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Trading Power for Pleasure? Popular Blogs Giving Horrible Advice to Kink Curious Women

Everyone’s jumping on the BSDM/50 Shades bandwagon. Every other internet news source claims to have the secret to creating the perfect 50 Shades experience but few provide accuracy or substance.  CaféMom/The Stir’s “Women Who Want ’50 Shades of Grey’ Sex Can’t Always Be on Top” is the latest in a string of blog posts giving women horrible advice about how to bring BDSM into their lives.

This article supports the viewpoints of relationship and sex coach Pamela Madsen and gives women tips on how to get the men in their lives to act more like Christian Grey in the bedroom.  While reading this post my brain exploded pretty early on.  It happened right about here when the author explains why she thinks men have a hard time being dominant in the bedroom:


“We are constantly ‘topping’ (BDSM term for being dominant/wearing the pants) our men! The offense, could be as simple as sending them out for groceries and upon their return, criticizing the brands or types of milk or cheese they’ve bought. Or taking charge in any situation — from financial to child-rearing to how you have sex — because you’re assuming he doesn’t want to be bothered or you’ve become accustomed to being the decision-maker, the one in control. Madsen explains:              

‘When we’re topping our men all the time, how are they going to have the balls to top us? You want him to be in a place of masculine power, feeling that he can take you in his arms and throw you on the bed. But is he going  to want that after you cut off his balls? If you don’t let him pick the movie or the restaurant? If you’re running the  show in the bedroom?’” 


Wait.  WHAT!?  I couldn’t believe what I was reading.  Surely this must be some kind of joke, right?  Did someone rip this from the pages of The Onion!?

First of all, this article is directed toward women who are in heterosexual marriages that want to bring a little bit of kinky spice into their bedrooms.  It’s not geared toward wives and couples interested in developing hardcore 24/7 Master/slave relationships.  Okay.  That’s all fine and dandy. (Note: I will use heterosexual husband/wife examples moving forward as the original article did, however, this situation can apply to any type of relationship).

Lacking in this article is a fundamental understanding about how kinky bedroom play works.  Dominant/submissive scenarios require the participants to role-play.  The roles we choose to play do not necessarily have to have any relation to the real life roles we assume outside of the bedroom.  You can be a powerful decision maker during the day and enjoy being submissive in sexual scenes behind closed doors or vice versa . . . or neither!  Basically, in bedroom role-play you’re acting– you’re playing a part.  There is no one set formula that dictates how your day-to-day persona relates to your sexytime persona.

CaféMom/The Stir’s piece assumes in order to be submissive in bed one must also be so outside of the bedroom.  Nothing can be further from the truth. I can certainly make financial decisions, choose what we’re having for dinner or tell my husband when he’s being an ass (or even be an ass myself sometimes) and still enjoy being tied up and spanked by hubby after the kids go to bed.  Unless we’re striving for a 24/7 1950’s household-esque Dominant/submissive relationship (which I can assure you 99% of the people reading the 50 Shades Trilogy are not) the recommendations in this article are not only complete bull but are examples of dangerous thinking.

If you want your husband to take charge in the bedroom and play the dominant role while you experiment with kinky games– talk to him about it! It’s that simple.  If he’s having a difficult time doing this it could be for a number of reasons.  Perhaps he’s not sure what to do– what’s acceptable, what isn’t? How hard should he spank or flog?  What feels good? In that case, learn together.  Read Screw The Roses, Send Me The Thorns together or take a kinky couples class or two.

Another reason your husband may be having a hard time is because he’s simply not the dominant type.  Maybe he enjoys playing the submissive role or maybe he’s not into kink and role playing at all.

Also remember, Christian Grey is a fantasy.  Sure, you can bring elements of the book into your sexy scenarios but turning your partner into Christian Grey isn’t realistic.  Everyone has their own individuality and creativity they bring to the table.  Don’t expect your experiences to mimic those in the book.

If your bedroom issues are tied into your husband feeling emasculated because the way you treat each other during waking hours—that’s a whole ‘nother fish to fry.  In that case, there’s a lot more going on than just sexual issues.  Work on your relationship OUTSIDE of the bedroom.  Have some serious talks, go to therapy, etc.  You clearly have other things to address— it’s not as simple as trying to spice things up in bed.  Picking up a flogger will not magically fix other areas of your relationship.

Advising people to disrupt their working power balance in the relationship in order to make sex kinkier is preposterous.  That’s like saying “I’m going to stop taking charge of financial matters like I always have so my husband will be inspired to go out and buy a flogger!” If you want something else in bed ASK.  If it’s difficult—WORK ON IT TOGETHER.  Don’t play games and don’t expect your partner to be a mind reader or turn into someone he can’t be.  And by all means, never compromise who you are to manipulate someone else.  What terrible advice, CaféMom!


The 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon has everyone talking about kink.  This is part of a series of articles called Beyond 50 Shades of Grey that take a deeper, more realistic look at elements of BDSM.  Get ready to go Beyond 50 Shades.  

4 replies
  1. Dustin Nichols (@XDustinEFLX)
    Dustin Nichols (@XDustinEFLX) says:

    Great article. My wife and I have experimented with BDSM play over the last couple of years, and you are 100% accurate. It’s about give and take and communicating with each other, and life outside the bedroom has nothing to do with what should or shouldn’t be done in the bedroom. When doing this kind of role play, my wife and I like to take turns being dominant and submissive. There’s nothing wrong with a man being submissive or a woman being dominant in bed, and vice-versa, and even the most average of person can be dominant sexually. Take my job, for example. I work an entry-level position for a major retail chain, which means I have no power or authority at work. Yet, when it comes to sex, I can be as ruthless and aggressive as they come in regards to BDSM play.

  2. Elise
    Elise says:

    I’ve always fantasized to BDSM erotica, although I have learned that I don’t enjoy that behavior at all in real life. What I’ve discovered, and that most commentary seems to be missing, is that what I find in BDSM erotica are pieces woefully missing in sex today. There is a lot of seduction involved. Because of the taboo aspects of it, in Shades of Grey type writing the man makes a lot of effort to get a woman where he wants her. I love the seduction. Also, in BDSM erotica, the man really knows what he’s doing and manages to make the woman crazy with anticipation and then experience mind blowing orgasms again and again. How many men do we know that have this level of skill or knowledge? I think all the hoo ha about power and women/men is just dressing for the fact that we want good sex and we appreciate men who have the skill and desire to make us sexually fulfilled.

  3. Molly
    Molly says:

    As a submissive woman who writes a blog I have found the flood of terrible blog posts about this subject a real challenge. So many of them I have read are just plain WRONG as you have shown here. Written by people who have little or know knowledge and often perpetuating some of the terrible messages that have come from the book itself.

    I am pleased that the book has encouraged many people to explore and educate themselves on this subject and I just hope that over time the informed voices win out.


  4. Hannah
    Hannah says:

    Well, it is pretty obvious why 50 Shades of Grey is so popular right now. Both the UK and US are very worried about women outperforming men in school and at work–and possibly even out-earning men. Gender segregated classrooms are being introduced in public schools in the US. Both the US and the UK are very hostile towards feminism.
    I’m a woman about to graduate from college, so I see it a lot–women have gotten too big for their britches and to be feminine (and we MUST be feminine or else we will die alone), we must let men retain their natural status of the boss.
    BDSM really just mirrors and magnifies traditional roles, so I don’t know why BDSM people get so self-righteous about this kind of thing.


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