentation.  

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