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Why Do Women Love Fifty Shades of Grey?

Why Women Love Fifty Shades of Grey

We're happy to present this excerpt from one of our favorite sites, YourTango. Today, we find out how a popular romance novel might tap into our most erotic fantasies.

If you have not heard about the popularity of the novel series, Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James, then you are likely living under a rock. This romance novel's overnight smash popularity is an indication of several things. Number one, women enjoy sex. Number two, women do like erotica. And, number three, women enjoy their erotic adventures wrapped in a handsome fantasy and safely packaged in a monogamous relationship.

Part of the success of Fifty Shades, is that there is a variety of sex scenes in the book in which the main female character, Anastasia Steele, finds herself swept away by her own passion. She is being ravished by a devilishly handsome and psychologically dysfunctional Christian Grey, with whom she has an immediate and lasting committed relationship. This monogamy allows her to experience many dangerous and edgy sexual adventures. The variety of erotic exploits allows for most of the book's intrigue.

UCLA conducted a study in which they found that 64 percent of women had "ravishment" fantasies. Ravishment is different than rape. We have spent many years teaching men that "no means no," and for good reason. But if "no" means "only playing" and "popsicle" really means no, because it is a safe word, than "no" can mean that I am only pretending that I am resisting you.


Being ravished makes sense on an anatomical level for women. A woman has to physically let go in order to orgasm. Letting tension build is one thing, but holding on to too much tension can prevent the natural release of orgasmic energy in the female body. Knowing that someone else is in charge, knows what he is doing and is determined to bring pleasure, can help a woman relax. Frankly, it means she does not have to take responsibility for her own pleasure. Receiving can be quite powerful and sexy in those moments.

I call this the "pirate" fantasy. Most women find Johnny Depp's drunken pirate character, Jack Sparrow, to be ravishing and sexy. However, that does not mean they want to be monogamous with Jack Sparrow. Instead, they want to be devoured by him on the deck of a ship. When the heroine is held down by the pirate and in a breathy and sexy voice says, "Oh no, Jack, please, no" and her bodice is ripped open, and she drops her head back, hair blowing in the wind, neck exposed to the villain, is she really saying "no?"

For the rest of the article, head to YourTango: Why Women Love Fifty Shades of Grey

Written by Tammy Nelson for YourTango.

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