Fifty Shades alive and well in Mzansi

2015-02-15 15:00

In Kattman’s* bedroom, nothing is out of bounds.

If he wants to handcuff Miss Lynn* to a bed and blindfold her, she obliges. If he wants to tie her up and lightly flog her with a whip or spank her, she obeys.

Some people might consider this abuse and humiliation, but for them “it’s the expression of our love for each other”.

The couple are a real-life Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, the amorous pair at the centre of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise.

But he’s not a multimillionaire and she’s not a naive college student – the Joburg pair run a business together. At work, she’s the boss. At home, it’s a different story.

“What we do in the bedroom might seem like abuse to those who know little about it, but people involved in BDSM genuinely care about their partner’s pleasure and wellbeing,” Kattman told City Press.

He and Miss Lynn, who was at work and couldn’t attend the interview, asked that personal details, such as their ages and the suburb they were from, be kept out of this story.

“When we engage in these sex acts it is not about exercising power over our partners or abusing them, but expressing our love and appreciation for each other,” he said.

They’re in a dom-sub relationship, part of the BDSM – bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism – lifestyle.

Kattman is the dominant and Miss Lynn submits, giving him the ultimate authority over their sex life.

But he insists this authority does not override consent.

“In BDSM, the submissive partner is supposed to give consent to be part of a sex act, always. Consent is one of the fundamental concepts of BDSM – safe, sane and consensual.

“Miss Lynn has to give her consent. If she feels uncomfortable during the act, she tells me to stop and I do immediately.

“We talk about it to find out why it was uncomfortable for her and if she would consider doing it another way or not.”

Kattman said he understood why some in the BDSM scene disapproved of Fifty Shades of Grey, because it painted a sometimes inaccurate picture of a master-slave relationship.

“In the movie, Anastasia enters into a BDSM contract without giving consent or understanding the full implication thereof.

“In the BDSM community, we always advise people who have contracts, either verbal or written, to make sure all parties give their consent and understand what they’re getting into.”

These contracts are used to outline exactly what is expected, desired and allowed in a master and slave interaction.

Kattman and Miss Lynn, who have been together for three years, do not have a contract. They met on a BDSM website.

Miss Lynn was curious and new to the scene, while Kattman had been active in it for 30 years.

He works as the dungeon master during monthly Sound Barrier parties (BDSM events) in Midrand, applying the same rules there as he does in his own bedroom.

“The party safe words are ‘green’ (please go ahead), ‘orange’ (take care) and ‘red’ (stop immediately),” he said.

“The rules that apply at the party are applied at my house and [those who are into] BDSM should be applying them always to avoid any kind of abuse.”

“Miss Lynn had fantastic questions about BDSM. For months we chatted about anything and everything until we decided to meet face to face. Our friendship then blossomed into an amazing relationship.”

The two are engaged to be married.

 *?Not their real names

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