Fifty Shades Of Violence? Fifty Shades Of Fantasy!


Fifty Shades Of Violence? Fifty Shades Of Fantasy!
Is the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise taking it too far when it comes to sexual violence?

In the Journal of Women's Health, their recently released study, "Double Crap!" Abuse and Harmed Identity in Fifty Shades of Grey (Released August 11, 2013).

The authors reports their results and conclusions: Emotional abuse is present in nearly every interaction, including: stalking, intimidation, isolation, sexual violence is pervasive—including using alcohol to compromise Anastasia's consent. Anastasia experiences reactions typical of abused women, including: constant perceived threat, altered identity and stressful managing. Anastasia becomes disempowered and entrapped in the relationship as her behaviors become mechanized in response to Christian's abuse.

More from YourTango: Why Humans Aren't Designed For Monogamy

Our analysis identified patterns in Fifty Shades that reflect pervasive intimate partner violence—one of the biggest problems of our time. Further, our analysis adds to a growing body of literature noting dangerous violence standards being perpetuated in popular culture.

I do not concur with the results and conclusions. If I were to read the erotic novel looking for behaviors that may resemble abuse, yet do not view it in the context of fantasy, erotic writing, consensual BDSM, then of course I would say it exhibited violence. Yet without the proper context how can we objectively view Fifty Shades of Grey  as the researchers conclude.

Does this mean that when I read Harry Potter, I may believe I am a wizard and need to fear for my life from the Death Eaters? Or do I read it as fiction, an adventure, an excellent tale with spellbinding plots and characters.

I would postulate that Harry Potter experienced significant violence throughout his journeys: repeated assassination attempts, stalking by the Death Eaters, he resided in a state of perpetual fear; felt intimidated by his peers, followers of Voldemort and Voldemort himself, he was often disbelieved in reporting the truth therefore living in harms way on a daily basis. Truth and love potions were utilized to engage subjects into behaving in altered states. Harry and his crew were frequently trapped, dis-empowered, harmed and challenged by adults, creatures and wizards.

True child abuse and neglect as defined by anyone, yet it is the fantasy context in which we put aside our labels of violence and turn on our imaginations and escape into a wonderful story.

Do we limit this type of fantasy so that we avoid spell casting, broom flying, potion making and fighting the evil powers. If we did engage in such behavior, I do believe we may ostracize ourselves, be labeled with delusional disorder or schizophrenia and suffer low self esteem from the repeated failure of our wizardry skills.

If I dress up for Halloween in a sexualized Gryffindor costume, am I pedophilic in doing so, or engaging in fantasy and utilizing a costume to participate in both a holiday and role play?

If one participates in safe, consensual BDSM (Bondage & Discipline/Domination & Submission/Sadism & Masochism), these behaviors can be view as highly pleasurable and regularly sought after. The individual that views it as violence would not consensually engage in said behaviors because they are not consenting to power play and physical stimulation that is out of the mainstay of vanilla sex.

Life is in context.

If my husband blindfolds me, pushes me on the bed and spanks me with a metal spatula for pleasure in the privacy of my bedroom and we are both consenting parties, it is drastically different than if a colleague walks into my office, pushes me on the floor, blindfolds me and hits me repeatedly with his clipboard.

See the differences?

Role play, consent, agreed upon, stimulation, not entrapment, physical abuse and violence.

Context is everything.

As a sex therapist, I would challenge many aspects of Anastasia orgasmic ability. She loses her virginity, has no clitoral stimulation and has a world class orgasm. The chances of this are slim to none in real life. Women tend to be orgasmic. Female orgasm between 60 percent of the time with clitoral stimulation. Intercourse alone, that number drops to 20 percent.

Christian is virtually erect 24 hours of a day and ready to perform for hours at a time. Do I then research and present my case that Fifty Shades of Grey places unrealistic sexual expectations of both male and female readers?   No. It's the same as in the porn industry; it is a performance art with editing, angles and placards to remind them to holler and moan.

While reading the erotic novel two years ago on St Patricks Day, I decided to add my Guinness beer to my reading pleasure and have a drink each time Anastasia experienced an orgasm. That was a bit tipsy making for my afternoon. My husband said to me, "Wow you just drank two Guineness." "Why yes," I replied. "Anastasia cums a lot."

It is the point of fantasy.

Do we want Anastasia to have an occasional yeast infection, vaginal discomfort and sexual refusals after multiple objects and his penis has been in her over and over within a 24 period of time. Or Christian to have too much wine and be unable to acheive an erection as this is much more like real life.

As readers of erotica, we want intensity, excitement, orgasmic explosions, sexual performances that should be in the record books. We want our bodies to feel titillated by Christian and Anastasia's sex life.

We want the passion, the all encompassing feelings of pleasure, the escape into bondage, sense deprivation, the surprise of touch, the heat of the whip.

Yes overpower me, consume me, please me.

This sounds delightful to me and not anything close to violence.

Both of their behaviors were ridiculous outside of the bedroom. Dramatic, insecure, jealous, over the top. Even the biting of the lip became nauseating after some time. Yet if you skip over the relational drama and dive into their sexual escapades, you can enjoy the fantasy.

BDSM is for safe, sane, consensual sexual play that can lead to a vast level of pleasure.

The unrealistic story of the uber attractive, way too young to be a millionaire, multi-talented Christian and the insecure innocent Anastasia is just that—a story.

You decide: Is Fifty Shades of Grey more violent than Harry Potter?

Double Crap?! I can only say EL James is not a JK Rowlings.

I'll take both.


Double Fantasy!

More from YourTango: Masturbation In The Library

More erotica advice from YourTango:

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Tiffany Anton

Sex Therapist

Tiffany Anton, LCSW

Anton Therapy Services, LLC

Location: Madisonville, LA
Credentials: LCSW, MSW
Other Articles/News by Tiffany Anton:

6 Dangerous Thoughts That Encourage Jealousy In Your Relationship


I made a comment recently saying, "No other person is a threat to us unless it's violence." Whether it's your husband's secretary, the cute guy working behind the reception counter at the gym, a the hot lady dancing near your husband on the dance floor and giving him the eye of interest, or a co-worker and so on, it seems that many women ... Read more

Behind The Valentine's Hoopla


Tis the season of roses, chocolates, and love notes. Tis the season for my nausea. I'm not a bah humbug, I'm just over the commercialization of romance. Approximately 151 million Hallmark cards are purchased each year for this holiday. Does Hallmark have lobbyist to keep the charade going? Why is this a charade? Because real relationships, ... Read more

Can An Affair Save Your Marriage? Some Experts Believe So


I recently read an article on by Hanna Rosin titled The Upside of Infidelity: Can An Affair Save your Marriage, and it really got me thinking. My first reaction was joy at knowing therapists are changing their puritanical views of martial infidelity and realizing how our flawed self can bring us healing & reparations. I was also impressed with the ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
Come Hither

Nuru Massage: A Slippery, Sexy Erotic Adventure

Nuru Massage is the hottest new erotic trend - here's how to do it at home without the mess!


Put Your Relationship on a Diet Free of Blame and Criticism

Replace the blame and criticism in your relationship with heartfelt gratitude and appreciations.


Why You'll Never Meet The Right Partner

Give up the search - and figure out how to actually create love instead.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no timeā€¦

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>