10 years after Fifty Shades

shades of grey

Ten years ago the adult industry was changed in a very real and very mainstream way through the novel; you guessed it: Fifty Shades of Grey. That’s right. 10 years ago in May E.L James took to publishing her novel Fifty SHades of Grey which was originally a Twilight Fanfiction on her website (now obsolete) fiftyshades.com. Her first novels were published as requested by an Australian publisher in 2011. The series began to spread in notoriety in book clubs and small circles as  must read “have you read that book?” It wsn’t the first erotic novel that tackled or used BDSM and yet it began to spread like wild fire. A year later Random House Publishing bought the rights to the trilogy and sold over 45 million copies of the book.

The trilogy was so popular that the UK ran out of silver ink at one point from printing the seductive covers. During its first week of sales, word of mouth had done such a successful job in promoting the novel that it hit the New York Time’s best seller list. At its peak, two copies were sold per second of the seductive story; within four months, it had sold 4 million copies.

The fifty shades of grey saga has certainly been an interesting one. Not only do we have the novels and ebooks but we have the cinematic immersive experience which plays nom de plume E.L Jame’s piece into real life and then we have LoveHoney’s own line of deviant adult toys to bring the debauchery alive. All of this has created an existing enterprise worth over $1.3 Billion.

It cannot be denied that Fifty Shades of Grey brought BDSM mainstream to a lot of people who had never considered it before and allowed BDSM to be privy to many new parts of conversations within friendship circles and relationships where it would not have been before. Insights from Nielson stated that previous to having such a mainstream book like fifty shades of Grey people found discussing BDSM or adult toys difficult to discuss with friends, however having a book to use as an ice breaker or an “in” made it much easier to casually throw it into conversation and start a discussion.

Many of the following of fifty shades of Grey came from women in the 30s, 40s and 50s and most read and reread it again and again giving it positive and amazing reviews and praise, adding to its notoriety. But then there was the flip side.

Not everyone loved fifty shades of Grey, in fact some loathed it. Many critics bemoaned its prose and badly written sequence calling it nothing more than a Harlequin paperback and crappy writing. And perhaps this only added to the demand of people “having” to read and experience it. But on top of this, many experts, novices, kinksters and BDSM practitioners read, watched or listened to others describe the saga with concern because while E.L James may have briefly looked into this world that some of us live in- it is not correctly portrayed in either the books or the movies or the franchise.

And boy was there backlash.

If you were to type into google what Fifty Shades of Grey got wrong you would be inundated with articles, blogs and rantings of various levels from fans to psychologists debating over the extent in which the storyline portrays the use of BDSM, communication and general healthy relationships throughout the three novels.

The main and crucial part of the dynamic that is often found to be missing between Anastasia and Christian is consent. I have often discussed consent in some of my earlier articles how it is used in everyday life, how it is imperative in any relationship and how it is more than just yes and no. What is demonstrated in the early stages of Ana and Christian’s relationship is not only against the carefully constructed “safety” of the contract that Christian supposedly uses to ensure the safety of his submissives but also the blatant manipulation of Ana’s feelings and coercion into saying yes to situations within their relationship that she did not want and was not ready for because she was afraid that by saying no she would lose Christian and therefore their relationship.

Neither of these instances highlight a healthy relationship nor do they portray Dominance/submission. Let me use  the spanking scene from the first book as is often discussed as an example

“Oh, Anastasia Steele, did you just roll your eyes at me?”

Crap.

“No,” I squeak.

“I think you did. What did I say I’d do to you if you rolled your eyes at me again?”

Shit.

“I haven’t signed,” I whisper.

“I told you what I’d do. I’m a man of my word. I’m going to spank you, and then I’m going to fuck you very quick and very hard.”

Tentatively, I uncurl my legs. Should I run? This is it; our relationship hangs in the balance, right here, right now. Do I let him do this or do I say no, and then that’s it?

He hits me again … this is getting harder to take. My face hurts, it’s screwed up so tight. He strokes me gently and then the blow comes. I cry out again.

“No one to hear you, baby, just me.”

And he hits me again and again. From somewhere deep inside, I want to beg him to stop. But I don’t. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction.

 

Out of context

and out of the book, this paragraph may even read as an abuser bargaining with an emotionally inexperienced person who isn’t sure how else to keep a relationship that has only just begun. This is not what the definition of consent is whether as part of a D/s relationship or not. While the act of contracts is something that many dynamics use, it is not for every D/s or M/s dynamic and should never be imposed without both parties fully understanding the responsibilities of the document and being able to feel safe and heard should they have any sections that they would like to change.

 

We note here that in the Fifty Shades Series, Anastasia does not eventually sign the contract even after the review of terms. This does not mean that it was all talk, in fact it would seem a reasonable assumption that the relationship that Christian and Anatasia took on, developed outside the means and the rigid boundaries that the contract had provided Christian; highlighting again that it was more a story of deeper communication and psychological dysfunctionality rather than the perversion of BDSM.

 

What is also absent from the stories is the continuity in Christian’s role as a Dominant. Anastasia, who has zero sexual experience is left to “research” the roles, terms and nuances of the contract and kink. Any prospective Dom should be helpful and willing to explain these to any potential submissive to help ease their mind but also to ensure that they are on the same page. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet. Anastasia proves this by typing a few things into a search engine, taking one look and going “nope-nice knowing you”. To which, later, Christian gets upset that she could so easily dismiss him. Gee, I wonder if there was a way he could have prevented that from happening?

 

For all of its misgivings regarding kink, consent and BDSM, if you took away the prospect of Christian falsely promoting himself as a well seasoned dominant there is something we can agree on. He did enjoy Kinky fuckery. The start of Anastasia’s journey into kink is not the most consensual, however we do learn that she does also delight in aspects of kinky fuckery.

 

This, along with the serendipitous timing of Fifty Shades is what opened many a conversation up to toys, bondage and spicing things up in relationships and sexual exploration. In Fact in the wake of the books and then the movies, adult toy sales rose over 30% in total. 400% increase in weighted love balls (or rather Kegel balls), 60% in whips, 35% in bondage and 150% in anal plugs.

 

Whether or not Fifty Shades of Grey contributed to the awareness or staggering interest that many people found in their own sexuality and escapades (or should I say Sex-capades), there is no denying that it came at a time where people began to feel more readily accepted to discuss kink, sex and using toys.

 

10 years on from Fifty Shades of Grey and people are still talking about it, it is still referenced and many have reported it to be a segway into having that “I saw/read about this in Fifty Shades, can we try that?” Because of its popularity it makes fifty shades a point of common ground for people to refer to that is not as lucrative as some others.

Fifty Shades made sex toys mainstream

We can agree that Fifty Shades helped make using toys and bondage more mainstream for some, we can also agree that Fifty Shades is not the compendium that should be used for Dominance, Submission or perhaps even relationships in general. But it is a starting point.

 

If you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey and wanted to learn more about kink try reading

Screw the Roses Send me the Thorns by Philip Miller and Molly Devon

The Ultimate Guide to Kink by Tristan Taomorino

 

If you loved the fictional kinky BDSM aspect of fifty shades and want some more try

The Crossfire series by Sylvia Day or

The Original Sinners Series by Tiffany Reisz

 

As always

At your Service

Tiffany,

OhZone Sales Consultant, Avid Reader and Kinkster.

Damaging Sex Worker Myths

prostitutes

Earlier this week I saw a photo graph that contained some incredible harmful stigmas surrounding sex work and since I am an online sex worker myself I have a huge connection to the whole community and only want the best for us. Unfortunately, there is still a huge amount of stigma and prejudice around sex workers as a whole, especially full service sex workers (and this includes from people within our own industry!), it’d be nice to live in a world where this isn’t the case, but for now all I can do is put the word out there and hope to make the work a slightly easier place to exist in as a sex worker. So I’m going to take this week to debunk some myths. Let’s go.

 

All Sex Workers are mentally ill:


This right here is the one that set me off to begin with, the graphic I saw was called “Sad But True Facts about Sex Workers in the USA” which stated “100% of cam girls have mental problems and 96% of them have drug or alcohol addiction” putting aside the terrible grammar, this just isn’t correct, there is no studies you can find to show these statistics, and it’s just harmful. The closest study you can find that can even be compared to this is a study on Full Service Sex Workers (FSSW) in Cambodia, and even then only 50% actually had mental health issues… It just baffles me that people can push out these kinds of things, and not even think of how that effects a whole community of people. This is a myth.

 

All Sex Workers Were Coerced or Trafficked:


While there is a major problem with people being sex trafficked and coerced into sex work there is also a huge amount of people who do it on their own accord, whether it’s because the money is great, or because they just genuinely enjoy the job and decided they may as well monetise on it, it doesn’t matter, there are so many out there who do it as a choice. I am an online sex worker and while the extra money is amazing, I also just love having people pay me because they find me that hot, it’s amazing for self confidence and for the wallet. As I stated there is still a large problem with sex trafficking and we do need to fight that and focus on trying to end it, we also need to focus on letting women who choose to be in it live in peace and do their jobs, while not being judged or bullied for it.

 

Sex Workers are Diseased:


Now, I do just want to mention I am in NSW Australia where prostitution is legalised for the most part, but here within legal brothels all Full Service Sex Workers do need to undergo STD testing, they MUST use condoms for literally everything including genitals, and they do check every client’s genitals for obvious signs of disease and infection before they engage in any act. So with that being said Full Service Sex Workers are probably cleaner and more regularly tested than your standard Tinder hookup. Of course, people love to use the dirty card regardless, because apparently if you exchange money for services suddenly you catch everything… That being said, this is STILL a myth.

 

Sex Workers ruin marriages:


So, this is probably one of the ones that gets me riled up the most. Married men, engaged men, and men in relationships are the ones that need to be respecting their relationship’s boundaries, I do not care whether a stripper offered them a dance while they were in a strip club, I do not care if an Onlyfans girl offered them a pay per view video made custom for them, and I especially do not care if a Full Service Sex Worker offered them services while they were in the brothel. These men shouldn’t be in strip clubs, they shouldn’t be on Onlyfans, and they shouldn’t be in strip clubs if their partner isn’t comfortable with it. You wouldn’t get mad at the TAB for allowing him to bet on the horses if he was a gambling addict, and you wouldn’t be mad at a pub for servicing him if he was an alcholic. Stop being mad at women for simply doing their jobs, be mad at your partners for disrespecting your boundaries and your relationships, it’s so simple.

Put simply sex workers may offer a service like bdsm that their client just cannot get at home.

 

While these probably don’t seem like a huge problem to people who work regular 9-5 jobs in an office, they are a huge deal for those of us who work in the industry. Imagine if we treated tradies the same way, calling them dirty, useless, and of course my favourite “bludgers with no skills”. Imagine if we told office workers they  were degrading themselves for allowing their job to take over their whole lives, all while making a shitty wage and barely seeing their families.
Sex workers are out there making money, living their lives, and not judging anyone else. Leave them be and work on your mentality.

What are Common Fetishes Seen in Porn?

nylon milf

There are a lot of fetishes out there. It doesn’t matter what anyone happens to be into, they can find a whole array of porn videos to see it play out. A fetish, by the way, is “a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc.” That means that a person can fetishize basically anything that they want, although it’s almost never a choice. A fetish is something that a person can’t control, but needs nonetheless. Here are some of the most common fetishes that can be found in porn.

Foot Fetish

By and large, the most common fetish out there is the foot fetish and it comes in many different forms. You can find foot fetish videos where feet are simply displayed for the camera. Then there are foot fetish videos with feet being licked, smelled, and even having sex with someone. The feet can be naked or they can be in stockings or shoes. If there’s a way to show off feet, there are hundreds or thousands of porn videos with it happening to find.

Nylon Fetish

Next up is the nylon fetish. It’s just as common as the foot fetish, but it doesn’t have to be as obvious. Nylon fetishists can find their subjects in almost any porn video that they see. There’s almost always a part of the video that has the model in nylons and that’s all it takes for some people. Of course, there are also plenty of porn videos that take it to an extreme. You can see nylons getting ripped apart, used as a restraint, and even being forced on someone who does want to wear them. It all depends on how deep the fetish goes.

Ageplay

Ageplay really has two different forms, but if we’re talking about the most common fetishes in porn, then we have to talk about age difference porn. It’s all over the place and can come in the form of an older woman with a younger man or an older man with a younger woman. It’s where the whole MILF thing comes from. Younger men tend to fetishize older women that they see as sexually experienced seductresses. Any porn search on any site is going to bring up lots of age play videos with some other fetish thrown in.

Voyeurism

Voyeurism is also very high on the list. It’s the basis for an entire industry of reality porn videos. It doesn’t matter how realistic it actually is. If you’re told that people are having real sex and not performing for a camera, a fetishist can lose himself in anything he sees. Naturally, actual voyeur porn is next to impossible to find. That’s because it’s very illegal to record someone without his or her consent and sell it as adult content. Even so, the fantasy is being sold all over the internet and it’s not going to be going anywhere.

Bondage

Getting more into the specialty aspect of porn, you can find bondage. This is a common one, but it usually requires porn that’s focused on it. You can’t really just add in a little bondage to a vanilla sex scene and think it will satisfy anyone. The bondage needs to be front and center and it usually requires special equipment. That’s why you won’t find quite as many bondage porn videos as foot or nylon fetishes, but it’s still extremely common. A little rope can go a long way if you know how to use it.

Role Playing

Finally, we get to role play. This is a fetish that you can find anywhere at any time. All it involves is someone playing the role of someone else during sex. This can be a woman pretending to a college student, a man pretending to be a plumber, or any person pretending to be a fictional character. It’s as common in porn as it is in the actual bedroom. Any porn site that focuses on role play can expect to have a whole lot of traffic and it doubles as a great way to learn how to play at it in real life.

New to BDSM? Here’s what you should know

bdsm novice

So you’ve read about it, seen it in a movie, or heard a friend talk about their experience. It doesn’t matter how you first encountered it — BDSM is bound to inspire curiosity in everyone who comes across the concept.

 

The truth is, few things in the world are as misconstrued as BDSM. Factors like misrepresentation in movies and the lifestyle’s reputation for being extremely taboo contribute to many misconceptions about it. 

 

If you’re planning to try BDSM yourself, we strongly caution against going into it blindly. Trust us. You want to be as prepared and knowledgeable as possible when you dive into the exhilarating world of BDSM.

 

So before you press check-out on that cart full of naughty costumes and BDSM gear, make sure to read this newbies’ guide.

What is BDSM?

BDSM stands for “bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism, and is an umbrella term for just about any type of power dynamic in the bedroom.

 

So depending on who you are and what types of sexual adventures you’re into, BDSM can mean many things. It can be as simple as light spanking, or it can go as far as elaborate bondage and strict obedience.

 

If you’ve always been dominant in your everyday life, BDSM can offer you an alternate world where you allow someone else to call the shots (and vice versa!). BDSM is big on freedom, experimentation, adventure, and fun. As long as you keep in mind the tips below, you’re bound to have a great experience.

Tips for a great BDSM experience

Discuss consent and boundaries.

What’s the key difference between BDSM and straight-up sexual assault? Consent. Intimate activities should always stem from an agreement regardless of context. The beauty of BDSM is you get to experience things that are considered by many as too taboo. Truly, it’s a judgment-free lifestyle. You can do pretty much anything as long as all participants willingly and explicitly consent to it.


A discussion about personal boundaries is essential to safely enjoy BDSM. Establish what is allowed and what is off-limits before getting frisky with your partner, and make sure to always respect each other’s limits.

A safeword is essential.

All parties involved should understand the risks and take all necessary precautions. One non-negotiable safety measure is the use of a safeword. This word, which is agreed upon beforehand, will serve as a signal to either tone down or completely halt activities if things go too far. 

 

Most suggest using words that you wouldn’t typically say in a sexual situation. For example, people want to be able to say ‘’stop’’ and ‘’no’’ as a part of role-playing without spoiling the fun. 

 

That said, choose your safeword wisely. It can be something as mundane as “yellow” or “noodles” — really, it’s up to you!

Be open and honest.

Communication is vital in BDSM. You should be comfortable enough to talk about your desires and fantasies. Conversely, no-go’s and turn-offs should also be discussed. BDSM needs openness and honesty to be fully enjoyed.

 

One common mistake we often see beginners make is compromising on their comfort. They allow themselves to be pushed to do things they’re not 100% comfortable with out of fear of being branded a buzzkill. But really, you shouldn’t be engaging with anyone who judges or shames you for your boundaries. 

Start small.

When you’re planning for your first ever BDSM session, it can get tempting to go all-out. Blindfolds and handcuffs? Check! Dirty talk? Check! Whips and lots of rope? Why not?

 

While there’s nothing wrong with pulling out all the stops, we recommend starting small — especially if it’s a first time for both you and your partner. Allow yourself to slowly explore and get a feel for the lifestyle. You can always add more later.

A parting note

Once you’ve got the tips we’ve outlined above down pat, always remember one thing: have lots of fun! BDSM might sound dark and scary, but the truth is, it’s a sexual experience that’s only possible with lots of communication, respect, and care. Good luck!