Friday, February 13, 2015

Hey, Grey, I'd Rather Ride the Bull

So, I know that many people really hate Valentine's Day. See it as more of a marketing ploy than a holiday. Think that, if you really love or care about someone, you shouldn't need some designated day, full of heart-shaped confectioneries and store-bought flowers and wubby-dubby stuffed animals, to show it. 

And, to a certain degree, I agree. If you love and care about someone, you should find ways to show them that more than once a year. Life's too short not to. 

But, in that same logic, then it doesn't really bother me to have a designated day to do what I was already doing. It's just one more very-pink-and-red way to do it.

But, I'm currently dating someone who doesn't much care about or for Valentine's Day. And that's cool too. I much prefer celebrating the day after Valentine's Day, when I get to walk in the door and see this:

If anyone is wondering, this is how you romance a girl like me, dark beer and discount chocolate. And, if I'm remembering correctly, marathoning Adventure Time.

But, at any rate, that means this Valentine's Day I'll be in the theaters with a bunch of my friends watching Fifty Shades of Grey. 

Because I do think that how kink and romance and sex are portrayed in the media is important. And the only way to be able to have an intelligent, informed, and relevant conversation about that is to pay attention to and critically look at media that does.

And, for anyone worried that my seeing the film will delude producers into thinking their movie is good or that telling lies about kink and romance is lucrative, well, they already think that and nothing I do is going to convince them otherwise.

Fifty Shades is here. And it ain't going anywhere. So, yeah, I want to know for myself what the world thinks about people like me. And, hopefully, do what I can to correct any misconceptions.

So, until the screening actually happens, my only real question then becomes: exactly what does one to a screening like this?

I could wear actual fetish gear. Show people what we really look like. But that seems counterintuitively provocative for the sake of shock-value. Because what we really look like in public is pretty much just like everyone else. Because we don't wear kink gear in public. Because we're not socially stupid. Fetish gear has a time and place and a context that makes it sexy; outside of that, it just looks forced, out of place, and ridiculous.

I could wear a shirt that slams the movie and books. With book quotes or catchy, snarky quips. But that feels petty. And, after all, like I've said before, it's hard to capture the full context of what the series gets wrong in a short slogan. Not without unintentionally slamming kink and BDSM as a whole.

So, I decided, instead of trashing kink portrayals I find offensive, I would celebrate one that I personally enjoy:


And, okay, so it pokes at 50 Shades a bit. I'm okay with being just a little bit petty.

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