Life is difficult enough without having to spend the majority of your waking hours searching for Mr. or Ms. Right Now. If you want to know what to avoid in your relationship, just watch ’50 Shades of Grey’ or the recent incarnation ’50 Shades Darker.’

Although these films are specifically targeted for women in my age bracket, I have to say that they are just slightly ridiculous. I found myself laughing out loud at the implausibility of many of the situations so sorry, Hollywood. Although I am in that glorious demographic now, this girl needs intelligent entertainment. That is sexy.  If I wanted pretty colors and scantily clad people in my world, I would just watch ads for perfume non-stop or move to South Beach.

Every experience provides opportunities for learning. Viewing movies about the joys of S&M is no different.  Here are my top takeaways from this odyssey. You’ll thank me later.

  1. Interviewing someone does not lead to a passionate love affair. If you watch the first installment of the ’50 Shades’ series, you think that all it takes to land your perfect guy or girl is a ruse such as “Let me interview you for my college newspaper.” I am here to tell you that doesn’t work. I am a contributing writer for a website and in the past, I have done my share of profile pieces. Never once have they lead to stalking or steamy strange encounters in a hardware store.
  2. When someone says they have very specific tastes, this is a HUGE red flag. To me this could mean a variety of things, all of them equally scary. Does specific mean that you keep former dates locked up in your basement or that you enjoy a fine wine and a good book? I don’t know. Either way, creepazoid, you and I are not going to be an item.
  3. Contracts. You heard me correctly. This is a word that sounds very clinical and professional. We are just going for dinner and a movie not a corporate takeover. Furthermore, if you are proposing an arrangement for a Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes kind of situation count me out. In ’50 Shades’ this was the binding factor for Anastasia’s role as the submissive to Christian’s dominant. I have been a part of some strange scenes but sorry, I am taking a hard pass on this one.
  4. If you and your new partner are enjoying a lovely evening Netflix and chilling, and he or she has a room that they want to show you, be careful particularly if a key is involved. Why? Who does this? Someone with a secret. Probably a very dark secret. Maybe you are the adventurous type. You want to see what’s behind door number one. Go for it but when you see medieval contraptions, whips, chains, get the hell out of there as fast as you can. Unless, you happen to be in to that sort of thing then you’ve hit the jackpot!
  5. Now a little discussion about ‘safe’ words. For those of you who may not be familiar with this term, this is usually applied in situations of vigorous extracurricular activities, if you catch my drift. Usually if something happens that isn’t pleasing, a word like ‘coffee’ can be used. For example, an action causes some unpleasant sensation then ‘coffee’ should be uttered. This is one of those little discussions that Christian has with Anastasia before they get down to business in his ‘play’ room.  If for whatever reason, you find yourself yelling ‘COFFEE’ loud enough for the neighbors to think that you want them to brew you a cup, you may need to re-examine your life choices.
  6. Diet is a four-letter word. In today’s fitness conscience society, it is extremely important to feed your body the proper fuel sources that it requires. I get it. However, if you are in a relationship and your significant other decides exactly what you eat and when that is just bonkers. Unless he or she is a personal trainer and you are doing an upcoming nude scene in a movie or a photo shoot for a fashion magazine, eat whatever the hell you want.
  7. Extravagant gift giving is fine if you are able to do so. If you are Sir or Lady Moneybags of Monopoly and you have tons of dough then a nice Rolex watch or some sort of shiny, baubley, trinket type object is warranted. However, if you gift the potential object of your affections with a car that is going overboard and might be a tad excessive. As much as it sounds cool to get that convertible Mercedes from your own Christian Grey it sets off warning bells that this person might just be obsessed. Remember if he or she can’t have you, no one else can. Yikes!

I hope you found these suggestions helpful. Yes, love is a many splendored thing but if it involves handcuffs, be very cautious…. or not.

What was your opinion of the ’50 Shades of Grey’ experiences? Sexy or ludicrous? Feel free to let me know what you think. You can holler at me at or hit me up on Twitter @SusanontheLedge. 

Published by Susan Leighton Woman on the Ledge