I’m wondering what effect the book trilogy and movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey” will have on the bdsm community. Will it make us more accepted, will it merely become “kitsch”, will it spur interest by men and women alike?
I liken this to the fashion industry 10 years ago. Growing up, a woman who wore over the knee boots would most likely be seen as a prostitute or at the very least, someone who skirted the edge of fashion sense and couldn’t be taken seriously. Along the way, fashion designers decided to become edgier and their fashions, to include footwear, reflected a dynamic that holds true today.
I don’t know or remember who the first designer was to introduce over the knee boots but I distinctly remember getting my first pair. A pair of lace up, 5″ heeled, over the knee Joies that, to this day evoke a stylish sense that screams power, domination, femininity, seduction and style. My husband and I were walking down the streets of New York City not long after I received them and I overheard someone behind us say, “I think she’s a dominatrix”. (I am submissive to my husband, by the way).
He took me to the Waldorf-Astoria and proceeded to put me in the shoe shine stand where the attendant smiled broadly and held my hand as I stepped onto the stand. Men looked at me approvingly and their women were not tremendously thrilled, but I remember how proud and excited I was to show my dominant side in front of my master and husband.
Now look at fashion. You cannot find a reputable department store that does not sell over the knee and thigh high boots. Neiman Marcus, Saks, Bergdorf-Goodman all sell everything from Louboutin to Choo and over the knee boots are certainly a staple of the well heeled, fashionable woman.
Will this be the same with Fifty Shades? Will bdsm and domination and submission be the new fashion statement? I’m already seeing a trend in stores catering to kink and fetish. Last night I went into a store that for years has focused more on the Friday night, boderline kinky couple, gag gift/bacherlor party type items. I happened to be there for some lubricant but took time to peruse items I hadn’t seen there before. Now, their stock reflects floggers, whips, and bondage items that are more costly and better quality. Is this a response to the Fifty Shades, red room of pain phenomena?
I hope that this doesn’t cheapen the experience of bdsm and D/s but make people more aware that happiness and sensuality comes in many forms and this is a wonderful way to build a tighter bond with your partner.