Can Jamie Dornan Deliver the Magic as Fifty Shades’ Christian Grey?

Can Jamie Dornan Deliver the Magic as Fifty Shades’ Christian Grey?

It’s That Time Again  July 16, 2014 In 2012 the world went temporarily crazy for Fifty Shades of Grey, which sold 100 million copies. It seemed every woman in America was reading E. L. James’ 3-volume erotic romance. We discussed the book at length on these pages, in articles such as “When Should a Sex Therapist Recommend Fifty Shades of Grey to Couples?,”  “Why Fifty Shades Leaves Women Wanting More,” and “Fifty Shades for Men.” After a few months, though, no one wanted to talk Fifty Shades anymore. Like a new dance craze, it lasted a single summer and then was gone. I felt a little embarrassed to have written about the book at all. But now the movie is coming out on Valentine’s Day 2015, and Grey fever is back. My twitter feed has been lighting up with fan sites discussing the movie trailer’s release on Thurs July 24 as if it were the Second Coming. Most of the interest in the movie seems focused on who’s playing the main characters. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, Don Johnson’s daughter Dakota plays Anna Steele. And Calvin Klein model Jamie Dornan is Christian Grey. These casting decisions have been parsed with an intensity greater than the World Cup Final. I had trouble at first understanding all the excitement about something as mundane as casting. But now that the trailer is coming out soon, I’m starting to get a feel for it.   Heart of Many Rooms This week I was interviewed on a FiftyShades fan site, and I learned a new word: “book boyfriend.” A book boyfriend is...
Eros, Spirituality, and Crying During Sex

Eros, Spirituality, and Crying During Sex

Most recent in a series of articles  and interviews based on the new book Slow Sex by Nicole Daedone.   This is article 4 in the series.   My fellow sex journalist Tracy Clark-Flory was a guest at one of  Nicole Daedone’s weekend retreats  for women at Le Meridien in San Francisco last year.   One of the events was a live demonstration of Daedone’s technique of what she calls Orgasmic Meditation (OM) with a female volunteer.  (See references 1-3 below) During this public OM session, the volunteer apparently experienced one or more sexual climaxes, accompanied by loud vocalization. Writing later about the experience for Salon, Clark-Flory described the experience as having been “both arousing and deeply bizarre.” She also noted that during the demonstration two women in the audience were silently crying. I’m not surprised that Clark-Flory found the experience arousing, or bizarre.  But I’m disappointed she didn’t inquire more why those two audience members were crying. I would love to have asked them.   My guess? These women were crying because the scene, strange as it was, touched something profound inside them.   Not unlike what might cause one to cry during especially satisfying sex. Say what one will about Daedone, one must credit her with having followed an intuition that there is something profound about deeply felt sexual desire. Peak desire involves a sense of specialness, of connectedness, even of sacredness, that shares something with peak religious experience.  It’s not hard to imagine eros and spirituality sharing some special part of the human self. In her book Slow Sex, Daedone writes about her clients coming in saying that they’re...
On staying faithful in Hollywood and elsewhere

On staying faithful in Hollywood and elsewhere

    July 27, 2012 After news of the Kristen Stewart mini-scandal broke this week, I was contacted by IBTimes writer Justine Ashley Costanza about infidelity amongst the famous and not-so-famous.   With her permission, I’m reprinting the conversation we had in preparation for her IBTimes article that appeared July 25th. Dr Snyder, you’ve said you’re sympathetic to Stewart? Absolutely.   She’s 22.  How many of us would like all the mistakes we made in our 20’s to be recorded on videotape? Why would a 22-year-old woman cheat on her boyfriend of three years with a 41 year old married man? Fidelity has lots of advantages, but absolute fidelity doesn’t come naturally.  It takes commitment. At 22, one is still learning from one’s mistakes.  It takes longer than that to know who you really are, what you really need, and how to resolve your conflicts. Could it have anything to do with the fact that he’s her director? The undivided attention an actress gets from her director can be very erotic.   As I mentioned in Twilight and the Art of Foreplay, that kind of attention can be very attractive to a woman. Look at all the Hollywood actresses who’ve ended up marrying or involved with their directors.  It’s staggering. Can a couple ever get over this kind of thing? Maybe not get over it, but get through it.   If there’s sincerity and real regret over what happened. Do you recommend anything to read for couples struggling with the fallout from infidelity? I like Janice Spring’s After the Affair.  It’s no-nonsense, and it captures the feeling of total disorientation...
When Should a Sex Therapist Recommend Fifty Shades of Grey to Couples?

When Should a Sex Therapist Recommend Fifty Shades of Grey to Couples?

Eighth in a series on Fifty Shades of Grey   Can Fifty Shades save your relationship? I’m hearing the same thing from sex therapists all over the country — If you recommend Fifty Shades of Grey to clients who are stuck in unhappy sexual relationships, some of them will come back reporting better sex. We sex therapists are practical folks.  We’ll use whatever works — as long as it’s ethical and legal.   But what is it about Fifty Shades that’s made it the latest gadget in the sex therapy toolkit?  Here’s my list of reasons– 1.   It’s respectable. Hey, it’s in the New York Times.   Still number 1, 2, and 3 on the New York Times best-seller list this week.   That gives a couple permission to read it without being labelled as perverts.    Permission-giving is a crucial part of sex therapy. 2.  It’s popular. You can discuss it with your friends.  As I wrote in “From Beatlemania to Fifty Shades of Grey,” ultimately Fifty Shades may be so popular simply because it’s popular.   So much of sexiness is power of suggestion anyway. 3.   It’s a romance novel. Romance novels are the most lucrative genre of literature in the publishing world.   The dashing but dangerous billionaire driven mad by his desire for a virtuous but irresistible young woman.   That story has been selling like hotcakes since 1740. 4.  It’s got BDSM. No, that’s not the latest hip-hop group.  For those few who still don’t know, BDSM stands for “Bondage, Domination, and Sado-Masochism.” According to my colleague Dr Wednesday Martin, the kinkiness in Fifty Shades is mere...
Why Fifty Shades Leaves Women Wanting More

Why Fifty Shades Leaves Women Wanting More

Can’t Fail Sex Recipe for Erotic Romance 5 cups Twilight 1 cup Marquis de Sade 3 cups raw sex — finely diced Yield:    Fifty Shades of Grey   Two virgins It’s well known that Fifty Shades of Grey began as a work of “Fan Fiction” published online, closely based on Twilight.    The resemblance between Twilight and Fifty Shades is indeed striking. Don’t be fooled by the fact that Fifty Shades is loaded with graphic sex, while the Twilight characters never saw each other naked until volume 4.   The romantic and erotic ingredients of Twilight are closely copied in Fifty Shades. Like Twilight’s Bella, Fifty Shades’ Ana Steele is a sexual and romantic tabula rasa — a virgin in the purest sense of the word.   Ana has never before felt sexual attraction, never been in love, never masturbated, and never had an orgasm. Like Bella, she comes from a silent, unexpressive father and a childlike, disorganized mother who have long since divorced — and from whom she can expect very little. In an interesting twist, given what’s usually assumed about the importance of women’s social networks, both heroines are fairly solitary.  They are bookish creatures, somewhat out of step with the popular crowd. The emotional solitude of the female lead has been a  staple of the romance genre since Pamela in 1740. Twilight and Fifty Shades are no exception.   As discussed earlier on these pages, there’s something compelling about virgins locked in towers.   (More on that later.)   Team Christian Fifty Shades’ Christian Grey is a near-clone of Twilight’s Edward.  Like Edward, Grey is uber-sophisticated, plays the piano...