FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

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.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

June 27, 2019
Kris Hermes
Syrian Refugee Terror Plot or Latest in Pattern of FBI-Manufactured Terrorism Cases?
Charles Pierson
Don’t Leave Nukes on the Shelf. Use Them!
Manuel García, Jr.
American Climate Change Policy: You Don’t Matter
Robert Hunziker
At 100, Gaia Faces its Biggest Challenges
Ramzy Baroud
The Day After: What if Israel Annexes the West Bank?
Peter Bolton
The Failed Venezuelan Coup and the Decline of US Hegemony
Thomas Knapp
One Cheer for Trump on Iran
Robert Lipsyte
Jockpocalypse: From the Ballpark to Team Trump
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson
When Trump Did the Right Thing…Twice
John W. Whitehead
Mass Arrests, Power Grabs and the Politics of Fear
Myles Hoenig
Voter Disenfranchisement in Toronto
Binoy Kampmark
The Pinkerton Effect: The US Marines in Darwin
Michael Galant
Time for a Global Minimum Wage
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
How We Are All Climate Change Deniers
June 26, 2019
Melvin Goodman
The U.S.-Iran Imbroglio: Dangerous Lessons To Be Learned
Paul Street
Reflections and Correspondence at the Abyss
John Laforge
Trump’s Ministry of No Information
Paul Edwards
Fool Me Twice
Rob Hager
Warren and Sanders: Compare and Contrast
John Steppling
The Monkey’s Face
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A World of Shadows
Jaspal Kaur Sadhu Singh
Correcting a Colonial Injustice: The Return of the Chagos Islands to Its Natives
Binoy Kampmark
Violent Voyeurism: Surveillance, Spyware and Human Rights
Jonah Raskin
Reflections on Abbie Hoffman and Joshua Furst’s Novel, Revolutionaries
Dave Chapman
The Hydroponic Threat to Organic Food
June 25, 2019
Rannie Amiri
Instigators of a Persian Gulf Crisis
Patrick Cockburn
Trump May Already be in Too Deep to Avoid War With Iran
Paul Tritschler
Hopeful Things
John Feffer
Deep Fakes: Will AI Swing the 2020 Election?
Binoy Kampmark
Bill Clinton in Kosovo
Kenneth Surin
Brief Impressions of the Japanese Conjuncture
Edward Hunt
Is Mexico Winding Down or Winding up the Drug War?
Manuel E. Yepe
Trump’s Return to Full-Spectrum Dominance
Steve Kelly
Greed and Politics Should Not Drive Forest Policy
Stephen Carpa
Protecting the Great Burn
Colin Todhunter
‘Modified’: A Film About GMOs and the Corruption of the Food Supply for Profit
Martin Billheimer
The Gothic and the Idea of a ‘Real Elite’
Elliot Sperber
Send ICE to Hanford
June 24, 2019
Jim Kavanagh
Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back
Nino Pagliccia
Sorting Out Reality From Fiction About Venezuela
Jeff Sher
Pickin’ and Choosin’ the Winners and Losers of Climate Change
Howard Lisnoff
“Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran”
Robert Fisk
The West’s Disgraceful Silence on the Death of Morsi
Dean Baker
The Old Japan Disaster Horror Story
David Mattson
The Gallatin Forest Partnership and the Tyranny of Ego
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail