What Does 50 Shades of Grey Mean Sexually?

March 22, 2024
David Sunnyside

Fifty Shades of Grey is a wildly successful book and movie series about the relationship between a young college graduate and a wealthy sadomasochistic business magnate. It is not a great piece of literature or cinema, but that doesn’t seem to matter much to women who are flocking to the erotic drama like moths to a porch light. Many perceive the series as light erotica at best and a glamorization of abusive relationships at worst.

While there are some truths to both perceptions, the main issue is that 50 Shades seems to demonize a form of sexual practice that many women find gratifying. The series also seems to imply that women should fall in love with men who meet certain standards, such as being handsome and rich or good in bed. This can be problematic because these types of men often abuse women physically and emotionally.

While the film does show some signs of reversing the negative depiction of BDSM, it still seems to largely maintain power dynamics between men and women in heterosexual relationships. For instance, the movie portrays Ana as a naive college student who falls in love with Christian Grey because of his money and power. While it claims to de-stigmatize BDSM, it shows that women can be drawn to the practice because it allows them to explore their own sexuality while remaining within the confines of traditional heterosexual respectability. Moreover, the movie suggests that BDSM is a cure for a man’s psychopathic tendencies and can make him more loving and considerate.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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