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50 Shades of Grey gives bondage a bad name

This op-ed is by a social scientist who carried out, ten years ago, the largest empirical study of the BDSM community ever. The goal was to determine if folks who were into that sort of thing were disturbed or sick or broken. Her findings suggested that people who are into BDSM are no more sick than anyone else, no more disturbed than anyone else, and don't, as is commonly though, have horrific abuse in their backgrounds. Kinky people are just people who are kinky. Shocker. Which is one of the reasons why Shades of Grey is a bit crap. Besides the writing. And the Twilight fanfic roots. Fifty Shades of Grey giving bondage a bad name
The bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by EL James has reportedly already sold up to 20 million copies worldwide. Having read the three novels in one sitting, I very much doubt it is the sex that did it. I found it boring, repetitive, and leads women to aspire to undesirable - and frankly unattainable - goals, such as simultaneous orgasm, which occurs between the protagonists most of the time. But, most annoyingly, the story demonises BDSM - the term for the erotic style comprising bondage, domination, and sado-masochism - and those who enjoy it. The male protagonist, Christian Grey, is portrayed as a cold-hearted sexual predator with a dungeon (that word has been wisely swapped for "playroom"), full of scary sex toys. Worst of all is the implication that his particular erotic style has developed because he is psychologically "sick". Frankly, in BDSM terms, Grey is a lightweight. He eschews many fairly standard interests, although he is an expert at the "mindf---". Even novices, however, would know that his use of cable ties is a very bad idea (to avoid nerve-damage and scarring, soft, thick rope is de rigueur). Grey's lack of competency in his chosen erotic arena is most apparent, though, in the way he fails to assess his potential new submissive's naivety. Experienced BDSM practitioners are acutely aware of the gulf between cognoscenti and others, and would not dream of terrifying a novice by bringing up such advanced techniques as fire, electricity and gynaecological play. . . .

Attention All Steampunks & Booknerds: All 111 Volumes(!!!) of Queen Victoria's Diary Are Online NOW!

Free for your perusal until the end of July. Queen...

July 02, 2012

"I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script"

I initially clicked through on this because I thought it...

June 27, 2012

Steampunks, we've got some 'splaining to do

In a nut-shell: An author named Lavie Tidhar (with whom,...

June 20, 2012

How lazy do you have to be to plagiarize yourself?

A new writer for the New Yorker seems to have recycled pieces he wrote for the NYT and Wired, barely changing anything. New Yorker Writer Jonah Lehrer Plagiarizes Himself Repeatedly [Updated] -- Daily Intel
Did you ever pull that old college trick where you wrote the same paper for two classes? It's frowned upon, but hard to get caught. Not so on the Internet: New Yorker staffer Jonah Lehrer, who was just hired, has often reused his own exact wording without noting it in his work at NewYorker.com, Wired, the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and in his 2009 book, How We Decide. He was first busted this morning by Jim Romenesko borrowing three introductory paragraphs that he first used last October in the Journal. They appeared again last week in an online article on NewYorker.com titled, "Why Smart People Are Stupid." But a bit of digging by Daily Intel shows that it's not the first time the prolific Lehrer, who's contributed to the Washington Post and "Radiolab," has doubled up. All five of Lehrer's blog posts so far for NewYorker.com now come with Editor's Notes: "We regret the duplication of material." . . .