I’m a man. That much can be determined simply by my birth-doctor’s admissions and the fact that my family thought it was weird that I didn’t have a girlfriend until college (I was a late bloomer). So when I was asked to write about 50 Shades of Grey, I thought, “What will I write?” “Who exactly is reading this book?” and “Will my girlfriend check my Google history that now has pages of women’s sex literature?”
What I found, is that 50 Shades of Grey is a delight. Not just for the women ages 20-75 that are enjoying the hell out of a taut and – let’s just say it – nearly pornographic account of relationships and new horizons, but also for the men and women they happen to love. Aside from the fact that it seems a bit cliché and overwritten, people are beginning to discuss the positive impact this series could have on women’s sexual health and wellness.
Specifically, it’s getting us all to talk more openly about sex. Which, even in 2012, can be an issue for women.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not one to make sweeping statements about entire genders. What I do know is that it becomes trickier for a female to openly discuss her feelings in the bedroom, compared to every light beer commercial in the world. While a lot of progress has been made, it’s still considered provocative for HBO to air a show about 20-something young women who are figuring out their lives. Girls, which has debuted to fantastic ratings, is part of the 50 Shades of Grey movement that might be the final push we need.
No matter what book or scientific paper you’re reading, it’s a stretch to get anyone on record saying sexual health doesn’t tie into your overall well-being. And since research has shown women are more turned on by stories and words, while men are usually visually stimulated, the book is helping to rev up an entire generation of housewives. This can lead to more intimacy with their significant other, a deeper relationship, and more satisfaction out of their love lives.
It can help in other areas as well. Fantasy novels can provide women an escape from the stresses and pressure of their day-to-day lives. It’s much easier to work a full day and be a mom if you can sit down with your own personal X-rated romp after dinner. It’s much needed time off.
As for me, I probably won’t sit down with this particular book next time I go to the beach, for my own reasons as much as the incredulous stares I might get from passers-by. But I’ll tell you this, any book that can keep my girlfriend happy, healthy, and ready for more alone time is a Pulitzer Prize shoo-in to me.
Let’s just hope she doesn’t replace me with a sexy older billionaire.
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Butler, Carolyn. “‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Is Seen as Improving Women’s Sexual Health and Wellness.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 21 May 2012. Web. 11 June 2012. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/fifty-shades-of-grey-is-seen-as-improving-womens-sexual-health-and-wellness/2012/05/21/gIQAGx4zfU_story.html>.
“When Sex Leaves the Marriage.” Well. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2012. <http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/when-sex-leaves-the-marriage/>.