For Valentine’s Day, my wife and I went to see Fifty Shades of Grey, mostly to find out what all the fuss was about. But unlike so many of the snobby critics who claim to have been bored by the sex scenes or insulted by the movie’s shameless stupidity, my wife and I left the theater inspired. Maybe some of the tricks in the movie could spice up our sex life, we thought—maybe, rather than rolling our eyes and laughing at the gymnastic lovemaking of Anastasia and Christian, we should give it a try.
As soon as we got home, I sat down at my computer and began hammering out a legal contract both of us could sign before engaging in the sort of sadomasochistic shenanigans enjoyed by the movie’s bold protagonists. Boilerplate language on bondage and S&M is hard to find on the internet, though, so I was up until until 3 a.m. cutting and pasting contractual legalese from domestic-abuse lawsuits and various case rulings on date rape and sexual harassment, as well as suits involving allergies to such substances as leather, shellfish, peanuts, and various formulations of petroleum jelly.
A lawyer buddy of mine looked over the documents to make sure they were legally binding (so to speak), and as soon as they were signed and notarized, we set about creating our own little playroom of decadent desire.
The basement was the only possible space in our house to set up a dedicated sex room, so I spent most of Sunday turning it into the sort of place that inspires wild carnal abandon. I couldn’t get a dumpster delivered on Sunday, so I ended up piling all the junk that had accumulated over the years in the basement on top of all the junk already stored in the garage. After all the junk in the basement was removed, it was clear we’d had some water seepage over the summer, because there was a lot of mold along the baseboards. A couple of hours of scrubbing with bleach took care of the problem, but then I had to air the basement out for a few hours to get rid of the bleach smell. Turns out we have a wee bit of a mouse problem in the basement as well, so I set out some glue traps and put a box of D-Con down near the furnace.
There’s no bed in the basement, but there is an old fold-out couch down there that I figured would do the trick. Both of us were eager to try the whole handcuffs/blindfold/whip thing, so I pushed the couch over near the radiator, because that was the only household fixture to which I could handcuff my beloved. As I was pushing the couch, however, I felt something pop in my hip and a pain shot down my leg. The numb, buzzy feeling in my foot went away after a couple of hours, but the hip thing stuck with me for the rest of the day. A little pain has never gotten in the way of our pleasure, though, so I took three ibuprofen and headed out to get some sex-game supplies.
I’m no tech millionaire, unfortunately, and money has been tight lately, so some compromises were necessary. The prices at the local sex-fantasy store were straight-up crazy, so I headed over to the AxMan surplus store to see what I could find in the way of substitute sex stuff. Gold mine! I picked up a couple of mechanic’s rags for blindfolds, made a crop/cat-o’-nine-tails thing out of a drumstick and some kid’s bike-handle tassles, and fashioned a set of handcuffs out of the parts from a dismantled engine manifold. Total bill: $3.79.
My wife and I were so eager to experience the illicit pleasures of bondage that we wasted no time getting down to the basement—and down to business. The dogs needed to be fed first, of course, and then let out to do their business. But after that, we were free to indulge our wildest fantasies. Turns out the basement is a little on the chilly side for the sort of taboo-testing we had in mind, though, so I had to haul a couple of space heaters downstairs. While we waited for the basement to warm up, we decided on our “safe” word—asparagus—and set some ground rules. I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that accommodations needed to be made for my wife’s bursitis, and I needed to remind my beloved that I get a headache when she uses that lotion that smells like coconuts.
With those details out of the way, and the basement warmed up, we were finally ready to commence our carnal adventure. I blindfolded my bride with one of the mechanic’s rags (which I thought were clean, but my wife claimed smelled like motor oil), and secured her to the radiator using the clever contraption I had made out of old engine parts. After about 10 seconds, my wife claimed that the metal rings were cutting into her wrist and asked that I loosen them. This turned out to be impossible. Apparently, in my eagerness to embrace my role as Christian Grey, master of erotic danger, I had welded the metal joints a little too securely. I tried prying them with everything I could think of, and ran through a couple of hacksaw blades, but nothing in my tool shed was up to the task.
The guys from the fire department were actually pretty nice about the whole thing. To make us feel better, they let us know that ours was the sixth such call they’d gotten since the release of the movie, so we weren’t alone. They complimented me on my handcuff contraption, which only yielded to the power of their biggest bolt-cutter. After bandaging my wife’s wrists, the kind EMT lady recommended spreading Neosporin on the wounds every few hours. And the fireman our dog bit promised he wasn’t going to press charges.
My wife and I still want to try some of the things we saw in Fifty Shades of Grey. Movies always simplify and trivialize the magical complexity of a good novel, so, after discussing it, we both agreed that we should read the book before attempting any more erotic adventures—at least the ones that require extra equipment. So tomorrow we’re headed to Barnes & Noble, where we hope to be inspired once again to indulge our deepest, darkest desires—which, at this point, is a cup of good coffee and a fresh cinnamon scone.