The submission sex fantasy novel Fifty Shades of Grey continues to rise in popularity. It was announced yesterday that Universal Pictures/Focus Features will adapt the film version of the story. The intriguing tale of dominance is a hot topic among women and its growing fan base will be an indispensable part of the film's success. Originally titled Master of the Universe, it first hit the web as Twilight fan fiction and the two lead characters were named Edward and Bella. This was altered before the book was published and their names were changed to Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.
The steamy plot follows a 21-year old literature student who is shy, clumsy, and sexually inexperienced. When she interviews a 27-year-old billionaire for her school paper, she is utterly taken with him. She feels powerless in his presence and is grateful when the assignment is over. The two meet again when Grey appears at the hardware store she works in. She is intrigued by his purchases: rope, wide masking tape, and cable ties. She wonders what the items are for. Hint: they're for sex.
Their meetings become more frequent and they eventually become entangled (literally and figuratively) in the binds of raw/uninhibited passion. Their lusty encounters take an interesting turn when Christen presents Anastasia with a contract that names him her Dominant. Part of it stipulates:
The Dominant accepts the submissive as his, to own, control dominate and discipline. The Dominant may discipline the submissive as necessary.
The contract is the part that really has some concerned. Many feel that it conjures the days when women had no choice but to obey their partner and remain submissive. Dr. Drew Pinsky has even said that the relationship between the two is an example of Stockholm syndrome. He told CNN:
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The swept away fantasy is common but this is going beyond that into actual violence. He even went as far as saying it echoed pedophilic behavior:
There's a lot of violence against children in this country. Various kinds of physical abuse and what not and people that are subjected to those kinds of experiences are especially aroused by these kinds of images.
Yet the story is pure fiction and merely a projection of what some women are afraid to admit they want. Anastasia has safe words that she is encouraged to utilize when things go too far. Furthermore, the acts are consensual. The heroine is captivated by Christen and wants to partake in the, sometimes violent, encounters.
Relationship expert, Logan Levkoff, who wrote How to Get Your Wife To Have Sex With You believes that the book is helping women to better communicate their desires to their partner. She maintains:
What I love most about the hoopla surrounding Fifty Shades of Grey is that the story here isn't really about women getting turned on. It's not even about women desiring more sex with their partners. It's about women sharing information with each other. It's about storytelling and friendships. Women have found something that enhances their emotional and sexual lives and want to pass that knowledge onto their friends, family members, and even the world at large.
Whether one find the story, that is part of a three book series, disturbing or not, it's popularity cannot be ignored. Universal Pictures/Focus Features may be adapting all three books! The book is currently available on kindle but will hit shelves next month.