Phi-ty Shades Darker (SPOILERS)

I decided to smoke some pot and document my live reactions to the film 50 Shades Darker, which is now available on HBO, BTW.

Below is the result.



There WILL be spoilers here



Oh good. She’s still stammering and timid.

I guess asserting herself with her former Dom didn’t give her any confidence after the last movie.

Boss should not be looking at his employee that way. Predatory as fuck.

Her coworker clearly agrees w/ me the way she just shot their boss that look.

Ok. She’s walking into an art show. She seems surprised that she’s the model in all the photos. does she not remember posing?

WOAH. Friend tells her that if he had asked before choosing all the photos of her she would have said no, so he just did it anyway. way to model good consent practices!

someone bought the whole collection of her overpriced images in a gallery. I WONDER WHO

OH MY FUCKING GOD.

“you bought all the very overpriced giant pictures of me? ” His response. “Yeah. I don’t like the idea of anybody gawking at you.” EX GIRLFRIEND WHO LEFT ME.

boom. she ordered her own dinner. that shows him who’s boss! So he grins and says “fine” She didn’t need your permission, asshole.

“I can’t do this if you won’t talk to me” Smartest thing Anastasia has ever said.

She seems to understand the basic tenets of good communication. It looks like after the last movie, she got herself a fetlife account, read a bunch of blogs and educated herself. Learned good practices and terminology. Too bad her Dom didn’t do that.

I don’t understand – she’s not meek or timid at all with him she so skittish with everyone else in her life. Of all people, he SHOULD make her feel jumpy.

Aww shit. That “laters baby” thing is back

That was such a weird exchange between coworkers. I think the sexually harassing boss is gonna be the villain.

You are NOT her boyfriend. You can’t just call yourself her boyfriend.

“he want’s what’s mine” OMG. I hate everything about this guy.

If she had agreed to that dynamic, this would be a very different story. I’d be like, “good for them…that’s so awesome they found each other!” But he’s trying to force/manipulate her into thinking his brand of domination is “the way it is.”

He’s buying her employer.

now i understand why they did the scene at the beginning – the flashback to his abusive childhood. It’s to let audiences feel sorry for him – to be able to forgive him for being an utter douche once he admits he needs therapy and relinquishes the need to be controlling after the revelation. People love salvation stories.

Six and a half minutes in – first sex scene. Let’s see how they do.

I just had a massive epiphany about how i used to view sex and submission.

Oh. Okay, so the sex scene starts with him giving her oral. No lie….that’s pretty titillating. I just lose my groove every time there is dialogue.

yup. sex scene is steamy.

Ok. She just called it his “kinky fuckery.” He did not know what that meant. Supports theory that in between movies, she got a fetlife account and he thinks he invented kink.

“I make that kind of money every 5 minutes. keep it.” Re: $24K. Our heroine rips up the check. SO HE HAS HIS ASSISTANT FORWARD $24k INTO HER BANK ACCOUNT. she is asking him how he has her bank account info.

Next scene – they’re having a nice lunch and she’s dropped the topic of HOW THE FUCK HE KNEW HER BANK ACCOUNT INFO.

I prefer when foreshadowing is more of a nuance. It’s less fun when they’re beating you over the head with a clue.

Yes Anastasia. He’s bad news. Follow your instincts. WALK AWAY.

He’s straight up willing to kidnap her. carry her kicking and screaming if she doesn’t go willingly.

without that scene making you feel sorry for him at the beginning, this same movie would have been listed under “thriller” instead of “romance”

this movie just exploded codependency wide open in my brain. another epiphany.

Why are you trying to understand him, Anastasia? what other than all those traits you just called him out on has he shown you?

OK. don’t know what just happened. have to rewind and start the scene over again.

He’s having her draw a box on his chest in lipstick. and it’s hurting him way more than makes sense. and then he says “those are my boundaries.” I don’t know what the fuck he means. Her response is “i can live with that.” Does she know what he means? WHY ARE THEY FUCKING AGAIN? THEY WERE JUST HAVING A VERY IMPORTANT FIGHT.

Did I miss the scene where she consented to ANY OF THIS? ’cause i thought they were still negotiating.

He’s gonna have her wear ben wa balls to a fancy charity ball.

is he taking her to a real charity ball or is it like one of those Eyes Wide Shut parties?

okay his mother is there. i guess that means it’s not a play party.

His disdain for his sister ….it’s a disdain for all women except the ones he can control.

She bid $24000 at the charity gala on the item he donated (a week say at one of his homes) . His response “I don’t know whether to worship at your feet or spank you.”

Oh. Next sex scene now. “I want you to spank me” Let’s see how this goes.

ok. i have to pause this. They inserted a line of dialogue for him to remind her she has a safe word. Because his character has come off as non-ethical from the getgo, the only reason I could think that he would do that is to lure her into a false sense of security that she is safe with him. What I really think happened? The writers remembered that were were supposed to think this was a sexy movie, not a scary one – and that was supposed to calm us down. So they throw him a line that is not in line with his character as a form of exposition.

Wish they’d gone the other way around. If she had confirmed she still has a safe word – then she’d be supporting the “anastasia got educated on fetlife” theory AND make her a stronger woman ( who can still totally submit).

HOW ABOUT A LITTLE WARMUP, MISTER?

he took the ben wa balls out of her on camera. i wonder if parents and their offspring watch this movie together in theaters?

there are so many boundary issues in this movie

codependency epiphany, the sequel.

they’re setting it up that there’s this young woman who is the villain, but i think it’s the creepy boss. she’s not been to work since the fourth scene. They developed his character too much in order to drop it.

By my calculations they’ve fucked twice since she painted that red lipstick on them. how is this his first shower? It’s been at least a day!

No, it doesn’t mean he loves you. It means he feels abandoned by his mother and looks to control women in order to make them stay because he equates staying with love.

Mini epiphany on the narrative how a woman “saves” a man by loving him into good mental health is just another part of a larger narrative that leads back up into patriarchy. But I won’t get into that now.

sketchy boss is back, being sketchy.

aah. he’s back to becoming unhinged because someone who never agreed to his terms isn’t following his orders.

that’s what that enabling mentor/mistress of his “helped” him with. He’d have gone full rapist if she hadn’t intervened with a “code” like Dexter’s father did. His emotional imbalance causes him to want to control women, BDSM channels it into something less illegal.

Just tell her, it’s a spreader bar. “walk before we run?” A spreader bar is “advanced?”

every time he fucks her he comes off as so cocky.

Unf. I need a spreader bar.

THIS SCENE IS HOT.

mmmm….having memories of recent evenings. I really need a spreader bar.

Pulse racing. the scene is over. i think i need to pause and get some air before i go back to trying to follow a plot.

Gonna go make some food that’s not sugar for the rest of it.

OK I’ve made a delightful tuna salad. It’s so good. Gonna smoke a little more and take on part 2 of this fascinating feature.

Yes….the difference between fights and conversations to Anastasia is that the questions she asks get resolved in conversations. In fights, questions can be answered by proxy with his penis.

Creepy boss is NEGGING her, professionally.

If this were real life, this boss would be the next one with allegations coming out about his harassing behavior.

yes. trap your female employee in your office and use threatening sexual language around her. good plan. especially since her boyfriend (if we’re calling him that now) employs you

“i can make you come like nobody else has” called creepy boss from scene one.

“he tried to touch me”
“Im gonna kill him”
“No no no please don’t go”
“OK.” [ to bodyguard ] YOU GO KILL HIM.

He changed the subject on her. He’s a master manipulator. She was talking about wanting to keep working and he’s convincing her to move in by being all awkward about asking.

I can’t see any of Christian Gray’s actions as genuine.

She made a valuable contribution at work and then apologizes for it in the next scene.

I want to believe it’s on her merit but i think he’s a manipulative jerk…..yup, she just questioned it too.

how could anybody be in a relationship with someone whose motives they can’t trust and are constantly questioning?

He’s making her take off her panties at the fancy restaurant
bet he starts fingering her in the elevator with four other people in there….

called it.e

takes notes that’s something for my fantasy rolodex

they just stole this straight out of working girl

LIKE STRAIGHT OUT OF WORKING GIRL. THE EXACT DIALOGUE.

“I expect to you to call me anna. I don’t expect you to fetch me coffee unless you’re getting some for yourself, and the rest we’ll figure out as we go.”

ok. chick with a gun. the ex submissive is the villain?

omg this is soooooooooooo fucked up.

omg

omg omg omg omg

i can’t …this scene is too layered and horrible.

he deescalates woman with gun by telling her to kneel.

bet his narcissism has a raging boner right now.

“I would have done anything to dissarm her.” except call the police and let a stalking victim know that your ex is mentally unstable and dangerous.

not disarm. SUBDUE. He used the word subdue.

“yeah, she scared me – but you scared me more.”
.
.
.
She had a gun. She should have scared you more.

“Don’t leave me” most honest thing Christian Gray has said all movie long.

OH THERE’S THE SHOE. I’M NOT A DOMINANT. I’M A SADIST.

Oh honey. There is sadism and there is sadism. What you are is fronting.

It’s Seattle at night by the water. I feel like that shirt she’s wearing is not warm enough to be outside without shivering.

I was wearing a flannel robe this morning in LA and chilled.

she’s turned on by his muscles. I guess they’re so good his character doesn’t matter.

He’s lying to her.

is his plane going down?

helicopter….. oh, now the’ll set him up to be either super heroic and cool under pressure, or faced with a life and death situation that he can’t fully control, he’ll totally have that epiphany he needs.

they had him be not totally controlling in the scene before we see the cliffhanger w/ the helicopter going down so we worry about him. if we’re worried about him then he can’t be a bad guy and this goes back to being a romance and not a thriller.

So, basically, the difference between a romance and a thriller is empathy for the antagonist.

she’s having way more of a reaction to the possibility that he died and finding out he’s alive than she did with having a loaded gun in her face.

ugh. she said yes. should have suspenseful music instead of romantic.

OOH Hot shower scene. the music tells me this will be super steamy.

Yeah. Yeah. It is. …oh wait. idiotic dialog. Never mind. BUT now we’re in his dungeon – i.e.: “the red room”

Blindfold…..check.
Leather cuffs…..check.
Oil? What’s he gonna do, give her a rough massage?

this looks a lot more sensualist than sadist, mister.

but yeah. the actual sex scene is hot. and i’m uhh….gonna need a minute.

So, his mentor/dominatrix was mom’s good friend. mom seems oblivious. Was this known information from the first movie?

He says “please” in front of company, but it’s “Come up here a second, please” Not a question (will you come up here?), but a directive. The please was an afterthought. That’s a character flaw (in my opinion). Some people might dig that.

though i’m unclear if she said yes to a D/s relationship or just yes to marriage. cause if she said yes to his request for a full D/s relationship then the above would have been fine.

showdown between the ex mistress and the fiance….OOH AND MOM COMES IN WITH THE FIRST CORRECT MOVE ANYBODY HAS MADE IN THIS FILM: Kicked the abusive fucker to the curb.

It’s pissing me off that the kinksters are depicted like such unhealthy, unstable, unsavory people. KINKY PEOPLE ARE NORMAL PEOPLE. This is making it seem like the cure to all their emotional trauma is giving up kink.

What they need is therapy and education.

but they would need that whether or not they were kinky

I heard “Be mine. Share my life with me. Bury me.” Turns out he said “marry me” but the first way I heard it would have been interesting for an ending.

creepy ex boss is back and now he’s wearing guyliner and leather and stalking officially

OH. that was it. That’s where it ends. ROFL that’s a HORRIBLE place for an ending.

Definitely feels like one book cut into three movies. These story breaks are chapter breaks. Not book breaks.

Well, that was super fun! Now I’m going to figure out how to copy/paste all of this into a blog post 😀


EDIT::


afterthought: I don’t think his gun-wielding, homicidal former slave is in a mental health facility receiving the best care. If that had been an option, he’d have done that for her in the first place. Controlling personality that he is, he would not allow for the unreliable outlier like an uhinged ex playmate threaten what he was working toward his next conquest. No, he was too worried his big secret would get out. So instead of calling the cops and alerting Ana that she was in danger, he took it upon himself to protect her. He know he could always control the ex, by making her kneel, and feel like a fucking hero.

But now that she’s already played that card, he has to do something to control her. So, during that time he was waiting for her to strike, he bought an institution and filled it with his own doctors. She’s in a prison….probably meant to look like mental health facility, but a place where he owns the doctors and she never sees the light of day again

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Taking Flight

In the past week I’ve successfully been suspended twice. By “successful” I mean I went up and I came down and there were no injuries. I lasted somewhere between 10 and 20 seconds up each time.

Have I suddenly learned to love suspension?

Naaaah. I wouldn’t say I love it. I still prefer being down on the ground, for the most part. Though I do love me a partial…

But I trust the two people who I’m allowing to practice their suspension skills on me, because they’ve invested a considerable amount of time learning from reputable and respected rope teachers in our community. And when I mean a considerable amount of time, I don’t mean a half-day class and some at-home practice.

I mean hours spent in monthly supervised instruction followed by practice followed by supervised approval that they’d picked up the appropriate skills and technique before moving forward.

I’ll say this: sitting through the class where they learned safety and technique for their first suspension (a side suspension) helped me a lot as one of the people putting my body on the line for this endeavor. I was able to understand with more clarity why certain things are positioned in certain ways or in certain places in order to maximize safety (and comfort…which is minimally maximized in a suspension to begin with) of the bottom.

I’ve sat through one-off rope instruction as a bottom before. They teach how to tie the knot, which I don’t pick up very easily. I’ve tried to follow the steps but I lose them as soon as it’s over. So, generally, when I’ve been the bottom in a class before this, I’ve not taken away much from it other than the wonderful sensation of being tied.

But, in these classes, I am learning too – especially from the instructor who teaches from the bottom position – on which ways to position my leg, for example, for the best results in a well-tensioned thigh cuff. I also was able to better understand what areas I should feel the pressure in, and whether or not there’s a need to panic if my fingers go tingly.

Little by little, I’m becoming more able to articulate what I think would work best for my body and my endurance level. I want the hip harness on first, for example, to limit the amount of time my body is in a stress position once the chest harness goes on. Or which leg goes up because one is stronger and more able to withstand carrying the weight of my body for the five or so minutes that the rest of the uplines are being secured.

It makes me feel like a true partner with the person I’m tying with. This isn’t only about them and their goals. It’s about our goals together.

The more I’m able to understand how to help my partners customize these ties to my body, the more comfortable I feel with the thought of taking flight. One-size-fits-all rope has never quite suited me.

Which brought me to this conversation the other night with my partner as we came home from our first successful suspension together.

“Maybe by my 40th birthday, I can be a piñata!”

I can see it now. By next July, I should totally be able to withstand spending …what, like a whole minute? Maybe two in suspension? Then he can beat me with, with something fun…like a hollow plastic bat. Big noise, but little pain. And I can hold handfuls of candy and fling them about the room!

It’s a fun thought. Who knows if it’s something that could happen or not? I don’t even know what’s happening tomorrow, much next be in a position to plan for next summer.

But, I like that I’m learning something and I like that I’m pushing myself a little out of my comfort zone with the help of two people that I trust will think no less of me if I feel like it’s too much and have to stop.

That trust alone is 60% of what gets me off the ground. The rest is just rope.

The Exhibit

Is there a better museum for rare and priceless experiences than words on a page?

I could try to preserve all the details – how we began, how many strikes from which implements, how he moved me about the room, how taut the rope felt on my skin, and the way my thighs ached as I squirmed in the stress position in which he’d restrained me.

Those details may convey my surrender, but won’t capture my emotion.

I could record the hearing of footfalls and whispers, soft murmurs of interest or (possibly) admiration lingering in the hallway, and my vague awareness of some shadows in the door frame as the intensity of a final powerful orgasm ripped through my soul.

Those details may convey my vulnerability, but won’t capture our connection.

It’s just three words I’ll keep in this museum of intangible artifacts. The three words I whispered when, toward the end of our scene, he leaned down for a kiss, and warm tears escaped the outside corners of my eyes:

I missed this.

I got to play last night

Visits to the dungeon are rare these days.

I like them. The public aspect of playing in a dungeon pushes me to endure just a little bit more than I tend to at home. People are watching, after all…

And that’s how my exhibitionism works.

I got to play last night.

Thank goodness I didn’t find out until this morning that someone entered our room during our scene. My partner ushered him out without me being the wiser.

I got to play last night.

But at one point, while trying desperately to hold on to the edge of an orgasm, I growled “Please tell the people in the hallway to shut the fuck up.”

I got to play last night.

But I couldn’t wait to get home. Being in public certainly pushes me.

…But public play when the others in attendance aren’t well-versed in dungeon etiquette is pushing all the wrong buttons.

Rules are Condoms: An Imperfect Metaphor

I used to love rules. Rules, when my life was very completely out of my control, helped me make sense of things. I had rules for who I’d date and what I’d do with them and when. I had rules for who could do what to me and under which circumstances. I had rules about rules, and I was really great about closing loopholes in rules so that I would know exactly what to expect from whom and when.

I clung to the fantasy of a 24/7 D/s relationship. The idea of someone else making the decisions for me and absolving me of the need to willingly take care of myself appealed to me in the wake of my husband’s unexpected death and the realization that I’d lost my entire identity in that relationship.

And you know what? I don’t fault myself for that. It was my coping mechanism, and it worked for a while.

I didn’t know who I was, or who I wanted to be. All I knew was that there was too much stuff for me to carry by myself. I felt I would never be unearthed from beneath its heavy burden. As such, I was attracted to the “fixer” types. The “daddy” types of nurturers who wanted to help me get better. The ones who would set the rules down with the intention of moving me past my hangups and phobias.

And over time, they started having results.

I stopped being afraid of making decisions for myself, and graduated to just not liking it. I started to realize that I was entrusting some pretty important (and some not so important) decisions into the hands of people who weren’t particularly good at taking care of themselves, much less others. I began to understand that our dynamics had shifted – because I’d gone from the bird with a broken wing who needed a cage to be transported safely from point A to point B, to a fully-healed bird ready to take flight – were it not for the owner who kept clipping my wings.

The rules no longer felt like they were being set to help me. They felt like they were being set to control me, and I no longer wanted to be under that 24/7 type of control.

The rules were condoms.

The rules I put on myself and those I allowed to be put on me were an imperfect attempt to protect myself from ….whatever was out there. Just like condoms, the only way to truly be safe is abstinence; and I wasn’t willing to be kink-abstinent anymore.

Now I’m in a relationship with only one rule: Honesty. Everything else between us is more of a request. We’ve got a 24/7 love and trust dynamic. The D/s part is significantly more fluid.

I see people talk about setting “rules” for their partners to follow …especially when they’re opening up to some form of non-monogamy for the first time. Things like “My partner can sleep with whomever, but no emotions,” or “no sleepovers,” or “not in our home,” or “anything goes but kink is only with me,” or “I’m the only one they can use this term of endearment with.”

It’s a condom. These rules are meant to control your exposure to potential harm, but they’re not foolproof. Try to make a rule that your partner will never develop feelings for a sexual partner and be prepared to find yourself on the business end of a Klingon pain stick.

If you want to feel the full spectrum of sensation in your relationship once adequate trust has been established, then it might be time to assess the value of loosening up some of the rigidity of those relationship rules.

It might be time to explore the flexibility of allowing your partner to take flight, and see how they still come back to you – again, and again.

And if they don’t?

If you’d be happy with the bird in the cage whose wings you gotta keep clipping, then you do you.

I wouldn’t be, neither as owner nor bird.

Unexpected Possibilities

I want to find a Daddy.

I want to find a Mistress.

I just want to find single, sexy, bisexual unicorn to date my spouse and me.

I want to find a job.

Okay, only that last one was me. Up until yesterday, that’s what I was saying. I want to find a job. But, up until yesterday, I’d only applied to one with a position description similar to what I do now, and I’d not done any followup to determine if my candidacy was being considered.

Then somebody in a relationship advice forum posed a question. She said that even though she identified as polyamorous, and even though her prior marriage(s) had failed spectacularly, she still sometimes felt like she’d rather do the monogamous, marriage, white picket fence thing but without feeling trapped. She wanted to know if others struggled with similar contradictions.

Plenty of people pointed out that being married and poly was not an inherent contradiction. But, as I responded to her, I kind of came to a little epiphany. Here’s what I said to her:



I think what might be going on is that you’ve been sold a bill of goods of what “marriage” is supposed to be and your marriage didn’t look like that. You’re longing for the bliss of fitting into the pattern that society’s PR campaign has laid out for us.

We’ve been sold on the idea that marriage equals love, equals security, equals happily ever after and romantic shmoopiewibbles. Marriage means that that you’re both on a team and nothing can tear you apart. But life happens and ruts happen and stress happens and shit. just. happens.

It seems really anti-romantic to say that marriage is a financial arrangement; but the most romantic way to view marriage (in my book) is as a financial arrangement. The idea that whether or not we have government-sanctioned love, the love is real makes the marriage part irrelevant.

When I married my husband I knew that I never would have left him if we hadn’t. Our marriage did not change anything in our relationship except…financially. It made things a lot simpler when he passed away unexpectedly to deal with our mutual assets.

Well, and also…the sex stopped. But that wasn’t because we were married. That was illness.

I guess what I’m saying is that when you’re longing for the marriage, then the marriage is the destination. But when you’re focused on your relationship, then the marriage may just be part of the journey.



The epiphany happened after that. When I thought about another commonly pointed out difference I’ve noticed in ways people “do poly.” Some people seem to always be looking for someone new, or they have a very specific slot to fill in their lives that they struggle to find the right fit for. Others are just open to making connections with people that may fit into their lives in unexpected ways.

I started my career in nonprofit by accident. I was placed in a nonprofit by a temp agency when my entire career goal was “don’t end up working for my parents.”

But I loved it. I felt like my work mattered – even though i was just a receptionist. Now, I’m in a rut. Top of my department, but there is no more upward mobility. My organization fears change to the point where I cannot gain the type of experience I need to make my next move. My career is in stagnant water and the mosquitoes are everywhere.

My employment is nothing but a financial arrangement. There’s no love there anymore. It’s a marriage gone sour.

Yesterday I said I wanted to “find” a job, but I’d not put much effort into doing so. Today, I want to be more precise. Today, I’m saying I want to find a position that again lets me feel that what I do matters, and where my time and talent are appreciated. I want to feel motivated and excited by my work. I want to be the right candidate for them, yes – but I also want them to be the right fit for me.

I want to grow.

In order for that to happen, I have to take my own advice, and open myself up to unexpected possibilities.

Ninety Three Seconds

I’m certain I was yammering as we walked through the door. There was a plan: to drink, to cook, to eat, and to fuck.

I had assumed in that order, and therefore, was not expecting to be held by the hair and drag/pushed into the living room. That was certainly a surprise.

But when he pulled the pillows off the sofa and dropped them to the floor before me, I had an inkling.

And when he pulled his phone out and fiddled with it after ordering me to masturbate, I had another inkling.

Some time after the orgasm, after he’d given me a taste of him, after he’d told me to get dressed and make him a drink, he’d nonchalantly told me that it’d taken me 93 seconds to orgasm.

“Because you were watching me,” I explained.

Manual override on my own could take an hour. Any sort of stimulation when he’s watching me takes significantly less time.

Dinner was decent.

It was during the fucking when I was asked how long it took me to orgasm earlier.

I don’t know how the fuck I remembered the number.

But I did. “Ninety three seconds, Sir.”

He started to smack me. Slowly, then quickly, altering speed and intensity.

And then he stopped.

“How many is that?”

Well. I don’t know. Maybe it’s like the pillows and I’d had some sort of nonverbal cue. Or maybe it’s something I always do, the counting.

“Fifty.”

I could hear him smile. I felt the swell of my own pride in getting it right.

Here’s what he doesn’t know. I think I lost count somewhere after the next 20. I dropped into some altered state for a moment and when I came back….I could have sworn we were at 83, not 93.

But those last five smacks were double handed and hit hard.

Maybe they counted for two.