The book series Fifty Shades of Grey is a runaway, international bestseller. The obligitory movie is on the way, and every female writer with a hint of talent is putting out a copycat romance novel. (Sheesh; the covers all look identical!) Safe to say, people have gone crazy for Fifty Shades.
What has my attention isn't the sex, the writing quality or the potentially controversial nature of the content (alternative lifestyle participants will tell you it's not a book about "real" BDSM, and that an experienced dominant would never take on a completely green submissive partner). What I've been looking at are the dynamics between the characters, as well as how women in the real world are responding to the books. They're responding strongly, and men need to pay attention.
Is the writing great? Is it a true-to-life documentary on the world of BDSM? No. Is it a story of an innocent young woman who convinces a bad boy to give up his ways and meet her on an even playing field, ultimately loving her for all-time? Who cares. What makes Fifty Shades different and special is how the sex and interpersonal dynamics between the characters taps into women's psyches: the yearn for being desired.
The millions of women who have purchased the series are seeking not only a love story. They are seeking a love story with passion, with desire, with unbridled wanting that has a side effect of dominant and submissive sex. It's a primal desire for many women to be with a man who is overcome with an unquenchable need to kiss her, with passion so hot it could boil rain as it falls. Most heterosexual women want to be afforded pleasure at the hands of a man who is both capable and confident; a man who is so secure in his own self and sexuality that he gives her as much as she can stand, while finding pleasure in it himself. All the while, women want this dynamic to stay in the bedroom, without dangerous issues of control spilling out into real life and altering the genuine, respectful love he should feel.
Based on the content and in reflection of the sales numbers, it would seem that millions of women want to "let go": To trust, to release, to just be women (as opposed to "moms" or "wives"). They want to be sexual, sensual and feminine; to be trusting and hand control over to a man who will not use it against her. They want a man who is confident, charming, alluring, captivating, mysterious and bad — all the while caring deeply for her integrity and self-respect. Keep Reading...
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