Happiness in Love… Pleasure & Pain

THE ALLURE OF FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

If you haven’t yet heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, you’re probably living under a rock…or chained up in a basement. This is the smut novel to end all smut novels, and women everywhere are falling for its enigmatic, mysterious, sadistic (and sad) leading man, Christian Grey.

Author E L James has written the 27-year-old entrepreneur in such a way that we fall for his good looks — tousled copper hair, grey eyes, perfect hips — before we even know what a messed up asshole he is. SPOILER ALERT! You see, Christian has a “red room of pain.” He can’t be with a woman in the traditional sense — he must dominate her and cause her pain. He has never had a girlfriend, and his parents think he’s gay.

Enter soon-to-be-college graduate Anastasia Steele, who could be anyone. She could be you, she could be me (though I suspect she’s ever-so-slightly taller, thinner, younger and has far superior hair). She’s an innocent who easily succumbs to his weird ways because she — wait for it — falls in love with him. Story of your life, right? You’d do anything for love, though technically, most of you haven’t been in Ana’s Converse/stilettos.

It isn’t hard to see why the book is a hit. A Pulitzer winner it’s not, but Fifty Shades has a certain je ne sais quoi, a little something besides endless amounts of kinky sex that has you turning pages faster than you can say “orgasm.”

In fact — dare I say it? — I believe this book has started something of a sexual revolution. Though its protagonist is young and green, the women that read her story range in age from 18-70. Every woman wants a piece of Grey. No woman is ashamed to admit she’s reading it, and all eyes are being opened to an alternative lifestyle.

Additionally, Christian Grey is the kind of man we all secretly want to love us. He’s a gorgeous, rich, philanthropic entrepreneur living in Seattle, has an insatiable sexual appetite and — yes — is just screwed up enough that we wish to be the woman who changes him/heals him.

Even Britney & Rihanna have a song about S&M

I won’t deny that my Kindle is hot from how rapidly I flick its pages, nor will I deny how obsessed with the book I’ve become. But do I really want a man like Christian Grey? Maybe in my wildest dreams… but in reality, someone who’s that damaged, dominating and controlling could never make me happy.

Isn’t happiness the whole point where love is concerned? Wouldn’t you rather have a partner that’s your equal instead of your superior? For some of you, this may be a – ahem – grey area, but for me, knowing pain hardly makes pleasure all the more enjoyable.

 

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About the Author: Laura Schreffler is a former New York Daily News columnist who left the world of celebrity behind to focus on what makes her happiest — love and travel. She is the creator of LoveTrekker.com — a website devoted to these two passions that she fondly calls “looking for love in all the right places.” In her spare time she likes to play matchmaker for her friends, dream about her next vacation and gaze at photographs of Taylor Kitsch. For more advice on love, relationships, and happiness, check out http://lovetrekker.com & her book "Internet Dating 101". And follow her here at Happiness Series with her weekly blog about finding love.