The Secretary vs 50 Shades of Grey (#TruthTuesday #BDSM)

Watch The Secretary (2002) with James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal   Secretary Movie Still 

and then watch, if you haven’t already, 50 Shades of Grey (2015) with Jamie Doman and Dakota Johnson.

       50 Shades

My type of BDSM and the D/s lifestyle closely lines up with The Secretary. Not in that she was a former mental patient, but in the dynamics of their relationship. The relationship formed on its own and both of them wanted it, tried to deny it, fought against it, and then realized they both needed it to have a happy life. Maggie’s character found something she needed in James’ character and vice versa. They both wanted, no needed, what the other had. There wasn’t any coercion. The dominance and submission was unspoken, it seemed as if it didn’t need to be spoken. Even in Maggie’s submission to James, she was initiative in pursuing him.

Secretary.Feel Safe

She was determined to be his and for him to be hers. She knew he wanted it too and knew he was afraid. The movie does seem strange, but within the D/s BDSM dynamic, it works. I believe everyone should watch this movie, especially those who seem to think being dominant or submissive is how it’s portrayed in porn.

Which leads me to … 50 Shades of Grey. Where to begin. Hmmmm Jamie’s character was dominating without caring about Dakota’s character’s psychological well-being. He was in it for himself. He was controlling. She was a timid little mouse who seemed to think she had to do what he wanted because why? … He turned her on in some kind of a way? Or he intrigued her? He seduced her and wore her down? Their D/s relationship was completely one-sided.

50 Shades.One-Sided

Surprisingly, there was less sex in the movie than I anticipated. Speaking of sex and BDSM and D/s relationships … one of my favorite lines in The Secretary was Maggie’s character’s fiancé asking her “is this sexual” regarding her relationship with James’ character. Her reply was, “does this look sexual.” If you’ve seen the movie you’d know that when he asked her this question, she was sitting at a desk in a wedding gown with her hands palm-faced down on the desk. Definitely not sexual. It was a psychological relationship.

Secretary.Caring

I love how James helped her become a stronger person, more independent, and ordered her to stop self-injurious behavior. He cared about her as a person. I also love when he said he needed to stop because he didn’t know if he’d ever stop. Maggie told him she didn’t want him to. See the trust there? She knew he really cared about her and wouldn’t hurt her; the complete opposite of 50 Shades. Spoiler alert: The Secretary ended with them being married and living happily ever after. I dare to dream.

As I’ve said in the beginning my take on BDSM and D/s relationships are more aligned with The Secretary than 50 Shades of Grey. YES, I love impact play. NO, traditional sex isn’t a part of our play time. YES, I do try to help them achieve their life goals and give orders to that effect. Why? Because I care about them as people.

Secretary.Love Story

I would love for a D/s relationship to lead to a long-term relationship; FLR of course. But, the concept is the same. I’d love for a relationship to grow; including play, commitment, trust, and love. Both of us receiving what we need from the other and living in our happily ever after.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Since I wrote this article, I’ve been told by someone who’s read all the 50 Shades of Grey books that 50 Shades is really a love story. I haven’t read the books, nor have I seen the remaining movies. I’ve only seen the first 50 Shades of Grey movie.

If you’ve seen both of these movies, or even one of them, what was your take on it? Did you find it reflective of BDSM and D/s relationships? If you haven’t seen both of them … please do. The contrast is unmistakable and will likely enlighten you a bit regarding the reality of this lifestyle. Maybe not. Let me know.

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