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"Why ‘Grey’ matters"

on Wednesday, 14 March 2012. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Chicago Sun-Times

D o you have a dog-eared copy of Fifty Shades of Grey by your bedside?

If you are like thousands of other American women, you do. Fifty Shades of Grey is the first installment of a romantic trilogy penned by British author E.L. James. However, the book probably is unlike any other romantic novel you have ever read. Sure, there are sidelong glances, big muscles and tender kisses, but the book doesn’t only feature pleasure. It also features pain — that is, pain in the form of BDSM.

BDSM is short for sexual activities that include the combination of pain and pleasure. The acronym includes behavior such as bondage, discipline, domination, submission, and sadism and masochism. It has long been practiced in millions of bedrooms across the globe and the Kama Sutra even makes mention of erotic hitting, biting and pinching.

Despite this history, BDSM never has been a popular part of mainstream culture. So why has

Fifty Shades of Grey become a must-read for women everywhere? Consider the following:Women like being able to let go. The modern woman has a million things on her plate, and it can be incredibly hard for her to find time for sexual energy and sexual thoughts. Even when she is having sex, she might be thinking of work or errands. Enter

Fifty Shades of Grey. The heroine of the story is quite sexually inexperienced and even clumsy, but with her dominant lover, she has no choice but to lay back and submit to the ecstasy of pain. For most women, the idea of being swept away by a caring, dominant lover who knows exactly where to touch her can be very appealing. Essentially, he does all the work and she has all the fun!

Women still like being the “nice girl.” Even though it’s 2012 and we know that women have sexual needs and desires just like men do, we still live in a society that marginalizes women who enjoy sex. We shame women for being “whores” and “sluts” when they are open with their sexuality. Again, BDSM can help take away that shame and fear. If he is in charge and “making” her do all those taboo things, then she just gets swept away without having to take any responsibility. She still is a nice girl — just a nice girl with a very naughty lover. ...

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