I just saw a video clip from The View, during which Barbara Walters asked her co-hosts if they like it rough. As in do they like their sex rough. Not surprisingly, none of them would answer the question, despite Walters' best efforts. Whoopi Goldberg was so distracted imagining her co-hosts having rough sex she said, "You made my eyes bleed!"
The crew had just been discussing the book 50 Shades of Grey, in which an innocent young woman has an affair with an enigmatic man who's into bondage and submission. I haven't read the book yet, so I can't comment about it per se. What I can comment on is my speculation that it's well on its way to becoming a runaway best seller. Own Your Inner Stripper
It's just too juicy to be anything less than hugely successful. If it can get Barbara Walters to ask such a provocative question on national television, it must be hitting some powerful chords. But what chords exactly is it hitting? Is it the fact that an 82 year old woman is talking about sex? Or is it about the loss of innocence?
Most likely, it's hugely popular because it's talking about illicit sex. It's talking about the taboo of rough sex. Rough sex, which just happens to be the number one fantasy for both men and women. As if it doesn't happen pretty regularly. But mention BDSM at a cocktail party and you'll be labeled a freak in most circles. 3 Ways To Squeeze In More Sex
Fantasies play a critically important role in keeping sex exciting in long term relationships. It takes work to keep sex interesting when you know a person really well. And since the mind is the largest sex organ, it makes sense that letting the mind wander and imagine would be good for your sex life.
What makes it illicit is that we forget that it's a fantasy. We forget that we're playing a role, that we each understand our parts, and our minds wander to the root of the fantasy. We don't literally forget that we're play acting, but when the mind wanders, it can pretend it forgets it's an act. It imagines that the root of the fantasy is what's really happening. In this case, the root of the rough sex fantasy is rape. Choose Your Focus In Love
There's absolutely nothing sexy about rape, but playing the edge of bondage and submission can be incredibly sexy. Anything that gets you out of your normal role can be sexy, really, but with a rough sex fantasy, things really heat up. Rough sex, or bondage and submission games, encourage you to move beyond your comfort zone. They encourage you to surrender to your partner, which requires a great degree of trust.
Personally, I think that's the real reason they're so erotic. They invite us to trust deeply, to open ourselves to a surrender that doesn't feel safe in the regular world. But with the rules and agreements of sexual play acting, we're invited to surrender; to pretend we have no control over the situation. We give ourselves permission to open ourselves fully in love. It's incredibly erotic, and terrifying to many because of this opening.
Excuse me, I need to go find my hand cuffs. (If you want to read more of my stuff, you can go here).
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