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There is no denying the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey. And, therefore, into the realm of public health. I have spent years talking to young people, college students, school administrators, youth program staff, and parents about sexual health in this country.
So what does it mean that Fifty Shades is now selling bath oil, vibrating love rings, lubricant, and blindfolds at Target? Is this the dawn of improved sexual discourse in the United States? If we have mainstream acceptance of bondage, sexual contracts, and the like, are we going to see an overall improvement in the sexual health and satisfaction of our country?
Or, does Fifty Shades just reflect the current state of inequality in the bedroom between men and women? Is it the ultimate elevation of dating abuse, sexual violence, and other gloomy realities about human hetero sexual behavior?
Unfortunately, I think it is more of the latter. The first thing that strikes me while finally reading Fifty Shades is this: Wow, people are really not kidding about the terrible writing.
Just how badly written is the trilogy? It makes the Twilight series—the origins of Fifty Shadesas it was first created as fan fiction—look like Pulitzer material. It made Twilight look like War and Peace. Nor is there much new about Fifty Shadesespecially sexually.
It is just an R-rated version of a Disney movie. It is incredibly depressing that badly written erotica acting out very old sexual scripts for women and men has become so popular.
And frankly, it is also not a surprise. What did we expect the natural progression of abstinence-only would bring us? But abstinence-only education has undoubtedly changed our culture. It has brought us more sexual shame, more fear of our desires—particularly female ones—and less knowledge about our bodies and physiology. I am sorry, but it isand that is just pathetic.
And it is also, unfortunately, the natural conclusion of raising generations of children without genuine, authentic sexuality education. Our desires and sexual scripts are as influenced by our culture as our appetites, our clothing choices, what we listen to, and what we read. We all have work to do to improve our sexual health: increasing communication with our partners; beefing up our birth control; getting tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections; speaking up early and often about the critical importance of active, engaged consent; and working on undoing the shame and misinformation so many of us learned or absorbed growing up in a sexually repressed yet sex-sells-everything, misogynist, homophobic culture.
There is so much work to be done.
Let us not get distracted by a book or a movie and instead focus on creating our own genuine and authentic sexual selves. We deserve nothing less. Sophie Godley is a clinical assistant professor of community health sciences at SPH. She can be reached at sgodley bu. February 18, Twitter Facebook. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by .Woman want sex Godley
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