For the final frontier at Velvet, Lena and I spread the sumptuous aubergine curtain. We are in the bondage section.
The conservative faction of my mother instinct is reeling!—yet Lena is the very girl who just moments earlier identified the sleeve and the harness for her mother. In this section we note the variety of ropes, cuffs, chains, floggers, crops, spreaders, clamps. There are simply framed 8 ½ by 11 printouts indicating the store’s philosophy of bondage: that it must be safe and consensual in spite of its veneer of roughness and intimidation.
Lena is inspired to repeat to me a trope I have heard from her before—that there has to be tender mutual regard and respect at the basis of healthy bondage play. I gather that she has formed opinions about BDSM in discussions with her core group of curious, internet-savvy kids. These kids have hammered out a consensus about this matter at the lunch table. They are confident in their opinions as a result, and less lonely for their interests. I’m glad that the lunch lady didn’t tell them to knock it off, though I can’t imagine that she would have heard them over the lunchroom din.
I am reminded that Lena criticized Fifty Shades of Grey to me once or twice. She was incensed that it represented the lunatic fringe of BDSM as the mainstream, the veneer as substance. Lena obviously sympathizes with the mainstream, and I note happily that she’s on the side of the angels once more. Lena, on the other hand, just feels happy because Velvet does not carry Fifty Shades of Grey in the book or film version.