Stacey Jacobs
COLUMNIST

I will come clean. I went to see 50 Shades of Grey on Valentine’s Day with my girlfriends. I bought advanced tickets, I waited in line for almost an hour to ensure I got a good seat, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I am not going to tell you what I thought of the books, the film, the writing or the acting. I am going to tell you that it is great to be curious.

Upon release of the film I was getting bombarded with questions about kinky sex. Was it normal to want to be spanked? How could I tell my partner I wanted to be tied up? How do I let my inner dominatrix out?

This discussion is best started with understanding the lingo: S/M stands for sadomasochism. A sadist is a person who gets off sexually on inflicting pain, degradation or humiliation on another consenting adult (I am discussing consensual adult relationships in this article). A masochist is a person who gets off sexually when inflicted with pain, degradation or humiliation. S/M is part of BDSM, where B&D stands for bondage and discipline and D&S stands for dominance and submission.

I appreciate the fact that 50 Shades of Grey brought out the inner kinkster in so many people. People were given permission to talk about and have kinky sex. People talking about sex makes me happy as it is still such a taboo topic. However, many people were already incorporating a little S/M into their sex lives and didn’t know it. For instance, have you ever given your partner a quick swat on the butt? Have you ever been tied to the bedpost? Have you ever bit your partner’s ear? I cannot begin to describe kink culture here, but I will try to give you a little something.

There may or may not be sex involved in BDSM activities. What I would like to emphasize about BDSM relationships is the amount of communication that takes place both before and during an encounter (sometimes called a scene or session) and that informed consent is essential. We could all learn about communication and consent from the kink community. Safety is also essential. For instance, the use of safe words to allow the submissive (or bottom) to communicate with the dominant (or top) that they would like to stop, slow down or keep going.

Kink involves an array of behaviours such as spanking, whipping, blindfolding, restraining and role play, to name a few. Leather is often worn. Christian Grey buys rope, cable ties and duct tape in the film. Be aware that all

of these can tear the skin and leave marks. Do you want to go to work on Monday morning with rope burns on your wrists and ankles? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Do you want to be one of the many 50 Shades of Grey enthusiasts who have ended up in

the emergency room with a kinky sex injury? These are things to think about before diving in.

If you would like to learn more – and I hope you do, we’ve barely scratched the surface of kink – please visit www. ehbc.ca, a local kink website, to find out more about how to be safe, sane and consensual. Happy playing!