Fifty Shades of Debate

Why has the Fifty Shades Trilogy suddenly become so popular? Have you read it yet? Are you going to?

I spent most of last week doing just that and I have to say that I loved the books. I got thoroughly engrossed in them, their humor, their twists and turns, oh… and the sex. There was more than a little of that! Basically they were good fun.

Since then I have spent some time reading reviews, descriptions, discussions and debates about these suddenly very popular books. Depending on what you are reading they are either wonderful or horribly written, addictive or stupid dribble, a giant step back for feminism or a great leap for embracing female sexuality. It really is amazing. Newsweek’s cover story discusses the sexual fantasies of working women with the headline “Spanking Goes Mainstream”. Wow.

The discussion there and many other places centers on how women working outside the home are craving a strong man like Christian to take care of them and control them. (By the way this annoys me. Why can’t the conversation be ALL women not just working women? Do stay at home moms not count? Oh yeah, that’s right. We don’t.)

When I started the first book I wondered out loud to Alex how different my reaction to it might be if we were not already engaged in a Dd relationship. Would I be identifying with the issues of control and BDSM in the same way if I were not already open to those ideas in my own marriage? Would I have a different reaction if I weren’t? Would I be willing to incorporate some of the scenarios in the book into my own bedroom if I were not already basically doing so already? I don’t know.

The rest of the female population sure seems to be enjoying themselves. Which is what I find so interesting. Maybe spanking IS more mainstream than any of us realize. Maybe people are more open minded to this than is currently believed. And maybe more will introduce it into their own lives.

It’s hard to tell. I have two friends in real life who I have suggested the books to. I explained the plot and some of the dynamics of Ana and Christian’s relationship but didn’t continue the conversation and disclose anything about my own relationship. It felt odd to be discussing any of this with them and I don’t think I will ever be comfortable enough to share this part of myself. One seemed eager to read them herself and the other seemed pretty indifferent. It will be interesting to see what they think of them if they do read them. Either way, it’s hard for me to imagine a time that I would discuss my own relationship openly with them.

I do hope that these books open more people up to the positive power that this dynamic can bring to a relationship. Safe, sane, consensual spanking has brought us to a new level of openness and understanding in our relationship. Opening myself to him sexually has made all the difference to us. I hope that others find benefit as well by allowing themselves to indulge in some of their own fantasies.

It will be interesting to see where the debate goes from here.