The Atlantic: Consent Isn’t Enough- The Troubling Sex of Fifty Shades

This article by Emma Green in the Atlantic came to my attention today from my good friend, smart cookie, and kink affirmative counselor Dulcinea Pitagora. After reading it I have to think she’s right in her assessment that, to date, this is the best thing I’ve read on all the hubabaloo now that the movie is being released. The article is a long one (I read it on a mobile device…so don’t come back to me with page numbers), but its arguments are well written, clearly defined and contextualized historically. If kink is going to go more mainstream…maybe you as a true kinkster and potential emissary should be practiced or at the very least familiar in those arguments so you can shut down any potential stupid coming out of… say, your obnoxious coworker’s divorced second cousin’s mouth at the annual picnic and prevent them from infecting those you care about.

Read, like, share, repeat…in no particular order.


What is a fantasy? From Freud to Ludacris, it’s been an elusive idea, suggesting both an escape from reality and an expression of hidden desire. In culture, fantasy works like a mirror: It reflects who we are, but it also shapes what we become.

Love it or despise it, American culture’s sexual fantasy of the moment is Fifty Shades of Grey. Since Random House bought the rights to the trilogy in 2012, the series has sold well over 100 million copies worldwide. Trailers for the movie adaptation of the first book have been viewed 250 million times, according to an ad aired in early February; it’s expected to gross at least $60 million at the box office in its opening weekend.

And that means the Fifty Shades fantasy is about to become all the more influential. Yes, the story will likely reach an even larger audience, but more importantly, it will be told in a new, visual form. When the movie comes out, the Fifty Shades version of hot, kinky sex will become explicit and precise, no longer dependent upon the imaginations of readers. Early reports say the movie shows at least 20 full minutes of sex, although it’s only rated R.

The story is… keep reading…