FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

50 Shades of Holy Crap

It seems like the biggest fans of 50 Shades of Grey are those who have not actually read the book. As a writer and avid reader, I confess I found it to be 50 Shades of Torture, and not the erotic kind. After wading through bogs of insipid phrases like “holy crap,” “oh my!” and “inner goddess,”  without a trace of irony, about 40 times each, I found myself begging for a blindfold just so I didn’t have to read anymore.

But as a sex therapist, I give a thumbs-up to anything that gets my clients–and millions of “regular” people around the world–excited about sex, desire, masturbating, communicating, reigniting moribund marital love lives, exploring sex toys, fetish and fantasy roleplay. There’s no doubt that 50 Shades has accomplished an  important feat in the world of erotica, whether or not its fans read all those crappy words. And I tip my hat to that. Just please don’t make me read it again!

Some BDSM purists are upset that 50 Shades doesn’t properly represent a consensual Dominance/submissive relationship. No doubt it doesn’t. But it’s a fantasy, a modern patriarchal fairy tale dressed up in grey silk and red leather, now playing in the erotic theater of the mind. In many arenas of life, especially in fantasy, the ideal is the enemy of the real. People interested in negotiating real BDSM will get as much out of 50 Shades of Grey as people interested in building a real relationship get out of reading a Harlequin novel.

However, though Christian Grey does not appear to have taken the prerequisite seminars in BDSM contract negotiations before binding, whacking and verbally abusing the innocent virginal object of his desires, Anastasia is always free to leave her gilded cage. She might not approve of the BDSM activities her lust object prefers, at least not at first, but no one is forcing her to hang out with this guy and his billions. Moreover, in the end (and yes, I confess I skipped a lot of “holy crap” to skim to the end), she accomplishes her goals of romance and marriage. So in a way, this politically incorrect, male-dominant fairy tale actually empowers its female protagonist, certainly a lot more than that great literary BDSM classic (which doesn’t show a speck of crap), Story of O.

Though I didn’t care for 50 Shades, the novel, I really loved 50 Shades: The Musical, a gently hilarious parody of the book. So I am open to seeing the film. Since it doesn’t involve any reading, I might just enjoy it and find myself squealing “Holy Crap!” in the midst of my next orgasm. Sapiosexuality notwithstanding, what turns us on sexually isn’t always great literature.

But please Master/Mistress, don’t make me read it again!

Susan Block, Ph.D., a.k.a. “Dr. Suzy,” is a world renowned LA sex therapist, author of The Bonobo Way: The Evolution of Peace through Pleasure, occasionally seen on HBO and other channels. For speaking engagements, call 310-568-0066.

© February 11, 2015.

 

More articles by:

Susan Block, Ph.D., a.k.a. “Dr. Suzy,” is an internationally renowned LA sex therapist and author, occasionally seen on HBO and other channels. Her newest book is The Bonobo Way: The Evolution of Peace through Pleasure. Visit her at http://DrSusanBlock.com. For speaking engagements, call 310-568-0066. Email your comments to her at liberties@blockbooks.com and you will get a reply.

January 22, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
On the Brink of Brexit: the Only Thing Most People Outside Westminster Know About Brexit is That It’s a Mess
Raouf Halaby
The Little Brett Kavanaughs from Covington Catholic High
Dean Baker
The Trump Tax Cut is Even Worse Than They Say
Stanley L. Cohen
The Brazen Detention of Marzieh Hashemi, America’s Newest Political Prisoner
Karl Grossman
Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars
Glenn Sacks
Teachers Strike Dispatch #8: New Independent Study Confirms LAUSD Has the Money to Meet UTLA’s Demands
Haydar Khan
The Double Bind of Human Senescence
Alvaro Huerta
Mr. President, We Don’t Need Your Stinking Wall
Howard Lisnoff
Another Slugger from Louisville: Muhammad Ali
Nicole Patrice Hill – Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Scarlet “I”: Climate Change, “Invasive” Plants and Our Culture of Domination
Jonah Raskin
Disposable Man Gets His Balls Back
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail