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
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
Robert Koehler
Playing War in Syria
Tamara Pearson
US Shootings: Gun Industry Killing More People Overseas
John Feffer
Trump’s Trade War is About Trump Not China
Morris Pearl
Why the Census Shouldn’t Ask About Citizenship
Ralph Nader
Bill Curry on the Move against Public Corruption
Josh Hoxie
Five Tax Myths Debunked
Leslie Mullin
Democratic Space in Adverse Times: Milestone at Haiti’s University of the Aristide Foundation
Louis Proyect
Syria and Neo-McCarthyism
Dean Baker
Finance 202 Meets Economics 101
Abel Cohen
Forget Gun Control, Try Bullet Control
Robert Fantina
“Damascus Time:” An Iranian Movie
David Yearsley
Bach and Taxes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail