Monday, February 16, 2015

Made in the Shades

On last weekend's Cartoon Saturday post, which was dedicated to Valentine's Day (naturally), reader Anemone left a comment asking, "Why don't guys find Valentine's Day as romantic as women do?" My answer, which I thought was pretty accurate, was, "The whole concept of the holiday is geared toward men professing their love for women. Most men don't really get off on things like jewelry, flowers, boxes of chocolate, and sappy cards. If you want to make it a day more men will appreciate, work into it concepts like bacon, football, and fast cars."

Or, perhaps, kinky sex.

This past weekend also saw the debut of the film based on the smash hit novel Fifty Shades of Grey, the first volume of a quasi-erotic trilogy dealing with the adventures of an unlikely couple in a BDSM* relationship. The novels and the film have generated a huge amount of commentary on all sides of the issue of ... um ... alternative forms of sexual expression, from outright condemnation to the tentative "well, let's try it" to those who think it's the greatest thing since the discovery of bacon and chocolate.

One thing that goes along with the whole BDSM thing, though, is the concept of safety. After all, nobody in their right mind wants to be rendered helpless and subjected to physical abuse unless the ground rules are clearly established in advance and agreed to by all concerned. And unless the participants aren't unusually stupid ...

Consider this article posted to the CNN website on Valentine's Day: '50 Shades of Ouch' as Firefighters Brace for More Emergencies.

According to the London Fire Brigade as quoted in the article, incidents where sexual adventurers get trapped in handcuffs, rings**, and other restraint devices have been steadily increasing each year since the release of the first volume of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy in 2011. The article goes on to report that ...

"The (London Fire Brigade) said that crews have been called out to 393 incidents they believe are related to sex since April 2014, including 28 incidents involving people trapped in handcuffs. In November 2014, firefighters had to come to the rescue of a man who had a pair of metal rings stuck on his manhood for three days. ER doctors were unable to remove the steel rings so two firefighters had to snip them off using hand-held hydraulic cutters. On another occasion, a crew was called by a woman whose husband had become locked in a chastity belt. In the past, reports the brigade, crews have also been called out to incidents involving toasters and vacuum cleaners."

One might think it safer just to stick to the old standbys like cuddling or petting in the back seat of the family car, no?

In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I have read the whole 50 Shades of Grey trilogy*** and am of the opinion, as an amateur writer with a degree in Linguistics and a love of language, that I'd have classified it as a horror story rather than as erotica, if only because of the brutal abuse heaped on the English language in its pages. Of course, the author of the stories, Ms E. L. James, is probably not overly concerned about negative observations on her writing skills ... as one comment I read on Facebook noted, "She isn't that bothered, she made a shed load."

Have a good day with your beloved, but have it safely. You really don't want the local fire department to have to have stories to tell at the bar after work.

More thoughts tomorrow.


* That would be "Bondage, Domination, Sadism, and Masochism," for those of you who lead more sheltered lives.

** You can probably guess where those rings are supposed to go ... if not, read on.

*** I also read Pauline Reage's Story of O many years ago. Stylistically, it was a much better novel, but also much darker in tone and without the more-or-less happy ending of the Grey trilogy. If you didn't like 50 Shades of Grey, you'll hate Story of O.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

Good advice for the kinky experimenters. I will pass on both books. There is Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.

Why isn't it called sacherism, instead?

Duckbutt said...

There's a distinction between kinky and perverted or sick that some people might not grasp.

Linda Kay said...

I've read all three daughter went to see the movie, and when I asked her how it was she made a "Whatever" kind of face. Not a big fan, obviously. Not sure I'll bother to see it. As for James, she made the money, can't deny it!

KathyA said...

Not sorry I've been completely obvious to the FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY thing.

And perhaps I'm one of the only women who is totally ambivalent about Valentine's Day?

Sinner Bob said...

Chastity belts for husbands?

Mike said...

"Toasters?" Well I guess it's off to the internets to what the heck that is all about.

OK I'm back. I don't think I would have ever come up with that on my own.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Now you and Mike have me curious. Toasters huh? That could end badly.

I did not read it, I heard them read a bit of it on The Late Late Show and it was so juvenile. It was very funny though.

Remind me over drinks Bill to share the guy and the close pins with you.
Oh that's a good one.

must go find what Mike was reading about toaster.

Anemone said...

Bacon and fast cars are doable; but no football in February!