The moment the 50 Shades of Grey trailer dropped, I could hardly hear the sound of my own laughter over that of every femme in my life. We were more than happy to give it a yawn and a chuckle, declaring it an utter waste of film — that is until a staunchly straight friend of mine weighed in. She said she liked the trailer. She also said she’s not into BDSM! But it was this last nugget she mentioned that really stuck with me: she found the concepts to be interesting.
As a lesbian who is the furthest thing from gold star, I immediately thought about the first conversations around sex I had with my friends and partners. It was made very clear to me that anything kinky was at best weird and at worst disturbing. Girls who were into BDSM were a little off and not to be taken seriously. There also seemed to be an assumption that the man was dominant and I, the woman, was submissive. I rarely had the opportunity to consent to that role. It was just the way it was.
It wasn’t until my friend pushed back against the collective eye roll at the impact of the books and subsequent film that I am reminded just how much being a queer femme has informed my ideas about sex, consent, and what it means to be submissive. It’s not as taboo or weird to speak openly about what you want in the bedroom. In fact, these conversations are expected and as such, there’s an element of respect for kink that exists among us queers.
I’m definitely adding this to my list of reasons I love our community!