1. There is so much communication. Both partners (or multiple partners) are in constant communication to ensure that their partner enjoying themselves and are comfortable with proceeding.
2. Everything is discussed and communicated between partners. BDSM involves checklists and scripts- you know what's going on or what could go on in a scene. Grey actually sits down with Ana to discuss everything and puts it into a contract. They are actually able to discuss what they are and are not comfortable with, including the use or lack of safe words. BDSM highly incorporates the use of safewords. If Ana is not comfortable with anything, she is able to voice that and Grey will listen.
3. The submissive (sub) controls the scene. It seems ironic (since it's the sub) but he or she controls the scene because if he or she is uncomfortable- where's the fun in that? BDSM is another form of pleasure and intimacy. The articles I have placed down below are great resources to dive into those topics.
4. BDSM is not always about sex, it can lead into other areas of your life. I think James went about this strangely with the book because I don't think people fully understand that BDSM doesn't have to be all about whips and chains, but simply control. Christian does this frequently throughout the book without leading into sex, which people view as stalking. I think James' lack of explanation and thorough use of research put people in an awkward place with understanding the narrative and the culture of BDSM.
5. Your pleasure may not be someone else's pleasure. I put this post together because I was really concerned with how easily people wanted to label 50 Shades as abuse- especially from so many bloggers and Christian websites. That has been really frustrating because I've read the articles and I don't feel that they're sourced properly. It just overwhelmingly seems that this is a topic that people are uncomfortable with it so they prefer to demonize it.
With all of that said, you or I or anyone does not have to be into this. That's the beauty of it. This is one way to approach a relationship, but it's not for everyone. I would just caution so many media outlets and bloggers from labeling it as abuse. Especially since I keep hearing people say that they haven't read it or are garnishing their opinions from the comments section of an article who authors haven't read it.
Here are some other great articles:
25 Facts About BDSM That You Won't Learn from Fifty Shades of Grey
Buzzfeed's Kink Video
My friend Nicole wrote a great article about Christian Grey and relating it to Christianity.