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.

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Natoli
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Yves Engler
Ottawa, Yemen and Guardian
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Tracey L. Rogers
Dear White Women, There May be Hope for You After All
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
Robby Sherwin
Here’s an Idea
Susan Block
Cucks, Cuckolding and Campaign Management
Louis Proyect
The Mafia and the Class Struggle (Part Two)
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail