Tag: Communication

“Open” doesn’t mean “Pass to Cheat”

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This morning I came across this article about Mo’Nique, a well known and award winning actress, speaking publicly about her open marriage to Sidney Hicks. It was based off part of an interview the actress had recently done for True Exclusives. Overall it’s a good article and Mo’Nique explains her feelings on why monogamy just doesn’t make sense to her in a way that I think can be very accessible to a wide audience.

What irked me about the article was the title! Corinne Heller titled the piece for NBC6 South Florida as “Mo’Nique Talks Open Relationships, With a Free Pass to Cheat: ‘I Don’t Want to Be Owned Anymore.” ‘Cheating’ is LITERALLY being dishonest!  “Free pass to cheat” doesn’t just imply but actually states that there is active deception and misleading going on between partners.  That’s not at all what Mo’Nique said! Specifically she says “We don’t cheat.”  She accurately points out that most cheating happens because people feel they aren’t getting something and how completely unreasonable it is to think that you or your partner will never find someone else attractive. She then talks about being open and honest with your partner about how you’re feeling.

“Often times people cheat because of something they’re not getting. But when you have open and honest dialogue and you say we’re just human beings and all these people on the face of the earth, do you think my eyes won’t ever say ‘he’s fine’ or ‘she’s attractive’. Now if you wanna go further with it, let’s be honest enough to have those conversations. What is it about that person that you find that you wanna sleep with? Because they may give you something that I’m simply not willing to do. And if that’s the case, how can I be mad? Because I’m not gon’ do it. Should I deprive you of not having it? That’s when the relationship is real real.”

People who openly communicate with each other about what they want and are honest about the types of relationships they are having DO NOT have a “pass to cheat”. They have a relationship that allows them to express themselves without the judgment and ridicule we find in many monogamous relationships and society in general.

The original interviewer is to blame for the specific line “free pass to cheat” when he asks Mo’Nique about her feelings of privacy in relationships. Unfortunately, Heller added it to the title of her piece which I fell misrepresents Mo’Niques actual feelings on non monogamy. I get the feeling they are there to grab readers attention because of their shock value.

So YAY Mo’Nique on being confident and comfortable enough to speak publicly about your open relationship. BOO to the author for keeping with the “free pass to cheat” way of thinking about non monogamy.

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Great Comic on Non Monogamy from EverydayFeminism!

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It’s awesome that we’re starting to see more ETHICAL non-monogamy in the media. Unfortunately, it currently rarely highlights non hetero, cis, primary couples. Plus we don’t really talk about the couples privilege that accompanies that setup. Luckily for us, Joamette Gill of EverydayFeminism created this great, short, visual to help explain some of the OTHER common ways non-monogamy is done!

 

Here’s one of the blocks but click through to see the whole comic!

 

cisPrimaryPrivilege-02

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Better than the book: Things 50 Shades the movie did well.

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We know the negatives of the 50 shades books. The writing is atrocious. The author doesn’t represent the “real” BDSM lifestyle. They don’t warn about the extra dark side. We could go on. Honestly though, the fact the series has become so popular isn’t entirely bad! Here are some reasons the 50 Shades movie isn’t as terrible as you’d expect.

Let’s Talk

If nothing else 50 Shades absolutely got people talking. Most of us in the BDSM community did not stumble upon a billionaire with a dark side but some of us did stumble into “red rooms of pain” whether in the privacy of a home or in more public dungeon. The books got people thinking about what got them wet. In turn it got people talking to EACH OTHER about what got them wet. Suddenly we’ve got couples exploring new ways to please each other, book clubs talking about getting their kink on, BDSM communities doing outreach events, & public libraries talking about the rights of patrons to read what they want and have the privacy to do so. The movie continues this conversation. For a lot of people it’s easier to talk a partner into watching a movie for two hours than reading an entire book (or listen to the horrible audiobook!) This means that the movie gives people who may have been hesitant to bring up the subject a new jumping point for the conversation.

Consent!

I have to say thank you to the screenwriters on this one for actually doing a bit of research while writing the script. Through out the movie the concepts of consent are repeatedly and expressly discussed. When the pair sit down and negotiate the contract Christian might raise an eye brow at Ana removing fisting from the list but he doesn’t force her to leave anything in. He also gives some too in offering the one non D/s date a week which she mentions earlier in the story. Give and take between the individuals to reach to an agreement they are both comfortable with. Sounds like a pretty reasonable representation of D/s contract negotiations to me. When it came to play again Christian very much requires consent, not just a head shake but in words, even without the contract being signed. Prior to all BDSM play he asks her for verbal consent and goes over the safe words. Even in the infamous ending he asks her at least twice “are you sure” and explains EXACTLY what the punishment will be. She insists, consents, and doesn’t call red. She might not have liked what he did but there wasn’t any abusive behavior or manipulation in it.

We’re not all traumatized abuse victims!

This was a BIG problem for a lot of BDSM communities members when the book came out. Christian has a pretty dark and questionably abusive history. Due to this many outside of the kink community came to the conclusion that only abused and traumatized individuals are drawn to our deplorable desires. While mental illness does occur in the kink community many studies are putting this assumption to rest. The movie handles this fact much better than the book. “Mrs. Robinson” is brought up a few times but only one scene has the really negative undertone regarding that relationship. Christian handles it well and the focus doesn’t immediately become “oh, he was sexually abused as a teenager and that’s why he’s just so fucking broken.” Additionally, more then once Christian tells her that BDSM is just a part of who he is not because he’s broken or damaged. Kink is in his blood.

Kinda Hot

For a mainstream hollywood movie there were some potentially steamy scenes particularly for those mostly in the vanilla world. It is really tame, light sensation play for the most part but for a wide audience even that is racy! They try to show passion and connection between the two characters both in and out of the red room of pain. Christian isn’t just merciless beating Ana but providing aftercare and checking in with her. That’s a good thing. That’s how scenes should work within the negotiations of the Top and bottom.

 

So yes, for those of us who live kinky lives more fully this is rubbish but we have to remember where it came from: Twilight fan fiction from someone who may never have been erotically spanked in her life! However horribly written and edited the books were the movie addressed a lot of the blatantly inaccurate information.

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