"More men are submissives than women," Dornan tells Elle U.K.

By Amanda Michelle Steiner
Updated January 02, 2015 03:20 PM
Jeff Hahn/ELLE UK

Fifty Shades of Grey revolves around a relationship in which a woman is engaged in a sexually (and otherwise) submissive relationship with a successful businessman whose fetishes include using whips, paddles, and physical restraints.

However, that doesn’t mean the content of the film is anti-feminist.

At least, not according to Jamie Dornan, who plays Christian Grey in the highly anticipated film.

“I can understand why people say tying a woman up and spanking her is misogynistic,” Dornan tells Elle U.K. in its February issue, on newsstands now. “But actually, more men are submissives than women. Very powerful men. It’s a far bigger scene than I imagined.”

Adds Dornan: “In pretty much any city in the world that you could name, people want to get spanked with a paddle with studs on it.”

Dornan would know: He reveals that he visited actual sex dungeons in preparation for his role. “I went there, they offered me a beer, and they did whatever they were into. I saw a dominant with one of his two submissives,” he tells the magazine.

Of course, Fifty Shades of Grey is not all blindfolds and ball gags.

“The love story is more important than the BDSM aspect,” Dornan says. “I mean, we are going to tell a love story, you know, it can’t just be what happens in the Red Room, that’s not a film.”

“There’s so much more going on than that,” he adds.

The film, based on a trilogy written by E.L. James that first found life on the Web as Twilight fan fiction, hits theaters on Feb. 13 – just in time for Valentine’s Day.