BDSM FAQ: Your Anitidote to Fifty Shades of Grey
Faith G Harper, PhD, LPC-S
There are so many things this zine represents for the zine community. Zines can be any topic (someone taking on what bad things 50 Shades did to the BDSM community), they can be educational, and zines can (and are) written by people from so many walks of life (even PhD walks of life!).
Talk about a good start.
While the heart-shaped handcuffs on the front and back covers may give you a giggle, BDSM FAQ is serious when it comes to educating people about the basics of BDSM. In the brief introduction, Dr Harper talks about the increase in people wanting to talk to her in a professional capacity about the whole ‘BDSM thing’. This zine was born of the questions most asked in a BDSM class she taught.
I was not in personal need of an FAQ or introduction to BDSM because I was fortunate enough to know a very kind D/s couple who taught me a lot about the lifestyle. I picked up this zine anyway because I was curious about how Dr Harper would handle the subject. The whole subject reminded me a little of 7th ‘reproductive studies’ class with a large smattering if misrepresentation thanks to one set of books.
BDSM FAQ is exactly what you would want as a resource to learn about the subject. Dr Harper gives it the seriousness that any lifestyle choice deserves and treats the reader like the adult they should be if they’re wanting to learn about this. The zine also includes the best simple representation I’ve seen about what the letters actually stand for:
While the title might suggest otherwise, time is not wasted venting about 50 Shades; it’s directed where it should be: answering questions. From the words of the lifestyle you should know to how to approach things no matter what kind of relationship dynamic you have.
I highly recommend this zine if you’re merely curious, if you’re looking to start, or anything in between. The zine even ends with a positive true-life experience of a submissive to let you know that there are positive things to be found in BDSM if that is what you are looking for. And not all of those things have to include sex.
If you’re interested, Dr Harper has an assortment of educational zines about all sorts of things including anxiety, anger, adulting, coping, and more. You can check them out here.
On another note not related to Dr Harper but related to 50 Shades of Grey, here is a video from Film Theory about how Christian Grey actually uses cult indoctrination tactics (rather than BDSM practices) on Anastasia.