Arguably, mainstream media references to both fetish and BDSM have increased after the release of “Fifty shades of grey“. I wanted to know whether this was a general phenomenon or not. Whether there is a particular area where they are most frequently read.

 

What changed after “Fifty shades of grey”

There’s been a very big change in the last times. People in general, the general public, became far more BDSM’s fan because mass media freely mention it. Nowadays, it is easier for you to see a lot of pop stars wearing latex clothes. And, of course, there is a romance and a movie, this “Fifty shades of grey”, which really brought things to the fall. Yes, BDSM awareness has increased. I don’t know, but those things open it up to people and then they can come along their control and stuff. So it’s not a bad thing, but it’s also not a good thing.

We all know that “sex” sells. Then, we also know that singers and artists use it more and more in music videos. There is an increasing consensus in imagery within mainstream media and the implication is that these elements are appropriated especially in music videos under the notion of sex.

I conducted a brief content analysis of 10 pop music videos including BDSM and fetish iconography and appears that they are frequently unrelated to the subject even often so within the lyrical content. Then, what’s the sense of doing that?

There’s been a slow change. I mean, a very slow change about this over the time. But again, it’s led by people who are doing it, who practice it.

When asking the increase of media coverage on the subject, the mainstream success of bestseller “Fifty shades of grey” became increasingly clear, even though people frequently criticized it, it can be argued that it opened up this possibility to discover it for non-BDSM individuals.

 

Fifty shades of gray & masses

It’s a bestseller which became very popular worldwide. There are different opinions about how the author wrote this trilogy, and if it is a nice book to read or not. What it did is that after the bestseller, a lot of people who read/watched “Fifty shades of grey” accepted soft BDSM scenes. But they’ve done a wonderful thing because when people read a book, afterward they don’t want to just have sex in the missionary position every night. They might want you to tie them up. So, anything happening with a BDSM shade makes people think it is a good thing. But again, it’s how general media portrayed it.

Some people would look down. Other people, those people who enjoy “Fifty shades of grey”, refer to it in terms of fetishism. But I must say that it was just Americanized, it wasn’t really a movie helping people to discover soft BDSM. It had a strong impact, but it is still Hollywood.

Opinions on the novel vary greatly and its validity is questionable. What is clear is that it should not be used as an accurate portrayal of the BDSM scenes, as people can get wrong assumptions if they do not investigate further. The book suggests a nonconsensual relationship, in which Christian Gray uses BDSM practices to get his pleasure. This is the implication of the subculture’s diversity and the difficulty in summarizing it’s nature and a mainstream media artifact, which is aim to please the masses. But, actually, in every BDSM relationship, you need to be consensual and you need a kind of contract where you can find all the agreed rules.

Masses make assumptions based on having read “Fifty shades of grey”. This can be considered ridiculous if you are really into BDSM. This, you know, is like me reading a religious book and thinking that afterward, I know everything there is to know about atheism and the dangers of organized religions.

 

How BDSM practitioners reacted

I know why people in the BDSM scene did not like “Fifty shades of grey”. However, I’ll admit that when I read it, it made me a little bit more kind of open to the idea of exploring these practices. And I can understand why “normal people” started investigating BDSM and what it could be. And, as a consequence, someone introduced it into his or her current relationship. But, of course, I cannot consider it a pure BDSM trilogy.

You can read my post where I wrote some comments about this, and I explained why it is good and healthy to involve BDSM in your relationship.

What is undeniable is that it was a phenomenal bestseller, which involved a hell of a lot of the general public out there. It showed a little bit more about the kinkier side of sex, which is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it can spice up stagnant relationships.

Been heavily criticized for not being accurate or misrepresenting the scene, is not completely fair. The book reached a huge audience, huge readership and I think it’s fine. Also from the advertisement point of view, it is good to advertise this kind of topics, too. It’s not that shocking. There are a lot of people who do it and enjoy it.

It is evident that there’s been a sizable increase in the presence of content and themes originating from the communities within mass-media in recent years.

The surge of appropriated signifiers and the mainstream success of the “Fifty shades of Grey” trilogy indicates that this subject and book interest more people, much more than before. The proliferation of BDSM in mainstream media, although also exploitative, has created a sense of safety for this practice. It seems that thanks to this change in attitudes, they are perhaps more intrigued by new challenges in their relationships

What’s your opinion about that?