Red flags… red flags everywhere…

Look, I get it: sometimes you just want to tell a story where everything goes the way you fantasized it. But there are limits.

Recently I watched a mostly-terrible movie called 7th Secret. I’m not really going to talk about the acting, or most of the plot, or the ridiculous things that happened to get the story rolling. Instead, I’m going to tell you all the red flags I remember seeing, red flags that anyone in the spanking or BDSM community should see and immediately say “fuck, not this bullshit again”. Depictions of BDSM that seem to proudly display red flags hurt us all, and I’m really tired of them.

  1. The male “protagonist” sensually touches the female protagonist’s arm in passing while she is with her husband, sister, and sister-in-law, after finding out where she does her open mic nights. This is portrayed as “sexy”. Negatory, good buddy.
  2. When the female protagonist enters the kinky club, we don’t see anything about vetting, showing ID, agreeing to a code of conduct, any of that stuff. She just walks right in.
  3. The kinky club has alcohol being sold and consumed. I know some clubs allow this, but playing while intoxicated is generally a no-no.
  4. The club manager and one of the “professional” dominatrices sit down with the female protagonist to have a glass of wine and try to convince her not to get involved in kink. Most club owners/managers are thrilled when new people come in.
  5. The owner of the club employs his ex-wife as manager. Why would either of you do this in the first place?
  6. I’ve never been in a BDSM club where there are close-able doors. Sex clubs, yes, but BDSM? And yet, when the female protagonist gets her first-ever spanking, she allows the male “protagonist” to close a curtain, hiding their activities from view.
  7. He hits her pretty hard for a first-ever spanking that isn’t a punishment. He’s supposed to be this experienced guy; he should know not to start out just whaling away.
  8. There’s video being taken in the private rooms, using hidden/security cameras.
  9. Somehow, owning and managing a BDSM club that isn’t mobbed every single night allows the manager to have a really nice house in a nice area, and the owner to not have to work during the day (it seems) while still paying child support, supporting himself, and keeping the club open. There must be money laundering going on or something.
  10. The club manager blackmails the female protagonist, and the female protagonist thinks this is exciting, not horrifying.

There are more red flags, but those are the ones I remember right now. Almost any of these would lead to a giant kerfuffle on Fetlife, followed by the club and/or its owner and/or manager being blackballed. I mean, I’ve been to events where there have been kerfuffles over much less than any of these red flags. Seriously, if you’re going to make a movie about someone’s first exploration of a kinky club, at least try to make it realistic. Doing the opposite makes it worse for all of us.

I will say that the movie has a couple of good scenes in it, though. The one where the female protagonist shouts “will you just smack my ass!” at her husband is probably felt deeply by many, many unsatisfied spanko wives. The scene of the manager using impact play to push her to an emotional catharsis is pretty accurate. And the first scene with the owner and his kid is really cute. But overall, this movie doesn’t do the spanking community any favors, and there aren’t enough kinky scenes with enough detail in them to make up for it. There’s not a single bare butt in the whole movie.

Oh, and I remember seeing exactly one black person in the entire movie, though I might have missed one in a crowd scene somewhere. So that’s not great. And no trans* people. I don’t think I’ve been to a single event in the past year that had more than 20 people at it where there wasn’t at least one trans* person (and often there are many more). The spanko community traditionally hasn’t had a lot of trans* people visibly active in it, but if you’re going to make a movie about kink, at least try to make it inclusive.

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