The erotica novel 50 SOG seems to offer women a safe opening into erotica. Men learn about sex from porn and from their own experience masturbating says Australian Sex therapist Jacqueline Hellyer, www.jacquelinehellyer.com. It is not so easy for women to learn about their sexuality. In the west we have suppressed sexuality, especially for women in the last 2000-3000 years.
For countless generations, we have brought women up not to be sexual.
If girls were sexual, then there was something wrong with them. They were shamed and punished for it. This, of course can happen to both genders but in large, women were not encouraged, but shamed and even punished for any natural curiosity about their sexuality. From a young girl getting her wandering hand slapped and scorned, to women being stoned or burned to death, it has not been easy for women to learn about their sexuality. As late as the 1960's, we were still locking up women in insane asylums for promiscuity. Even today, atrocious deaths for women in the Muslim world, live on.
So where do women safely learn about sexuality? It appears that women turn to erotica to learn about sex says Jacqueline Hellyer. What can be safer but to read about sexuality through romantic fiction? The ability to use fantasy to support women's sexual desires in is not new. However, the ability to covertly explore sexuality via erotic romances makes for a potent resource for women. While literary critics condemned the writing in 50 SOG and some from the BDSM community condemn the abuse, women are learning vicariously through the protagonist Anna about sexuality and in particular BDSM. Furthermore it appears from the safety of a romanticized, erotic storyline, women can safely fantasize and meet their own sexual need for exploration.
So why the phenomenon? Why are women flocking to buy and read the trilogy making it the best selling fiction to date? Is it the clever marketing with toned-down book cover, helping readers feel comfortable reading erotica in public? Similarly, is it the Kindle, e-book version, also a huge success story, giving a reader complete privacy behind their screens?
Or, is it the fact that our society is changing and so are our interests. As Katie Roiphe of Newsweek says “It is intriguing that huge numbers of women are eagerly consuming myriad and disparate fantasies of submission at a moment when women are ascendant in the workplace, when they make up almost 60 percent of college students, when they are close to surpassing men as breadwinners, with four in 10 working women now out-earning their husbands, when the majority of women under 30 are having and supporting children on their own, a moment when—in hard economic terms—women are less dependent or subjugated than before.” Do women secretly want a dominant man in the bedroom to let go of control and have an out let for submission?
Chartered Psychologist Dr. Lynne Jordan says “I find it fascinating how this series is affecting so many people. It is as if the stuff of private worlds and the so called ‘dark sides’ of humanity are on full display to be experienced, understood and accepted, thereby giving permission for people to explore and develop their sexual experiences both solo and with their partner. http://www.bps.org.uk/news/clinical-practice-and-50-shades-phenomenon
Is 50 SOG giving permission to women to explore and develop their sexual experiences?
In my Reclaiming Feminine Fire business, I get to witness women very curious about my coaching and transformational work in the area of sexual intimacy. I hear them yearning for more dialogue and mentoring in a way that feels safe, gentle and invites them into their own sexual exploration. So I agree that part of the 50 SOG Phenomenon is about women exploring their sexual curiosity in a safe way. What do you think?
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