I know the arguments and I know the synopsis. Woman meets tortured soul who gives her great, if not strange sex and she apparently “changes” him. That's great and lovely but are we really going to ignore the subtle hint of simulated rape and abuse? I'm not.
When I was in college I had my own 50 Shades of Grey experience. It was not exciting and mysterious but dirty (not the good kind), twisted and during a time when I couldn't love myself. He wasn't tall, dark and handsome…wait, handsome, yes. He was witty, the kind of man who could twist your words and make a “no” seem like you had just said “take me, I'm yours”. From the first day we met, I was smitten. We were in the same class and quickly became friends. We talked…a lot. Talking became flirty texting and from there, well, you can imagine.
I found out he was into S&M the very first time we were together and, initially, felt it was very exotic and kinky. I was a naive Freshman in college with no idea of the world of crazy he would get me into. I had belts around my neck, ties around my wrists and strange location tags on my cell phone. I would skip class to drive to seedy motels, only to go back and pretend it never happened.
He began to play emotionally with me, making me feel guilty or emotionally attached to him. I admit, I think I was addicted to the strange thrill of it all. I was not in love, I was infatuated with his mystery and what I believed was intrigue. It all hurt though and my friends began to worry about me when I suddenly became distant, pulled away and started thinking only about him.
The semesters went by. One day he told me he was going on a study abroad trip and would be gone for a year. I was heartbroken and confused, why would he leave me like this? What would I do? Feeling lost and not knowing what to do, I blurted out “I love you”, regretting it immediately after it was said. To my surprise, however, he said it back.
Now, think about it, because I did. This man, when it came down to it, was not some tortured, misunderstood soul but a mixed up evil genius. An emotional blender to my heart who only wanted to make me think he would come back. I sounded pathetic. So I let him go and moved on.
It was like a drug and I quit cold turkey. The whole experience took about a year and a half of on and off playing with hearts and souls and left me feeling worthless. So now, when I see this woman, banking on the emotional abuse that one man causes this woman, I can't help but feel sick. I feel sick that I never thought of it first and I feel sick that someone actually had the lack of heart to publish such a thing. I understand that there is such a thing as S&M, kinkyness and bondage and it can be fun but honestly, when its between a loving and caring couple, it's different. When its between a man who never said “I love you” until it was too late, it's just abuse.
I understand the arguments and accept them. Yes, it was my fault for being strung along and I do feel so stupid for putting up with it, however, that still doesn't make it ok. Are you really going to tell me differently?