Mommy Porn is Alive and Well

All the talk shows are taking their sides this last week on the debate about the digital book Fifty Shades of Grey by British author E.L. James. It’s an erotic novel that has hit a home run online with women.I especially love that E.L. is working mom of two. Hence that some in the media have referred to the book as “mommy porn”. Needless to say, the book has us Sexologists very busy and many conservatives and feminists atwitter in their own way.

Spanking ass

The novel as it turns out it is a part of a trilogy (isn’t all fiction written in a trilogy series these days?). It follows the relationship between a young billionaire, Christian Grey, and a college student, Anastasia Steele. Apparently their relationship consists of bondage and discipline and sadomasochistic themes (BDSM). It has sold more than 250,000+ copies. As of last week, the first volume was No. 1 on both Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

I hate to say it but this is nothing new folks and I find it funny that such a big deal is being made about nothing. Granted, I am always happy when sex is discussed in the mainstream media – even when the pundits bash it because damn it, we don’t talk about it enough — period. However, the voices surrounding the argument calling the book’s BDSM overtones unhealthy and disturbing need to look no farther than many Harlequin romance novels or books like the Story of O, Nancy Friday’s Secret Garden or Anne Rice’s Beauty novels. Its seems like every few years we all get reminded that women are a) turned on by explicit erotica and b) that women are aroused by more than romantic “Notebook” movie love scenes. I’m sure the media is just looking for some salacious content but regardless, women get little credit for having rich, complex fantasy lives.

Yes, I am happy this book is doing well and that a critical mass of women made the digital download successful. A division of Random House has just agreed to publish the whole series. It seems to me women are saying, “Bring on more authentic, well-written erotica – there’s market beyond Harlequin.” I hope publishers are getting wise and that the world at large can begin to see women for the sexual beings they are; whether they are mommies, young executives or grandmas. And men listen up; it might serve you well to make sure you female partners have a copy at bedside. All that sexual energy has to go somewhere. I think even a few of those conservative naysayers might benefit from a little post-reading Fifty Shades coital action.

 


 is the resident sexologist at Adam & Eve and also runs a private practice and media consulting business.  She has a Doctorate from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality.  Her professional affiliations include AASECT, SSSS, and the American Board of Sexologists.  She also has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and completed a postgraduate degree in Marriage, Family and Addictions Recovery Therapy.

© Copyright Dr. Kathleen Van Kirk