The Great Debate: 50 Shades of Grey

Alright let’s get all this out in the open. Let’s talk. If you are uncomfortable with reading about sex, BDSM, or trashy romance novels, then you definitely should keep reading this. Why are we still treating this as taboo?

The Facts:

  • I read the series last summer. I felt it was poorly written, especially grammatically.
  • I have no desire to see the movie. Realistically, to capture what happened in the books and for it to be worth the time, the movie would need to be NC-17 or a porno.
  • I read oodles of romance novels, some very graphic, others tame, and still get it on with my husband very frequently. I’ll go more in depth about why I brought that up further down.


Here’s what has been circulating since this book crossed the pond into the radical Christian nation known as America. *shaking my head* Unfortunately, because our country is so hung up on making sex a taboo topic it’s hard to talk about things like 50 Shades of Grey (the good and the bad) without someone condemning your for your choice of literary works. Yes, I read the series. No, I didn’t care for it. Yes, I have read WAY better BDSM books than that junk. *I can loan you a few if you’d like.* While reading this series, I had to put it down several times because it made me ragey. To the point that I would be mad for days before I could pick it back up again. (If you didn’t know already, I am a survivor of domestic violence so I can vouch between abuse and BDSM.) The character of Christian Grey is an abuser. I loathe him. Mr. Grey is nothing like my husband who is a Dominant in many aspects yet has never HURT me in an abusive manner. My husband has never followed me in secret nor controlled what I do or who I hang out with, unlike Mr. Grey to Ana. My husband has NEVER disrespected me. Ever. The way 50 Shades is written, Christian Grey coerces Ana into being his victim. She is not a submissive. She is essentially an escort being bought by Mr. Grey with a flashy car, the use of his helicopter, and all of his wealth. For the longest time I couldn’t put my finger on why I didn’t enjoy this series. I knew it rubbed me the wrong way but I was lacking the vocabulary on why. Then I came across this from the Canadian Victims Rights page. It finally all made sense. Christian Grey is my ex-husband. An abuser. A traumatized man. Someone who needs serious help. I stayed away from BDSM themed books for a long time. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Even though I dabbled in it with my ex and enjoyed it, after he tried to kill me, it made me question every decision I ever made with him. Was I forced to be restrained? Did I actually enjoy it or was it coercion? Am I the screwed up one? So many questions. Until I read the Rescue Me Series by Kallypso Masters a few weeks ago. Oh. My. God. Talk about someone who does their research. After finishing Nobody’s Perfect (#3) I finally realized that I did enjoy some BDSM aspects and that it is therapeutic for me, much like for Savi (main female character). 

So no you can’t accurately compare BDSM with 50 Shades because Mrs. James blatantly disregards the first rule of BDSM (Safe, Sane, & Consensual) throughout her story. Trust. Communication. Honesty. Those are my three in my sexual relationship. I trust that my husband will keep me safe. Communication that I am in the right frame of mind at the right moment to enjoy our encounter. Lastly, honesty that I’m going into that particular moment willingly and of my own accord. Once people can start to understand these aspects then they can distinguish crap like 50 Shades and real BDSM relationships.


First off it is none of your damn business what goes on in anyone’s marriage but your own. The fact that all these Christian bloggers, ministers, and whatever else are going around telling people what they can and can’t read because “God says so” need to reevaluate their own priorities. The part that irks me beyond anything else is that “they” (the overtly religious) ASSUME that no one can have a healthy marriage while reading romance, and *gasp* BDSM too. In fact, for some, it can help a marriage. For us personally we are secure enough in our marriage and our own self-worth that we use romance novels and “porn” as tools to keep our relationship alive and heated. Sometimes I may come across a scene in a book that sounds like fun and try it out on my husband, and he loves it. Or the day he read an article in a “men’s magazine” that gave him an idea to bring to the bedroom. I was pleasantly surprised and willing. While reading yet another blog post chastising a spouse’s choice in reading material it dawned on me that many people have huge insecurities they can not get past. It seems this very way with Mrs. Haley Smith in her post The Problem with 50 Shades of Grey while she thoroughly paints a picture of a man doing what the secular woman would by fawning over a fictional character. Then she ends the scene with this:

“Imma tell you right now. If that ever happened to me, The Man would wake up by a punch to the throat and see that he doesn’t have any eyebrows left cause I had shaved them off in his sleep. Straight up! Some of ya’ll are thinking that’s violent and crazy and that I need Jesus. You. Are. Right.”

Oooooook. First off this tells me that there are some underlying self-esteem issues within yourself that you are irate and jealous over a fictional character. Someone who doesn’t exist. Reality check honey. There is a real someone out there better than you. It’s just a matter of whether your husband would meet said hypothetical person in his lifetime. Here’s a tip. As long as you keep him happy in bed and in your marriage, I doubt he’ll go seeking comfort elsewhere. You don’t think children fantasize about different parents because their own parent is being “mean” or “unfair”? That’s life. It’s what we as humans do.

THE BEST response I have seen to date on this discussion was from a “Lissa” on PureFreedom’s I’m Not Reading 50 Shades of GreyThis is Lissa’s response:

@Dannah Thank you for your well thought out response. I appreciate how much time and effort you put into these responses. But I’m not happy with your condemnation of the term “BDSM”

Your thoughts on what is commonly referred to as “BDSM” are intensely skewed.

I am far from a feminist, but I DO believe that God looks at me as a beautiful child, a person of worth, worth sacrificing a great deal for. If I for one moment felt that this aggressive style of relations (note that I did not say “relationship”. It does not define our marriage.) made me less of a person, or if my husband thought less of me during these interactions, it would cease to happen.

I don’t really expect you to understand, because unless you have natural tendencies toward this, it is easy to see it on par with abuse and rape. That is exactly what it is NOT. My point was only that scripture doesn’t even come close to addressing the issue, and so to condemn it is ridiculous. I am well aware of the example our Lord set for us when He walked this earth. I find so many of those qualities is my husband – his Christlikeness was what drew me to him in the first place. And none of the verses you quoted about him relate to BDSM in any way.

Bondage: My husband does not capture me and tie me up against my will. The bondage of sin ,which Christ freed me from, is not at all comparable to being tied up for pleasure.

Dominance: What essentially happens in our bedroom is that I hand over power to my husband for an amount of time. But in the end, I have the final say over what happens. Anything out of my comfort zone doesn’t. Period. It is commonly known as a “power exchange”. It is an illusion. My husband does not become a tyrant.

Sadism/Masochism: These words are not as black as you make them sound. In a rapist, yes, sadism is a dark word. In a consenting marriage, they go hand in hand, and are not ugly at all. My desire for pain and his willingness to give it to me (in a safe, controlled environment) bring us both pleasure. It is beautiful, not evil.

BDSM is NOT rape and torture. That is a common misconception amongst people whose tastes do not turn that way, and that is unfortunate. You don’t have to practice it. Just don’t condemn it.

But again, I don’t understand how you can put a limit on something that is so beautifully intimate between two people. Why can you decide that what is pleasurable for both a man and a woman inside the bedroom, what is consensual, what is monogamous, and what is often precedented or followed by prayer and thanks for the gifts God has given us, is wrong? I’m not exactly certain how that is different from early missionaries telling converts in heathen society that certain sexual positioning is unpleasing to God, or that sex is purely for conception of children.

When it is done correctly, BDSM can be a very healthy part of a Christian marriage. It is clearly not for you or your husband, but that does not make it wrong.


I apologize for this long winded post but I was so sick of people telling me that because I chose a particular way to enjoy my life that is not harming others and that is agreed upon with my spouse, that I am going to hell or eventually getting divorced or feeding the problem. When you have actually been sexually and physically abused you find whatever you can to help you get through the traumatic memories. For some of us it’s through BDSM, while others it’s drugs/alcohol/religion/etc. I’d rather have the BDSM thank you. You can keep your perfect God fearing marriage with your vanilla husband that you probably only use the missionary position for and I’ll keep my protective Alpha-male who rips my clothes off and makes me feel like a princess yet is willing to explore anything new to keep our love strong. If your relationship works for you that’s fine but keep your damn mouth shut about mine. If you don’t want to read a book or watch a movie or whatever that makes you feel icky then don’t but please stop telling everyone else what they need to do with their life.

Yours Truly,

An Abuse Survivor Who Thrives on Adrenaline & Pain While Reading Any Romance Novel I Can Get My Hands On 🙂

2 thoughts on “The Great Debate: 50 Shades of Grey

  1. Maggie

    Thank you!!! thank you so much for this! This is exactly what I was trying to explain to one of my friends! I too am a survivor of sexual abuse, and saw quickly what was really wrong with 50 shades…and it wasn’t what all my friends were telling me. Once you have been in that sort of a situation you can see it for what it is clearly.
    I have to say I busted out laughing at your ending comment.
    “You can keep your perfect God fearing marriage with your vanilla husband that you probably only use the missionary position for and I’ll keep my protective Alpha-male who rips my clothes off and makes me feel like a princess yet is willing to explore anything new to keep our love strong.”
    That was beautiful and summed up all the feelings I have inside! Thank you again!

    1. Wren Post author

      Thank you so much for the comment Maggie! It is hard for people who have never experienced abuse to understand that BDSM, if done properly, is NOT abuse. My main thing is it is what works for my husband & I and no one else’s business. It’s like the the great marijuana debate, it works for some people and the rest need to get off their high horse about it. Hopefully we can all just accept people for who they are as long as they aren’t directly hurting others.


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