Anticipating the Fifty Shades of Grey movie launch Feb 14, Newsweek came out with a special edition: “Exploring the Sexual Revolution.”
I was honored to be interviewed by Newsweek and Topix Media’s Jeff Ashworth for a full-page article on page 18 of the special issue: “Ana and Christian on the Couch.”
Here are some out-takes from the interview — some questions and answers that ended up on the cutting room floor:
Outside of the BDSM, in what ways has the book changed our culture?
Women have always tended to bond with each other over shared romantic obsessions — such as Twilight or the Beatles. But I believe this is the first time this bonding has been over something explicitly erotic.
What does it mean when the best-selling book in the world is about kinky sex? How is that helpful to you as a sex therapist?
Have I had some patients tell me Fifty Shades helped their marriage? Sure. The book’s explicit pleasure in scenes of dominance and submission do help some people accept that these elements are part of erotic life. It’s a bit politically incorrect to say so, but in heterosexual relationships men ordinarily play more sexually dominant roles and women more submissive ones.
Eros is like dancing. A man needs to know how to lead. Christian Grey understands this. Every time he takes Ana into his special room, he has everything planned out. She can just relax, listen to the sexy music he’s picked out for her, and surrender.
Fifty Shades was written by a woman, for women. A man can learn a lot from this book about what turns women on. Christian Grey always makes Ana feel desired. He finds her endlessly fascinating. And he pays attention to small details like the scent of his body-wash, the clothes he wears — the whole sensory experience.
He also has a high-end stainless steel kitchen. That’s a big turn-on for some women.
I thought Newsweek and Topix Media did a great job with this special issue. And the pictures of the show’s stars are easy to look at.
I was, however, a bit taken aback by the Fifty Shades movie. Without the cute interior monologue of the book, the situation seemed more similar to an ordinary abusive relationship.
See my article, “Why Does the Fifty Shades Movie Look Like Domestic Abuse?” on PsychologyToday.
And my later article, “What Ruined Fifty Shades for Me This Year,” on Huffington Post.