The Problem With 'Mommy Porn'

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fifty shades of grey and the problem with mommy porn
'Fifty Shades of Grey' has given rise to the term mommy porn. Here's what's wrong with that.

Yes, the writing in Fifty Shades of Grey is horrific, but since when has erotica or porn been prized for its writing? No one really cares that Debbie Does Dallas or porn de jour from Vivid Video sounds like it's been written by a horny teen. It's commonly accepted that porn exists simply to get off, writing be damned. There's something to be said for the allure and excitement of sex that isn't, as Fifty Shades character Christian Grey puts it, "vanilla."

Women's sexuality is a huge source of power. A woman who feels comfortable in her sexuality, not for the sake of serving men but for herself, is a threat to a patriarchal society. After coming into her own power, she may realize the man she's with is not all that. She may want his job. She may no longer feel obligated to pop out kids. She may realize she doesn't have to listen to or believe everything her partner says. 

 

Unfortunately, the media and other proponents of the "mommy porn" term may not realize the derogatory nature of the term. They also may not realize that the popularity of women's erotica—read by moms and otherwise—is nothing new. Why Romance Novels Are Smarter Than You Think

"The fact is, many women read erotic books," Good Vibrations' resident sexpert, Dr. Carol Queen, says, "Women have really been at the forefront of erotic writing in the US, in fact, for at least the last 20 years. That the media has not noticed that [until Fifty Shades of Grey mania hit] ignores really significant cultural history."

Whether the pundits like it or not, the win here is that Fifty Shades is successfully poking a hole in the idea that women simply enjoy lights-off, under the sheets, missionary-style sex and that women become asexual after having children.