The 50 Shades trilogy is entrenched in the top three spots on Amazon's Kindle chart, but a number of e-books with BDSM elements have also crept into the top 100. As of July 17, excluding the 50 Shades books, there were seven titles with BDSM themes in the top 100, which means that, including E.L. James's books, more than one out of 10 bestselling Kindle books fell into this category.So it seems that a full 10% of the current top 100 top selling titles for Kindle have some BDSM as a part of their content, the 7 books listed along with the full 50 Shades series. I'm not exactly sure what to make of this trend, on it's surface it would seem rather promising, if nothing else than to indicate a higher level of acceptance for BDSM than we've ever before experienced as a community.
The seven non-50 Shades e-books included Sylvia Day's Bared to You, which was #8, and that book's upcoming sequel, Reflected in You (#65). Day's books are published by Penguin and are the only two that have print versions. The other five BDSM titles in the top 100 are e-book only and are $2.99 and under. The seven titles, all of which were published after Vintage rereleased the 50 Shades books in April 2012, are as follows:
Bared to You by Sylvia Day (#8)
Anything He Wants by Sara Fawkes (#25)
Training Tessa by Lyla Sinclair (#28)
By His Desire by Kate Grey (#62)
Anything He Wants 2 by Sara Fawkes (#63)
Reflected in You by Sylvia Day (#65)
Anything He Wants 3 by Sara Fawkes (#68)
On Amazon's print chart, the only similarly themed title (outside of Day's books) is Marisa Bennett's Fifty Shades of Pleasure: A Bedside Companion, landing at #66.
I guess acceptance is good, if you're into that sort of thing. I've always enjoyed being a rebel and doing things that were considered risky or dangerous. Oh please don't get me wrong, my risks are always calculated and tempered with competency in technique, but I liked to travel the edge.
When I started combining bondage and sex at age 17 in 1980 I was heading down an pretty indistinct path, a road less traveled The path I trekked down was like a foot path, I wasn't breaking ground, but there were not masses beating the bush to follow in my footsteps either.
Some folks would call it "progress" but that foot path slowly became wider and more distinct, as I've aged it's grown in various stages to the point where the popularity of BDSM is starting to approach superhighway status. As a community we have more choices and options than ever before . . . But as the BDSM community becomes more and more mainstream, I also lose the sense that I'm playing on the edge, and that leaves me feeling a bit ambivalent.
I feel somewhat similar emotions when a band I've enjoyed for years turns the corner from semi-popularity to stardom. It's great to have my tastes and predilections validated with popularity, but it seems that along with mass appeal and acceptance there often comes a certain sort of blandness and loss of direction that can accompany commercialism.
I guess that's my fear, that we're about to become a commodity rather than a community. I see signs of it happening with individuals attempting to ride the coattails of the 50 Shades phenomena with not only a bedside companion, but now even an alternative lifestyles personal life coach running "50 Shades of Curious" seminars.
This isn't exactly what I'd envisioned when I said to my friend Cherub, some 20 odd years ago, that the BDSM community needed to get organized, that we were a generation behind the GLBT community in fighting for acceptance.
Bringing to mind the the title of this piece . . .