The Red Room
The Red Room
Photo courtesy of Doug and pam.

Grandparents' Journey From Vanilla Sex to BDSM

Have you ever thought, “Why do I want to be spanked?” Pam did. But she kept thoughts like these to herself throughout a 43-year happy marriage complete with kids and grandkids. Pam met her husband Doug, a war vet, when she was seventeen years old. For over three decades, their sex life was pure "vanilla."

“I was raised in a super-religious environment, and I was a virgin when we got married. I never masturbated before then or anything like that,” she says. And Doug, who has written over 20,000 pages of nonfiction history, was equally as conservative. It wasn’t until after reading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy that Pam felt her fantasies were validated. She soon asked reluctant Doug to treat her like he was Christian Grey, the handsome billionaire dom from the erotic novels.

Sex toys in the Red Room.
Sex toys in the Red Room.
Photo courtesy of Doug and pam.

“I’m old-school,” Doug says. “I’ve never hit a woman in my life, and the idea of hurting Pam was absolutely abhorrent to me.” At the time, what Doug misconstrued about BDSM is that the sessions are not so much about pain as they are about sensation, Pam says.

“Fear triggers adrenaline, so that introduces the adrenaline rush into your playtime, which really heightens your sensation of everything else,” Doug says. “The pain factor gets the endorphins going and leads to what they sometimes call subspace, a total euphoria. ... [Endorphins and adrenaline], they are the body’s natural high.”

After some education and coaxing, the once timid Doug transformed into Sir D, a confident dom who uses torches to get his wife off. He told pam (yes, the lowercase "p" is intentional), his sub, where they would eat, what she would wear and what they would do in the bedroom – but not before discussing their limits beforehand – all with the purpose of pleasing her. Sir D and pam dove into a world of leather and latex. They went to swingers' clubs, which turned out not to be their thing, and visited public dungeons. It’s now been six years since they became part of the lifestyle, and their stocked dungeon has “enough Fifty Shades type of play to keep you busy for a lifetime.”

The Colorado couple’s personal Red Room is inspired by Christian Grey’s room in the books and movies. Red fabric lines the walls. Large vibrators sit on a table under a peg board stocked with paddles, whips and a Wartenberg wheel, a tool with tiny spikes used to roll over the skin.

Photo courtesy of Doug and pamEXPAND
Photo courtesy of Doug and pam
The Reluctant Husband's Guide to Becoming Christian Grey

Sir D and pam released a book, The Reluctant Husband’s Guide to Becoming Christian Grey, the story of their transition into the culture and a treasure trove of BDSM tips and lessons. The comprehensive guide uses humor to educate the reader on a world that may be taboo but is rooted in communication and consent, since in order to participate in BDSM, the dom and sub have to fully trust each other

“Most couples think that honest communication is the key to a happy relationship, but they don't understand that honest communication does not mean just talking honestly," Doug says. "It means talking completely, being unafraid to be vulnerable enough to each other and admit that you have thoughts, desires, fantasies that some people might think are strange, but you need to have the comfort level with your partner to not hold anything back.”

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