Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentine's Day, Fifty Shades, and Diamonds Aren't Always a Girl's Best Friend

Gratuitous drop seat jammies caning shot ;-) 
I know everyone kinky has probably posted an analysis of this movie by now, but I've only read one of them so far, just saw it, and feel like talking about it. I like to talk about movies after I see them, and being as this was a kinky one, this seems the appropriate place. We weren't going to go see it, and I just announced last night that we were waiting for Redbox. I guess the curiosity got to us, because we wound up at a matinee today. I was somewhat disappointed because the main draw of seeing it in the theater was that I wanted to observe audience reaction, but our theater was not very full and people were for the most part quiet, aside from the occasional giggle. Most were also elderly, considering we were in Palm Springs, with the exception of the group of six teens who had to all show their IDs when we were waiting for tickets in line behind them. I thought they might be obnoxious since that has ruined horror movies for me before, but they were not.

So, about the movie.

The Good: All snark and over-analyzing aside, without expectations of Oscar quality anything, no, it's not a "good movie," but going in expecting a cheesy but sexy rom-com that happened to include themes of D/s, it basically delivered and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, OVERALL. I am very happy to hear that Christian Grey's creepy stalking behavior and disregard for consent was toned down compared to the books, but he still exhibited a whole lot of creepy stalking behavior! I didn't read the books, but I have read excerpts (the writing was terrible enough that I just couldn't bring myself to waste that much of my time reading all of it) and analysis so I have a general idea of how the books went and am glad they made him less rapey in the movie.

From a kink standpoint, there were some hot scenes. I very much enjoyed the spanking threats, "I'm so mad my palm is twitching!" and though they were laughably tame, the spanking and kinky sex scenes probably gave us more of that on film than anything else mainstream ever has. As a girl who grew up looking up spanking in the dictionary, clinging onto the slightest mention in books, movies, TV, stories old people would tell, waiting and hoping for the I Love Lucy episodes where she gets spanked to be replayed, rereading spanking passages in books over and over, fantasizing over just a threat of spanking in The Quiet Man, etc., it is really exciting to see this stuff on the big screen. I also liked both the leads. The Grey character definitely had shades of the ridiculous (and, of course, was a lot like Edward in Twilight, who I also found humorous in his over-seriousness and brooding), but short of rewriting the whole thing, I think it had to be played that way. I liked Dakota Johnson the most. I found her very watchable and thought she really nailed the sensual vulnerability while not being a doormat or afraid to challenge him. I liked the way she bit her lip and I liked the way he bit it too. I liked way more than I disliked for most of the movie.

The Bad: I still had some big issues. They did not tone down the "he's this way because he's all fucked up and let's hope the sweet vanilla girl saves him from this horror" aspect. I think it has been talked about enough that most know how the story goes, but just in case, spoilers ahead. For most of the movie, I was able to go along for the fantasy ride, and even be turned on by it, and while the fact that a Dom was basically using emotional and financial manipulation to try to convert a vanilla made me a little uncomfortable, she seemed to be conflicted but also enjoying it. It was hot.

Once one party in a D/s relationship is not cool with what's happening, it kills my boner, and that happened big time at the end. I also didn't like that he couldn't stand to be touched, that they made it seem like you could either be kinky or romantic (I am avidly both, TYVM,) and that to compromise he'd give her some romance if she'd let him beat on her. Then of course that isn't even good enough because she's freaking vanilla and doesn't want to be beat on at all. So, the end of the movie was blah. Why can't we ever have a movie about a kinky love story where the characters may be flawed, but no more than the average person, and find their bliss in kink together? Why can't we ever have a male Dom who is an engaging, awesome, relatively normal person who has this hot dirty little secret? Does there always have to be the qualifier of mental illness or childhood abuse?

At the end, when she leaves him outraged after she asks him to show her how a punishment spanking would feel and he obliges with six whole strokes of the belt, it truly felt like the message of the movie was that he was into this because there was something wrong with him and this poor sweet girl who had the misfortune to fall for him was justified in leaving because the things he wanted to do to her just weren't right. Now, to a degree, as it was presented in the movie, this is true. He should not have been trying to seduce a vanilla into this. You generally have about as much luck with that as "converting" a gay person. However, as we all know, this is a perfectly fantastic life choice, IF YOU HAVE A WILLING PARTNER. But they didn't point that out, they spent a lot of time on consent and contracts, but zero on the angle of compatibility between vanillas and kinksters not usually working out with no one at fault for it. Instead, they chose to paint him as disturbed, which for something that rivals Harry Potter in popularity, paints all of us that way to anyone uneducated who reads/watches it. I feel that my fears that it wouldn't do any favors for public perception of us were justified, and I left feeling a bit icky since it ended on that note.

Fifty shades of fucked up. That's ultimately how they portrayed it. He was horribly abused as a young child, only to be taken advantage of as a minor by a kinky Mrs. Robinson. That's why he's this way. It couldn't just be that HE'S KINKY AND THAT'S 50 SHADES OF OK!!!

The Ugly: Ok, I have to be a little snarky about certain things! Let's start with that last spanking scene. She asked him to do his worst, so she'd know what she was getting into regarding the punishments. So, he goes into his enormous playroom filled with implements such as canes and huge paddles, and he chooses a plain ol' belt. Now, of course, belts can hurt, a lot, but the paddles that were hanging right next to it looked far more severe. Then he only hit her six times with it, and she STILL flipped the fuck out? I guess that's why you don't try to spank vanillas. I got beaten 500 times worse than that last night, and it wasn't even a punishment.

Has this guy never heard of Fetlife or other dating sites where you can find someone seeking the same things? He seems to know everything about being a Dom, is supposedly brilliant and knows how to get anything he wants, even writes up contracts before play because he's so into covering all the bases, yet he's trying to convert random virgin vanilla girls into submissives? Silly. Also amusing to me was the emphasis he put on not drinking too much, while seeming to ALWAYS have wine whether he's drinking it or sharing it with Anastasia. In the first scene where he tops her, they show him taking a swig, he shouldn't have been drinking at that point, yet he flies to Georgia to chastise her over how many Cosmos she's having while chilling with her mom? Again, early on, I was digging this, it was hot how he went and got her from the club when he found out she was drunk, but the hypocrisy messed with my suspension of disbelief and ability to take him as seriously as he was taking himself, which was very, very seriously. But, you know, he was uber rich, bought her a car and had a plane, so it's ok. I can't help thinking that if a poor guy behaved the way he did, they would not be such female fantasy fodder, they'd be viewed as a creeper, and that makes me a little sad for it shows the shallowness of the average person.

Also, there is seriously nothing original in this movie. It felt like a mashup of 9 1/2 Weeks (which had a similar boner-killing ending), Twilight (puke), Secretary (Mr. Grey, really? LOL), and some shades (see what I did there?) of Pretty Woman. All superior films, Twilight excepted. This was better than Twilight, because kinky sex scenes.

Bottom Line: I can't help analyzing the crap out of everything, and this does not stand up to that. However, if you just want some kinky thrills and can turn off your brain for a couple hours, you will probably enjoy the sexy bits. I did, in spite of myself. :-)

Now, about Valentine's Day. I know a lot of people have really bitter feelings about it, calling it Singles Awareness Day and all that. I know this firsthand, because I used to be single. Back then, I decided that it was doing me no good to be bitter, and that while all holidays are commercialized and all that, a day full of hearts and flowers and basically devoted to love could not be all bad. Any given day is what you make it. You could spend it loving on your pets, or your kids, or your friends or family, or you could ignore it altogether if it's not your thing, but the spewing of hatred and disgust toward those who enjoy it, I never got on board with, even though I never got to celebrate with a sweetie until after I was with Robert, after I was 30 years old. Jealousy does no one any good, least of all yourself. You must embrace other people's happiness, not begrudge it, if you want to find your own.

So, yes, I spent 30 Valentine's Days alone or otherwise not celebrating, and I think I deserve this now. I had a great weekend with the love of my life, and I want to write about it and I'm not sorry! :-)

We were going to continue our 3rd annual tradition of going out for lunch, since dinner out is always a stupid mess on that day, yet lunch is not! We did, and my sweet Daddy had a gorgeous bouquet of stargazer lilies waiting at a table at the local sushi place we like, just like he did last year. I got all filled up on yummy fish, and had a heart-shaped rib eye steak at home that I had rubbed and marinated for a few days as well as a bottle of champagne ready for dinner and an evening of sexy time.

However, the last time I was in San Diego, I left my wedding ring to be sized, and it had been ready for over a week but I didn't have a trip back planned till the 24th. I had expressed separation anxiety and wanting it back, but didn't expect to actually get it any sooner. Robert surprised me and suggested we go get it! This made me super happy, but since we would be so close, I asked if we could go visit the beach for a little while too, because that also makes me super happy and it was a really beautiful day that would have been a shame to waste. Since this was spontaneous and we left in the afternoon, we were getting to the area just as the sun was going down, so I suggested we do the beach first so we could watch the sun set over the water. We got there not a moment too soon, and someone leaving the lot stopped us at the pay station and gave us their all day parking pass so we didn't even have to pay the $4 to park. RAK FTW, thanks nice guy!

I navigated us to Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad, because I discovered it a few months ago with my buddies Alex Mack and Kenneth Dukes, it is not too crowded, has bathroom facilities, cheap short term parking, is large, and is an easy fairly flat walk to the water which is important for my disabilities. Because it was a holiday, there were people there, but it was by no means uncomfortably crowded and finding a parking spot was no problem. There were a few bonfires, which was cool, and just people chilling, some in groups, some couples. We took a little walk on the beach and dipped our toes in the icy water before deciding to just plop down and take in the beauty, sand in the pants be damned. This also provided opportunity as we were leaving for Robert to make sure the sand was all off my pants by spanking it off my butt in public, hehe. I guess the sand on his pants was less important. :-p Anyway, it was rather magical. I love California so much, we were so very lucky to be able to spend an evening watching the sun set on the beach with only a light sweater on Valentine's Day

Then we headed over to the mall to pick up my ring. You know, I haven't really talked about my ring. It's a stunner, and I love it, a lot. What most don't know is that it isn't a diamond. I'm not "supposed" to tell you this. I'm "supposed" to be ashamed of this fact. According to the diamond industry. But you know what, I'm not ashamed at all and I love my ring and if being honest about this saves someone else a few bucks, wonderful! I told Robert when we met not to ever buy me expensive diamonds. I think it's ridiculous and a bit caveman-ish to put SO MUCH importance on something shiny. I also have ethical concerns with diamonds and wanted to avoid them if at all possible. Still, I do like a bit of bling, and when it came to my wedding ring, I wanted something of quality that would last. So we settled on a moissanite ring set in white gold from Helzberg. It's important that it be a Forever Brilliant moissanite, as the cheap ones can be green or yellow which is still pretty but not what I wanted for a wedding ring. This ring puts most diamonds to shame, I don't care what the diamond salespeople tell you. It is full of fire and sparkle and guaranteed to be this way forever because we got the lifetime care plan which my first sizing has paid for. I did extensive research on all diamond alternatives and settled on this as the best. A diamond ring of this size with this much fire and clarity could easily run as much as $10k, which would be a very stupid financial decision starting out our marriage, imo. I'm so happy with this choice and recommend it to anyone who doesn't want (or can't afford) a diamond. CZ goes cloudy, crystal doesn't last, but this is perfect. It is not a cheap alternative, but it's relatively cheapER and I think it's a smart alternative. I smile every time I look at it, and I love that he took me to get it Saturday.

THEN, we found the Lush store and he got me six new bath bombs (I was all out since the last time I got it was my birthday when Robert and Alex both treated me) which also made me very very happy. On the way home, we got some In N Out, which, even as a foodie, I still can't get enough of. I love that they let you order things literally however you want, which is great for my diet.

So, despite the relative lack of sex and spanking, it was a very romantic and enjoyable V-day. There was even a bedtime spanking when we got home.

Sunday was kink day. We did all the stuff that was planned for Saturday night. I made us brunch with the steak and champagne.

We watched some Orange is the New Black, because it's addictive as hell, and around 5 we started playing. It was intense. I cried, a couple of times. I also came a lot. When we were done, I had it in my head that it was around dinner time, like 7-ish. It was almost 10. That realization messed with my head a bit, but I guess I just lost track out there in subspace!

Today we did the 50 Shades thing, which brings us full circle to my review above. I did get spanked a bit leaving the theater, we figured it was appropriate given the film everyone had just watched. All in all, a lovely holiday weekend and first V-Day as a married couple. I look forward to many more. ♥

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