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Christian Is A Sub, Tape Is For Amateurs And More Lessons A Dominatrix Taught Us About 'Fifty Shades Of Grey'

'Nobody in their right mind uses duct tape...that's not sexy time at all.'

By now, the critics have had their say and you've read plenty about how funny Dakota Johnson is as Anastasia Steele in "Fifty Shades of Grey," as well as exactly what level of smolder Jamie Dornan brings to the table as Christian. E.L. James' original novel, the basis for the new movie, has been on bookshelves for years, discreetly read on trains or before bedtime. We all have the basic premise, if not more, down pat.

More likely than not, however, your life is a little more vanilla than Christian and Ana's whirlwind romance of helicopters, lavish gifts and bondage. To get more insight into the movie, MTV News turned to Ms. Nina Payne, a professional dominatrix, author, educator and CEO of Domi Dollz, which presents workshops for those interested in learning more about kink.

Payne accompanied us to a screening of "Fifty Shades" and sat down to chat after. Here's what we learned from her.

  1. Christian Grey would probably be a sub in real life.

    Let's get the shocking revelation out of the way first: Christian may be a control freak in the boardroom, but usually, in Payne's experience, the opposite is true in the bedroom.

    "A lot of dominants [...] aren't necessarily CEOs of Fortune 500 companies," Payne said. "In fact, the submissives that come to see me usually are in more positions of power and they like to take a break from that role. They want to just let go and have me take control and lead them through this fantasy where they can just totally let go. So seeing that Christian Grey was this extremely successful man in a high-powered position [who] also wants to be like that in his personal life, I found that to be not something that I come across very often in my work."

    So...uber-Dom Christian would be more likely to be a sub? "Mhmm," Payne assented.

  2. Duct tape is for amateurs.

    Fans went wild for the scene in which Christian shows up at Ana's job at the hardware store to stock up on his kink supplies. He buys zip ties, rope and tape. Payne agreed that when it comes to refilling bondage supplies, Home Depot is the place for a bargain.

    "I do get a lot of my stuff at Home Depot, because buying stuff on BDSM websites can be really expensive. I get my rope at Home Depot. It's great, great rope. I get my rope there, and my zip ties, you know," she said. However, there's one amateur mistake Christian makes in the scene: buying tape.

    "There's something called bondage tape and it looks like duct tape but it doesn't stick to the skin, it sticks to itself, so you don't have to worry about causing any pain," she said. "Nobody in their right mind uses duct tape, nobody does. That is serial killer kind of stuff. We use bondage tape. It's both a very smooth surface and it sticks to itself. It's very easy to use and you can just cut it off or whatever, but with duct tape it's adhesive and can irritate your skin. That's not a sexy time at all. That's not the pain you're going for."

    Good thing Ana struck that one from the contract.

  3. The movie is good entertainment, but not without its issues.

    Payne said she was surprised by how much she enjoyed the film, saying she was "pleasantly entertained by it overall," but that she didn't think all of it was accurate.

    "It is a fantasy, obviously," she said. "The fact that the dominant is this billionaire, perfect looking sort of guy... it's definitely a fantasy for women to think of that sort of character, it's not really realistic at all. As with the book, just like in the movie, the things that I have problems with is the fact that he claims to be a dominant and conducts himself in that way with that sort of title but I feel like it maybe sets the wrong image of what dominants are, considering myself to be a dominant and considering that I would never be as intrusive and stalkerish as Christian Grey. I respect my submissives' space and privacy and that sort of stuff. In that regard, that sort of stalker showing up unannounced already in the house, or at the hotel to interrupt time with her mother, things like that, it just doesn't create the real image of what being a dominant is."

    She also disliked the depiction of Christian coming from an abusive background, enforcing the stereotype that people who are into BDSM and kink are damaged in some sort of way.

    "Most people depicted in movies that are involving BDSM usually have some sort of background that's involving abuse in their background, or their tortured, troubled soul, and even Anastasia didn't have a father in the early years of her life because he passed away, which leads to be imagined that she has daddy issues. These sort of dynamics are typical in movies that talk about kink and BDSM. It gets a little tiresome, because so many people in the community have healthy mental states."

  4. It's about the give and take. Mostly the give.

    Christian repeatedly insists in the movie that the things he wants to do to Ana are not only for his pleasure, but for hers as well. However, we never see her or hear mention of her having an orgasm -- a common occurrence in the book -- and she submits to spankings and bondage more to make him happy, though she does get some pleasure out of it. (With the exception of the film's final BDSM scene.)

    The pain is not the point, Payne says.

    "The thing with being a dominant is that we do generally like to assume the position of control... but we really don't get off in people who aren't interested in taking the other side. Part of the image of being a dominatrix is that I'm a taker, I get everything I want, everyone does what I want, but I actually take the interests of my submissive into consideration and I actually use those interests to bring him pleasure and bring him joy. In the sessions that I do, I'm the giver in the relationship. I'm the one guiding the fantasy, their fantasy. If I was playing with somebody and spanking them and they started crying in a bad way, and they weren't happy, I would instantly stop. It wouldn't be an enjoyable thing for me whatsoever. Most dominants like to assume that position, but they also enjoy the joy and the pleasure that they bring to the submissive. I didn't really feel that as much in the movie. It was more about what he wanted and his needs, it felt unbalanced."

  5. Sex-positive is a positive thing.

    While the depiction of kink in "Fifty Shades" is far from perfect, according to Payne, the sex-positive aspect of the film and the discussions the books and movie have started has had an overall positive impact on society.

    "I do appreciate that the movie has opened people's minds and gotten them interested in at least exploring the possibility of kink, because I think it has such a negative stigma to a lot of people," Payne said. "'Pulp Fiction,' the whole 'bring out the gimp,' whips and chains, that's the sort of stigma that people have about kink, that that's all it is, that it's just that extreme sort of play. But ['Fifty Shades'] at least shows a different side and it intensifies gradually. It's not like he's wearing a leather hood and she's being strung up from the ceiling. I think it's positive for people to see that it can be sexy and it can be thrilling and it doesn't necessarily have to mean you are gonna be humiliated or you're going to be in a lot of pain if you engage in it."

  6. Where do we go from here?

    "Fifty Shades" is only the beginning. While it's the most mainstream that kink has gone, there are other books and movies Payne recommends, for those who are interested. For one, there's James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal's movie "Secretary," which she called "a very sweet movie about these two people who have these desires and don't know how to make them work in the real world." If the written word is more your thing, try the "Sleeping Beauty" trilogy by Anne Rice, written under the pen name A. N. Roquelaure.

    The best non-porn BDSM erotica, however, is yet to come, Payne says.

    "There isn't really a go-to movie that really encapsulates what it means to be involved in BDSM and kink. It's always very sensationalized. That's a shame because finding kink has been the best thing that ever happened to me. It's gotten me in touch with who I am, and it's very empowering and very freeing and it's a lot of fun."

"Fifty Shades of Grey" hits theaters February 13.