50 Shades of Telling Men to Shut Up

By Rachel

This will be the first of several blogs inspired by the various topics and themes from the “controversial” book 50 Shades of Grey. After reading book one of the three part series and many reviews, I have some thoughts on the book and some other items to discuss inspired by the book that honestly should be talked about.

The first will be the whole notion that somehow men are not entitled to an opinion about this book series. That’s completely preposterous.

For those of you whom are not yet familiar, let me give you the run down on this book: A wealthy man enters women into contracts to be submissive to him in every way, shape, and form (most especially sexually). In return, he will lavish them with expensive gifts, but if they do not please him, he is allowed to administer corporal punishment.

Women are raving about the book and men are confused as all hell. Men see two things in this book: written porn and a bad, bad argument against men.

Now, I will say this: I’ve read some smutty, trashy romance novels in my life. Some turned me on. Some didn’t. This book? Meh. Maybe I’ve been desensitized or perhaps it was the writing style, but honestly, I found some things kinda hot, but mostly I just wasn’t stunned by any of it.

Porn is porn. An erotic novel, a Sasha Grey, Dylan Ryder or Claire Dames video makes no difference. Sex is sex and it comes in many forms that make a hell of a lot of men and women elated. Some of it involves a woman being dominated, sometimes the man. Women are saying that this book is liberating sexually because it encourages women to explore their sexuality, test their boundaries, and to have no fear of their reservations and personal limitations because what happens behind closed doors is between them and the man (or woman…or both) that they are involved with.

That much I can concede to. Sex is supposed to be pleasurable and about what you want. If I were to say that I didn’t enjoy being dominated on occasion, well that would simply be a lie. To the extent of this book? Perhaps not so much, but it doesn’t mean that given the right man that I wouldn’t further test my desires and limitations.

The fact that this book is written by a woman and from a woman’s perspective seems to have women enthralled with the subject matter and “releasing their inner goddess.” Feminists are even raving about the book and what it promotes for women. However, I love to play devil’s advocate in the corner of men, so I will cover a few arguments in their favor here.

Men are confused why a woman would read this but object to their watching porn. Let me tell you, that there is zero difference between reading erotic novels and watching porn. Men are visual creatures- and women, let me please urge you to place aside your insecurities because a man watching porn does NOT mean that you do not fulfill him. It is stimulus and many times a man isn’t seeing a large breasted, tiny, woman. They are envisioning you in place of that woman and things that they wish you would do together…and sometimes they are just afraid to ask you because when a man wants to be dirty and kinky, for some reason society paints them as pigs. Women like their sexy novels because it caters to our imaginations. The scene is laid before us but we can tweak it how we want and the man looks how we envision them based on the descriptions and trust me, it’s us laying beneath (or sitting on top of) this man. Not the heroine of the story!

This is NOT all men and all men and women in relationships. Some people have a perfectly healthy relationship with porn.

But can you at least see where men are completely befuddled by this book and its popularity?

The other, is the notion that the man is dominant over a woman. Demanding to be called “Sir”, to know their every move, to control their every move, to be obeyed on demand without hesitation. Once again, had a man written this book, there may be a sir in the other direction. That the man who wrote this is sick and domineering and has psychological issues (much like the issues of Christian Grey). This man enjoys inflicting pain upon women. He must hate women.

Come on. You know you’ve seen a story on the news of sexual domination or witnessed some man in a porn ejaculating on a woman’s face and were completely appalled.

But at the same time, some of you have begged and pleaded for dominance and pain that ultimately resulted in pleasure. You’ve screamed and begged “Fuck me harder! Harder, please!” and been tied down, flipped over on your belly and taken from behind, been thrown onto the bed, been told to suck on your  partner. And you did it.

Why?

Because there is pleasure in pain, there is pleasure in being dominated, in obeying someone- especially when it results in your own gratification. Because it turns you on that your compliance means another person’s satisfaction. As humans, we are inherently obedient. If we  weren’t, governments wouldn’t run wild on us as they have done throughout history.

Men have every right to weigh in on this book and to try understand why women find it so exhilarating. Women, be kind to your man. If you can have your erotic novel, let him have his porn, and take the opportunity to take what you learn from each  to explore one another’s fantasies… perhaps without a signed contract and non disclosure agreement though!

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