When it comes to sex, it has to be said that the Brits have had an attitude that could best be described as bashful. There’s that saying ‘no sex please, we’re British’ which can often be accompanied by the sorts of smutty innuendo that is best represented by the ‘Carry On’ films series. There’s the banning of Lady Chatterley’s lover, right up to the 1960s, when it was asked if it was a book you would want your servants to read (yes really), this was followed by the ‘Oz’ magazine trials, which actually saw jail sentences for those involved with the production of the magazine. Even in the 1980s, George Michael’s ‘I want your Sex’ was banned and just referred to as ‘I want your…’ on Top of the Pops.
Homosexuality was illegal until 1967, although lesbianism was fine, as, according to Queen Victoria this didn’t actually exist, so lord knows what Vita Sackville West was up to during the 1920s, and even in the late 1980s, Clause 28 caused marches and protests amongst the gay community as the Conservative Government tried to hide gay issues back in the closet. Clearly, there were times when it seemed sex and the Brits just didn’t mix, and that every child in the UK must be a case of immaculate conception.
But recent years have seen a change and shift in not only the way we view sex, but in some cases, even the way we have sex. Sites like My BDSM Hookups have allowed those with Fifty Shades of Grey fantasies to meet likeminded Mr Grey’s for consensual sado masichistic sessions (which may also lead to love, just like it did for Anastasia). And those Fifty shades, both in the original book form and in movie form, broke all sorts of box office records and were read everywhere. The erotic novel was no longer something to be hidden behind a newspaper, but was now out there, loud and proud, and totally mainstream. Clearly bdsm dating was something that was could be discussed, and could be profitable.
Even our television has lost some of its prudishness that was once exhibited to any sex that had a kink to it. A programme as mainstream as Desperate Housewives would seem like the last place you would meet S&M, but Bree’s first husband Rex had an illicit affair with a woman who was able to please him sexually as a dominatrix. House was another popular series that had an episode where a character had a dominatrix, whilst Billie Piper played a call girl who got up to all manner of antics, including a little bdsm. Perish the thought of what Mary Whitehouse would’ve made of it all!
With both Lady Gaga and Madonna singing about submissiveness and erotica respectively, and with Rihanna actually singing a song called S&M, and singing it on stage with a dominatrix, it certainly seems like there is no turning back when it comes to more openess about all kinds of sex, even the kinkier side.
I blame Mr Grey.