It’s either a guilty pleasure or an example of subservient sexploitation. Or both. One thing is certain – Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James’ bestseller has people thinking about sex, maybe in a new way. If you’re able to consider it objectively, the book and all the talk about it can have a significant benefit, especially to many of my patients. Let me tell you why it makes sense to suspend judgment on the politics of the sexual relationship at the core of the story, to consider its value.
It’s no secret that many post-menopausal women struggle with a lack of sexual desire and the physical changes that may make intimacy difficult. Hormone production changes mean a decreased libido; and that’s the plain and simple science of it. But thankfully, that’s not the only factor in sexual appetite. For many people, the suggestion of new positions, scenarios and roles can stimulate an interest in sexual activity. In the case of Fifty Shades, the themes of domination and submission are explored, which isn’t really a new concept. It is a bit groundbreaking, however, for that kind of sexual role-playing and its impact on a relationship to be featured in something it seems that everyone is reading.
The allure of sexual fantasy has long played a part in ramped-up excitement levels, even if never overtly expressed. Therapists and other professionals have promoted role-playing for years. The difference now is that Fifty Shades of Grey has got us demanding it from our libraries and openly discussing with our book clubs.
It’s enough to make any reader (or eavesdropper of readers) curious, and that is such a positive result, especially for anyone struggling with the loss of interest in sexual activity. Think about it. And then think about it some more. Thankfully, we’re complicated creatures when it comes to intimacy. Some people may have trouble getting beyond the taboo nature of the domination/submission scenario, and that’s a shame. For my patients, especially those who have struggled in a post-menopausal sexual interest-free zone, this book may be just what they need.
Interested in women’s sexual health? Contact us for an appointment.