Shades of Vanilla and Grey

Shades of Vanilla and Grey

I have been struggling for awhile with an issue and I have decided I should not have to struggle with it anymore.

When the book “50 Shades of Grey” first started being popular, I decided to purchase and read it. I had been interested in BDSM for awhile and had been studying it on the Internet through various articles and chatting with individuals in the lifestyle.

The book was interesting. However, I did not care for how it portrayed people in the lifestyle. Mr. Grey was not a very nice person and he was the only portrayal of BDSM presented in the novel. When I finished it (well, almost), I decided it was not a fit representation of the lifestyle and told people as much. What I was discovering online was a much fuller, richer life than the couple in the novel had. I also disliked the manner in which he gave her the “contract” for them to live by. He showed no interest in sitting down with her and explaining things, nor did he really give her much more than a “take it or leave it” situation where she would lose him if she didn’t go along. This is not how things work and Ms. James did not seem at all inclined to point this out in her novel.

I continued my studies in the lifestyle, finding it more and more intriguing. I had joined a website and written a great deal of my thoughts and feelings and allowed others to tell me how they felt and where my logic might be flawed or incomplete. I learned a great deal over the course of about a year and a half.

By this time, I realized I fit into this world. I supported the LBGTQ community, though I do not fit into any of those initials. I am straight, but understand. I finally decided to attend an event.

The event did not introduce me to all the people I wanted to meet.  I had not checked it out properly. However, I did come away with one very good friend who is still my good friend today. He is my mentor in the lifestyle and I am learning by leaps and bounds.

Here is the sad part. There are so many people who do not understand what the lifestyle really is and there are so many negative thoughts out there, it has been difficult for me (and for many others) to admit they are a part of such a large world. It is, indeed, larger than most people realize, not the few dozen or whatever is thought. Nor does it exist only in dark corners or just in California or New York. It is worldwide and you walk around many people everyday who join in when it suits them.

The BDSM world does not have to be 24/7, though it is for many. It can be a once-in-a-while thing or it can be the chosen life for an individual. It can involve just a single person or many people working and/or living together. There are guidelines, rules, protocols for the lifestyle and, to the surprise of many, these are followed, more often than not, much better than ordinary (vanilla) people follow similar ideals.

For instance, a person wanting to be with another will normally talk with them to see if there is any agreement at all. Then, when that part is done, a contract will be discussed. Items will be brought up concerning likes and dislikes of both parties, as well as “must haves” and “won’t dos”. If a place can be found in which both parties will be happy and in agreement, then the contract (written or not) will be agreed on and followed. If either party breaks the contract, they are called into question by the other party and a discussion may insue or the other party may simply leave, terminating the agreement.

This is so very different from dating or marriage protocols followed in the vanilla world. In this everyday world, people say one thing when they mean another, often hoping the other will believe it to be what they want and agree. Or they won’t talk much but believe “love” will conquer all, only finding out later they should have talked, discussed, and come to an agreement beforehand.

Marriage vows are rules given at the time of marriage, however, those seem to be often ignored or twisted soon after the service, when life begins to get in the way. Divorce rates continue to rise and it is often because of the lack of communication the end comes about. At least, in the BDSM world, the contract is, normally, discussed so discrepancies can be found out before any problems occur. In this world, for the most part, people would rather a relationship not happen at all than cause tremendous grief and turmoil because of something a little talking would have pointed out earlier.

I know people who are together and very happy because each knows how the other feels, what they prefer, and where they are/what they are doing most all the time. This does not come across as losing any needed independence; this happens because both parties (or however many) share their lives and don’t hide what is going on. Too many times in the majority world, people keep secrets because they are afraid what the other person might think if they knew. In the lifestyle, these secrets are not only shared, but, often celebrated and lived as it is what keeps the people together in the first place. People get together because of, not in spite of, what they desire.

I don’t want to make it sound perfect. There are problems just like with anything else. There are those who refuse to follow, who refuse to tell, who refuse to abide. These people are often kicked from the individual groups they try to be a part of and are rejected by this minority world at large when it becomes known. By the same token, a person who follows the protocols and is known for their honesty becomes a special person welcomed in most all groups.

I say all this merely to say I am a part of this world now. I am not a big pain person, giving or receiving. I have a lot of love to share and affection to give. I am of worth and smart and I understand what I am a part of. I continue to learn, however, all of my learning simply better prepares me to do what I feel is best for me. I am not one to strictly adhere to the guidelines and protocols as are some, however, I do have a basic respect and need to follow those rules, at least, to the point that keeps everyone safe, secure, and trusting. I believe fully in informed consent as well as mutual consent. People who are going to be in a relationship should understand each other very well and know what they are getting into before they make commitments. This doesn’t work very well in regular society as I have tried to be very open and honest and have been largely ignored, disbelieved, or thought to be weak for trying to be honest.

Finally, I am not trying here at all to get anyone to join the lifestyle or to even agree with me. I feel knowledge is both power and a boon to understanding and, perhaps, getting along. Should you have any questions, please ask me ( I would be glad to share what I know, find out what I don’t, and even, perhaps, meet if wanted to discuss topics, ideas, and share thoughts.



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  • TheDiaryOfSin  On October 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    AH I found it after reading your little rant. I definitely applaud you for bringing this out. “50 shades” was definitely disappointing, the first one anyway, I do agree it gets better as he realizes what he learned and felt wasn’t how it HAD to be. I Have met plenty like MR. Grey, and even more who are how you have described as yourself. Again… I applaud you for your bravery!
    I am stalking… I mean… following you. Most of your posts that i have read so far are interesting! ♥ Sin

    Liked by 1 person

  • A Star on the Forehead  On September 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Scott, I never read the book as I was turned off by the whole hype about it. I don’t think that lifestyle is for me but I applause you for being open and sharing some of you. It is brave of you and good luck on this new road. Blessings! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • kindredspirit23  On September 15, 2017 at 12:06 am

      Oh, if only everyone felt that way, it would all be so much easier. I have decided, thanks to my new stroke personality, that I don’t care if others are upset or put off by my declarations, but so many others in the lifestyle have trouble because of family, relatives, friends, or people at large. I applaud you for be open enough to accept and wish me well. Thank you for not deciding I was no longer good enough to talk to. You would be surprised…


  • Maria H.  On September 12, 2017 at 12:33 am

    I didn’t really understand 50 shades of gray… why she chose to be with such a jerk. I only ever read the first book.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. I love the idea of the open and honest concept.

    Also, thank you for following my book review blog, contemplate and intimate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • kindredspirit23  On September 12, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      There are lots of reasons for her to follow Mr. Grey. Some good, others not so. She was in love with him in the book. I believe he took advantage of her. The second book was better. Maria, if you ever want to discuss, just drop me an email. Glad to share.

      Liked by 1 person


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