Yesterday, a friend posted a warning about a romance when she was 21 similar to the one you find in the new best seller Fifty Shades of Grey. She was naive and thought the individual loved her. Much like the heroine in the story, she fell madly in love with the individual and with the games he played, she was under his spell quickly. The relationship culminated in her being raped. After three years of being held for rape, the criminal suit is over and he is being released. The suit came down to a “he said” and “she said” with no way of proving anything — there is only her word that she said “no” and didn’t consent to what happened. There were no witnesses. Worse, many people involved with investigating this case felt that she wouldn’t have been involved in a relationship like this had she not expected something like this to occur. The person who raped her continues to maintain his innocence and that he didn’t rape her. I know how distraught my friend is. I also believe her.
Why would I post this? The main reason is to put a warning out there that there are people who will take advantage of you. The relationships that are formed are ones of extreme trust. The ability to communicate is paramount to doing this kind of activity, and once in a “scene”, it is hard to communicate and convey you want to stop. Of the people who I know who are in these relationships, they all love one another very deeply and it is obvious that they do. Still, even in a “vanilla” relationship, communication is difficult and there are misunderstandings. A relationship like this has to be even more difficult.
To all the people who think the relationship in the book is what they want: the book is fiction and romanticized. If you are or know someone who is getting into this lifestyle because of the book, they need to seriously need to evaluate what they are doing and make sure they are communicating with the people who they are talking to make sure they know what they are agreeing. This type of lifestyle works for some people but not all. If you are a friend, be there for them and talk with them. Be there for your friends when things go wrong, and know it won’t be easy for you, either. There is a lot of understanding that is required – by the individuals in the relationships, the friends who know people in the relationships (whether you agree with it or not), and those who have to see the marks of what happens to the individuals. It isn’t easy for anyone.