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50 Shades of Grey and the Truth about BDSM

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Have you seen the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer yet? The recent release has millions of Christian Grey fans gushing about the steamy storyline and eagerly awaiting opening day.

In case you are wondering what all the hubbub is about, Fifty Shades of Grey is a movie based on the first installment of a romantic trilogy penned by British author E.L. James. However, the book is probably unlike any other romantic novel you have ever read. Sure, there are sidelong glances, big muscles and tender kisses, but the book doesn’t only feature pleasure. It also features pain—that is, pain in the form of BDSM.

BDSM is short for sexual activities that include the combination of pain and pleasure. The acronym includes behavior such as bondage, discipline, domination, submission, and sadism and masochism. It has long been practiced in millions of bedrooms across the globe and the Kama Sutra even makes mention of erotic hitting, biting, and pinching.

Despite this history, BDSM has never been a popular part of mainstream culture. So why has Fifty Shades of Grey become a must-read for women everywhere? Consider the following:

Women like being able to let go. The modern woman has a million things on her plate, and it can incredibly hard for her to find time for sexual energy and sexual thoughts. Even when she is having sex, she might be thinking of work or errands. Enter Fifty Shades of Grey. The heroine of the story is quite sexually inexperienced and even clumsy, but with her dominant lover, she has no choice but to lay back and submit to the ecstasy of pain. For most women, the idea of being swept away by a caring, dominant lover who knows exactly where to touch her can be very appealing. Essentially, he does all the work and she has all the fun!

Women still like being the ‘nice girl.’ Even though it’s 2012 and we know that women have sexual needs and desires just like men do, we still live in a society that marginalizes women who enjoy sex. We shame women for being “whores” and “sluts” when they are open with their sexuality. Again, BDSM can help take away that shame and fear. If he is in charge and ‘making’ her do all those taboo things, then she just get swept away without having to take any responsibility. She still is a nice girl—just a nice girl with a very naughty sex life.

Women love fantasy. Fifty Shades of Grey contains very adult material but it actually originally began as fan fiction based on Twilight. You might wonder what a teen romance about vampires has to do with BDSM, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to fantasy. While men often need visual material to spark sexual thoughts and feelings, women tend to rely on their brain. They crave stories, romance, erotica, and fantasy. Also it is important remember that just because you like reading about BDSM doesn’t mean that you actually want to try it. Fantasy can be simply that: fantasy.

And, it should be stated that no woman ever wants to be raped or be the victim of violence in real life. While some naysayers fear that Fifty Shades of Grey might promote violence against women, it’s important to remember that this is a fictional story and that the woman in the story is choosing to submit to her partner (and enjoying it very much indeed).

Whether or not you are titillated by BDSM, you can watch Fifty Shades of Grey with your partner as a conversation-starter in order to discover what secret fantasies are hidden with each of you. Even if you choose not to act on those fantasies, it can be very erotic to share these intimate thoughts with your partner, and anything that gets partners connecting again on a sexual level is okay in my book!