What Christian Grey Could Teach Men About Seduction

I have written a lot about what is wrong with Fifty Shades of Grey, but there are lessons in everything. Christian Grey as a leading man got as many things right as he got wrong. After all, women couldn't put this book down right? So Christian was seducing them too.  And I get it, we don't all get to be fabulously handsome billionaires. But Christian Grey could teach any man a few important tips to bring into his relationship if he is passionate around sex. What Christian Grey Would Tell You About Seduction if He Could Be Bothered:

1. Let's start with anticipation! That's about all of the deliciousness that come before you get your hands on your lover.  Yes, of course everyone knows that Foreplay is very important to a woman's sexual experience, but I'm not talk about how long you touch her breasts or how much attention you give her genitals (all good things!). I am talking about the sexy text in the middle of the afternoon. The hot request that she meet you at the bar wearing no underwear. I am talking the tenor of your voice when you tell how how much you are looking forward to stripping her slowly later on that night.  Learning to build anticipation is a skill that Christian Grey was masterful at. How can you build sexual tension in your relationship? Get her to simmer in her desire for you.

2. Let her know in her bones that she is the object of your desire. On other words; give your woman some attention! For many women, desire is the orgasm! Women want to know that they are wanted and that their lover thinks that they are sexy and beautiful. Communicate that to her: A Lot. Feeling valued is a turn on for many women. How can you show her that you value her?

3. Make sex important in your life.  Christian Grey has an entire room devoted to sex. How much space do you give sex in your life? Sex is about more penetration. Experiment with your fantasies and hers. Ask her to tell you her erotic secrets. Play games; such as asking her to bring three sexy toys or videos to your next erotic tryst! Give her a gift certificate to a sex toy shop and ask her to go shopping. This tip also build anticipation which was Tip One! How can you expand and shift up how you engage erotically with each other?  Seduction is sometimes about not know what will come next. Make sex about more than who climaxes first.

4. Dress for success! Christian Grey always looked good. When women put themselves together for a date or love making - they sweat the small stuff. How about you? I know a man who wears super hero underwear because they make him feel sexy! What are you putting on under your jeans? Dress to make yourself feel sexy and it I can almost guarantee that if you are feeling sexy - you will be sexy.

Fifty Shades of Gray: A Template For Non-Ethical Bd/Sm

I keep getting requests for me to write about "Fifty Shades of Gray" because many people know, that Bd/Sm is something that I personally explore and enjoy. And initially, I was thrilled when a book turned on a nation to kink and make it really alright to talk about spanking, and bondage. But here is the deal: Fifty Shades of Gray is a really bad template for how to bring this particular flavor of sex play into your life. The first thing to understand about the Bd/Sm Community (and yes there is a community of people who speak to each other, sex educators who specialize in Bd/Sm, conferences and workshops) is all about "Safe, Sane and Consensual".  It's always safety first, with an emphasis on safe words, understanding boundaries and both parties giving consent out of shared desire: not manipulation and fear. The importance of consent is simultaneously a personal, ethical, and  social issue. It's these details that  separate what is good sexy fun from abuse. So what's wrong with Fifty Shades of Gray? It's all about the constant manipulation of consent, violating boundaries, manipulation and fear. Those are the tools of Christian's Gray Bd/Sm tool box. And while the book may be a sexy read (it's fiction!),  we really don't want to have this as our template for hot sexy delicious consensual Bd/Sm sexual encounters and relationships.

So where does Christian get it wrong?


Christian consistently forces and manipulates consent out of the innocent, young virginal Anna.  In one scene Christian uses alcohol to gain consent out of Anna. There is nothing ethical about drawing consent out of someone that is not sober.

Christian gains consent out of Anna by playing on her fear of losing him when he presents her with a contract that she either has to sign or get out of his life. That is not true consent and there is no room for negotiation.  When we manipulate what we desire by pushing on the fear of loss or making it about "if you really cared about would do this or that" we are forcing consent.

In a healthy Bd/Sm relationship consent is either given out of a place of safety and desire or not. An experienced ethical Dominant in the Bd/Sm scene would never force consent unless that was a game that the partners were playing called "Consensual Non Consent" when the players consent to "being forced".   Consent is a big deal in the Bd/Sm community and Christian never took the workshop!

There is nothing more shunned in Bd/Sm Community than forcing or manipulating consent except perhaps a violation of ignoring "Safe Words" and Christian does that too.

Safe Words:

In healthy, safe, sane and consensual Bd/Sm "Safe Words" are  holy.  They allow the "submissive" to communicate with the Dominate in a very direct way. "Red" means stop. "Yellow" means slow down.  Of course any words can be chosen and agreed upon. And here is the golden rule. When a submissive or Dominant says "Red" it means HARD STOP.  Christian not only ignored Anna's safe word in one scene but he expressed anger at her need to hold her own boundaries.  That is sexual abuse and assault. That is not Bd/Sm.  Submissive's may withdraw their consent at any time.  In Fifty Shades, Anna actually begins to hide things from Christian out of fear of his jealousy and anger. To me, this is fifty shades of an abusive, dysfunctional relationship that has very little to do with Bd/Sm.

After Care:

Bd/Sm can be an intense experience for both the Dominant and the submissive. After some intense play "after care" which can include holding, cuddling, processing, and quiet time together is very important. Christian in more than one scene denies after care to Anna.

So what is the take away here? I think that Bd/Sm is powerful, delicious and sexy! And perhaps learning the "Rules of the Game" from a novel may not be the best step! There are fabulous "How to" books out there like "The Topping Book" and "The Bottoming Book" by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy. There  are workshops and conferences where you can learn "the ropes"!  There are even private sessions available by professionals that teach and offer these experiences one  on one or with couples.

If Fifty Shades of Gray turned you on; then great! It certainly exposed a great many people to what is possible in the world of kink. And let's face it - some of the scenes are very sexy. But it's fiction and not a very good template or role model for any "Dom" wanna be, or "Submissive" interesting in exploring the world of Bd/Sm.

Want to know more? Email me for a private complimentary consultation at  Maybe I can help.







Attention Seattle!

A series of workshops presented by the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture Arousal, Pleasure and Exchange with Pamela Madsen

Saturday, May 10 at 12:00pm

  • 18+

Pamela Madsen is a fearless advocate for women’s health and integrated sexuality. During her 25-year career, Pamela has leveraged her raw honesty and well-informed wit to help strip the stigma from infertility, female desire and pleasure, body image and weight. The willingness to use her personal struggles to have children, discover her innate sexuality and find self-esteem has made Pamela one of the most accessible and relatable figures in the vanguard of women’s wellness.

Join Pamela for 3 workshops over 3 days.

To learn more about the workshops and buy tickets go here!


Reclaiming My Surrender

I have been working with aspects of my own relationship with surrender for ten years now. When I finally was able to let go of my shame around my own erotic desires it sent me down a path of healing and transformation that shifted every part of my life. But that is not what this blog is about. Recently, a very powerful Dominance and submission (D/s) relationship ended abruptly for me. The man who I expressed my surrender to no longer was interested in me that way. It came as a powerful shock to my heart. I had no idea what I was suppose to do with all of this grief, and my desires around some of the ways that I express my relationship with surrender.  The relationship was filled with ritual; and one of those rituals was the wearing of a collar.

One of my counselors (yes, even life coaches have life coaches), suggested that I bury a symbol of my submission to this man. I choose the leather collar that was made especially for me by a beloved friend with a blue crystal hanging off of it. I loved my collar and what it represented.  Not only my submission to this man, but my relationship to surrender.

When I was released from my "collar" with this man, it seemed that the obvious thing was to bury the collar - as a way of letting go.

So I did it. I walked in the snow into the woods, with a candle, some sage and my beloved collar. I didn't bury it in the ground. I put it in a tree. The tree had this opening that reminded me of a vulva. So I did this ritual and put the collar inside the womb of the tree. I lit a candle, said some chants and buried it deep with leaves and twigs.

Over the next few weeks I checked on the collar. I removed it from the tree and wanted it back, but I told myself that this would be unhealthy.

Until today. Today it hit me like a ton of bricks. That was MY collar, not his. My collar represented the gift of my surrender. It was a gift, and he returned it. But it was always mine.

That's why it felt wrong to me to bury the collar, it was like burying an aspect of myself and giving it up because  this man didn't want it any more. It didn't mean that my relationship with surrender needed to end. It was not over because he choose not to engage with me around it.  Surrender was something that was totally mine, and I got to express it in any way that I choose to in my life. And if that collar was an important symbol to me, that I needed to go get it.

So, off I went to find that tree again in the woods. Since I had been in the woods, somebody in forestry had cut down a bunch of trees. I got really nervous, was the tree gone? At first I almost couldn't find it, but I just surrendered.....and there it was.

And after six weeks, the collar was inside the tree just where I left it. The tree had done a beautiful job holding the symbol of my gift. I thanked her, and let my hands touch the leather. The blue crystal was fabulous in the light.

My surrender is mine. It is a gift that I give to myself, and sometimes share with others. No one has the power to take that from me.

It was delicious to reclaim that today.