Dr. Drew Pinsky is utterly clueless about about bondage, dominance, and sadomascochism in relationships and has no business discussing them on national television. That is my conclusion after seeing Dr. Drew brought in as an “expert,” and yes those air quotes are intentional, on “The Today Show” recently to discuss the book 50 Shades Of Grey. As you may have heard, the explicit, erotic BDSM romance novel about a dominant/submissive relationship has become extremely popular with women across the country — slightly surprising considering how being whipped and spanked is not everyone’s cup of tea. I have not read 50 Shades myself yet, but I’ve read numerous other BDSM novels, short stories, and true-life tales, and I’ve been in consensual submissive/dominant relationships since the age 18 or 19. So I can say with 110 percent confidence that he does not know what he is talking about and Dr. Drew actually did a huge disservice to women and men when he called the book “actual violence against women.”
“[50 Shades of Grey] is actual violence against women,” Dr. Drew said. “I have to tell you —this is the part maybe I’ll get heat for — but there is a lot of violence against children in this country. There are various kinds of physical abuse. People subjected to those experiences are especially aroused by these images. I’m not saying the average women can’t be, but it’s especially arousing for them.”
Wait, so we should all be concerned about BDSM erotica because it might be (clutch pearls) hurting women who were abused as kids? You mean us adult women might not actually know what is good for us?
BDSM is fantasy, pure and simple. People who practice BDSM — which can be anything from vanilla stuff like over-the-knee spanking to more kinky stuff like bondage — follow the tenets of “sane, safe and consensual.” That means everything you do is with a partner you trust, it is done in a way that will cause no real harm, and mutually agreed upon. Some partners create “safe words,” like yellow for slow down or red for stop, so that they can communicate when want their partner to stop. One partner can be submissive and the other dominant, or one or both partners can be a “switch” and play both roles. It’s not always a male partner who is the dominant one, although that’s certainly common. Bottom line: having sex with a kinky partner is generally thoroughly discussed and rather planned out, done in such a way to maximize each partner’s mutual enjoyment.
Does that sound like “violence against women” to you?
I suspect Dr. Drew actually knows the difference between actual mental/emotional/physical abuse and consensual kinky sex. So I honestly cannot understand why he would irresponsibly make this comparison which does nothing other than scare people. It is ignorance from “experts” like Dr. Drew that make women like me who enjoy BDSM — joyously consenting as a mentally stable adult — afraid to be honest about what gives us pleasure because we are told it’s hurting us. It makes men, like some of the men I’ve been with, afraid to be honest about what gives them pleasure because they don’t want to be seen as “abusers.” Hiding how much we love BDSM because it’s perceived as f**ked could even be compared, in a sense, to staying in the proverbial closet.
At least Dr. Logan Levkoff, the other sex expert on “The Today Show,” gets it. She told the interviewer:
“I don’t think it’s so disturbing. I think it taps into a fantasy that a lot of women have in terms of role-playing … It’s really about women being able to use their imagination to turn on. That’s why women enjoy erotica. It’s not visual. You can use your imagination. We can explore things we would not explore in real life.”
That last part is key: we can explore things we would not explore in real life. That is why it is called a fantasy. In real life, my boyfriend doesn’t slap my face, choke me or pull my hair. But when these things happen in the context of sex, I want it to happen, I’m expecting them to happen, and I’m enjoying playing that role of the sexual submissive because it is so counter to the grownup-adult-lady-with-her-life-together role I play in real life.
It’s no one’s business telling me or anyone else what kind of consensual sex between adults it’s OK to enjoy. Period. So, congratulations, Dr. Drew. You’ve made it on my shitlist.
[Evil Reads via MSBNC]
Contact the author of this post at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter at @JessicaWakeman.