BDSM Expert Weighs In on What Fifty Shades Gets Right – and Wrong – About the Lifestyle

For many, the world of restraints and floggers was a total mystery before E.L. James’ erotic sensation Fifty Shades of Grey was published in 2011. The mega-hit quickly introduced aspects of kink to a wider audience, and now the second film chronicling the story of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele is set to be unleashed this Friday.

While the world of BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism and masochism) has hit the mainstream, Mistress Couple – the headmistress of La Domaine Esemar, a BDSM training chateau in the Berkshires – tells PEOPLE that the way the franchise portrays the lifestyle is sometimes misleading.

“The basic tenet of La Domaine is not about how much you can take, but rather how much you can give,” Mistress Couple explains. “Many people, when they’re involved in BDSM dynamics, they are bracing themselves to take a punishment from their dominant. And I think the Fifty Shades series usually approaches BSDM in this way: What can you endure? But the way that we view training here is more about understanding that this is an equal dynamic between two consenting partners and that your submission is a gift.”

Mistress Couple has been the headmistress for La Domaine for three years, and has been in the BDSM lifestyle for six years. She says she began her training at the chateau as a submissive, and began to explore her dominant side after staff at La Domaine noticed her capacity to lead as a former professional ballroom dancer.

While she’s familiar with Fifty Shades, Mistress Couple admits she’s never been able to make it through the whole book or movie.

“I just can’t sit through it – I’ve tried, multiple times,” she shares, noting that her main issues with the story are the “abusive aspects.”

Read full article on people.com