50 Shades of [Sigh]: The Disastrous 50 Shades of Grey Press Tour
February 5, 2015 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Let's do a thought experiment. Imagine that—rather than paper and ink—each of those books were composed of: a look of unabashed contempt; a single embittered sigh; an explicit request that audiences not see the film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey, vocalized by one of the movie's main stars.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 (258 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
(quietly starts making grocery list to make up a Schadenfreude Pie)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:38 AM on February 5, 2015 [30 favorites]


It sounds like each agreed to do the project without realizing what it would entail.

I feel sorry for them.
posted by zarq at 9:41 AM on February 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


.......suddenly my interest in seeing this thing has rocketed up from 'nil' to 'awright, this sounds hilarious.'

Seriously, this looks even better than Robert Pattinson's obvious, woeful hate for Twilight.
posted by sciatrix at 9:42 AM on February 5, 2015 [41 favorites]


This article is giving me life
posted by Greg Nog at 9:42 AM on February 5, 2015 [25 favorites]


Imma let you finish Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, but Robert Pattinson was the best at trolling his own franchise of all time.
posted by kmz at 9:43 AM on February 5, 2015 [22 favorites]


Unsexy leads who hate filming sex scenes that they are clearly not even kind of into. This is going to be an MST3K movie for the ages.
posted by corb at 9:45 AM on February 5, 2015 [36 favorites]


"Think of Hitler!" should be the pullquote at the bottom of all the movie posters.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:45 AM on February 5, 2015 [35 favorites]


I watched the Glamour video. They clearly felt the situation was awkward, but I didn't see any of this supposed hatred between the two actors. They seemed perfectly friendly, just a little bemused by the weird iPad question format.

Similarly, the thing about "oh my God, sex scenes are not sexy to film" is about the most standard possible answer in that situation. It is pretty much what every actor says when asked some form of that question. And, really, what the hell else are they going to say? "Oh, yeah, acting with this person who is not my significant other and is very likely in a relationship with some other person was just like one day long orgy! I'm completely unprofessional and I hope no one ever agrees to work with me ever again!"

Then again, I wasn't going to watch this movie before and I'm not going to watch it now, so...
posted by yoink at 9:47 AM on February 5, 2015 [25 favorites]


Imma let you finish Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson

Thanks, but I'll pass.
posted by Enemy of Joy at 9:49 AM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


50 Throws of Shade
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:50 AM on February 5, 2015 [79 favorites]


Turns out acting out another's fantasies aren't fun, especially if you're not into them or the person you're partnered with. Who knew?

I suspect it will be even less fun to watch.
posted by bonehead at 9:50 AM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


It sounds like each agreed to do the project without realizing what it would entail.

Charlie Hunnam was originally cast in the film, and then he wised up quit, which led to the best AV Club news report ever.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:50 AM on February 5, 2015 [57 favorites]


Turns out acting out another's fantasies aren't fun, especially if you're not into them or the person you're partnered with. Who knew?

I don't know. I think some actual porn actors and actresses manage to have a better time at it, even when they say they're not emotionally involved or whatever.
posted by corb at 9:52 AM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a lot of love for how appalled Jamie Dornan is by this film, and I also look forward to the film's devotees watching The Fall, because that will completely ruin some Jamie Dornan for you right there.

I cannot not see Christian Grey as another of Paul Spector's aliases.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:56 AM on February 5, 2015 [34 favorites]


Would it really have been that difficult to find a creative team comprising people who actually liked S&M? Of course it's difficult to shoot "sexy" scenes, but people around the world do it all the time. It's a kind of acting. If you can't do it, then the producers are fucking up by keeping you around.

"I have a wife and kid" is not an excuse. It's called "acting", champ. There are actors who perform martial arts, even though they don't literally want to kill their fellow actors. Not everybody can do everything, but people do figure it out.

I don't know. I think some actual porn actors and actresses manage to have a better time at it, even when they say they're not emotionally involved or whatever.

Yep, exactly. There are literally entire industries devoted to people performing sexytimes. It's absolutely ridiculous that nobody involved figured out how to sneak into that spot on the Venn diagram where mainstream acting and "erotic" acting meet.

It's not as if this project was ever going to be good, but it could have at least been good porn, I guess? At least, it could have been something somebody was able to turn into a pleasurable experience for someone.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:58 AM on February 5, 2015 [29 favorites]


I wish I was a deranged billionaire, because I would totally finance a "porn parody" of 50 Shades of Grey which was literally just porn actors doing a faithful-ish version of the story, minus any references to sex.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:00 AM on February 5, 2015 [67 favorites]


I mean, as far as I know Christian Grey doesn't actually murder anybody but he's pretty much as abusive as Paul Spector.

Would it really have been that difficult to find a creative team comprising people who actually liked S&M?

You'd have to start with a book that depicted S&M first. 50 Shades is not BDSM, it's abuse.
posted by kmz at 10:02 AM on February 5, 2015 [45 favorites]


Would it really have been that difficult to find a creative team comprising people who actually liked S&M?

Yes.

But not because that's actually necessarily a difficult thing to do - it's probably because 50 Shades of Grey ignores vital BDSM things like safe words, respecting people's decisions and not raping your partner.

So the problem may have been that all the people who are actually into BDSM nope-nope-nope'd away from this movie.
posted by FritoKAL at 10:03 AM on February 5, 2015 [36 favorites]


"Think of Hitler!" should be the pullquote at the bottom of all the movie posters.

It's going to be fine, darling. Just close your eyes and think of Hitler.
posted by GuyZero at 10:04 AM on February 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


*steeples hands like Mr. burns*

Excellent.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 AM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


This is the best possible outcome, really. Apart from a particularly vibrant strain of schadenfreude, what did a film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey ever have to offer the world? At least now we have this.
posted by Naberius at 10:06 AM on February 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


50 Schades of Nay
posted by IRFH is not dead yet at 10:07 AM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


"The chemistry, you'll see, is very much there, and appropriate."

There's nothing I don't love about that line. Good lord. This is going to be incredible. A cult movie for the ages. But not in the way anyone involved thinks it will be - more like midnight screenings with people throwing tampons at the screen, or something. (The "tampon scene" was removed, though. I have no idea what that even is, but I'm disappointed.)

I have to admit the trailer got me a little hot under the collar. Could've been a really good editing job.
posted by naju at 10:08 AM on February 5, 2015 [4 favorites]





I watched the Glamour video. They clearly felt the situation was awkward, but I didn't see any of this supposed hatred between the two actors. They seemed perfectly friendly, just a little bemused by the weird iPad question format.


Seconded, hard. Also note that the link to the alleged evidence that the actors dislike each other is on another gawker site and is some of the thinnest gruel you will ever see. This is an entirely bootstrapped story. Bleh.
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:10 AM on February 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


Charlie Hunnam was originally cast in the film, and then he wised up quit, which led to the best AV Club news report ever.

Brilliant!
posted by zarq at 10:10 AM on February 5, 2015


Jamie Dornan, if people don't know, plays a sexual psychopath in The Fall ( on Netflix now!) a good not great police procedural that does have Gillian Anderson playing Clarice Starling - English Bisexual Variant.
posted by The Whelk at 10:11 AM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


I am currently feeling 50 Schadens of Freude.
posted by Shepherd at 10:11 AM on February 5, 2015 [20 favorites]


This article is giving me life

NOG RISING
posted by zarq at 10:11 AM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


This is how Secretary is being re-branded, by the way. Yup.
posted by naju at 10:12 AM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


DREAMCATCHER: THE ORIGINAL MR. GRAY
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:13 AM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


A Universal rep, Us Weekly, October 24, 2014:
"No one should question the heat or intensity of our actors."


CITIZENS. YOU WILL SPEND 4 MINUTES PRAISING THE FICTIONTELLERS' HEAT AND INTENSITY. THIS WILL BE FOLLOWED BY THREE MINUTES OF HYMNS TO THEIR FUCKABLE BODY PARTS. WE WILL THEN BREAK FOR COFFEE AND DANISHES
posted by Greg Nog at 10:13 AM on February 5, 2015 [46 favorites]


That's appalling.
posted by Monochrome at 10:13 AM on February 5, 2015




Imma let you finish Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, but Robert Pattinson was the best at trolling his own franchise of all time.

which is fitting, because 50 Shades Of Gray started out as Twilight slash fic.

I AM SO TOTALLY NOT KIDDING.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:14 AM on February 5, 2015 [20 favorites]


Seriously, this looks even better than Robert Pattinson's obvious, woeful hate for Twilight.

I'm so excited now.
posted by zeek321 at 10:15 AM on February 5, 2015


CITIZENS. WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AT WAR WITH SEXY
posted by IRFH is not dead yet at 10:15 AM on February 5, 2015 [26 favorites]


Honestly, this Spongebob Movie poster is probably the best thing that will ever come out of this whole fiasco. (That's from the official Spongebob Movie Twitter!)

More seriously... Domestic violence activists urge boycott of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'
posted by kmz at 10:16 AM on February 5, 2015 [26 favorites]


A Universal rep, Us Weekly, October 24, 2014:
"No one should question the heat or intensity of our actors."


"...and then he spanked and whipped the reporters repeatedly until they begged for mercy."
posted by zarq at 10:16 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I mean The Secretary ad is appalling, not Greg Nog's dystopia.
posted by Monochrome at 10:17 AM on February 5, 2015


WHAT THE HELL VERMONT TEDDY BEAR COMPANY

I have seen the 50 Shades vibrating cock ring on the shelves at Target myself.
posted by LionIndex at 10:18 AM on February 5, 2015


Jamie Dornan, if people don't know, plays a sexual psychopath in The Fall ( on Netflix now!) a good not great police procedural that does have Gillian Anderson playing Clarice Starling - English Bisexual Variant.

It's a well-made show, and Series 1 is well worth seeing, but my wife and I got super tired of it during Series 2. Spector wears out his welcome as a villain, and the show becomes ridiculously absurd as it tries to keep him in the show for as long as humanly possible. He becomes an overpowered rakish rape ninja who has perfected the art of mesmerism.

Also, in Series 2, they do this really weird thing where Gillian Anderson's lines are all dubbed over by Eeyore.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:18 AM on February 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is just such obvious "let's pray for a massive turkey because then we can laugh oh-so smugly" bullshit. I have no interest in either reading the books or watching the film, but there is nothing to say the leads don't like each other except stupid tabloidy sneering. And the "explicit request that audiences not see the film" is an outright lie - she says she hopes her family doesn't see it and a little part of her hopes no one does. That's clearly a "I'm in my knickers getting fucked and strangers will see my cum face" type of reference. Jesus, haters gon' hate and all, but surely there are things you can care about and hate rather than something you don't even have any interest in.
posted by billiebee at 10:18 AM on February 5, 2015 [14 favorites]


which is fitting, because 50 Shades Of Gray started out as Twilight slash fic.

I'm pretty sure it was Bella/Edward het AU.

(From what I understand there's also a heaping dose of racism in how the Jacob stand-in is portrayed. Of course the source material had plenty of problems there too.)
posted by kmz at 10:18 AM on February 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


My hope is that this movie is the Queer Eye of BDSM - offensive and reductive and playing to stereotypes, but a just-palatable-enough introduction of the concept to Middle America that in 2023 NBC will air a sitcom called Femdom! and no one will bat an eye.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:18 AM on February 5, 2015 [22 favorites]


So if I built a 50 Shades of Grey Lego set and put it up on that official Lego idea site and enough people voted for it...

"They're Lego Brand Bricks," he shouted, using his mouth, "not 'Legos'." Holy crap.
posted by bondcliff at 10:19 AM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


WHAT THE HELL VERMONT TEDDY BEAR COMPANY
posted by The Whelk


AHAHAHAHAHAHA, God bless us all.

Oh yeah and for a good (if not unbiased) summary of how this particular Twighlight fanfic went viral and became Fifty Shades of Grey while none of the other five gazillion porny fanfics did see this reddit comment
posted by Wretch729 at 10:20 AM on February 5, 2015 [41 favorites]


naju: "This is how Secretary is being re-branded, by the way. Yup."

[horrible shrieking noises]
posted by boo_radley at 10:21 AM on February 5, 2015 [16 favorites]


No matter what happens in this Rated R Hollywood sex movie, it couldn't have been as difficult for the lead actors as Blue is the Warmest Color was for its two female leads.
posted by dgaicun at 10:21 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not quite sure I understand the hate here. I mean, it took everything I had just to get through one and a half of the books, and I have absolutely no intention of ever seeing this film. But the number of people who are actively wishing ill on this production is surprising.

The range of complaints is amazing. The actors don't respect the source material? Yeah, let's cue up just about every science fiction movie ever made. The leads (one of whom is married, and has a young child) don't have passionate feelings for each other? Oh, because that's what happens while filming every romantic movie. The sex scenes didn't arouse the actors during filming? Next you'll be telling me the actors aren't really scared for their lives in horror movies. They have no chemistry together because they're standing a certain way in studio-generated publicity stills? Right, because photographers have no control over their subjects in staged photos.

Considering the most vocal complainers (not just here, but on the linked sites) are people who would never, ever consider even going to this movie, I just don't understand. I have a lot of concerns about the new Fantastic Four movie, for example, but only because I want it to be good. I want to enjoy that movie, and I will be disappointed if it's as bad as I fear. But Gray detractors don't want to enjoy this movie, and will be disappointed if it's not as bad as they hope. That's a very strange place to be.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:22 AM on February 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'm pretty sure it was Bella/Edward het AU.

You're right, my mis-statement; I was using a broader definition of "slash" as "the characters fuck" rather than the more accurate "it's a same-sex pairing" thing. My bad.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:23 AM on February 5, 2015


Every time I see the trailer, I have to mentally retreat to prevent myself from having a rage blackout, and I imagine any number of versions of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie that I would prefer:

50SOG as psychological cat and mouse thriller, where Anastasia allows herself to be seduced by abusive dom dude and then turns the tables on him.

50SOG where everything is exactly the same, except Anastasia is the domme. She's still the ingenue, he's still the billionaire, but that play room is to be used on him not by him.

50SOG as corporate espionage thriller: Anastasia is the honeypot and she steals his company out from under him.

50SOG as horror movie, presenting this relationship as the abusive monstrosity that it is. Anastasia is the final girl and she survives after killing the dude in some poetically justified way.

50SOG as supernatural thriller: Anastasia is a fury or some sort of vengeance demon or a ghost or idek, whatever, she kills him.

50SOG: Safe Sane and Consensual version.

But I inevitably end up despairing that of all the possible fics to have had the serial numbers filed off and filmed, we had to end up with this? I promise you, there is better porn out there! Fandom has more to offer than this!
posted by yasaman at 10:23 AM on February 5, 2015 [31 favorites]


but surely there are things you can care about and hate rather than something you don't even have any interest in

I care about domestic violence, appropriate representation of kink in media, how dreadfully awful the books were (and I read every. single. one. specifically so I could speak to them with authority), and how to bring good erotica to mainstream media without it being a (sorry) clusterfuck.

This film has a lot higher stakes than, say, the new Fantastic Four movie.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:23 AM on February 5, 2015 [49 favorites]


Oh shit, just remembered there's actually a fandom_wank thread from back in the day when EL James (snowqueensicedragon) first wanted to publish.
posted by kmz at 10:24 AM on February 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


I agree the Shades of Gray episode of TNG was the worst ever, but you folks are really piling it on.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:27 AM on February 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


It's absolutely ridiculous that nobody involved figured out how to sneak into that spot on the Venn diagram where mainstream acting and "erotic" acting meet.

Sasha Grey, is that you?
posted by OmieWise at 10:29 AM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


TBH I don't care about this movie I just think this article is funny
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:29 AM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


[The Fall]'s a well-made show, and Series 1 is well worth seeing, but my wife and I got super tired of it during Series 2.

What I took away from season 2 of The Fall is that in Ireland, apparently, if the police find hard evidence that their prime serial killer suspect is, in fact, the serial killer—I'm talking fingerprints on a murder weapon type evidence—they will still let him go about his life for days on end with only minimal surveillance.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:33 AM on February 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


there is nothing to say the leads don't like each other except stupid tabloidy sneering

Well, that and all the interviews ending with things like "It better be" when asked if the movie is going to be good. It sounds like people are desperately hoping it will work, but are pretty afraid it won't.
posted by corb at 10:33 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Would it really have been that difficult to find a creative team comprising people who actually liked S&M? Of course it's difficult to shoot "sexy" scenes, but people around the world do it all the time. It's a kind of acting. If you can't do it, then the producers are fucking up by keeping you around.

"I have a wife and kid" is not an excuse. It's called "acting", champ.


I don't follow. They aren't saying "we deliberately messed up the sex scenes because we're not into BDSM." They're saying "we weren't personally turned on while we filmed these sex scenes." Pretty much every actor ever when asked (leeringly) by a reporter about filming such-and-such a "hot" sex scene with such-and-such a "sexy" partner leaps immediately to stressing that what ends up on the screen might be super erotic and sexy, but that the process of making it is awkward, uncomfortable, often tedious and entirely unsexy. That's true even if the sex scene they're shooting aligns exactly with their own personal sense of what counts as "sexy."

It's like complaining that the actor playing a pilot doesn't actually have a commercial airline pilot's license or that that they didn't use spaceships in Star Wars.
posted by yoink at 10:35 AM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


It sounds like people are desperately hoping it will work

So like every film ever made?

but are pretty afraid it won't

Why? It's not as if the media is whipping up an "it's shit" campaign in advance so that people expect it to fail...no, wait
posted by billiebee at 10:37 AM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, that and all the interviews ending with things like "It better be" when asked if the movie is going to be good.

Why does that tell us that the leads don't like each other?

BTW, it's also worth noting that many, many actors routinely comment on the fact that they have no idea while they're making a film if it's going to be any good or not. Until the film is cut together, there's just no way of knowing. It's not some kind of profound sign of a disastrous shoot, it is what pretty much every actor ever says is the crazymaking part of filmmaking.
posted by yoink at 10:38 AM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm racking my gossip nodes to remember if any actors in a sex scene confessed it turned them on - normally it's all "no it was cold and awkward and I was wearing a dick sleeve and even though it was a closed set there're still guys staring at you"

Although there is that persistent rumor the rooftop sex scene in Velvet Goldmine got a little too method acting at one point.
posted by The Whelk at 10:38 AM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


they didn't use spaceships in Star Wars

YOU TAKE THAT BACK!!!
posted by IRFH is not dead yet at 10:38 AM on February 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


What I took away from season 2 of The Fall is that in Ireland, apparently, if the police find hard evidence that their prime serial killer suspect is, in fact, the serial killer—I'm talking fingerprints on a murder weapon type evidence—they will still let him go about his life for days on end with only minimal surveillance.

They were hoping he would lead them to What's-Her-Face, and assumed that if they arrested him they'd never find her alive.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:39 AM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


This actually did bother me:

Jamie Dornan, Elle UK, January 2, 2015, on visiting a sex dungeon: "It was an interesting evening. Then go back to my wife and newborn baby afterwards … I had a long shower before touching either of them."

Like, does he not realize that that's kinda insulting to the very demographic who they're hoping will go see this movie? It's as if an actor went to see a baseball game to prepare for a role in a movie about baseball, and went around telling interviewers "yeah I was bored out of my mind the entire time."
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:42 AM on February 5, 2015 [18 favorites]


Well, to be fair, it was a Mets game...
posted by IRFH is not dead yet at 10:43 AM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


It's worth noting, by the way, that exactly the same logic that would say "you should only get actors who are into BDSM to shoot BDSM scenes" would say "gay actors can't play straight lovers!"
posted by yoink at 10:45 AM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


WHAT THE HELL VERMONT TEDDY BEAR COMPANY

The 50 Shades of Grey Vermont Teddy Bear underwrote NPR yesterday. I didn't need to know that said bear is available with accessories.
posted by zamboni at 10:47 AM on February 5, 2015 [14 favorites]


Sure, yoink, but getting, say, actors who are clearly uncomfortable with the entire concept of homosexuality to play gay lovers would be a colossal casting misstep and pretty darn insulting to the viewers.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:51 AM on February 5, 2015 [15 favorites]


Like, does he not realize that that's kinda insulting to the very demographic who they're hoping will go see this movie? It's as if an actor went to see a baseball game to prepare for a role in a movie about baseball, and went around telling interviewers "yeah I was bored out of my mind the entire time."

Hmmmmmmm, not necessarily. The 50 Shades series is explicitly geared towards people who wouldn't otherwise be reading that kind of thing. It hails from a long tradition of fantasies about sexy, not-entirely-consensual encounters with dark, handsome men. A key part of the fantasy is that the main character - and the reader - gets to disclaim "responsibility" for what goes on. And hell, doesn't the third book end with Anastasia "curing" Mr. Grey of his predilections?

Point being, a certain level of irony is not unexpected. People don't want the main actor to be a "pervert". They just want him to be able to play one on command.

Pretty much every actor ever when asked (leeringly) by a reporter about filming such-and-such a "hot" sex scene with such-and-such a "sexy" partner leaps immediately to stressing that what ends up on the screen might be super erotic and sexy, but that the process of making it is awkward, uncomfortable, often tedious and entirely unsexy.


Enh, there are better ways to balance that kind of narrative. I agree that Gawker might be blowing these interviews out of proportion, but on the other hand, there are many ways to more diplomatically convey the fact that shooting sex scenes is actually not really like having sex in real life. "You know, it's actually very difficult, because it's not real, it's acting, but the energy was there and I think the audience will have a hell of a time."

On the subject of acting and eroticism, I also give you this.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:51 AM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


It's worth noting, by the way, that exactly the same logic that would say "you should only get actors who are into BDSM to shoot BDSM scenes" would say "gay actors can't play straight lovers!"

Well, if you had straight actors who were viscerally uncomfortable with the idea of simulating gay sex (or vice versa), then yeah, that probably wouldn't work.

Of course, it seems like a big part of the problem may be the author's ignorance about real life BDSM practices, so a better analogy would be a straight author who is completely clueless about gay sex* writing a novel about gay sex, and then casting straight actors who are completely uncomfortable with acting out gay sex scenes.

*Which is pretty much exactly what you would have if you looked at a a significant portion of slash fanfiction as was discussed in this recent metafilter post.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:51 AM on February 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


The 50 Shades of Grey Vermont Teddy Bear "underwrote" NPR yesterday. I didn't need to know that said bear is "available with accessories."

Remind me not to take my kids back to the Build-a-Bear workshop until the hype from this movie blows over.
posted by zarq at 10:52 AM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


Look for the bear accessories
The simple bear accessories
Forget about your worries and your wife
I mean the bear accessories
The leather whips and batteries
That brings the bear accessories to life
posted by IRFH is not dead yet at 10:54 AM on February 5, 2015 [112 favorites]


You would kind of think a bear wouldn't really need accessories.
posted by bondcliff at 10:55 AM on February 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Please, the shorts and baseball cap and practically required.
posted by The Whelk at 10:58 AM on February 5, 2015 [11 favorites]


I think one of the many issues here is that the stars seem to have received no press prep for this film.

Someone should have trained all the primary parties (including the director) to deal with the most obvious questions, including the (surely incredibly offputting, intrusive) questions about their personal sexual preferences/experience, how to address the criticism regarding consent and domestic violence, how not to talk about the gossip about the nasty disagreements between the director and E.L. James, and how to not make it obvious that it was just a job you took because you have to eat and had no idea that you were about to get Pattinson'd (even though there were many people who knew exactly what was going to happen).

And that's a thing that's pretty commonly done, even for less fraught films, to keep everyone on-message.

It's another aspect of grossness to the whole thing - someone somewhere decided nah, this is a movie for dumb ladies and their dumb ladyboners, not the One True Demo of males 15-32, so no point in putting in the effort.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:00 AM on February 5, 2015 [24 favorites]


Someone please explain to me how this movie was not directed by Paul Verhoeven. I'm not sure we live in a just world after all.
posted by selfnoise at 11:00 AM on February 5, 2015 [12 favorites]


I was wondering what the "tampon scene" they were talking about was so, in case anyone else was wondering, here is the text of it (NSWF text and image). "Oh jeez".
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:03 AM on February 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


That's right, baby!
posted by naju at 11:09 AM on February 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is how Secretary is being re-branded, by the way. Yup.

Look, it was either that or "The Black & Blue List".
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:09 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was wondering what the "tampon scene" they were talking about was so, in case anyone else was wondering, here is the text of it (NSWF text and image). "Oh jeez".

This is like when someone makes a post like "Look at this giant spider eating a centipede" and part of me is a little curious but most of me is like "HELL NO I AM NOT CLICKING THAT."

Also, "The Tampon Scene" would be a good album name but I'm not sure for which band.
posted by bondcliff at 11:09 AM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


TBH I don't care about this movie I just think this article is funny

I don't even care about the article; I just think this thread is funny!
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:10 AM on February 5, 2015 [4 favorites]




This is all an elaborate ruse, right? Get the actors to pretend to hate each other, leak some stuff about awkwardness on set, get the media hype train (that was *never* going to back this movie as a positive thing) to start buzzing about how good of a "hatewatch" this movie will be. Step 3: Profit.

If I were in charge of marketing a mediocre film, that's pretty much the best way that I can come up with to juice the box office revenue. short of angering north korean dictators I guess
posted by sparklemotion at 11:11 AM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Duke of Burgundy looks so much better on every level (trailer) to 50 Shades (and brought you by the makers of Berberian Sound Studio!) but it'll probably get about a zillionuth of the box office
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:12 AM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


This is like when someone makes a post like "Look at this giant spider eating a centipede" and part of me is a little curious but most of me is like "HELL NO I AM NOT CLICKING THAT."

It was both less interesting and worse written than I'd expected. I haven't read the books because I didn't want to and I explicitly have tried not to decry them without reading them because I think there's some sexism to the backlash against stuff like this but seriously, that was terrible. Not titillating, not intriguing, not horrifying because I am a Puritan, just pointless and very, very badly written.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:15 AM on February 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


if you had straight actors who were viscerally uncomfortable with the idea of simulating gay sex (or vice versa), then yeah, that probably wouldn't work.

I think that's the thing that bothers me. His whole "I can't be into spanking a naked lady with some weird devices! I'm a husband and father! That would taint my holy family!" Hey, by the way, guy, so are a lot of other people who do actually enjoy that sort of thing, and you're actually being pretty insulting.
posted by corb at 11:16 AM on February 5, 2015 [11 favorites]


You know, I hadn't read a line of 50 Shades until now, and to learn that I've been missing out on this kind of wonderfulness is sad.

Whoa. Oh jeez. I can feel myself quicken.
posted by dis_integration at 11:18 AM on February 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


Also, "The Tampon Scene" would be a good album name but I'm not sure for which band.

My Bloody Valentine?

The Cramps?
posted by yoink at 11:20 AM on February 5, 2015 [18 favorites]


Oh jeez.

"That's right baby."

Whoa.

"Oh, baby, will I ever get enough of you?” he whispers.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:21 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


And that's a thing that's pretty commonly done, even for less fraught films, to keep everyone on-message.

From certain production houses, yes. But not all of them. Quite a few independent film companies never bother.

And of course, there's no way to account for actors who go off message.

But does Focus use a media trainer?
posted by zarq at 11:21 AM on February 5, 2015


I mean Jesus can't we all just re-read The Book of O and be done with this?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:22 AM on February 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


I am bewildered and... what's the opposite of beguiled?

Also agreeing that there is So. Much. better-written fanfic out there, just from this one snippet. I've read historical politician fanfic hotter than this!
posted by ldthomps at 11:25 AM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


His whole "I can't be into spanking a naked lady with some weird devices! I'm a husband and father! That would taint my holy family!"

I mean, he didn't actually say that. He said he had a long shower after his first sex party visit or whatever. I get that makes him sound like he was feeling unclean - maybe he was, maybe he said it to keep his wife happy, maybe he didn't want to come across like a "I got to see All The Sex - woohoo!" sleaze (given that he was watching and not participating I'm assuming). It seems a bit much to extrapolate a deep loathing for the whole scene based on one sentence in an interview. It might also be worth noting he comes from a very - I mean very - conservative country. But I get why it might annoy some people.
posted by billiebee at 11:25 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, "The Tampon Scene" would be a good album name but I'm not sure for which band.

My Bloody Valentine?

The Cramps?


The Slits?

The Muffs?
posted by wyndham at 11:25 AM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


To all those people shocked that folks hate on something they don't even intend to watch, I would like to congratulate you on stumbling across the Internet! Welcome!
posted by Hoopo at 11:27 AM on February 5, 2015 [17 favorites]


As someone who has experienced both an abusive/manipulative relationship, and completely unrelated BDSM activities, I already had no interest in reading the book(s) or seeing the movie.

I followed along with The Pervocracy's chapter by chapter readthrough/analysis, and that was plenty for me.

There have been some reasonably respectful (not necessarily all characters, but at least some) portrayals of BDSM in mainstream media, this is not it. There are a bunch of folks I know who want to dress in kink gear and show up to watch it, and I am opting out. Not a penny of my money is going to support this.

I don't blame the actors for being less than enthused with the whole endeavor.
posted by HermitDog at 11:28 AM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


I've read historical politician fanfic hotter than this!

I mean Jesus can't we all just re-read The Book of O and be done with this?

The Book of O'Connor: Sandra Day's Big Book of Justice
posted by IRFH is not dead yet at 11:31 AM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


the recent Vanity Fair article about the making of the film sounded like a bit of a shit show between the director and author.
posted by mannequito at 11:34 AM on February 5, 2015


If you want a book that involves people who actually like BDSM, The Boss by Abigail Barnette is both free and quite good. And the sub consents! Like, explicitly. It's the first of a series. I'm a fan.
posted by Deoridhe at 11:37 AM on February 5, 2015 [13 favorites]


This is perfect. I always said 50 Shades was never about sex, but a bad allegory for white collar misery and self-puty: getting screwed by the boss with no way out and the worker fantasy of standing up to the boss just a little and then negotiating a better deal. S&M was just thrown in there for the silly and naive.

This junket is just underlying the real theme. The work isn't fun. It's not glamourous, but heartless and mechanical and they are just in it for the pay check. They hate their coworkers and the bosses are fighting each other.

The infestation of the White Collar Blues has now hit Hollywood. The "sexiness" is such a sham that no one even wants to lie to America about it, anymore.

Bad has never been so boring...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 11:37 AM on February 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


I have seen the 50 Shades vibrating cock ring on the shelves at Target myself.

This is one of the greatest sentences ever conceived in the English language.

My exbf's cousin is in this (not Anastasia) and he was all excited and thought it was cool and whatnot. I asked him if he'd ever read the books (it spread like a virus amongst the serving staff at the last restaurant I was at; I made it through three sequential pages chosen randomly and NOPED right out). He hadn't.

I cautioned him to perhaps restrain his exuberance. I wish we were still dating; I'd love to pick her brain about what it was like on set.

Mainstream acceptance and understanding of kink would be a great thing. These books and this movie document abuse, though.

But two things:

1) Eh, still better than Twilight
2) At least it they didn't turn it into some weird Benny Hill-esque romp starring Rosie O'Donnell and Dan Aykroyd.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:41 AM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


Like, does he not realize that that's kinda insulting to the very demographic who they're hoping will go see this movie?

I don't think people who frequent sex dungeons are who they're hoping will see a not-even-soft-porn dirty movie, to be honest.
posted by fshgrl at 11:49 AM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm mostly disappointed that poor Callum Keith Rennie is in this, because I try to watch him being scary/charming in as many things as possible, but I just don't think I'm willing to sit through the terrible fanfic parts for a few scenes of him looking concerned and possibly angry. (even though he is SUPER GOOD AT BOTH.)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:50 AM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


I mean Jesus can't we all just re-read The Book of O and be done with this?

The problem is that the book wasn't targeted at people who would read/have read The Book of O. It was target at female Twilight fans. Somehow I doubt there's much overlap between the former and the latter.

I was wondering what the "tampon scene" they were talking about was so, in case anyone else was wondering, here is the text of it (NSWF text and image). "Oh jeez".

As bad as that is, it's probably among the least of the WTFery in the 50 Shades books.

Someone please explain to me how this movie was not directed by Paul Verhoeven.

Or John Waters.
posted by fuse theorem at 11:51 AM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't think people who frequent sex dungeons are who they're hoping will see a not-even-soft-porn dirty movie, to be honest.

Actually, I think for some, this is the BDSM equivalent of Brokeback Mountain - a shitty, cheesy movie that shows that now they are a demographic mainstream enough to be pandered to with ridiculous crap.
posted by corb at 11:51 AM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


> The problem is that the book wasn't targeted at people who would read/have read The Book of O. It was target at female Twilight fans. Somehow I doubt there's much overlap between the former and the latter

Really? I think there's a huge demographic overlap.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:59 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


> This is like when someone makes a post like "Look at this giant spider eating a centipede" and part of me is a little curious but most of me is like "HELL NO I AM NOT CLICKING THAT."

It was both less interesting and worse written than I'd expected.


Seconded - all that happens in "the tampon scene" is that he pulls her tampon out of her body and then fucks her.

That's it. I'm serious, that's it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:01 PM on February 5, 2015 [13 favorites]


Is The Book of O different from The Story of O? I don't know if I'm being a bit pedantic and twitchy or missing out on something, and a quick search hasn't enlightened me, unless it's by a "Spunky Collins".

The linked article has made me much more likely to read the book (which is about 3 meters away) and see the film!

Also, wtf Tampon Scene!? Imagine trying to convey that onscreen. What do you point the camera at, beyond a ridiculous, uncomfortable, and distracted look on Dakota Johnson's face?
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 12:03 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now I'm confused. Was he fucking the spider, or the centipede?
posted by IRFH is not dead yet at 12:04 PM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


Seconded - all that happens in "the tampon scene" is that he pulls her tampon out of her body and then fucks her.

That's it. I'm serious, that's it.


Thanks, I thought I'd missing something. Also, my memory may be hazy, 'cause I'm trying to remember from 35 years ago when a friend went "Ew!" and handed me the paperback she was reading, but doesn't essentially the same scene appear in Endless Love?
posted by ogooglebar at 12:06 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now I'm confused. Was he fucking the spider, or the centipede?

*perfect comment to sign out on*
posted by IRFH is not dead yet at 12:07 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Incidentally, I owe a debt of thanks to whoever posted the link to Fandom Wank above, because it just reminded me of another Fandom Wank cover of yet another tumult about yet another Twilight Fanfic.

However, the gang at Fandom Wank got too caught up in the fact that the original fanfic author was too shy to write the word "orgasm" and instead replaced it with the word "unicorn".

(The author in question has since matured and joins in with everyone poking fun at this particular quirk, by the way.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:08 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Poor Jacqueline Carey was doing mainstream "fluffy magic BDSM by rich supermodels" before it was cool, and Kushiel's Legacy can't even get a TV miniseries. Maybe Showtime will come calling post-True Blood.

In the meantime I look forward to the inevitable film adaptation of the Dragon Age smutfic Reverse-Cowgirl Diplomacy, which is filthy to an excruciating degree, is a weirdly good fantasy novel in its own right, and needs all the NSFW trigger/content warnings. ALL THE WARNINGS.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:11 PM on February 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


> Seconded - all that happens in "the tampon scene" is that he pulls her tampon out of her body and then fucks her.

That's it. I'm serious, that's it.


Seriously? I thought it involved, like, tampon eating or too-dry tampons, something really horrible.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:21 PM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Someone please explain to me how this movie was not directed by Paul Verhoeven.

Or John Waters.


Shoulda been Uwe Boll. Waters would have made something eminently watchable, if nothing else.

Uh, some of us fags really, really liked Brokeback Mountain and didn't think it was pandering or ridiculous. In fact, it spoke to a lot of themes that we face growing up: coming to terms with desire that's frowned on by society, living double lives, that undeniably erotic frisson of fear when you think he's saying what he's saying but you're not totally sure and one of you needs to make the first move except you don't so you end up running into each other at a gaybar ten years later and go "Huh. Missed that chance."

So maybe before you start calling it ridiculous crap you might want to consider that for many of us it was the first time we ever saw realistic gay characters on a mainstream screen, guys who kiss and scratch their balls and do all sorts of things and have complicated inner lives, and how profoundly welcoming that is.

Straight or heterosexually-paired people get to see those stories every damn day. Us getting one of those stories isn't pandering, it isn't crap, it's not shitty or cheesy or any of your other ill-informed adjectives. It's a complex love story that echoes in astonishingly sensitive ways the reality of growing up queer and male in a world that really doesn't want you to. Annie Proulx wrote something beautiful, adapted it for the screen very honestly, and Ang Lee/Ledger/Gyllenhaal brought it to life in a way that seriously rang true.

Don't speak for the people that movie was actually about, because at least among queer guys I know, that movie was an amazing breath of fresh air; gay men who were neither asexual nor sluts! No campy hairdressers or sassy best friends who are always single and ready for a margarita! Two people who met and fell in love and everything that comes from that. The genius of the story is that in most ways, the core story would work with any gender pairing.

Sure, it's not The Broken Hearts Club or Relax, It's Just Sex, or Lilies, or Another Country, or Beautiful Thing, or even, God help us, Billy's First Hollywood Screen Kiss. But none of those were mainstream movies starring A-list actors directed by Ang fucking Lee. (Gods and Monsters is an excellent meditation on how the closet warps you, and the frustrations it engenders and how they become overwhelming with age, and does have enormous names in it, as a counterpoint.)

You don't get to decree what stories that tell my experience are. You don't get to say they're shitty.

Nor is FSOG pandering crap. It's crap, yes. But pandering requires at least a vague knowledge of what a given culture is actually about. This isn't that. It's a view of "BDSM" that's about as relevant--and insulting--to actual BDSM culture as Boat Trip (shudder) was to actual gay male culture. The pandering isn't to BDSM people, the pandering is to non-BDSM people who read the books and are going to walk out of the movie congratulating themselves for being edgy.

Anne Rice (Anne Rampling/A.N. Roquelaure) wrote about admittedly-extreme versions of BDSM culture far more honestly (especially Exit to Eden, which I mentioned above, and postulated a fantasy 24/7 BDSM experience; the Beauty series was closer to de Sade than to reality), which is exactly why they never hit the mainstream in a real way. This is just dishonest, abusive garbage that I actually think puts gains for kinksters backwards.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:21 PM on February 5, 2015 [51 favorites]


I was wondering what the "tampon scene" they were talking about was so, in case anyone else was wondering, here is the text of it (NSWF text and image). "Oh jeez".

With all the "oh jeez"-ing that is going on, I'm going to assume from here on out that this book/movie takes place in what claims to be the Pacific Northwest but is in fact actually the Coen Brothers' version of Brainerd, MN, and it is going to be all the much better for it.
posted by capricorn at 12:22 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, wtf Tampon Scene!? Imagine trying to convey that onscreen.

Imagine being the foley artist.
posted by yoink at 12:25 PM on February 5, 2015 [22 favorites]


Hmmmm...wine bottle, corkscrew.... [screeeee-POP].

No......
posted by yoink at 12:27 PM on February 5, 2015 [15 favorites]


the original fanfic author was too shy to write the word "orgasm" and instead replaced it with the word "unicorn".

Incidentally, "Mutual Unicorn" is the name of my new band.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:28 PM on February 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


Marge Gunderson: And for what? For a little bit of slap and tickle. There's more to life than a little sex, you know. Don'tcha know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well. I just don't understand it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:28 PM on February 5, 2015 [13 favorites]


So maybe before you start calling it ridiculous crap you might want to consider that for many of us it was the first time we ever saw realistic gay characters on a mainstream screen.

That was actually exactly my point. Brokeback Mountain is not the best gay romance out there. There are a lot better movies, and have been a lot better movies for a long time that realistically depicted gay romance, many of them written, directed, or acted by LGBT individuals. But it was the first mainstream movie that portrayed a romance between gay men not only positively, but as the focal point of the entire movie. And so because that experience of being able to see that representation on a mainstream screen is so powerful, a lot of folks gave the plot and dialogue passes that they would not have given it if it were produced on a shoestring budget and shown only at Sundance.

In much the same way, there are not many positive portrayals of BDSM-oriented individuals on mainstream screens. For a BDSM-oriented individual to be portrayed as a sexy billionaire who is every woman's fantasy is a radical break from most film which shows individuals indulging in BDSM as broken sociopaths. And so while many individuals are raising valid concerns about lack of safe sex practices and other matters, some individuals who are involved with BDSM are giving those items a pass, because they're just so damn happy to see something, anything, on the big screen that makes people like them out to be sexy and successful.
posted by corb at 12:31 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seriously? I thought it involved, like, tampon eating or too-dry tampons, something really horrible.

Right? I have read way grosser erotica, so I was expecting something way more appalling than that he pulls it out and has some period sex with her. Like, that's kind of gross but it's pretty tame, as depraved fanfiction possibilities go.
posted by yasaman at 12:32 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do / did BDSM kinksters find Secretary to be "pandering?" At its heart, it's a very fluffy-sweet romantic comedy cupcake with BDSM frosting.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:32 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, wtf Tampon Scene!? Imagine trying to convey that onscreen.

Imagine being the foley artist.


foley effect
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:33 PM on February 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


Also, wtf Tampon Scene!? Imagine trying to convey that onscreen.

Imagine being the foley artist.

foley effect yt


O.K., they have to reshoot the movie just to put the scene in with that effect. Instant oscars, all round.
posted by yoink at 12:34 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


And please tell me at some point they use the Wilhelm Scream.
posted by bondcliff at 12:36 PM on February 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


And so because that experience of being able to see that representation on a mainstream screen is so powerful, a lot of folks gave the plot and dialogue passes that they would not have given it if it were produced on a shoestring budget and shown only at Sundance.

Yeah, um, no. You're still doing that thing where you're telling someone who that movie is actually about how he and every single one of his similar friends he has ever discussed the movie feels about it. Please stop. Like, seriously: you are not a queer man. Don't tell us how we feel about something that tells our story. We're perfectly capable of articulating our own opinions.

some individuals who are involved with BDSM are giving those items a pass, because they're just so damn happy to see something, anything, on the big screen that makes people like them out to be sexy and successful.

I have yet to meet any of those people. There certainly aren't any in this thread. I for one would really appreciate it if you stopped speaking for other people and spoke only for yourself, please.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:38 PM on February 5, 2015 [14 favorites]


I hope the movie uses lots of slide whistles, "wah-wah-WAH-wah" vampy sax, and the occasional Debbie Downer "sad trombone performed with sampled cat meows".
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:39 PM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


At least it they didn't turn it into some weird Benny Hill-esque romp

Come on, Yakety Sax could only help this movie.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:39 PM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Like, that's kind of gross but it's pretty tame, as depraved fanfiction possibilities go.

Seared forever in my brain from some "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" smutfic from long ago: "One man's tampon is another man's teabag." Although smut-wise the story was pretty tame too!
posted by nicebookrack at 12:40 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Incidentally, "Mutual Unicorn" is the name of my new band.

Vaginal Unicorns
posted by zarq at 12:40 PM on February 5, 2015


You can't fully appreciate the tampon scene without the dialogue from the book:

His breathing is ragged, matching mine.

"When did you start your period, Anastasia?" he asks out of the blue, gazing down at me.

"Err… yesterday," I mumble in my highly aroused state.

"Good." He releases me and turns me around.

"Hold on to the sink," he orders and pulls my hips back again, like he did in the playroom, so I'm bending down.

He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string… what! And… a gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet. Holy fuck. Sweet mother of all… Jeez. And then he's inside me… ah! Skin against skin… moving slowly at first… easily, testing me, pushing me… oh my. I grip on to the sink, panting, forcing myself back on him, feeling him inside me. Oh the sweet agony… his hands clasp my hips. He sets a punishing rhythm - in, out, and he reaches around and finds my clitoris, massaging me… oh jeez. I can feel myself quicken.

"That's right, baby," he rasps as he grinds into me, angling his hips, and it's enough to send me flying, flying high.

posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:40 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Prince Charles was much kinkier about that stuff.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:42 PM on February 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


That's right, sweet mother of all jeez.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:42 PM on February 5, 2015 [13 favorites]


Also, I've just had an idea for a movie: a young person of whatever gender reads/sees FSOG and thinks "Hey! That's What Kink Is and it makes my fun bits tingle!" (Bonus points if this person identifies as a top or dom/me).

Cue two hours of them immersing themselves in the BDSM scene and learning how it really works. Perhaps an older or more experienced bottom/sub takes them under their wing and educates them.

Hollywood, call me.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:42 PM on February 5, 2015


foley effect (youtube)

O.K., they have to reshoot the movie just to put the scene in with that effect. Instant oscars, all round.

I'm going to upload a version of the movie to all the torrent trackers, where that sound is used constantly and obnoxiously for every single sex situation, and occasionally when smoldering glances happen.
posted by naju at 12:45 PM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


In that scene is the use of 'ragged' accidental or intended to be word play?
posted by biffa at 12:46 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


In Atlanta there's a BDSM club, for people younger than thirty, named the Whipper Snappers. This will never not delight me.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:47 PM on February 5, 2015 [23 favorites]


Vaginal Unicorns

And we all know how elusive and rare those are, amirite?
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:48 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Speaking of Anne Rice, I'm pretty sure there was a tampon drinking scene in one of the later Vampire Chronicles books.
posted by kmz at 12:49 PM on February 5, 2015


Yes and apparently only virgins can find unicorns which makes it all rather difficult.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:49 PM on February 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


You can't do vampire erotica without involving period blood in it somehow, come on. It would be weird NOT to!
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:50 PM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Seconded - all that happens in "the tampon scene" is that he pulls her tampon out of her body and then fucks her.

It was a moment that struck me as being different from the stuff with the handcuffs, blindfolds, ball gags, etc., and about as "erotic" as a gynecological examination would be if it were performed by a male doctor who has a difficult time containing his particular disdain for the female reproductive anatomy .
posted by fuse theorem at 12:51 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's rape in the book?
posted by jeff-o-matic at 12:51 PM on February 5, 2015


Speaking of Anne Rice, I'm pretty sure there was a tampon drinking scene in one of the later Vampire Chronicles books.

"What are you doing?" asks the bartender.

"Making tea."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:54 PM on February 5, 2015


As a cis-het male I feel like my experience is relevant to this conversation.

Period sex is common and practically mundane, at least in my experience. Nothings weird at all about it. The tampon removal aspect is about as sexy as taking socks off. By which I mean it CAN be sexy but is usually just part of the prep work.

I haven't read FSOG but in that scene the exclamations are super cute and in the real world I bet they would be endearingly silly. They seem really weird on the page, like erotic fiction about taking a trip to Canada.
posted by kittensofthenight at 1:00 PM on February 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


50 Shades of Grey makes me bristle. As a kinkster, I find the depiction and romanticizing of an unhealthy BDSM relationship particularly troubling. And it's safe to say, like it or not, that exposure to the concepts in 50 Shades are introducing/promoting kink to a whole new demographic -- a demographic curious to explore it. That people shouldn't look to 50 Shades for its accuracy is really beside the point. Young, impressionable people stand to be hurt if they explore BDSM based on the relationships, plotline or scenes of this book/movie.

Why? The plot/relationship can seemingly be broken down as such: older, controlling, mentally troubled, emotionally unavailable, well-off man pressures younger, inexperienced, not-as-confident and reluctant girl into being physically/sexually abused (under the guise of BDSM play) as a way for him to explore his mental problems, and get sex, without any sort of commitment or reciprocation to his partner -- everything is about him and what he wants. Anastasia is utterly subservient from the start and willing to endure his abuse because of his money/gifts and because he's so handsome/out of her league she's willing to do whatever he says in hopes it'll lead to a romantic relationship (even though he explicitly stated there'd be none). I think that sends a pretty disturbing message -- especially to girls. It's also unfortunate to see that even if you're a main character like Anastasia, you're still interchangeable and there to chase a male character, be used by a male character or to advance the story/transformation of a male character.

I wish I could find something redeeming to say about this book/movie, but I really can't.
posted by stubbehtail at 1:00 PM on February 5, 2015 [20 favorites]


like erotic fiction about taking a trip to Canada.

"...and that's when he told me his name. Tim. Tim Horton."
posted by bondcliff at 1:04 PM on February 5, 2015 [26 favorites]


Young, impressionable people stand to be hurt if they explore BDSM based on the relationships, plotline or scenes of this book/movie.

This.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:06 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


"...and that's when he told me his name. Tim. Tim Horton."

That sound effect can also work for the jelly donut scene.
posted by yoink at 1:09 PM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


There's rape in the book?

Yes, and the internet can help you out with examples, but Ana routinely has her 'no' ignored (either to the sex itself or to specific acts), and/or is coerced with alcohol, social pressure, and guilt trips, along with sex (in which he states he doesn't care if she wants to have it) as punishment for infractions like having opinions. She's also had zero sexual experience with anyone before him, so she's a novice at boundaries to begin with and concedes to things she's not enthusiastic about so he'll like her. And thanks to the story's POV, we also know how much time she spends dreading future sex with him.

It's got some consent problems.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:11 PM on February 5, 2015 [15 favorites]


Doesn't that argument sort of assume that women are 1. dumb and 2. have no access to the internet? "Well, I've seen one depiction of something and it interested me. Better not look into it any further and instead act out what I saw on the screen slavishly without giving it any more reflection or thought than that." Of course it's hugely problematic but most people aren't going to come out of this thinking it was a documentary about BDSM.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:11 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Imagine being the foley artist.

Related to absolutely nothing in about FSOG, but is indeed related to Foley artistry:

One of my favorite facts about Jack Foley is that for one movie he worked on, he was tasked with coming up with "a comical engine sound" for a submarine - so he recorded the sound of himself belching and then ran the tape backwards and looped it.

This has nothing to do with the thread but it is a fact I love.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:11 PM on February 5, 2015 [17 favorites]


why oh why is there no crossover between 50sog and cakefarts
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:13 PM on February 5, 2015


I'd argue not just women, for one. And yeah, a lot of people are that stupid and don't question what the celebrity machine spits out (cf: Jenny McCarthy).

why oh why is there no crossover between 50sog and cakefarts

I used to know a woman who owned a record label. Her lawyer was also the lawyer for Johnny Toxic, a guy who made gonzo porn. She brought one of his movies as a gag gift when she was visiting once. It was called Asscakes, if memory serves, and every single thing about it was the opposite of sexy.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:15 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Doesn't that argument sort of assume that women are 1. dumb and 2. have no access to the internet?

I think a more charitable read on it is that people are really bad at knowing what they don't know. There are plenty of people who think kinky sex is handcuffs and blindfolds - which, if it's new to you, is pretty revolutionary on its own - and have never had a reason to think about the problem of shifting consent in subspace or the sexual power-dynamics inherent in massive wealth disparity, or what it means when your billionaire boyfriend brings a gynecologist to his house on a Sunday to give you a pelvic exam (in your bed, apparently) and put you on the pill because you haven't gotten around to making a doctor's appointment (this is from the book) and he's mad. They don't have context because they don't have context, and it's not really about being dumb, though it can be about being dumb too sometimes.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:28 PM on February 5, 2015 [17 favorites]


like erotic fiction about taking a trip to Canada.

"He rode me like a overheated car in QEW jam midway between Lincoln and Grimsby."
posted by octobersurprise at 1:28 PM on February 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


like erotic fiction about taking a trip to Canada.

Can we call it Mounties?
posted by gryftir at 1:49 PM on February 5, 2015 [15 favorites]


"A wave of cold eroticism swept through me, like the bubbles in a mint Aero bar."
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:53 PM on February 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


Do / did BDSM kinksters find Secretary to be "pandering?"

Well, I and my boyfriend at the time did not.

Anyone else remember "9 1/2 Weeks"? Now there was a kinky movie that was actually sexy. When I see the trailers for 50 Shades, it like what you might get if you took 9 1/2 Weeks and removed all the eroticism and sexual tension.
posted by dnash at 1:54 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


There are plenty of people who think kinky sex is handcuffs and blindfolds

Which is a great example to use, because despite being the go-to referent for "kinky sex", handcuffs are unsafe to use for restraint. If the bottom will be thrashing about and pulling against the restraints, you should be using something that has no sharp edges and which will distribute the pressure. Using handcuffs or other unsuitable restraints can cause permanent nerve damage.
posted by Lexica at 1:57 PM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


"He finished all over my face, leaving me feeling like fresh poutine."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:03 PM on February 5, 2015 [18 favorites]


Also, popular media representations of BDSM are not exactly nuanced. Just about every single procedural that runs for long enough has an episode where someone into the kink scene is murdered, and those episodes tend to equate kink with pathology or deviance or mental illness. The alternative popular representation of kink is for comic relief or shock value. For a lot of people, this is the sum total of their context for BDSM. Given that, I too am less than pleased that 50SOG is going to be the entry point into kink for a lot of people. The kink scene isn't really my scene, but I know enough to know that the likes of 50SOG is not good representation for it.
posted by yasaman at 2:06 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Honey, your hair is the colour of maple syrup on Quebec snow."

"He drove into me like he was the Wayne Gretzky of sex."

"She rimmed me. I felt myself quicken."

"He went down on me faster than Nortel stock."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:16 PM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


Are the issues of consent that much worse than most representations of sexy-times in mass media? I know that Twilight received a lot of attention for the same issues and that this is name-swapped fanfic, but why is that particular aspect receiving so much attention? You don't see a lot of enthusiastic female partners in most of genres. Why is that so important in a romance? Is it because its from the woman's point of view? I get that the writing is really bad, but as far as issues of consent go... I've read soooo much worse. Depicting enthusiastic consent is not usually a feature of porn, let alone erotic fan fiction. I can't think of a mainstream example besides, ironically, the before and after interviews at Kink.com, which I think we can agree would not be considered mainstream erotica.
posted by kittensofthenight at 2:19 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think my point is that I'm wondering if its the same story of genre media for women having to live up to a higher standard than media whose primary demographic is straight men. Or maybe this book is just a terrible example of the genre and deserves all the scorn it can get.
posted by kittensofthenight at 2:26 PM on February 5, 2015


Are the issues of consent that much worse than most representations of sexy-times in mass media?

I think it's particularly galling for kinksters, because so much of modern kink culture is directed towards making sure there is consent/trying to convince people that all kink isn't like what's in 50 SOG.
posted by joyceanmachine at 2:27 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's debate in my movie league about whether this will be an abysmal bomb or rake in shitloads of money. I honestly have no idea. I pegged American Sniper to a modest 100 million due to America's love of the military, but didn't see it cresting 300 million (as it appears set to do), so I'm possibly a bad judge.

I'm currently leaning towards not a total bomb, but also not a home run. A really bad guess is something on the order of 90 million, and likely enough to secure another film in the trilogy. It's got a Valentines release date without any other "date movie" competition. But also, do people want to go see this for a date movie? Two relatively unknown stars, but huge mass media exposure for the books, also the 'hate watching' factor, and possible word of mouth strength regardless of how bad the actual movie is... I just don't know!

I'm excited to see what happens.
posted by codacorolla at 2:29 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyway, I hope it doesn't kill Jamie Dornan's career, because he was amazing in The Fall.
posted by codacorolla at 2:31 PM on February 5, 2015


Anastasia is utterly subservient from the start and willing to endure his abuse because of his money/gifts and because he's so handsome/out of her league she's willing to do whatever he says in hopes it'll lead to a romantic relationship (even though he explicitly stated there'd be none). I think that sends a pretty disturbing message -- especially to girls. It's also unfortunate to see that even if you're a main character like Anastasia, you're still interchangeable and there to chase a male character, be used by a male character or to advance the story/transformation of a male character.

Exactly. I think the BDSM stuff is beside the real point of the FSOG books, particularly the first book. The actual message seems to be is how girls and young women could be okay with being emotionally and physically abused by a guy as long as he's rich, extraordinarily good-looking, buys you a lot of expensive things (but only what he decides you should have, not necessarily what you might want), and is powerful and obsessive enough to assume total control of your life. It's perhaps particularly telling that Ana finds out she's the latest of a series of virtual clones of herself that Christian has gone through. The idea of being The Chosen One among a collection of similar but not-quite-right women plays to the notion of personal agency willingly bowing down to the power of "romantic destiny".

However, given that the movie is being marketed to coincide with the Hallmark holiday known as Valentine's Day, the potentially troublesome subtext will probably be discarded in favor of trying to appeal to a more general audience.
posted by fuse theorem at 2:33 PM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


I hope it doesn't kill Jamie Dornan's career

Films like this are much, much more likely to kill the careers of the female actors than the male ones (see Showgirls for example).
posted by yoink at 2:35 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Or maybe this book is just a terrible example of the genre and deserves all the scorn it can get.

Ain't no maybe. The books would be more beneficial as toilet paper.

It's got a Valentines release date without any other "date movie" competition.

That might be what's so gross: it's being spun as a romantic/love movie when it's anything but.

(see Showgirls for example).

Like so many other asspirates, I unabashedly love the hell out of this movie. Berkeley got a raw damn deal.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:36 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I pegged American Sniper to a modest 100 million due to America's love of the military, but didn't see it cresting 300 million

I'll bet the 50 Shades crew are wishing they'd thought of using a plastic doll in a crucial scene.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:40 PM on February 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


I couldn't figure out what you meant until I realized you weren't saying you were a person who constantly aspirates.
posted by Justinian at 2:40 PM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


The only vaguely romantic movie opening that weekend that I know of is tiny indie musical The Last Five Years. Which isn't a feel-good romantic storyline either, this time intentionally. (And funnily enough, stars Anna Kendrick, who probably came to prominence via Twilight.)
posted by kmz at 2:42 PM on February 5, 2015


I think that sends a pretty disturbing message -- especially to girls. It's also unfortunate to see that even if you're a main character like Anastasia, you're still interchangeable and there to chase a male character, be used by a male character or to advance the story/transformation of a male character.

This really spells it out. I mean, at this point we have better expectations of minor characters in action movies. You'd expect your female lead in a romance to at least have some agency.
posted by kittensofthenight at 2:49 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really don't know much about the book or the movie, but if they had made even a rated R version of what I gather the movie is all about starring James Deen and Sasha Grey I would have sold my car to buy tickets.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:52 PM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


I know right? When they announced this movie was going to happen I immediately thought "the only way to make this work is to cast James Deen." Alas.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:00 PM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


Why is that so important in a romance? Is it because its from the woman's point of view?

Well, that's certainly an aspect of it, or you could rephrase it as "because romance is where women readers' feelings and interests matter". And though many subgenres have questionable consent as a trope of the form (see: most of the historicals, especially the ones written before the 2000s), even there it is changing, partly under the scrutiny of a big reviewer community that is increasingly noping on consent issues as part of their critique.

I don't know about fan fiction, I'm only speaking to erotic romance and romance, and consent is an increasingly huge deal there, in part because part of the reader contract for the romance uber-genre is a Happy Ever After or at least a Happy For Now, and we recognize now that raping someone and then being sorry about it doesn't make it okay, and that's how those old stories used to do it. That doesn't mean you can't get erotica with consent issues, there's plenty of it and it often falls under the category of "dark erotica", and it is fairly open about what it is.

Yes, 50SOG is a terrible example of the genre. It got in on one of the earlier floors of the Billionaire Dom trope, which probably blew up as big as it did because of the attention, but also because it's ripe for the troping (the money makes it so easy to wave away troublesome story-interrupting things like jobs or living in Cleveland or having to get your own oil changed), and there's a ton of better series out there that would have made great fun good-looking sexy movies that don't require the viewer to be complicit in abuse. And it would have been so exciting to see something that looks like real consensual kink - loving consensual kink, even - on the big screen rather than exploiting it as a symbol of broken sickness.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:13 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


It got in on one of the earlier floors of the Billionaire Dom trope, which probably blew up as big as it did because of the attention, but also because it's ripe for the troping

Well, that and because it's effectively just the same as a historical in many ways, except that you don't have to learn Regency social practices and slang in order to read it.
posted by corb at 3:50 PM on February 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


like erotic fiction about taking a trip to Canada.



Restraints by Mountain Equipment Co-op

Knit balaclava by Roots

Paddle by Beaver Canoe

Hockey bag by Bauer
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:54 PM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


There are million of Canadians who love their abusive relationship.

They're called "Leafs Fans".
posted by GuyZero at 3:55 PM on February 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


Fifty Shades of Eh?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:59 PM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


The reality of it is, like, burly man you don't know very well three feet from your face, which isn't how you usually have sex.

They're so so doing it wrong.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:59 PM on February 5, 2015


An excellent piece by SexGeek blogger Andrea Zanin
In short, the book portrays sexual assault, stalking, extreme possessiveness and control by people in non-kinky contexts as being no big deal; and it portrays kink as being an indicator of both mental illness and criminality in all circumstances other than heterosexual relationship heading toward marriage and reproduction. This, to me, is one of the places where Fifty Shades accurately, and very problematically, reflects mainstream understandings of consent and acceptable sexual conduct. The message is twofold: if you’re kinky and you’re not partnered in a heterosexual, monogamous fashion, you are mentally ill and criminally dangerous; and if you’re heterosexual and monogamous, then jealousy, stalking and control are indications of love, and playing with kink a little bit is hot as long as you don’t do it too much and you keep it in the bedroom.
posted by dnash at 4:03 PM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Unsexy leads who hate filming sex scenes that they are clearly not even kind of into.

What're you, high? I'm a straight white dude and I think Jamie Dornan is sexy as hell.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:06 PM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


The reality of it is, like, burly man you don't know very well three feet from your face, which isn't how you usually have sex.


...ever been to Amsterdam?
posted by The Whelk at 4:06 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Paddle by Beaver Canoe

"Beaver Canoe". Place is like a one-stop-shop for the porns. Wonder if you can buy a beaver canoe at Womyn's Ware (a local, friendly, sex toys shop in Vancouver)?
posted by Zack_Replica at 4:09 PM on February 5, 2015


This movie is the "Romantic-Comedy Behavior Gets Real-Life Man Arrested" of kink. It's certainly not the first horribly abusive relationship to be romanticized in film, it's just the first high-profile one involving kink.

And as far as I can see, this is having some really positive results. Because this movie/book has pissed off a large chunk of people who write about consent constantly, the backlash has been (and will continue to be) deafening. People who wouldn't necessarily bother to tackle the icky consent issues in your average romcom are writing reams about this, and people who would never normally hear those voices are going to hear them, because this movie is now part of the national conversation. That's great.

This movie's popularity isn't all bad. In fact, you might say it's not... all black and white.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:16 PM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


"I pegged American Sniper..."

I would read that fanfic.
posted by idiopath at 4:32 PM on February 5, 2015 [16 favorites]


Are the issues of consent that much worse than most representations of sexy-times in mass media?

The weird thing about 50SoG is that Anastasia actually reacts like she's being abused (she stops eating because she's too stressed around him, and he uses that as a reason to punish her, for example; she becomes hyper-vigilant; she begins to drink) which is unusual for a series which claims to be about romance. Usually the heroine is described enjoying what is going on. For large portions of the books, Anastasia explicitly doesn't enjoy what is going on, is frightened of mock-Edward, is trying to escape mock-Edward, etc... With a different frame it could become a psychological sex-thriller really easily, given her in-book reactions.

And personally, that's the part that made me ill. There has been an understanding within feminism for a while that "romantic" plotlines can easily lead to abusive situations, but that tends to be one of those points where people go "those man-hating feminists and their conspiracy theories again!"; 50SoG is outlining exactly how a relationship begins and develops abusively, complete with the main character having all of the emotional reactions one would to being abused and isolated, and all of the language around it is "this is so romantic."

For me it's the sheer baldness of "women, you should find being abused by men arousing and seek it out" from a woman that leaves me so disquieted.
posted by Deoridhe at 4:38 PM on February 5, 2015 [25 favorites]


To follow up Deoridhe's comment, that was something pointed out in the analysis on The Pervocracy. The kink and "sexy" parts of the story were badly written and really unrealistic, but the descriptions of behavior were *really* accurate portrayals of someone in an abusive relationship. It lends itself to interesting (and unfortunate) speculation about where the author's life experiences lie.
posted by HermitDog at 5:14 PM on February 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


I would read that fanfic.

Before you wish too hard, my body type is approximately slightly-younger slightly-slimmer Bob Belcher.
posted by codacorolla at 5:16 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


When FSOG first came out, many kinksters in my (online and offline) community were like "ugh research motherfucker, can you do it," but I don't think that there was overall community concern until rumors started bubbling about a film deal.

When the film was announced, there was a collective "OH MY GOD WHY" and the alarms started blaring, and we all battened down the hatches and prepared for the onslaught of people stumbling into the community come February 14th. Except in some corners of the kinkster universe, this started happening much much earlier than February 14th.

There have been some problems, locally (to me), where newcomers fresh off the FSOG bandwagon have shown up and done some really shitty things and interrupted scenes and triggered people because that's what they think we do here and WORSE, some refuse to be educated so that they can participate (relatively) safely and not harm anyone. And for every dude who stalks off grumbling about how we're not really kinky because [some nonsense FSOG reason], there are three more people coming in treating it like a sexy circus freakshow that they can ogle and wank at without anyone's consent. It's not cute.

I personally vacillate between worrying and wanting to mock the film/book series to hell and back. The film promotes some highly-inaccurate, damaging cultural perceptions of BDSM that continue to steepen the consequences of being outed. People have been kicked out of homes, lost their jobs, been outed to their religious communities, their families, their vanilla friends. I know of someone who had her family try to institutionalize her because she got doxxed on FetLife, and all of her information got sent to her family. FSOG can, has and will continue to do some real damage so long as there's nothing there to counter it.

Meanwhile, E.L. James gets to dawdle off into the sunset with her millions. It fucking sucks.
posted by Ashen at 5:32 PM on February 5, 2015 [15 favorites]


Aw, man, I was all prepared to get my schadenfreude on, but that Gawker article is weak sauce. It leads off with a link to a page of photos of two people looking totally normal with blurbs about how "obvious" it is that they hate each other, followed by a video of two people awkwardly answering questions from an iPad with an explanation about how "obvious" it is that they hate each other, followed by absolutely standard explanations of how filming sex scenes in movies is not actually sexy, but is in fact acting? This is now categorized as "disastrous"?

There are only two even interesting exchanges in the whole page:
    Natalie Morales: What is it like shooting together. I mean, is there that instant chemistry?
    Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson: [Shake heads no.]
    Natalie Morales: No. You hate each other.
    Jamie Dornan [Nods head yes.]
    Dakota Johnson: [Studies ceiling.]
    Natalie Morales: He's hard to work with?
    Dakota Johnson: [Loud exhale.] 
and
"Mass appreciation doesn't always equate to something good. Think of Hitler!
But I think, in this case, it must. It simply must." 
2,221 words on that page about a "disastrous press tour", and only 72 of them are actually bad-press-tour things? I'm guessing Gawker pays by the word?
posted by Bugbread at 6:17 PM on February 5, 2015


Really, the best thing about this movie is the someone named "Max Martini." If that's not a suitable porn name I don't know what is.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:24 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


We need a new word. Kinky and BDSM have communities of practioners that are rightly horrified by how they are portrayed, but I think there is a place between vanilla and camp, inspired by all the ravishment in 70s romance novels, and the designed-to-be-erotic non-conventual sex scenes in movies and other books.

You think about it, you're vanilla, you have no idea of the careful consent structure within BDSM except to know that "pineapple" is most common safe word, you've been aroused by dramatic representations of sex (but not BDSM because that's "weird" and not mainstream) and you're not a rapist (any gender, any orientation). To actively look for information about this stuff takes you straight to porn, and sometimes hardcore stuff. There's no-one you can ask about this (if you don't belong to metafilter). What conclusions are you going to draw? That deep down inside, you find it arousing that you or your partner behaves in a non-consenting manner because that will indicate true and uncontrollable desire?

For those 2 semi-vanilla people who might uninformedly and occasionally seek their pleasure that way, without understanding consent issues, where can they find information, erotica, arousal.

I have no answers - just questions - as a close friend of mine who may or may not have dabbled in BDSM with novices for the thrill of "ravishment" might be in a newly serious relationship that's vanilla because their partner is horrified by any lack of consent, or something.
posted by b33j at 7:09 PM on February 5, 2015


That's the thing though. Kinky is a spectrum that covers basically everything that isn't PIV sex. It's gotten, what's the word, reified? (probably not the right word) to mean whips and chains and leather oh my, but it's a much more amorphous definition. For some people, doing it with the lights on is kinky-in-the-sense-that-it's-not-their-usual-thing, for others it means there needs to be someone in a penguin suit present.

I think rather than a new word, what we need more of is an understanding that 'kinky' is a relative term that compares to your usual headspace. So while I may not bat an eyelash at the necessity of using BBQ sauce for lube, for other people that's a kink too far. And perhaps that's on us kinksters to be more proactive about saying "Hey, what you like is what you like and as long as you're honest with each other it's okay! And 'kinky' is a word used in relation to your current position, it's not a definitional category."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:19 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I do not know why "camp" appears in my previous comment - I think I will blam autocorrect
posted by b33j at 7:38 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Doesn't that argument sort of assume that women are 1. dumb and 2. have no access to the internet?

I keep running across all these young 15-20 year old girls on tumblr who completely think that the book is in no way abusive, and that it depicts normal BDSM relationship/dynamics. This terrifies me.

I was once a young kinkster, with a completely unrealistic idea of how such a relationship should work. Because I was inexperienced with relationships in general, of course. It had nothing to do with my intelligence or lack of internet (though granted, there was less good info available online in 1998). I was lucky, as when I went off to college and immediately (and naively) jumped into the early online kink communities with the desire to meet real-life dom/mes, a lovely pro-domme swooped in and mentored me about safe, sane, consensual. About respecting my limits and standing up for myself. Because then - as in now - there are many predatory types who do not have the best interests of young women at heart.

So my fear is that this book/film is going to lead to many young women finding themselves in dangerous situations because they came to think that the situations depicted in the book/film are perfectly acceptable.
posted by Windigo at 7:54 PM on February 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


I should have said, "there are many predatory types who do not have the best interests of young women AND MEN at heart." Because young sub guys are just as much at risk.
posted by Windigo at 8:08 PM on February 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, yes they are. My ex was very sub and very inexperienced and was kind of befuddled when I asked him what he liked and wanted to do, bedwise, because the previous guy he'd been with kind of steamrollered over that and used him as some sort of animated sex puppet, never bothering to go "Hey, so is this a thing you like?" even. I think that happens a lot in the queer male world and I shudder to think how I may have contributed to it when I was younger. FSOG is not going to help that in any way at all.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:12 PM on February 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yes, and unfortunately if you're a very young submissive, just starting out, you're often scared of speaking up because you don't want to come off as a 'bad' submissive (something I believe Mr. Grey accuses Ana of in the book, to manipulate her to do what he wants). And you don't often even know exactly what it is that you want, yet. It's exhilarating to learn yourself with a partner who wants to explore with you, who thrives on that sense of discovery. It can be horrifying if the partner sees young, inexperienced submissive types as easy prey to use and abuse how they like with no repercussions.

Like I said, I am really really glad I never ran across a Christian Grey type when I was starting out. It could have happened. So easily. I want to swoop in and mother hen all these young people I see on tumblr.
posted by Windigo at 8:21 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


using BBQ sauce for lube

Yeek! That just seems like a bad idea from a practical standpoint, regardless of "kinkiness".

(OTOH using the phrase "lubing your pork" in a BBQ context is far safer and kinkier)
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:31 PM on February 5, 2015


the book portrays sexual assault, stalking, extreme possessiveness and control by people in non-kinky contexts as being no big deal

That seems pretty par for the course in mediocre erotica (as well as in quite a bit of the literary stuff, of course). Partly because people seem to genuinely get off on that stuff, and partly simply lazy reflections of societal attitudes.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:32 PM on February 5, 2015


Yeah. I dated a boy some years ago who was--and is--definitely a pronounced sub, and had these ideas that he'd meet this Magical Unicorn Top who just knew what he wanted and how he wanted it and everything would be perfect.

Didn't quite manage to disabuse him of that notion while we were together, but recently had a conversation that ended up there where he said basically "wow, asking for what you want is hard."

I suspect what's going on is that young kids of various genders are applying what young people have always applied to emotional connections--they'll just be The Right Person without asking and they'll be Perfect and we won't need to talk about anything because it'll be Perfect--to sex. And it doesn't so much work that way, unfortunately, and it takes years to learn.

At the same time, I wonder whether the intellectual approach that so many of us use towards sex may inhibit the spontaneity and "oh hey wow I never thought of that, do it again" that many of us (but not, by a long shot, all of us, and many people--self included--ended up in retrospectively abusive situations, retrospectively as in couldn't recognize as such at the time but do now) experienced in our teens and early twenties. And at the same time as that, I recognize that using such an approach can lead to very difficult if not outright abusive situations. Balancing situational surprise/exploration with explicit consent seems to be a tricky question to answer. There is something very much to be said for those surprise and unexpected moments, and in an ideal universe I'd love for humanity to come up with a way for those to still happen organically without the problems raised by not asking for explicit consent. And I have no idea how to make that happen--I hope others do.

Yeek! That just seems like a bad idea from a practical standpoint, regardless of "kinkiness"

I was kind of trying to stay away from likely real-world acts to avoid the baggage associated with, well, basically anything humans do on a kitchen floor together.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:41 PM on February 5, 2015


Dip Flash: "That seems pretty par for the course in mediocre erotica (as well as in quite a bit of the literary stuff, of course)."

Disclaimer: I have not read FSOG. I have, however, read Jenny Trout/Abigail Barnette's chapter-by-chapter in-depth take-down of all three books, which I'm pretty sure ends up being actually longer than the source material.

What makes 50 Shades worse is that the protagonist is not, for the most part, enjoying it. In mediocre erotica you've got the whole "I shouldn't, but I want to" thing, while with 50 Shades it seems like half the encounters are of that "this is naughty but surprisingly pleasurable" ilk, but just as many encounters are "I'm not enjoying this, but I'm doing it because I don't want to lose him".
posted by Bugbread at 8:51 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Say what we will (and I DO) about the Twilight series: IIRC when Bella and Edward finally hooked up and had rough energetic bed-breaking vampire honeymoon sex, Edward felt kinda guilty afterward but Bella enjoyed the hell out of herself.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:32 PM on February 5, 2015


Of course Bella then immediately fell pregnant with a parasitic vampire baby that chewed its way out of her Alien-style, so I'm still not sure if we're supposed to condone or condemn the enthusiastic sexual consent here.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:36 PM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Of course Bella then immediately fell pregnant with a parasitic vampire baby that chewed its way out of her Alien-style

Whereas Ana got pregnant because she couldn't be bothered to go to the doctor and Christian couldn't be bothered to make any effort to not knock her up. Because he didn't like condoms, and needed to be saved by a baby.

All things considered, I'll take the original "becoming a mother will KILL YOU LITERALLY" narrative over "she got one of your kids/got you for 18 years" but still.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:46 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think there is a place between vanilla and camp, inspired by all the ravishment in 70s romance novels,

The place is essentially, "I would like to like sex, but societal attitudes towards it mean that as a heterosexual lady, I am supposed to focus on pleasing the man and not myself, but I have to be really conscious anyway because if I'm too into it or say the wrong things then he won't like me anymore, so man I fucking wish that someone could just take those expectations away from me and let me have sex without all this ladybonerkilling headdrama."
posted by corb at 10:39 PM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]




I have to admit the trailer got me a little hot under the collar. Could've been a really good editing job.

The power of Beyoncé.
posted by sparkletone at 11:39 PM on February 5, 2015


Holy shit, this book is so much worse than I ever imagined it could be. I'm working my way through the Pervocracy read along mentioned earlier in this thread, and it's just SO BAD on every level.

Level 1: How did crap like this ever get published

So apparently Ms. Steele has an inner goddess, and within the first eight chapters, this inner goddess has already salsa'd and merengue'd for joy. Also, the dialogue and the first person point of view, and the offensive Hispanic caricature character... I mean seriously, how did this get published? There's a lot of crappy fanfic out there, but I feel like this has got to be in the bottom 50%. Did no editor come within 100 feet of this thing?

Level 2: In what universe is this sexy

I'm all for erotica, but there is nothing erotic about this. I mean, seriously?

Moving down, I push him into my mouth. He groans again. Ha! My inner goddess is thrilled. I can do this. I can fuck him with my mouth.

I pull him deeper into my mouth so I can feel him at the back of my throat and then to the front again. My tongue swirls around the end. He’s my very own Christian Grey flavor popsicle.

Really? This is the book that 100 million horny housewives are getting off on? This can't be real. Who is reading this crap?

Level 3: There is nothing about this book that isn't disturbing

Okay, so I've only read some brief excerpts plus about 9 chapters of this read along of the first book, but this is stomach turning:

By the time we get to chapter 2, he is already legit stalking her.

By chapter 5, he's taking off her jeans (but not her underwear so NBD) while she's blackout drunk/unconscious after taking her back to his home (apartment? Mansion? Hotel? Dungeon? Bat cave? I'm unclear on where all of this is going down), and then she wakes up, and he's forcing food down her throat.

Did I mention the rape threats?

Oh, and somewhere around chapter 8, he finds out she's a virgin, acts horrified, yells at her, then immediately has sex with her because... He just can't help himself? Virginity is dangerous? I just really can't even.

Level 4: Even Ana realizes that this is abuse

She's intensely uncomfortable the whole time. As has already been noted, this is a stomach turning depiction of an abusive relationship. How is this supposed to be sexy? This poor girl basically wants to die, except in those few minutes when her inner goddess is really turned on. How is this okay?

Level 5: Ana may or may not have an eating disorder, but whatever, just go with it

This is something I'm mostly getting from the comments, but apparently maybe this is also secretly about anorexia? I don't know. I just give up.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:43 PM on February 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


I stand firmly on my hatred. I am proud of my hate.

Check it: Not only did Twilight shit all over what could be considered decent writing, then you have this pile of shit that not only is shit but turns BDSM into Yay My Boyfriend Raped Me When I Pretended to Break Up with Him.

HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE

HATE
posted by angrycat at 6:12 AM on February 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is something I'm mostly getting from the comments, but apparently maybe this is also secretly about anorexia?

My understanding is that Ana has terrible body image to go with her generally low self-esteem and Christian has a weird obsession (born of childhood trauma or something) with making her eat.
posted by sparkletone at 6:41 AM on February 6, 2015


> Seconded - all that happens in "the tampon scene" is that he pulls her tampon out of her body and then fucks her.

That's it. I'm serious, that's it.


My grodd, are you so numb and calloused that you don't see the horror in this scene? The absolute rabid degeneracy of it? He pulls a tampon from her body

AND THROWS IT IN A TOILET.

Look, maybe you can afford all the plumbers you need, Mr Richdude, but when that goes on to fuck up municipal plumbing who pays? All of us!

mutter mutter grumble
posted by phearlez at 8:16 AM on February 6, 2015 [20 favorites]


Was just reminded of this Tweet by Mara Wilson:
Twilight is the literary World War I: you thought this was as bad as it could get, but then WWII/Fifty Shades happened.
posted by kmz at 8:18 AM on February 6, 2015 [11 favorites]




It's only fair to warn you all that 'Fifty Shades' is Fandango's fastest-selling R-rated movie in its history. No?

Would you believe its ticket sales are higher than average in the Bible Belt?

How about that they're officially making the sequels before its even released?
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:45 AM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


maybe you can afford all the plumbers you need, Mr Richdude, but when that goes on to fuck up municipal plumbing who pays? All of us!

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who had that kind of WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT.
posted by corb at 11:40 AM on February 6, 2015


Gilbert Gottfried reads 50 Shades of Grey

That reading never fails to make me laugh.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:56 AM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like when they put quotes from the book on the movie poster.
posted by jeather at 12:17 PM on February 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


Gilbert Gottfried reads 50 Shades of Grey

Gottfried keeps it up all night.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:17 PM on February 6, 2015


Thank you jeather! I knew I saw that on Tumblr somewhere and couldn't find it for the life of me.
posted by kmz at 12:23 PM on February 6, 2015


I haven't had a chance to read the entire thread yet, but omg, this bit from the link about the teddy bear and other tie-in products:

Fashion retailer Hot Topic sells tights with the Christian Grey's signature sign off "Laters, baby," written on them.

Laters, baby.

LATERS. BABY.
posted by naoko at 1:34 PM on February 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


Would you believe its ticket sales are higher than average in the Bible Belt?

Yes. Yes I would believe that. In fact it would have been my kneejerk answer if that was an honest question and not a link to proof.
posted by Hoopo at 1:41 PM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


um. it's bad to flush tampons down toilets?
posted by angrycat at 6:16 PM on February 6, 2015


It's very bad to flush anything that isn't regular bathroom tissue down the toilet. This includes but is not limited to: tampons, condoms, and so-called but not actually flushable "moist" bathroom tissue.
posted by Justinian at 6:54 PM on February 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's only fair to warn you all that 'Fifty Shades' is Fandango's fastest-selling R-rated movie in its history. No?

I think it's going to be very frontloaded, with most people who want to see it doing so on opening weekend. Much like The Fault in Our Stars over the summer. Probably a pretty substantial drop-off over the coming weeks, finishing at a decent 90 to 120 million.
posted by codacorolla at 7:53 PM on February 6, 2015


It's very bad to flush anything that isn't regular bathroom tissue down the toilet. This includes but is not limited to: tampons, condoms, and so-called but not actually flushable "moist" bathroom tissue.

Also baby wipes, as my upstairs neighbors once learned to their (and my) chagrin. A bathtub full of backed-up raw sewage first thing in the morning was not conducive to what I'd call a "good day".
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:37 PM on February 6, 2015


So if I built a 50 Shades of Grey Lego set and put it up on that official Lego idea site and enough people voted for it...


Fifty Shades of Bricks. Everything is Not Awesome!

ugh, I hate that Lego associated themselves with this
posted by fuse theorem at 2:04 PM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Mrs. Bastard read 50 Shades kind of for the same reason I read Left Behind. Sometimes you gotta just do that. No way in hell I'm watching that movie though. Next dozen or so movies I watch need to be good.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:12 PM on February 7, 2015


IIRC,there's a scene in Memnoch the Devil in which Lestat performs menstrual extraction by cunnilingus.

The only proper soundtrack for the tampon scene( I haven't read the books, but have gotten enough through the Jenny Trout --IRL name of Abigail Barnette-- recaps) should be the Sterilles "On the Rag".
posted by brujita at 7:12 PM on February 8, 2015


50 Shades of MODOK: "A young woman's erotic awakening at the proportionally tiny hands of a megalomaniacal supervillain"
posted by exogenous at 5:16 AM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Laters, baby. LATERS. BABY.

More like "TATERS, BABY," amirite?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:05 AM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


50 Shades of Buscemi.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:24 AM on February 11, 2015


So I said to my husband, 'You know who plays the male lead in 50 Shades? That guy from The Fall.'
And my husband said, 'Mark E. Smith?'


Comment from this demolition by Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:53 AM on February 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


The number of Americans requiring emergency room care for injuries involving sex toys has approximately doubled since 2007...Much of that increase happened in 2012 and 2013, following the release of the wildly popular erotic novels in the Fifty Shades of Grey series
posted by nubs at 12:47 PM on February 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


So I said to my husband, 'You know who plays the male lead in 50 Shades? That guy from The Fall.'
And my husband said, 'Mark E. Smith?'


That movie would never get made. MES would keep replacing the other actors.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:56 PM on February 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


quick question: why is that tampon scene so infamous? I mean, plumbing issues aside. it sort of reads to me, 'the dude is so out there that he will even pull the woman out of the menstrual shack and do her even though the Gods forbid such things'
posted by angrycat at 9:29 AM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I think it's like "He TOUCHES her MENSTRUAL BLOOD and it is SEXY!" But that only becomes even vaguely sexy if you are used to the average American male and his complete horror of having blood touch his penis, even if there's a shower afterwards.
posted by corb at 9:49 AM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to go find the whole thing right now, but I remember finding it jarring in the same way I would if someone emphasized the wrong word in a sentence or the wrong syllable in a word. Like, there's a way to write that scene so that the whisking away of the tampon is not the specific image you're left with. I think there was a layer of Ana's near-constant internal "jeezy gee whillikers gosh!" monologue that may have made it worse.

I can't remember but it's possible-to-likely (b/c virgin) that Ana had never used tampons before. There was too much emphasis on the tampon, basically.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:56 AM on February 12, 2015


Oh god, okay, I switched computers so I could look it up. Lord.

"Hold on to the sink," he orders and pulls my hips back again, like he did in the playroom, so I'm bending down.

He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string… what! And… gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet. Holy fuck. Sweet mother of all… Jeez. And then he's inside me [...]







It's blue. Does it need to be blue? It would have been better if it hadn't been blue and had just been a string. How closely is she watching this maneuver? Also, the word 'toilet', not a fan of it in my sex scenes.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:02 AM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


it sort of reads to me, 'the dude is so out there that he will even pull the woman out of the menstrual shack and do her even though the Gods forbid such things'

Yeah. That's exactly it. There are people of BOTH genders who are just all squicked out by the existence of tampons, or of anything to do with menstruation at all; some people forgo sex entirely during the woman's period* because they're too weirded out about it. So for those people, a guy just yanking a tampon out of the way and going to it is massively transgressive.

* It's another thing entirely for people who are forgoing sex during their period because the woman is feeling bloated and crampy and just generally shitty. I'm talking about the people who would otherwise be up for it, except "um...I'm on my period, and, like, there's....blood, and....stuff."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:04 AM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


There's no jeezy-goshin' about blood everywhere or how brave he is or anything. After, she is sitting on his lap on the bathroom floor and she reminds him she's bleeding and he says it doesn't bother him and wants to know if it bothers her, and she wonders if it should and then says no. Then they take a bath.

And now I have the stupid thing up at the top of my Kindle list.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:15 AM on February 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hey, over in the vaccination thread people are researching and discussing the availability of Mein Kampf, so things could always be worse.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:29 AM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's blue. Does it need to be blue? It would have been better if it hadn't been blue and had just been a string.

Yeah, by specifying it's a blue string it conjures up an image of a whole bunch of differently-coloured strings hanging around down there.
"Hold on to the sink," he orders and pulls my hips back again, like he did in the playroom, so I'm bending down.
He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string… what! And… gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet. Holy fuck. Sweet mother of all… Jeez. And then he reaches again and pulls on the orange string! Lord! The venetian blinds come up! What the- ? No wait, only one side's gone up! He's sort of jiggling the orange string, the sensation is nothing like I've ever felt... oh, both sides are going up now! We're bathed in the glow of the street lamps, I feel so exposed! Oh wait, now the other side's bunched up!
"Dammit," he hisses.
"Try jiggling it a little," I whisper.
"I AM," he snarls.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:23 AM on February 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


I have to admit, when I read pulls on the blue string… what!

I wondered for a moment if maybe confetti and a paper crown came out.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:37 AM on February 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


Are tampon strings normally colored or white? Or is it brand dependent?
posted by zarq at 12:32 PM on February 12, 2015


O.B. brand tampons (which, in the US, are one of the only applicator-less options, and people who like applicator-less are deeply devoted to them) have blue strings.

All the ones I've ever bought are white, but as Alvy Ampersand so perfectly illustrated, even if they came in a rainbow of colors it's unlikely that you'd need to differentiate. There really should only be the one. More than that, and it'd be like a clown pulling handkerchiefs out of his nose.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:45 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Brand dependent.

I'm in the camp of being reluctant to have 2nd day PIV because cramps.
posted by brujita at 12:47 PM on February 12, 2015


There really should only be the one. More than that, and it'd be like a clown pulling handkerchiefs out of his nose.

Somewhere, Karen Finley just lifted her head and thought "I should do a show in Vegas."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:50 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The problem -- well, a problem -- with that scene is that a used tampon is as sexy as a used Kleenex or a used paper towel or a used wad of toilet paper or a used length of dental floss. They're not things that I want to read about if I'm trying to get in the mood.

Everyone should read the Jenny Trout series on 50 Shades. It's funny and also interesting criticism. I haven't read the books myself, but I did read all her bits on it and I think that's enough.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:02 PM on February 12, 2015


Jenny writes under Abigail Barnette a series of BDSM stories starting with The Boss (which is free on electronic devices). 100% consensual, very sexy, and I unexpectedly got VERY drawn into the plot and now I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT so I need to buy the sequel and sequel's sequel and the short stories and... yeah. Good times.
posted by Deoridhe at 1:17 PM on February 12, 2015


another nice 50 shades variant
posted by idiopath at 10:24 AM on February 20, 2015


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