Fifty Lesbian Shades of Grey

Annette Pryce serves up an introspective look on the latest outing of the Fifty Shades trilogy.


“I want you to spank me, trust me, love me..”

Valentine’s Day has come around again and the latest sequel to be released is the 2nd outing of the infamous trilogy of Fifty Shades. Having read the book, (oh yes I did), the film was no great surprise. The bigger surprise was the poor reviews from people who expected more. Did they not read the book?

I started thinking about writing a lesbian perspective on BDSM culture or butch/femme roles. As I watched this film, I began to realise that the relationship being played out in a not so subtle manner was about the difficulty of human relationships, which came through in surround sound with an awesome soundtrack.

Most people, including me, are not bothered by a bit of kink. However, when it comes to relationships, I find myself tripping over the same problems the characters face. My dreams are unfulfilled, and if you’re already finding this article self-indulgent, then you should probably stop reading, since it’s not for you.

There is more drama in the middle of their relationship than the end of a lesbian love affair that went wrong. It reveals a trust issue that goes wider than whether or not she’ll use the “safe word.” He has trust issues as well; he can’t open up about his past.  And what if when you meet someone you find it difficult to open up? What if you want what others around you have got, and struggle to see how they got it? What if opening up is scary and makes you want to cry? What if you don’t know how you got here and have no relationship, and another Valentine’s Day passes.

there is more drama in the middle of their relationship than the end of a lesbian love affair that went wrong

Christian and Ana seem to have this all-consuming love despite their many obstacles, and doesn’t everyone want that? I know I do. I want someone who makes you want to rip their clothes off every time you see them. Someone who makes your heart race and skin tingle. Someone who makes your life better just by being in it. Someone who when you kiss them makes you know that ‘life as you know it is over’. That kind of life-altering love. Maybe I’ve been single too long, but I want it.

But how easy is that nowadays, as a 38 year old lesbian who has a time-consuming job, what chance do we have to meet someone who will give you a little bit of that? Especially if you are isolated in the “shires” and the entire London LGBTQ scene is crammed with 20 somethings and online dating has been tried and tested and not worked out. I find people don’t want to date people anymore; they just want to chat online. I’m not one of them.

Someone who makes you want to rip their clothes off every time you see them. Someone who makes your heart race and skin tingle. Someone who makes your life better just by being in it. Someone, who when you kiss them makes you know that ‘life as you know it is over’

I want to meet more people, but this brings me back to my earlier point about trust and opening up. A friend said it’s all about probability, if you get yourself out there often enough you’ll meet someone. Sometimes it feels like a race that I’ve fallen behind on, having spent most of my twenties just focussing on my career, I lost out on those earlier opportunities. I’ve done online, speed dating, met people though my union work, and out in my local community, by chance perhaps, but when the pool of people is so small, I ask myself when am I going to have that: ‘P.S.I Love You’ moment, the wedding I imagine, and a kiss that tells me that ‘life as I know it is over’? When will I have my ‘Anastasia Steele’, who sees through my complexities and insecurities and makes me not want to live without them, and them me?

I could be despondent and feel like all hope is lost, but faith tells me to be patient, and get out more. And if there is some spanking in the meantime, then hey, who am I to argue?

Follow Annette on Twitter (@lgbtexec)

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