Fifty Shades of Physical and Emotional Abuse – The Dom

The long awaited Fifty Shades of Grey book review in which The Dom tries to articulate exactly how terrible every last aspect of this book is on every level.
Warning: This video is not very funny. I mean, theres an attempt to lighten the mood here and there but its mostly its just The Dom getting very VERY angry.

About The Dom

Reviewer of games, TV shows and movies. The Dom also likes to look at film adaptations of books and talk about what got lost transitioning from page to screen.


  1. Since I would never read this book, this video was interesting. Although, from what you’re saying, this book really needed an editor. Lastly, I remembered why I used to like Twilight as a teen: It took place in Washington state (where I live), Bella was written as a smart student in the books who liked classical music and rock, I liked the abstinence aspect, I liked the small hick town feel, and I used to like romance novels. That’s probably why this franchise doesn’t appeal to me. It has almost none of that.

  2. I’ve never read this damn thing and never wanted to but I’ve read reviews and some fairly detailed recaps by a blogger. If you know anything at all about domestic abuse, practically every interaction between the leads sets off a warning klaxon in your head. He does everything in the textbook except threaten to kill himself if she leaves and he comes pretty close to that one on occasion.

    And people who … erm, actually have that type of sex life are offended by this book? Doesn’t surprise me. Domestic abuse victims are offended, people who work with abuse victims are offended. And you know who else has the right to be offended by these damn books? Writers, that’s who.
    There are writers, both professional and amateur out there, who are actually bothering about things like pacing, foreshadowing, continuity, trying not to make exposition too clunky, balancing consistent characterisation with character development and making the leads actually interesting and likable who spend months on end writing and reading and rewriting and staying awake into the small hours to get more writing done.
    And then this complete hack vomits out three books worth of nonsense, doesn’t even bother to proof read and creates a bestseller. It’s disheartening.

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      I’m a writer, having had a book published, and I do feel depressed that someone who apparently put so little effort into their work is reaping so much greater rewards for it than I am. OTOH, that’s not her fault. It’s the fault of all those sexually-frustrated middle-aged women with shitty taste who bought her book because it was “naughty.” Ladies, I wrote a novel where a small furry creature with webbed ears has sex with a human female. That “naughty” enough for you? I am proud to say, however, that the lovers in my book have a much more healthy relationship based on mutual respect and affection than Christian and Anna do. But hey, Christian is rich and “hot,” and I guess that’s all that really matters.

      • I think that the reason the book did so well is because it wasn’t kinky. In fact, it appealed perfectly to a specific demographic that thinks the ideal partner is rich, handsome, and prizes his lover so much he becomes extremely possessive. The “bdsm” in this book, even if it were consensual and enjoyed by both parties (which it’s not) is extremely tame and mostly consists of spanking and some butt stuff. that’s because the book wasn’t for people into bdsm. it was written by a lonely house wife, for lonely house wives, who have probably never strayed any further as a sexual deviant. the book is set up so the reader can go “ooh spanking is naughty! i like spanking so i must be naughty too!” ugh. not trying to discredit the sexual power of furry, webbed eared lovers. I just think its a very niche market. I doubt most middle aged house wives fantasize about being pursued by a non-human or at least human-like person. I’m sure your work appeals much more to a younger audience, probably like its meant to. And from a publishers stand point, it started as fan-fiction. the forums acted like a test group, so they already knew it was wildly popular with a specific, albeit large, group of people. Also, because it was fan fiction they basically claimed copy right over it and tried to cut the original writer out of it entirely.

        • Snorgatch Pandalume

          Yeah, I imagine this book appeals to readers of trashy romance novels who want the excitement of feeling like they’re doing something they shouldn’t while not straying TOO far from safe territory. After all, it’s not like Christian Grey is BLACK or ASIAN, because God forbid! And of course he has to be rich and handsome, because why would you want anyone who wasn’t? He’s Prince Charming, but with a sinister, titillating dark side to make readers blush and shiver that they’re sampling forbidden fruit. But not TOO forbidden.

  3. Ah yes Fifty Shades of what the hell is wrong with you E.L. James? Do people that write this not had an experience of what a good relationship is? Because if they think that’s what a relationship is…I worry for those people. Really worry.

  4. You know how the series should end? The girl should turn into a giant firebird and obliterate the guy into a big smoking crater. That way, they could call it Fifty Shades of Jean Grey.

  5. Intellect and consideration for women are such turn-ons <3 I have a teeny nitpick that this video seems to assume that all of your Beautiful Watchers are heterosexual Beautiful Watchers, but that's just a little thing. You're fantastic and I'm actually glad you aren't putting yourself through the sequels.

  6. Christian ignoring Ana’s safewording is something in the third book, and I don’t think it was so much ignoring as getting angry at her and badgering her to retract it. I haven’t read the book or a sporking, and I don’t quite remember the quote or the context, but I have the vague impression that it wasn’t even in a sexual setting but her dealing with a stressful personal situation and he was ordering her around. Of course I could be completely wrong.

    Christian definitely never ignored Ana safewording in the first book, because in the first one she doesn’t seem to understand the concept of safewords, much less how to use them. But hey I’m sure that’s just fine and perfectly compatible with SSC BDSM.

  7. I’m curious where all the ANGER comes from with this series. Dom correctly spends this episodes detailing the flaws of Grey which is fine but isn’t the fact that he’s a flawed character part of the point?

    I could spend 20 minutes railing against Hannibal Lector’s actions too but I recognize that while he’s presented as a brilliant badass character, he’s never once meant to be a person we aspire to be like in real life.

    50 shades of grey is a story designed for entertainment. It’s not and never has been a guide to healthy sexual experimentation. In other words, hate the book because you dislike the story/characters/plot/writting…NOT because they don’t properly represent the intended consensual nature of BDSM.

    Edit: If the Hannibal Lector example is too extreme then consider many other examples in media that portray many many character flaws and yet still showcase a character we are meant to root for. Dom correctly mentions superheroes. Batman and Iron Man are excellent examples of horrible toxic people that deserve to be ranted against through their characters and actions and yet you’d never see an angry 30 minute review tearing apart Tony Stark in the Iron Man 1 marvel movie.

    • The flaws of Tony Stark as a person are called out on and the point is that he tries to do better.
      Christian’s relationship with Anastasia is represented as romantic and desirable.

    • disembodiedvoiceofreason

      The anger is because the author has incorrectly portrayed the BDSM lifestyle.

      • Did the book ever promise to portray it correctly though? Its the writers discretion on how they choose to use the subject of BDSM in their book. In this case the character of Christian knows about the BDSM lifestyle but CHOOSES not to follow it properly. I’m not convinced that’s worthy of criticism. Its simply the writers choice in the fictional world they’ve created.

        Again, I’m not defending the book here. I’m just questioning why this is worth getting angry about. The book has plenty of other completely valid reasons to hate it and The Dom even covered them.

    • To the best of my knowledge, neither the author or director of Silence of the Lambs book and movie ever tried to frame Hannibal Lector’s relationship with Clarice Starling as a “love story”!
      I second the point about Tony Stark by NostalgiaManiac.

    • You’re comparing apples to horse feces. 50 Shades is touted as a romance and Grey as some sort of romantic, masculine ideal. When in fact it’s a poorly written pile of puke that glorifies rape and abuse.

    • Babinro…the anger comes from what he said at the end. This book could end up hurting people. Probably already has. It feeds off people with low self-esteem and glorifies it as “Desirable.” IT IS NOT.

  8. thank you. thank you so much. I am a member of the bdsm community and have had to explain SO MANY times why 50 shades is a load of shit and could ultimately be harmful to readers who mis interpret the book’s abusive relationship for healthy bdsm. Even if the book’s fans agree that it’s not a good or accurate portrayal of bdsm, I still know people who try to argue that its ok because “Anastasia changes him in the end.” THATS NOT HOW A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WORKS! ugh. so thank you for giving me a source to cite and point people to, so I don’t have to keep explaining myself over and over.

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      Talk about setting up unrealistic expectations! Getting into a relationship thinking that you’re going to change your partner is a recipe for failure. Any marriage counselor can tell you this is a non-event. It simply isn’t going to happen. If that’s the message of this book, then it’s even more of a fantasy than mine is, and if its readers think this is any sort of guide to how relationships actually work, they’re being set up to be disillusioned and disappointed.

  9. disembodiedvoiceofreason

    Given some of my own extra curricular activities I have gotten to know a few dom(me)s and subs and can attest that fifty shades is horribly inaccurate. This is clearly written by a bored house wife with no clue what she was talking about.

  10. If you are interested in seeing a romance story containing BDSM Done right Go to DeviantArt and search for Sunstone its an awsome comic with some amazing art.

    • Seconded. Stjepan Šejić writes an incredible, human story, which happens to explain BDSM in a way almost anyone can “Get it,” but mostly he said he just started drawing something fun with two women talking to each other and then they wouldn’t shut up. 😛 One of the best romance BDSM stories out there (and it does mention the dangerous misconceptions of stories like 50 Shades, without actually naming the story. In fact, I think one of the lead characters almost fell out of her chair laughing when someone asked her a question of “So, what, you sign a contract and stuff, right?” XD)

  11. This book or books should be censored or burned on occasion. I am rather disgusted, angry and moderately jealous of the titular main character mostly because because he’s rich and horribly can do whatever he wants without any hints of sin feeling like some complete, psychotic and abusive to the core, issue-filled, unrepentant Don Juan.

  12. I’m still a virgin at the age of 27 so I admittedly have no experience all of this stuff and sexual abusive concepts associated with this modern erotic bad literature except now I sort of do thanks to you smart, wise Online cinema and literature critic reviewers like you who are mostly white males, but that maybe better thing in our modern, morally confused, ultra corrupted world.This “erotic romance” novel considered genuine literature written by a white, British fat or slightly chubby or middle-aged woman no less may sounds so unsexy, unlovingly disturbing and horrible to even one like me who often sometimes desires sex out of pure carnal love (like a one or two-night stands) even if it doesn’t blossom into old-fashioned true, romantic, mutual love and marriage with a woman I would certainly try to treasure and treat equally more often than not. I feel bad about thinking to compare this mess to a Beauty and the Beast type-story. (Possibly Mankind’s oldest told stories in the world everywhere even the more modern 18th century French version) Because the main idea of those stories is through fear for each other, patience, and mutual trust, the male and female characters both literally and metaphorically become better human beings, and the magic spell breaks on the animal monster through equal love he although momentarily at first gets his redemption as a human being with a soul and stuff like that even if the Prince in his Beast form was not originally mean in the French fairy-tale text, even a plucked rose was the catalyst (How I as a Russian-American even know and understand that word) for these events. By the way Anastasia is a Greek-based Russian name, you do realize that, but yeah it’s still shit butt-ugly bad literature.

  13. God this whole FSOG love annoys the hell out of me. You are right Dom, that is not how BDSM should work. Consensual, mutually respectful BDSM is totally fine – if that’s a couple’s kink then roll with it (emphasis being COUPLE). I read the book – it sounded exactly like a workmate’s abusive relationship (he even tracked her car when they weren’t together) and ended up nearly strangling her. He got arrested. Christian Grey, I can totally see doing the same thing and he’s somehow a romance hero? NO. No. No.

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