A Real Christian Grey Talks About BDSM and Fifty Shades


By A.C. Rose

As fans get ready for a peek into the Red Room of Pain with the release of the film adaption of Fifty Shade Darker, seems like a good time for a little sneak peek into the life of a real dominant. I located such a man in San Francisco and asked him to, um, enlighten me.

Danarama, as he is known in BDSM circles, is not a billionaire who looks like Jamie Dornan, but he is an experienced Master who has lived the BDSM (Bondage & Discipline, Sadomasochism) lifestyle for over 25 years and now teaches kinky sex techniques in instructional videos. Part of his mission is to show people how to act out their favorite parts of Fifty Shades of Grey via a collection of instructional videos called 50 Skills of Grey.

A former VP of Marketing for small companies, Danorama went from working in a vanilla corporate world to teaching about kink and pleasure. His rope skills originated in his rock climbing days and grew over 12 years as part of the rope bondage instruction duo Two Knotty Boys. These days he considers himself a BDSM generalist — instructing on everything from the importance of a woman’s g-spot (and how to find it!) to how to learn Fifty Shades of Grey impact play — which may include a riding crop, a flogger, a belt, and a spanking.

I interviewed Danarama for CafeMom about the life of a dominant and his thoughts on Fifty Shades of Grey when the first movie came out.

What exactly is a male dominant?
A male dominant — or the female equivalent, a dominatrix — is someone who takes the “top” role in a consensual power exchange relationship or play session, usually between two persons where one is dominant and the other submissive or “bottom,” or one is sadistic (enjoys inflicting pain) while the other masochistic (enjoys receiving pain). At the upper end of this dynamic, one is the Master and the other enjoys serving as a slave.

How does one decide to become a Dom, anyway?
People discover their desire for this type of interaction and decide on their role through any number of ways. Many in the BDSM lifestyle can point to a seminal moment in their lives when they realized that kinky or dominant/submissive concepts appealed to them. Whether it was a scene in a movie they saw, or while playing role-based or physical games, or dreams and fantasies, or even through the suggestion of their lover, there is usually a moment or series of moments that the person found distinctly arousing. It may take them years to explore those feelings and seek more, but once the genie is out of the bottle, many find their wishes come true if they find a compatible partner in the complementary role.

So, did you actually read Fifty Shades of Grey?
Yes. I’ve read the novel Fifty Shades of Grey … I wanted to compare its fiction to the reality of BDSM, educate its readers about the techniques depicted, and correct any misconceptions or inaccuracies the book puts forth. In fact, Kink University created a 14-part video series that specifically explains these skills and concepts.

We’ve heard a lot about ‘vanilla sex’ as compared to kinky sex, do the twains ever meet for you? Do you only enjoy BDSM or do you splash in a little vanilla romance from time to time?
BDSM is simply part of the entire spectrum of lifestyle and romance in my life. That’s how it is for most people. Sure, I like a good, hard, kinky sex session — but making sweet, tender love with my partner is equally awesome. That’s the nice thing about BDSM. It only adds to your available repertoire of sensuality. You don’t have to give anything up — even vanilla sex in the missionary position and the lights off, if that’s what gets you both off.

Maybe you can enlighten us on some of the sex play in the book, such as blindfolding, spanking, handcuffing, getting tied up, using a riding crop, sex toys, and of course, silver balls. Are those items you have or would use with a submissive?
These are all pretty basic tools of the trade, so yes, I have used all of these — sometimes in the same session. You can see how these very tools and toys are used in actual BDSM encounters by watching our new how-to tutorials on 50 Skills of Grey. The wonderful thing about these items is they add a whole new dynamic spectrum to sensuality. The more of these tools you can enjoyably use in an encounter, the more diverse your passion can be. That’s one of the nice things about BDSM. It gives couples more to do. It makes things less boring because there’s always something else to share. And if you or your partner winds up not liking one tool, toy, or game, there are so many other things to try. BDSM takes the ceiling off of passion.

There have been some complaints from the BDSM world that Christian Grey misrepresents the true role of a dominant. What are your thoughts?
I don’t think he misrepresented being a dominant. It’s just that most dominants are more passionate about their dominance and would not settle for a partner who seemed as tentative about submitting, especially in a city like Seattle where eager submissives abound. For someone who claims his “tastes are very singular,” he certainly sells himself short — and that’s a rare trait for a dominant.

In your world, what Fifty Shades-inspired kink are women and couples seeking to learn?
That’s as widely varied as the women themselves. In my experience, most of the women who are drawn to the submissive role in BDSM are very strong, intelligent individuals who control a lot in their lives. They are career women, mothers, health care workers, even teachers. What they get from a submissive BDSM dynamic is the release — or the challenge — of relinquishing control to another. Couples should always be looking for ways to keep passion and sex fresh, and Fifty Shades of Grey makes a good starting point for exploring ways kink can add to their romantic repertoire.

One of the ways Christian kept Ana on the edge was she never knew what he would do next. How much is the creation of anticipation part of a real Dom’s experience?
That depends on the encounter. Sometimes a couple agrees to do a specific type of scene, be it a rope suspension, needle play, or spanking. In these cases, surprises are not always safe or even welcome. However, building anticipation can be a wonderful part of a free-form scene, where improvisation — within the submissive’s limits — creates a very dynamic experience. This is especially easy to do using sensory deprivation techniques, such as blindfolds.

For the unenlightened, what does it feel like to dominate someone?
Dominants experience different rewards or feelings from engaging in BDSM. For sadists, some find a cathartic and physical release of stress by taking out aggression upon a consenting partners who enjoy experiencing pain for their own catharsis or other reasons. Good BDSM is always symbiotic like that. Other dominants are more service-oriented, playing their role or plying their craft as a form of expression, approval, or even for the fulfillment of their submissive. Still others enjoy the power they feel at being able to control another’s sensations, actions, lifestyle choices, or sexuality — in a way that’s desired by their submissive. That consensual quid pro quo is what makes BDSM different from abuse. It’s honestly enjoyed by both.

Have you ever had a contract with a sub? How do you make agreements?
Yes, I have had such contracts, but usually a contract indicates ownership, such as the terms between a Master and slave. In typical arrangements which are less formal, couples negotiate on the activities, toys, and their limits. Negotiating can be as simple as a brief conversation before a scene, or as thorough as completing a long negotiation form where each topic, item, and limit is spelled out.

Does sex play in your role as a Dom usually culminate in a penetrative sexual experience? Or oral sex? Or an orgasm? In general, for your or your partner, is that a final goal?
In BDSM, sexual contact, like any aspect of the play, is negotiated and consented to beforehand and even during the encounter. When I do BDSM with my lovers, it usually involves sex. However, when I am doing BDSM activities such as rope bondage or impact play, in a more public setting or with a new partner, this almost never involves any type of sexual contact.

Learn more: Catch Danarama in action any given day at KinkUniversity.com and, also, 50SkillsofGrey.com.

Written by A.C. Rose for The Stir. A.C. Rose is a sex and love columnist and author of erotic romances. Her latest book is AROUSAL.








We Still Adore Mr. Darcy

He’s rich, powerful, noble, and very good looking. He is beloved by women around the world who continue to admire and ardently love him. He remains one of the most adored romantic heroes ever—not bad for a bloke who is over 200 years old.
He’s Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. And time has only served to make him finer.
This week marks 204 years since the first publication of Jane Austen’s classic book Pride and Prejudice.
In recent times we have had two powerful film versions by that brought Mr. Darcy alive and imbedded him deeper in our hearts: Collin Firth starred in in the BBC Mini Series in 1995, and Matthew Macfadyen stepped in those shoes in the movie remake in 2005.
So what gives Mr. Darcy staying power as a fictional character (fantasy boyfriend) and why do fans continue to love him? Many fans say they fancy the romance and civility of the Regency era that was Austen’s world.
We asked some experts to share their thoughts on what makes Darcy such a catch in modern times.
1. He is a desirable alpha male. It’s no secret that women love strong romantic heroes. Duana C. Welch, PhD, author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do offers a scientific point of view. In Mr. Darcy, we have:
-A hero who is rich, rich, rich.
-And powerful, powerful, powerful.
-Oh, and very good-looking.
-And tall.
-And a leader with qualities such as good judgment and generosity.
“The world over, women fantasize about being swept away by such a man, because the world over, women correctly infer that these qualities are tied to provision and protection,” says Welch. “We probably inherited these preferences from our female ancestors, who survived and thrived better in a red-claw world if they had a strong and capable mate bringing home the wild boar.” So a man with the genetic goods, like Darcy, not only provides and protects, he may give those good genes to prospective offspring.
2. His brooding is a sign of power. Darcy is more like a cold fish than a hot prospect in the eyes of Elizabeth Bennett when they first meet him, yet other women see a great catch. “He’s an enduring object of female desire because of his personality, too,” says Welch. “At the beginning of the novel, Darcy is brooding, taciturn, and difficult to please. Research shows that women tend to think such men are the best providers.”
3. He’s all in. Darcy may appear the classic unavailable man, but we come to know that he is love sick with his desire for Elizabeth. “He is the tortured soul, who longs for the heroine… even though he does not want to,” says Silke Jahn, Founder and Editor of Romance & Smut, an online literary hub for romance novels. “But once he makes his mind up, he is all in and pursues the relationship with focus. In this way he really is not all that different at all from modern romantic heroes.”
4. He risks it all for the woman he loves. Darcy is a rich young guy with power living in an era where status and conventions hold a lot of weight. “A man with resources who won’t commit his heart to the heroine is no good at all,” says Welch. “But Darcy is focused solely on Elizabeth. He could have any woman he wanted, being the universally sought hottie he is. But in women’s fantasies, and in Austen’s romance novel(s), the heroine is special, singular, worthy of his wholly focused pursuit.”
“Darcy faces the scorn of his closest living relative and possibly society at large by pursuing and desiring a woman far beneath him in family connections and status. He risks giving up his social world to make her his world, doing whatever it takes to utterly conquer her heart.” That he is irresistibly drawn to Lizzie makes the victory of his devotion that much sweeter.
5. He admires his woman for who she is. Being appreciated and admired is empowering. And one of the key elements of any romantic fiction is that a reader can put herself into the shoes of the heroine. “Elizabeth Bennett was a modern woman when she was written, and she could still be considered modern even by today’s standards,” says Annie Sullivan, Publicity Coordinator for Professional Development at Wiley. Darcy is even more appealing because he accepts the things in Lizzy that make her so relatable and inspiring to readers :
-She didn’t give in to societal pressure.
-She rejected an offer of marriage that, while it would have made her miserable, would have secured her future.
-She did this in order to have a chance at securing her own happiness.
-She was an empowered woman who chose her own path.
-She doesn’t sacrifice her principles and take the easy road of marrying a minister to gain some financial stability.
-She took her future into her own hands as so many women today still struggle to do.
-She’s the quintessential example of why women shouldn’t settle.
6. The love story of Darcy and Elizabeth captivates us. Packaged into the story is a fairytale with a heroine who follows the beat of her own drum, even though the mores of the day indicate she needs saving. “The Disneyesque aspect of the happily-ever-after here is as familiar as Prince Charming and Cinderella; she marries up, and all her social and financial worries are wiped away,” says Julie Drew, PhD, Professor of English, at The University of Akron. “That part is pretty obvious, and undoubtedly still a draw—the literary version of a lottery fantasy with benefits.”
“On a deeper level, however, Darcy and Elizabeth share a substantive connection over what they believe it means to have a life worth living,” she says. “They value ethics over beauty, personal integrity over public approval, love over pragmatics; and intellectual pursuits over vain ausements. Their union (in the end) is based on friendship, loyalty, mutual respect, common interests, and passionate, romantic love. That makes for a pretty captivating love story, to my mind.”
7. Romantic, yet the struggle is realistic. Like real romances, which can in real life be rife with misunderstandings and family issues, Darcy and Lizzy show that love can be messy and may not happen so suddenly. “One of the greatest and most realistic aspects of the Elizabeth-Darcy romance is that it’s not love at first sight,” says Sullivan. “It is a complex and ever-changing relationship that shows readers that nothing will ever be perfect in life. There are going to be misunderstandings. There are going to be family struggles. There are going to be people trying to pull you apart. But, as long as you listen to your heart, you can secure your own happiness.”



Has Mr. Darcy bewitched you body and soul? What do you love about Darcy, Lizzy and Pride and Prejudice?



As we get ready for FIFTY SHADES DARKER, here are some the most memorable quotes from FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.


“We aim to please Miss Steele”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“Laters, baby.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“What is it about elevators?”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“I’d like to bite that lip.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“Oh, fuck the paperwork”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“I want you sore, baby,” he murmurs, and he continues his sweet, leisurely torment, backward, forward. “Every time you move tomorrow, I want you to be reminded that I’ve been here. Only me. You are mine.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“I still want more,” I whisper. “I know,” he says. “I’ll try.” I blink up at him, and he reliquishes my hand and pulls at my chin, releasing my trapped lip. “For you, Anastasia, I will try.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“I gasp, and I’m Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he’s the serpent, and I cannot resist.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“He’s naked except for those soft ripped jeans, top button casually undone. Jeez, he looks so freaking hot. My subconscious is frantically fanning herself, and my inner goddess is swaying and writhing to some primal carnal rhythm.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“Why does he have such an unnerving effect on me? His over-whelming good looks maybe? The way his eyes blaze at me? The way he strokes his index finger against his lower lip? I wish he’d stop doing that.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“He pulls up outside my duplex. I belatedly realize he’s not asked me where I live – yet he knows. But then he sent the books, of course he knows where I live. What able, cell-phone-tracking, helicopter owning, stalker wouldn’t.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“Anastasia, I’m not a hearts and flowers kind of man, I don’t do romance. My tastes are very singular. You should steer clear of me.” He closes his eyes as if in defeat. “There’s something about you, though,and I’m finding it impossible to stay away. But I think you’ve figured that out already.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“I’ve never wanted more, until I met you.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“I want my world to start and end with you.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

Visit Fifty Shades of Grey News on Facebook for the latest Fifty Shades Darker News.


10 Reasons Readers Fell For Christian Grey

By A.C. Rose

With the release of the Fifty Shades Darker on February 10, fans are getting excited about seeing their favorite characters and scenes come to life on the big screen.

Many of us remember getting  pulled into 1,500 plus pages of non-stop reading and being stunned by the “book hangover” that ensued. Some still wonder what touched off such a deep longing in readers? What made so many go ga-ga for Mr. Grey?


I attended an informative lecture a while back by sex therapist Sari Cooper, LCSW. It was titled “Fifty Shades of Grey: What You Can Learn about Sex Esteem from the Bestseller.” Cooper, a columnist for Psychology Today and an ASECT certified sex therapist, outlined what she called “the erotic triggers” that are written into the book and said these triggers combined are what kept the heroine, Anastasia Steele (Ana) so stimulated and intrigued, and made the story so irresistible to readers.

“These are the multisensory messages that our bodies receive and that get us turned-on,” she explained. With her permission, here are the top 10 erotic triggers she outlined.

1.Powerful hero. “He is dark, mysterious, and possibly dangerous — a total Alpha male. He’s wild, dangerous and unpredictable. Being with him is like a roller coaster ride.”

2.Awakened Heroine. “She is innocent. She is the yin to the yang of Christian Grey. She is a young woman awakened by this man who knows a lot more. “

3.Christian Grey uses all the senses — taste, touch, sight, scent, sound. “For example, Ana is always talking about how he smells and he about her scent. He also consciously uses these different triggers to arouse her.”

4.Music is huge part of it. There are many musical moments in the book that inspire erotic or emotionally charged moments.

5.He appeals to her psychologically. “He sends signals to throw her off-balance, such as his first gift of the collector’s edition of Tess of the d’Urbervilles. He attached a quote from the book that says there may be danger waiting. It creates more intrigue for her and she is intrigued by him.”

6.There is stimulation of all the erogenous zones and multisensory anticipation. “Christian does it with such expertise, and so much foreplay, with plenty of time to get Anastasia ready.”

A. Primary erogenous zones. Genitals and breasts.
B. Secondary erogenous zones: Earlobe, neck.
C. Tertiary erogenous zones: Feet, arms, scalp.

7. BDSM. “The book has opened up the door a crack to things people may not have considered before. In Fifty Shades, Ana has many fears about being hurt, but when she is in the red room of pain she is not just in pain — she is in a state of arousal beyond what she would normally feel. Sexual arousal sometimes involves working with negative emotions such as fear and anxiety. It’s the experience of being on a roller coaster that enhances the state of arousal.”

8.Love. “Ana pushes for ‘more’ than being his submissive and he ‘tries’ because he will do anything to keep her. He’s only had subs [submissive female partners] before, women that he has controlled, and he is pushed to his hard limits by Ana who is demanding more. That’s what people love about the book. They want the romance, the emotional tension. Will it work out for them? They want to know!”

9.The experience of being desired. “This is a huge erotic trigger for women. It’s the experience of being that special someone. There is no one else in his eyes. He only has eyes for her. She is the one he longs for. It combines the erotic with the sensual. Being desired is such a turn on for women.”

10.He’s very loyal. “At first we are not sure if we can trust him. She talks about his ‘stalker tendencies.’ What wins Ana over, and wins the reader over, is he’s very loyal. And when she needs him, he’s there. I think it works because women can feel the fantasy of having that danger, with the security of having a good relationship.”

Cooper’s analysis made perfect sense to me in both understanding what the character Anastasia experienced and how the readers, too, took that roller coaster ride into the kinky romance and the psychologically intrigue. The idea that women can experience the fantasy with Ana, yet view it from the safety of their own relationships, also explains the appeal of the books.

The concept of “erotic triggers” can be very helpful in relationships, in general. In Fifty Shades of Grey, here are some of the ways those triggers kept Ana, and the reader, in a state of anticipation:

  • Sound: “You are mine,” he whispers, “only mine. Don’t forget it.” His voice is intoxicating, his words heady, seductive.” (Page 119, Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James).”
  • Sight: “A slow, sexy smile spreads across his lovely face, and I am rendered speechless as my insides melt. He is without a doubt the most beautiful man on the planet, too beautiful for the little people below, too beautiful for me (page 370, Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James).”
  • Touch and Scent: “He runs the tips of his finger down my cheek. Oh my. His proximity, his delicious Christian smell. We’re supposed to be talking but my heart is pounding, my blood singing as it courses through my body, desire pooling, unfurling… everywhere. Christian bends and runs his nose along my shoulder and up the base of my ear, his fingers slipping into my hair (page 427, Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James).”

The reader is constantly barraged with these triggers or cues. Along with a genuine emotional connection between the characters, these are present from the start. Even if some of the writing is corny, the sentiments can set women’s hearts afire because they stimulate the fantasy of the perfect man who is not only gorgeous and rich, but is sexually masterful and desires her pleasure. His virility and her fertility are a turn-on and can help the reader feel young, just reading about their interactions. Sigh.

Adapted with permission from Falling Hard for Fifty. For more insights to why readers fell in love with Christian Grey, read Falling Hard for Fifty by A.C. Rose.
If you like gorgeous billionaires who go after what they want and look hot in suits, you’ll love AROUSAL, a new book from author A.C. Rose.

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