Quora

Why Does the BDSM Community Dislike Christian Grey?

Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey.

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Answer by Franklin Veaux, sexuality educator:

The simple answer is because he is not a BDSM practitioner; he is a stalker and an abuser.

The complex answer: Christian Grey is a fictional character created by a writer (and, later, a movie studio) with no real-world BDSM experience for an audience with no real-world BDSM experience. He routinely violates boundaries, ignores consent, stalks Ana, engages in clumsy and wildly unsafe activities, has poor communication skills, and exhibits many traits of an entitled narcissistic abuser.

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He is a popular character because he is fictional, and being fictional, he automatically knows what Ana wants because what Ana wants is determined by the same writer who created him.

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This is a powerful and compelling narrative for many people. Why?

Because talking openly about what you want is scary as hell. It makes you vulnerable. Your partner might reject you. Your partner might judge you. Your partner might think you’re too weird. Your partner might laugh at you. Your partner might leave you.

Imagine a partner who just automatically knows everything you secretly desire and gives it all to you without you having to ask for it or even admit you want it. Imagine having all the sexy things you fantasize about without having to do the scary work of discussing it, being vulnerable, or risking rejection. Sounds amazing, right?

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The problem is that in the real world, people cannot read your mind. In the real world, nobody will ever automatically know what you want without talking about it. In the real world, you cannot expect to have what you want if you don’t ask for what you want—but asking for what you want is scary.

People in the BDSM world don’t like Christian Grey because we recognize what he is: a predator. He’s a stalker and an abuser, but he’s a stalker and an abuser whose tastes exactly match what his fictional victim really wants. People in the BDSM community know it never works out that way.

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