Is There A "Sex Fetish Gene"?

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Relax, domination and submission fantasies don't mean you're a freak... unless you want to be one.

Everyone has had a number of things to say about the immensely popular Fifty Shades Of Grey. As you may or may not know, Fifty Shades Of Grey is a novel about sexual fetishes and suburban BDSM. The so-called "Mommy Porn" genre has become something of a cultural touchstone and Katie Roiphe, in an essay for The Daily Beast, wonders what the implications are and if there is a price to be paid vis-a-vis gender relations in America. But not everyone agrees with her conclusion.

The crew (actually, just Elizabeth Nolan Brown) at BlissTree thinks that Roiphe's understanding of the research behind (heh) her essay is either wrong or wrongheaded. She goes on to quote some neuroscience guys saying that humans (both men and women) are naturally wired for both sexual domination and submission, it's all completely normal, and that we don't just like S&M because of some in-like-a-lion-out-like-a-lamb cultural zephyrs. Love To Spice It Up? Here's What You Need To Know About Spanking

And over at YouBeauty, Angelica Catalano brings up a study conducted about the nature of submissive sex. In a nutshell, it's something that's very much thought to be an animal kingdom holdover, with dominant females pursuing dominant males. "Catching the attention of a dominant male means you've risen to the top of the pack," writes Catalano. "So acting out that fantasy (where he pursues, you resist and that power struggle leads to hot, hot sex) reinforces a woman's status and desirability, which makes her feel good about herself. (Note that you can sub in any gender and the same theory applies.) While that's just one possible explanation, the point here is that at its core, this fantasy enhances self-esteem."

The same study, conducted by Dr. Patricia Hawley and Will Henley, concluded that submissive behavior is not just for girls. Men appreciate a little bedroom bossiness and it has little to do with masochism or humiliation. Finally, it ain't weird. Around half of all dudes and chicks surveyed get a little charge out of the idea of submission. Read more...

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