Why true subs hate Anastasia Steele
First, don’t be offended by the strong language. “Hate” means more or less “annoyed” at the idea of Anastasia Steele.
Why does she annoy us?
Because she gives true subs (“submissives”) or “alpha subs” (strong alpha women in life, submissives in the bedroom) a bad name.
Why? Because she can never make up her friggin’ mind.
BDSM play is all about boundaries. If you don’t know how to, or aren’t willing to set boundaries, it is a recipe for disaster.
There is a scene in the movie where Ana seemingly takes control by negotiating across a long board room table, going over in minute detail her “contract” with Christian, marking out things that are a “no” for her. He seems genuinely amused by the whole thing.
Coy, flirty banter is fun, but if it gets in the way of setting secure boundaries, it can be a liability. BDSM play should be negotiated at arms length in a matter of fact way and the assertion of boundaries by a sub is not “cute,” sexy, or used as a bargaining chip. There is no quid pro quo in a healthy relationship, nor in a BDSM relationship. If a sub doesn’t want to even try anal, the Dom ain’t gonna even go there. If for example, nipple clamps are a hard no, the Dom will not press the issue in play. It is off the table. A dominant can push boundaries, but not cross them.
Now, the problem with new subs is that sometimes you don’t know what you might want or like if you never tried it before. That is where soft boundaries come into play. This communicates to the Dom that he can push her boundaries in that area of play, but that he might be met with a full hard stop “red”.
So, knowing these parameters, let’s go back to Anastasia and Christian.
Ana spends almost all of the movies (disclaimer – I could not read the books due to my distaste for the writing) in a state of perpetual push and pull between her head and her heart. Ok, this is good for dramatic tension for movies, bad for BDSM.
She puts up with Christian’s bad behavior because she loves him. She never “chooses” to be a sub because SHE wants to be a sub, rather for him. But hey, that is how a lot of people get into kink – one of their partners was into it and introduced them to it. (Also note: Early on we never hear him instruct her on safe words and she never uses them. Which leaves us with the impression that he has carte blanche if she simply goes to the red room.)