Tag Archives: Meaning

3 reasons why you need to watch the “Secretary”

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Probably one of the best BDSM movies is Secretary.  It stars actors Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader as the characters Lee Holloway and E. Edward Grey.  There is so much I love about this movie: the quotes, the horse scene, and the deeper meaning of pain explained.  Here is my review and why it’s one of the best BDSM films out there (and also where to watch it right now).

Here’s a little synopsis first: Secretary is a 2002 Indie film that explores the relationship between a dominant lawyer and his submissive secretary.

1.  The movie “Secretary” explores the issue of self harm with realistic characters

After I had seen the trailer for the movie I just assumed it was about a kinky boss. I didn’t know anything about Lee being a cutter.  As a person who has been involved with self-harm also, it was very hard to watch the cutting scenes. I got a little angry at first, thinking the movie was just stereotyping submissives.

But then I started to think, “Maybe I’m not the only one, maybe there is a correlation.”  If you do practice self harm, or have in the past, I would love to hear about it in the comments.  A big part of the film’s story revolves around Lee’s cutting, so I loved that it talked openly about such a taboo topic.

The only part that was a little disappointing was when Edward tells her, “You will never, ever cut yourself again. Do you understand? Have I made that perfectly clear. You’re over that now. It’s in the past.”

I thought it was a good response for a Dominant to say, but of course she never ends up cutting herself after he says it.  I thought that was a little unrealistic.

2.  It shows BDSM has a deeper meaning than just whips and chains

Secretary isn’t a mainstream erotic movie like 50 Shades of Grey.  I kept wondering why it was given an “R” rating until the very end when there was one sex scene.  Secretary explores what Dominance and submission can look like in real life, and how pain can be so fulfilling.

It also deals with obsessive compulsive disorders and the need for control.  Edward tells her how much to eat, and gives her tasks to do.  One I really liked was when he told Lee to go for a walk.  She obeyed and during her walk she said to herself:

“When I thought about it, I realized I probably never had taken a walk alone. But because he had given me the permission to do this, because he insisted on it. I felt held by him as I walked alone. I felt he was with me.”

To me this really embodies the purpose of rituals and how meaningful they can be.

One of my favorite quotes from the movie is when Lee is sitting at her boss’s desk, with her forearms on the table and she refuses to move.  Her ex-fiance asks her if she’s doing something sexual.  She replies angrily, “Does this look sexual to you?”  It’s a myth that BDSM is only sexual and that part really illustrated that it’s not.

3.  BDSM is never the problem that needs to be fixed or explained

Secretary deals with kink like it’s completely natural, even in the scene where Edward treats Lee like a horse.  In an interview, director Steven Shainberg said he wanted to show that BDSM relationships can be normal.  He didn’t want to do a story where Lee overcomes her cutting and learns she doesn’t need pain anymore.

Lee says to herself at the end of the movie:  “I feel more than I’ve ever felt, and I’ve found someone to feel with, to play with, to love, in a way that feels right for me.”  And Edward learns that his OCD behavior is not something he has to hide from Lee.

The director also said that they could’ve dealt with the  S&M material in a dark way, but they wanted the total opposite: they wanted to show that the nature of the relationship freed the characters to be their natural selves.  And in the end that’s what happens.  Lee and Edward live happily ever after, living their lifestyle 24/7.

I really hope that if you haven’t seen Secretary yet that you do so soon. There are a lot of great quotes in it, and It may give you a new perspective on what a BDSM relationship can be. You can watch it online through Amazon Prime, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, or Hulu.

Have you seen “Secretary”?  What’s one of your favorite quotes from the movie?  Tell me in the comments.

Read more:  How to go from vanilla to Kink  »

How to go from Vanilla to BDSM and Kink

One of the questions I get asked the most is, “How do I go from vanilla to BDSM?” (The definition of vanilla is plain, normal, or boring.) Maybe the person read the book 50 Shades of Grey, or wants to incorporate kink into their relationship or sex life to bring more meaning to it. It can be hard when you are already married or dating and you want to switch to a kinky lifestyle. Here is how to make your journey successful.

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Be sure to learn the BDSM essentials and their meaning first by clicking here.

Start with kinky communication (and not just about sex)

One of the awesome things about a D/s lifestyle is that there is usually a whole lot more communication than a vanilla one.  Start by telling your partner what you already like about your relationship.  Then you can begin to tell them things you want to maybe try or are just curious about.

Ask them what their kinky fantasies are.  This may take a few tries so keep things positive and be patient.  Saying the word “BDSM” may scare them off so maybe just talk about the aspects of it you like.  This can be things like:

Sometimes a person has to get comfortable just talking about how to go from vanilla to kink before they feel they can make the switch to doing it in real life.  Read articles on Domsubliving.com together and keep your conversations light and fun.

How to go from vanilla to BDSM with a kink contract

Contracts are one of the things that the book 50 Shades of Grey actually got right, but contracts don’t have to be for hardcore D/s couples.  Experts say that talking about sex openly and writing it down in a contract brings meaning to even vanilla relationships.

If you need somewhere to start, download a free template here

Contracts can include roles and what those involve (even if it’s just your names and titles like husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend).  Other things to cover are:

Don’t be embarrassed or take yourself too seriously.  Have fun discussing your contract and check in regularly to see if it’s working or to renegotiate.

When things don’t go as you hoped

Whether you’re vanilla or practicing BDSM, you shouldn’t expect perfection from your partner.  Remember, this isn’t the book 50 Shades of Grey.

Resentment builds when one person starts to feel like the other isn’t fulfilling their role.  In D/s this could be the Dom feeling like their sub isn’t being submissive enough, or the sub feeling like their Dom isn’t being dominant enough.  What should you do when this happens?

As always: communicate.  If talking about how to go from vanilla to BDSM makes you feel uncomfortable or you’re hitting a brick wall, a journal can be a safe place to express your feelings freely.  Journaling is great for any relationship, vanilla or kinky.

You can download a free journal here which includes prompts to help you get started.

Make the switch from vanilla to BDSM safely

You may be tempted to jump right into a kinky lifestyle, but start slow.  Remember, the book 50 Shades of Grey is not real life.  In the BDSM community “Safe, Sane, and Consensual” is extremely important, and not just during sex.

If not practiced correctly, a D/s relationship can be dangerous, both physically and emotionally.  However, when it is enjoyed in a healthy way it can be extremely fulfilling and bring deep meaning to a relationship.  I hope with these suggestions all who want to can go from vanilla to BDSM and kink successfully.  🖤

Have you tried making the switch?  What challenges have you faced?  Let me know in the comments.

Keep reading: Creating Your Contract  »