50 Shades fever

Here we go again. First it was the book that came out of nowhere and became the “mommy-porn” of the decade. Women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and backgrounds were talking about it. Men were giving it to the women in their lives in hopes it would spice things up in the bedroom. Finally, everyone could talk openly about their sexual fantasies without being negatively labelled. While all that may be a positive break-through for couples and especially women-the hype misses the real point of the books- power and control. Now it’s all about to get acted out on the big screen and women are all in a flutter in anticipation.

Ever since the feminist movement “liberated” women (that is another whole topic for a separate discussion)—they have gained a more equal footing with men in the boardroom, kitchen and bedroom. No one disputes that this has many upsides—however, the downsides are the most poorly-kept (and rarely discussed) secret between women. Now that women have many of the same opportunities and rights as their male peers—they also have a great deal more stress, have to shoulder many more responsibilities in their two full-time jobs—and are often taking the lead not only in running the household and even earning more money, but in the bedroom as well. Just thinking about it is enough to drive women to Chic Flicks, Harlequin Romances and Fifty Shades of Grey. Take note, you guys out there—this is what really turns women on.

As I write this, I find myself humming the song, “Holding Out For a hero.” In a perverse way, Christian Grey is that hero. He’s strong and successful, wields great power and influence in his company and in his relationships. There is a mystery and danger about him that add to his manly image- and all of this is what drives women crazy.

Test this out for yourself by imagining a really nice guy who is very rich, handsome and enjoys sex. He plays by the rules, is predictable, polite and always lets the woman know she is his equal. What is he lacking that Christian Grey possesses? It’s obvious, don’t you think.

Even though it would feel like heresy to admit it- many women fantasize about men who have those Christian qualities. They are take charge, go after what they want kind of guys. Women feel “like women” in the presence of such a guy- and this is not only sexy—it is never, ever boring.

The story of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele is about so much more than sex– think about it, the first book doesn’t have a single sex scene until late in the story. Even then, though it is steamy it is more about intimacy than just sex, and it doesn’t involve S&M because Ana hasn’t yet agreed to the contract. Christian also breaks his own rules of absolute control and dominance–as he crosses his own lines of no intimate relationship.

Yes, the book is filled with Christian’s intensity, power, strength, and hint of danger–and Anastasia’s inability to resist him, hard as she tries to. She wants a real relationship, and Christian has so many qualities she considers ideal. There is however the little problem of his unavailability and “alternative” sexual practices—which she eventually chooses to accept in order to be with him. That is until she just can’t. It’s enough to make a grown woman swoon–and it’s doing that to millions of women around the world.

Author: Toni Coleman

Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC is an internationally recognized dating and relationship expert and founder of http://consum-mate.com Her expertise is sought frequently by local and national publications and top ranked dating and relationship websites and she has been a guest on a number of radio and TV programs. She is the featured relationship coach in “The Business and Practice of Coaching,” (Norton, September 2005); the author of the forward for, “Winning Points with the Woman in Your Life, One Touchdown at a Time;” (Simon and Schuster, November 2005) - and her popular relationship articles can be found in several magazines and a number of self- help, personal growth and dating/relationship websites. Toni holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, is a licensed psychotherapist in the state of Virginia, and earned a certification in life coaching.

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