Fifty Shades of Fantasy NOT Real Life Violence

In the Journal of Women’s Health, their recently released study “Double Crap!” Abuse and Harmed Identity in Fifty Shades of Greyfifty 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.

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 harry and voldemortexperienced 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.

harry potter sexyOr 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 & 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 an world class orgasm.  The chances of this are slim to none in real life.  Women tend to be orgasmic female orgasmbetween 60+% of the time with clitoral stimulation, intercourse alone, that number drops to 20%. 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. Its the same as in the porn industry; its a performance art with editing, angles and placards to remind them to holler.

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… as this is more like real life.

As readers, 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 dom and xof 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.

Yes!

Double Fantasy!!

 

About Anton Therapy

As a psychotherapist specializing in sexual concerns, I believe that communication and compromise, with a playful and open attitude are key components to a healthy intimate life. I infuse compassion, enthusiasm and a collaborative approach in treatment that puts clients at ease in discussing such personal topics. I hope this blog helps to open your mind, promote healthy sex, and encourages you to have a desire for intimacy and life! View all posts by Anton Therapy

One response to “Fifty Shades of Fantasy NOT Real Life Violence

  • Huff

    It’s always bothered me the way the real world is imposed upon fantasy. Or is it just female fantasises? (Would the same level of attention be given to the character’s actions if Anastasia was a man?) They of course do the same thing with the Twilight books and argue about how Bella acts and is treated.
    But in the end it’s just a book/fantasy and it shouldn’t be taken as a real-world situation. If someone wants to write an “innocent virgin being saved by the big strong worldly man” then what’s the problem? It’s not exactly modern thinking and PC but It’s harmless escapism in the same way people like reading about serial killers.
    The majority of people can tell the difference between fantasy and real life Those who can’t have a lot more problems than what a few books might say.

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