Heather Hansen’s latest blog discusses the impact the Fifty Shades trilogy has had on South African men and women and why sex should be less serious and more fun!
Recently some women friends and I traipsed off to a Lola Montez evening for women all about Fifty Shades and BDSM. I can assure you it was not my idea, having found the books increasingly more irritating…

All that drivel about lip chewing and inner goddesses did not do it for me at all

I have (dare I admit it) read more stimulating sex scenes in Mills & Boon modern books! However, since I have a strong streak of curiosity and cannot resist an evening out with good mates, off we went all togged up in black, red and fishnets (just for a laugh)! 
Well, it was indeed a very entertaining, hilarious evening â?? even though, with all our snorting and raucous comments, weâ??ll probably have to book under a pseudonym next time! 
The room was chock a block with women of all ages â?? having obviously had their interest in BDSM (sexual activity that can include bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism and masochism) all stirred up by the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

Difficult to keep a straight face while listening to the guest speaker

It was difficult to keep a straight face while listening to the guest speaker: a dominatrix who was very unlike the toned, muscular sex goddess weâ??d imagined!
She discussed the excitement inspired by playing these sorts of erotic games and then proceeded to show us a little of how a â??domâ?? might behave on a girl sitting in front of her trussed up like a Christmas turkey (the submissive)!
Maybe if it had been a man it mightâ??ve been a touch more believable and interesting, but we seriously doubted anyone could get sexually aroused in front of a crowd by being blindfolded, tied up in a chair and stroked with a feather or flogged with a whip (more like caressed actually).

It seems you have to do a course to learn how to tie up your submissive and untie them later

I think most of us menopausal women would have a problem right there! I can imagine all these frantic phone calls to Fire Departments and Paramedics because your poor partner is tied up in knots and you simply cannot remember how to undo them! 
Then, you have to draw up a contract with no go areas and have a code word â?? and it cannot be STOP or NO because apparently that doesnâ??t always equate to the meaning in the Oxford dictionary!
A lot of people apparently use robot colours, which at least one would remember â?? although it sounds quite hilarious to me in the middle of proceedings to start shouting GREEN! (which means I like that, keep going!) â?? I think I might be tempted to break out in song: â??Green, green, itâ??s green they say on the far side of the hill..!â?
Or what about YELLOW (that means, I think I like that but not sure, may not like it later?!!!) RED is stop immediately! Your password might be something unique like â??pink fluffy rabbitâ?… Imagine being in the throes of sexual pleasure and suddenly your partner yells that out! That would be the end of me – I would be in hysterics!

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Lots of people engage in kinky sex play with their partners – they just donâ??t call it BDSM

According to the Kinsey Institute, over 50% of males and females derive sexual pleasure from receiving some degree of voluntary pain during sexual activity, from the application of nipple clamps (ouch!) to the use of floggers, paddles, etc. 
In fact, since Fifty Shades hit the book stores, sales of masks, handcuffs, floggers, etc. have gone through the roof! So maybe we need to educate ourselves a bit more about it?
According to Ande Lyons from Bring back Desire, there are lots of misconceptions about BDSM, the most popular being:

  • All dominants are abusive â?? apparently they care deeply for the physical, mental and emotional well being of their â??submissiveâ?. His/her behaviour has to be strictly limited by what his/her partner finds enjoyable!

  • The dominant is in control â?? in fact the submissive is really the partner in control, as the dominantâ??s job is to fulfill the submissiveâ??s needs, and this is what provides the dominant with pleasure.

  • Dominants had abusive childhoods â?? apparently this is not at all accurate â?? a myth compounded by the Christian Grey story!

  • Submissives are weak with low self-esteem â?? apparently the opposite is true â?? one can only give up control because one is strong enough to choose to do so.

  • If you enjoy BDSM, your brain isnâ??t wired correctly â?? apparently very normal, drug-free, confident, secure and mentally stable people are into BDSM, often because they are in positions of considerable power and control in their everyday lives, so get off on relinquishing control from time to time!

  • BDSM is mostly about pain â?? apparently it is about the power exchange between the dominant and submissive and may not necessarily involve pain or humiliation. Sometimes mild pain is an ingredient because adrenaline can be released, which gets the blood pumping faster and increases sensation.

After some contemplation, we girls decided we could buy the concept that an element of helplessness might add some anticipation and excitement to sex play, but in the end, felt that the label â??BDSMâ? made the whole thing sound far too serious and controlled, with perhaps not enough fun and spontaneity?
Role plays can be fun but playing the same role all the time might border on being controlling/abusive? There would have to be a very strong element of trust in oneâ??s sexual relationship, and the concern would be if one started pushing oneâ??s sexual boundaries, where would one stop, and what if one partner wanted to keep experimenting and the other partner didnâ??t?
Maybe after a while, â??normalâ?? sex would become boring and mundane and you would lose the sacredness and sanctity of sexual intercourse with your partner, which is meant to build love and intimacy?

I think the bottom line is that itâ??s important to keep oneâ??s sex life fun and interesting!

Clearly the idea of trying out something new and different rather than plodding through the same old boring routine, is whatâ??s selling all the books and getting womenâ??s knickers in a twist!
Of course men are reaping the benefits and loving the new gleam in their partnerâ??s eye! 
It reminds me of a joke I heard recently:
Four guys have been going on the same fishing trip for many years. Two days before the group is to leave, Ronâ??s wife puts her foot down and tells him he canâ??t go. His mates are very upset, but what can they do?
Two days later, the three mates get to the camping site only to find Ron sitting there with a tent up, firewood gathered and dinner cooking on the fire.
Harry says: â??Jeez Ron, how long you been here? How did you talk your missus into letting you go?â?
Ron answers: â??Well, Iâ??ve been here since last night. After dinner at home yesterday evening, I was sitting in my chair and my wife came up behind me and put her hands over my eyes and said, â??Guess who?â??
I pulled her hands off, and she was wearing brand new, sexy lingerie. She said she had been reading â??Fifty Shades of Greyâ?? and had a devilish look in her eyes!
She took my hand and led me to our bedroom. The room had candles and rose petals all over. On the bed, she had handcuffs and ropes! She told me to tie her up and cuff her to the bed, so I did. And then she gasped, â??Do whatever you want with me!â??
So… here I am!â?