Why Fifty Shades of Grey is good for women (and their sex lives)

Marie Claire's features director Anna Saunders on why the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey and Matthew McConaughey's new hit Magic Mike are good for women (and our sex lives)

Marie Claire’s features director Anna Saunders on why the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey and Matthew McConaughey’s new hit Magic Mike are good for women (and our sex lives).

Are we obsessed with sex or what?
 
I’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey. I finally caved. And, yes, it’s badly written. Yes, the phrase “unrelenting fingers” will stay with me forever. And, yes, it’s a bit disappointing that the lead character (Ana) seems to lust after her hero’s bank balance as much as his body. (Feminism? What was feminism?)

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But there’s no denying that Fifty Shades of Grey has struck a nerve. Last weekend, it was everywhere I looked; women were openly reading it on the plane, by the pool(yes, I was in the sun), and on the train. Is it because of the racy sex scenes? The S&M? The fact that the brooding, almost-too-perfect to be true (in some ways) hero worships the heroine? You’ll have to read it yourself to find out.

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Whatever the case, it’s clear that this is the summer of sex. Apparently, sales of sex toys are up. There’s the new Matthew McConaughey film out – Magic Mike – which sees he and Channing Tatum star as strippers. Even Alain de Botton’s getting in on the act, with talk of producing female-centric porn.

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Men have looked at and publicly joked about looking at porn since, well, forever. Is it such a scandal that it turns out women aren’t so different? Surely any book that gets people thinking about women – and what they want for a change – can’t be a bad thing.

What do you think? Is Fifty Shades of Grey pro women? Should women be lusting after Christian Grey-alikes? Let us know what you think in the box below or tweet us @MarieClaireUK #fiftyshades

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