Excellent excerpt from a tumblr conversation:
“…The BDSM mantra is ‘safe, sane, consensual.’
So let me explain why this book was devoid of all three of these things.
Safe – In the first few chapters of the novel, Christian Grey tracks Ana’s cell phone to find her at a club. Takes her home when she’s drunk, changes her when she’s so intoxicated she doesn’t remember him doing so,and informs her he will be keeping tabs on her for her own benefit. This is not the behaviour of a respectable Dominant. This is the behaviour of a power hungry, abusive asshole who really can’t take no for an answer.
Sane – One of the most important parts of BDSM is aftercare. Scenes can be extremely traumatizing and intense for the submissive. Aftercare is anything from petting to cuddling to holding to sweet talking, whatever degree of gentleness a bottom would need to pull them out of “subspace”. How does Christian provide aftercare? He submits Ana to a traumatizing first time spanking experience AND THEN FUCKING LEAVES. AND GETS MAD THAT SHE DIDN’T TELL HIM SHE WAS UPSET. He’s the one who should fucking know better! That, again, is not the act of a responsible Dominant. It’s the act of a selfish abuser.
Consensual – Did I mention he undressed her when she was belligerently drunk? Tracked her phone to locate her? He also buys her a new car despite her saying no countless times. Now, consent is important for any kind of sexual activity at all. Consent means informed, consent means enthusiastic. Informed, enthusiastic consent. This is crucial in a BDSM setting. Scenes can be extremely intense, especially for the bottom. What is Christian’s form of obtaining consent? Handing Ana a fucking contract highlighting all the things he wants to do her asshole and asking her to sign it. She was a virgin (Don’t even get me fucking started.) who had never before been exposed to BDSM. Entering in that kind of relationship takes a gargantuan amount of trust and knowledge so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Not reading a list of kinks on a piece of paper and signing your rights to say no away. Christian didn’t offer her resources, he didn’t offer her information. He gave her an ultimatum. That is not the sort of consent a responsible Dom/me would seek from their submissive.
Fuck. This. book. It’s written in a shitty way, it’s a terrible example of a BDSM relationship (ask anybody already involved in the lifestyle and watch them go blue in the face just thinking about it), which is already faced with enough prejudice and misunderstand, and it romanticizes and glorifies abuse…”