50 Grades of… well, you know.

Since all the other kink bloggers are dissing “50 Shades” (and not without good reason), I thought I’d take to opportunity to up my coolness factor and not write about it.

We have some friends who are decidedly conservative, and who sometimes spare no opportunity to chide me on what they are sure will be my differing opinion on some topic at hand. So, the bait comment at dinner the other night wasn’t completely unexpected.

“So, I’ll bet you and Mrs. Edge are going to see that new movie, the 50 Shades thing, aren’t you?”

“Pffft, bunch of amateurs,” I snorted. “I’m waiting for an interesting movie to come out.”

She looked briefly at (a suddenly stonefaced) Mrs. Edge for support, found none, and back at me. Then she closed her eyes and shook her head. “Oh my God, figures you’d say something like that,” she muttered, and speared another cheese cube.

I can’t figure out if they imagine we’re much kinkier than we actually are, or if they’re so clueless about sexuality that they can’t imagine what we get up to. Mrs. Edge and I have decided that our friends probably don’t even have sex anymore, so maybe it doesn’t even matter.

Personally, I suspect that we keep getting invited to parties just so they can have someone to talk about later on.


I don’t know if this couple is actually kinky, but she certainly looks like she’s being protective of her property.

The Fifty-five Year Old Virgins

So, Mrs Edge and a bunch of her friends were going out to some local production of “Le Wicked Miz Cats” or something that I didn’t have much interest in seeing. She invited them over for dinner and drinks beforehand, with the suggestion that if I cleaned the kitchen afterwards, then it might bode well for me getting some kind of treat later on. And it worked out pretty well for both of us, actually.

But I’m sure that nobody is really interested in that kind of thing. Besides, that’s not the point of this post.

So, I joined them for dinner; partly because I was hungry, and partly because it was actually in the dining room. Yes, the dining room. When the aliens land and start looking at middle-class American homes, they are going to wonder about the shrine that many people have which only is used for religious feasts several times a year. “The inhabitants of this house must have been particularly devout practitioners; several of the younger inhabitants appeared to have shared a room, although there was plenty of space at the other end of the house which appeared to be reserved for the household temple of feasts.”

Anyway, her friends — all 50+ year old women who are no longer married — were talking about dating, and several of them complained that “It’s like men are only after one thing.” I tried to just smile and nod, hoping to get out of this alive, when one of them started talking about her plan to make any potential suitor wait at least 3 months before she’d get into bed with him. To my surprise, several other women agreed enthusiastically with her.

This caused an involuntary reaction, and I began coughing up some linguini. Eyes turned toward me. Too late, I was going to have to join the conversation.

“So, Tom; you’re a sensible kind of guy. What do you think of that idea?”

I started saying that I had known several of these women since we were in our twenties, and there’s no way in hell that any of them would have waited three weeks, let alone three months. I added, “Besides, you’re all fifty-plus years old, and the guys that you’re going to meet are other fifty year old guys who are most likely starved for affection. What do you think that you have to offer that’s worth waiting for?”

The sudden sharp connection between my shin and Mrs Edge’s pump reminded me that I was now crossing out of “sensible” into “too blunt” territory, so I quickly got up to fetch more wine.  When I got back, they were complaining that they were tired of the men who only seemed to be after one thing, and how they were going to be much more careful in who they dated.

It’s worth noting that out of these women, all of them were recently divorced, and have had at least two marriages in the previous fifteen years – except for one who was newly into her third, or possibly fourth marriage.  Interestingly, all of them agreed that making the guy wait some (in my opinion) inordinately long amount of time was the appropriate strategy.

I’ve since asked several other older friends about this, and I have to admit that I’m a bit startled to find that most of them agreed with this approach. Maybe I’m just thinking about it wrong, but I can’t help but imagine that if I were 50+ and single, I wouldn’t want to waste a quarter of a year just to see if a potential partner was sexually compatible with me; although to be fair, I’m pretty certain that most of the women in my social circle would not make the rankings (and wouldn’t come close to Mrs Edge, anyway).

So, since we have a number of more mature readers here, can any of you give me some insight as to this mindset? I mean, I can understand waiting when you’re 20. But after two or three children and a couple of husbands, what the heck are you holding out for? And guys? What do you think of this approach?


And thinking about something wicked …

Danica Collins. So hot right now...

… allows the incomparable Danica Collins to once again grace our pages.

Sex education: Brainiacs have fewer notches on their bedposts than those without degrees | Love & Sex | Life & Style | Daily Star. Simply The Best 7 Days A Week

As a matter of fact, this idea has been kicked around since the 1970s, but apparently there’s a survey that once again shows that kink and intelligence seem to be correlated.

Sex education: Brainiacs have fewer notches on their bedposts than those without degrees.



And while we’re thinking about brainiacs, Danica Collins as a strict schoolmarm will certainly make you smart.


Sex education: Brainiacs have fewer notches on their bedposts than those without degrees | Love & Sex | Life & Style | Daily Star. Simply The Best 7 Days A Week

What Is Sexually “Normal?” Rethinking Pain and Pleasure

Although I’ve long since given up on anything serious from Psychology Today, it having become the Cosmo of the social sciences, once in a while I run across a good article. This one is obviously of interest to some of the readers:

What Is Sexually “Normal?” Rethinking Pain and Pleasure | Psychology Today.

The part that struck me was the discussion around BDSM in the DSM-V. First, a definition:

You meet criteria for a diagnosis of sexual masochism disorder or sexual sadism disorder if you

Feel personal distress about your interest, not merely distress resulting from society’s disapproval;


Have a sexual desire or behavior that involves another person’s psychological distress, injury, or death, or a desire for sexual behaviors involving unwilling persons or persons unable to give legal consent.


And here’s where author Todd Kashdan tackles the more basic questions.

How do you parse out the distress of being viewed as deviant by society from the internal generation of distress? After all, part of our identity is the internalization of cultural standards of acceptable behavior. As with all psychiatric diagnoses, we must grapple with the notion of whether a person experiences clinically significant distress and/or impairment. But defining distress/impairment is tricky in the context of sex (with consenting adults); sex is usually regarded as an indicator of healthy psychological functioning that contributes to relationship satisfaction and well-being.

He goes on to list various ways in which distress might be perceived, and touches on the idea that not being — or feeling able to be — “out” about one’s sexual desires is also a form of distress.

As a result, 60% of the 3,000 respondents are not ‘‘out’’ about their BDSM interests; the stress of being closeted and/or coming out promotes distress and impairment in these individuals, similar to that experienced by homosexuals.

I don’t see any TV shows in production which feature a quirky sister-in-law, uncle, or neighbor who is an acknowledged kinkster, and people indulging in masochistic or bottoming activities are still played for laughs. So, don’t look forward to a “Will & Grace” type show that helps to make kinksters look just like the people next door.

Kashdan acknowledges that the lack of societal acceptance can have some grave consequences:

The confusion of variant sexual interests with psychopathology has led to discrimination against all ‘‘paraphiliacs.’’ Individuals have lost jobs, custody of their children, security clearances, become victims of assault, etc., at least partially due to the association of their sexual behavior with psychopathology.

I like how how points out something that many kinksters have been saying for years; you can “punish” your body with exercise or sports, and not only do people not look askance, many times they congratulate you on your determination. But once you associate a sexual component, then you’re a pervert.

He sums up a well-written article on the subject:

From the vantage point of recent research, people who practice BDSM are highly stigmatized by therapists as well as mainstream society. For the majority, it appears as though BDSM serves as a personalized sexual pastime as opposed to a manifestation of psychopathology, and their life problems are likely to be as common as the average single man  who has sex 1.7 times per month in a missionary position, is rather quiet and awkward, and lasts for 178 seconds before gasping for air.

While we could have done without the parting shot at the vanillas, Kashdan acknowledges the (too little) research that has gone into trying to understand those with an interest in BDSM, and decries the tendency for the medical profession to associate it with sociopathic behaviors. This is mirrored in the Comments section, which should not come as a surprise to anyone.

I’d recommend anyone interested in both the psychology and the sociology of BDSM to hit the link and read the article.



Wait, was that DSM or BDSM? I get them mixed up…