Tag Archives Fifty Shades of Grey

What 50 Shades of Grey Taught Us About Women


Today we want to discuss what 50 shades of grey taught us about women. When Fifty Shades of Grey rose to prominence, the public had very mixed opinions about it. Many feminists hated it for quite a few reasons, mainly due to its inaccurate representation of the BDSM community and its poor depiction of what consent means, given the hefty power dynamic between the two main characters.

That said, many people absolutely loved it. The book has sold over 100 million copies worldwide, and the movie grossed a whopping $81.7 million on its opening weekend.

So, what does the titanic success of Fifty Shades of Grey teach us about women? That they secretly fantasize about being in a dominant-submissive relationship, or something more?

What Fifty Shades is about

50 Shades of Grey

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University senior and virgin Anastasia Steele meets the broody, mysterious and ultra-sexy billionaire Christian Grey. She is automatically attracted to him, and the feeling is mutual. The hook? Christian Grey is an avid dominant, who has the women he is sleeping with sign a contract to commit to some kinky sex. Cue a series of sexual encounters, fights, and more makeup sex, they quickly fall in love and eventually live happily ever after.

It’s all about the sexual tension

A huge reason why women go wild over Christian Grey is the monogamy aspect of his relationship with Ana. Sure, he’s damaged and hurts her emotionally (sometimes even physically, but that’s a whole other issue) – but what keeps the audience engaged and empathizing with him is the fact that she’s the only woman he desires. If he’d been sleeping with multiple other women during his whirlwind romantic adventure with Ana, the audience would have written him off as a scumbag in a second.

But the sexual tension between them is intensified by the fact that she seems to have a different effect on him than other women in the past, and he lets her get away with things that he’d never let other women get away with. Although you can look at this objectively and think, ‘how is this romance?’, women find it romantic because of the context. A woman in general gets more turned on when the stakes feel higher and when it feels like her partner is going out of their comfort zone for her benefit. So, while letting Ana fall asleep with him seems like an obvious thing to do for most couples, it’s sexy for her because Christian doesn’t let anyone sleep in the same bed as him. The devil is in the details.

It taps into women’s subconscious desire to relinquish control

50 Shades of GreyFifty Shades was mainly marketed towards a middle-aged female audience, and turns out there was a pretty smart and strategic reason why. Middle-aged women often feel like they are carrying the entire world on their shoulders. Traditionally, they are the ones left making sure the children are fed, bathed and put to bed, making sure the house is well-kept, cooking dinner and making lunches.

The idea of having a partner who sweeps in, takes care of all her financial burdens, makes all the decisions, and makes her orgasm in minutes (without any guidance necessary on her part), sounds like a dream come true.

The perceived freedom and release that comes from the idea of simply submitting to a sexy, wealthy man who is obsessed with her is enough to keep her turning the pages. It’s a similar kind of pleasure as being pampered through an all-inclusive paid spa weekend with no kids or responsibilities.

Many women have an internal hero complex

Unsurprisingly, the mysterious Christian Grey happened to have a very traumatic childhood, with a mother who was a prostitute and whose friend took advantage of Christian while he was a minor. This is where Ana’s shyness and uncertainty about her self-worth come in, which is an issue that many young women deal with, before really coming into their own.

Chances are, if you’re a woman, you’ve at some point dated a “damaged” man with the hopes of being able to “save” him, and you probably realized afterwards that those butterflies you thought were excitement, were actually warning signs.

Many women, particularly younger and more naïve women, have good hearts and are very compassionate. This makes them vulnerable and susceptible to manipulation, particularly to narcissistic men or people with manipulative tendencies. Books like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, to name only a couple, romanticize having a woman love a man back to normal – and woman devour these books like a bottle of rosé on girls’ night.

But why is that? Well, the unfortunate truth of the matter is that often, women grow up with an unequal power dynamic with men, and some grow up in environments that may not be the most nurturing and supportive. This leads them to having self-worth issues and needing to validate themselves and prove they are worthy by saving “damaged” men. Many women also have innate abandonment issues. Christian managed to successfully prey on these insecurities with Ana, having her constantly in a state of fear that she would lose him if she did anything that displeased him, or violated their contract in any way.

Women want to be granted permission to be sexual

Adult affection bed closeness

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Prior to the Fifty Shades franchise, many women didn’t know where to start when it came to exploring their darker fantasies. But the books and subsequent movies’ success created a safe space for women to explore their own sexualities – it started a conversation about sexuality, and the franchise even launched its own product lines of beginner-friendly BDSM toys. Fifty Shades helped women reclaim their sexuality.

Having sexual fantasies like masturbating with huge dildos was considered a taboo prior to the Fifty Shades phenomenon. Nowadays, women have a reference point and use the internet to get educated about the best ways they can indulge in their kinks using websites like Hot Cherry.

Women crave those initial feelings of excitement

The fact that Ana is such a plain, simple character that many women can project themselves onto makes the story have more influence on women. Many women relate to her by remembering what it was like to be a virgin, and all the butterflies and excitement that come with falling in love for the first time.

Fifty Shades being a hit with middle-aged women in particular comes to no surprise to anyone – many women in that age group have been in a relationship with the same person for ages, and may have fallen into a stagnant daily routine of work, raising kids, sleep, repeat. The books and films allowed women to fantasize and live vicariously through Ana, and remember those feelings of not being able to get enough of someone. Heck, it even inspired them to shake things up in their own relationships.

The Fifty Shades of Grey craze in all its good, bad and ugly, taught us a lot about women and their psychology. But at the end of the day, reading or watching a movie is just a form of entertainment and escapism. However, if you can take bits and pieces of knowledge from studying how women react to phenomenon’s such as this one, you can spice things up in your own relationship, or at the very least, avoid falling into a toxic trap with an abusive man or woman.

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‘Fifty Shades of Black’ Movie Review


Around this time last year, we gave you the rundown about one of the most anticipated movies of the year, Fifty Shades of Grey. Well, consider this the review of the not-so-sequel Fifty Shades of Black, as it made its theater debut this past weekend!
The parody was written by and stars Marlon Wayans as Christian Black, alongside Kali Hawk as Hannah Steele. Wayans, known for his more risque comedic style, definitely took a no-holds-barred approach to this film. It was quite reminiscent of his performance in his previous spoof, A Haunted House (2013).
Now, just like Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades of Black was definitely a film for an acquired taste and audience—but this time around, we aren’t talking about the sexually deprived housewife or the low-key sexual deviant looking to the big screen to witness their inner fantasies come alive. Between the plethora of penis jokes, the frequent use of the “N word,” and Florence Henderson (aka Carol Brady) taking on the role of a Dominant (as his “teacher”) during one of Black’s first sexual encounters as a teen, the film proved to have shock value—but ultimately lacked in true humor.
To call it basic, overrated, or poorly executed may or may not be accurate, but to say it wasn’t Wayans’ best work is spot on. On one hand, the spoof accurately depicts the timeline laid out by its more seriously toned counterpart; however, to call the film humorous is a reach. Scenes ranged from overexaggerated “we get it already” moments, to overly sexualized scenes that kind of made you want to look away (there’s only so long you can focus on male genitalia that measure out to be 3-ft long), to sheer uninterest.
Now to say that the film was predictable is in fact untrue. The momentary reference made to last year’s Magic Mike XXL was definitely a crowd pleaser—until yet another penis made its debut onto the screen, but this time in a rather miniature package. It also did a fabulous job at making us remember everything we’ll never forget from 2015:
When Kim K broke the internet
And things like “Got’em” and “eating booty like groceries.”
Across the board, it’s clear that Fifty Shades of Black was not something anyone would have expected, but it is here, and much like its parallel, it’s still “fifty shades of f*cked up.”
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‘Fifty Shades of Black’ Movie Review: Images courtesy of MovieWeb, Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Life, New York Daily News

Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Review


Contracts, whips and chains, oh my!
Okay, ladies (and gents) Valentine’s Day weekend is here and so is Cliché Mag’s Fifty Shades of Grey movie review!
Audiences are flooding their local movie theaters this weekend with their friends, significant others and some even solo to see the film that’s been heating up movie screens, but is it worth it? Well…some things you’ll love, some things you’ll hate and others will make you go WTF.
First things first, the movie is based on the first book in British author E. L. James’ erotic trilogy, which began as Twilight fan fiction and stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, a sexually inexperienced college student and Jamie Dornan as Christen Grey , the handsome, charming, BDSM-obsessed young billionaire. The two unexpectedly fall for each other, but Steele wants a love story and fairytale romance while Grey admits that he wants her, but on his own terms.
Let’s break things down. If you were expecting to see heart racing erotica, steamy sex scenes in the “Red Room of Pain” or anything that was too hot for TV in order to pick up a tip or two- you’d be disappointed. It’s not to say the film lacked these things, but let’s just say the build up was better than the actual climax.
Now, if you’re one of those people who knew all along that the film was going to be a bust, you’re not entirely correct, but you have a point. The lovers of the Fifty Shades book series would encourage those to read the book and just skip on the movie, but we must remember that only so much can be translated from book to big screen, so bare with it and keep an open mind.
Some things you’ll love about the movie: the sexual chemistry between Steele and Grey, although their regular interaction was a bit awkward and reminiscent of the relationship between Bella and Edward from the Twilight movies. The two did an amazing job capturing the lust, sensuality and dominance of their relationship, while also staying true to the real life situations people encounter while dating (i.e. drunk phone calls and jealousy).
Some things you’ll hate: the contract, the contract, the contract! The constant talk about the contract, which became irrelevant as time went on. Also, the ending. Compare it to a bad sexual encounter, just when things start to get good, they finish first and just leave you hanging. Completely unsatisfied. Now, you have to wait for the next time around or in this case for the next movie.
Overall, did Fifty Shades of Grey live up to the hype? Not exactly. Was it enjoyable? Yes. It kept audiences interested and might have sparked some sexual fantasies, but it also triggered many side conversations about book comparisons, inconsistencies and more laughs and funny lines than expected.
For the first installment, the movie was OK, but the real verdict is how the trilogy will do as a whole in the future.
Photos Courtesy of E! Online

Lit Lovers Paradise


Once upon a ti9780385737951_custom-bc4950410127829105beca80a18b38977882d9ef-s6-c30me, I read a little book called Divergent. It’s only sold millions of copies to date and been on countless best-seller lists, but perhaps you’ve heard of it. I was immediately engrossed by the complex characters and the fascinating, albeit a little frightening, world that Veronica Roth so expertly created. In the days that followed, I ignored my body’s need for sleep and zipped through the remaining two books in the series, Insurgent and Allegiant. Though left emotionally and physically drained, the books were nothing if not imaginative and captivating. This became my very favorite series—particularly because I love books that fall into the dystopian genre. When I first discovered that my beloved story was coming to the big screen, I pretty much freaked out. But I know I’m not the only one. You see, we lit lovers have an unhealthy obsession with the fantasy worlds that we read about—which pretty much guarantees we will go see the flick, regardless of who’s in it or who’s directing it.
Hollywood has quickly learned that they can make mega bucks off of us book worms. Look at blockbusters like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Twilight—and, if we’re being honest, Twilight’s movie adaptation wasn’t even that good! Even The Hunger Games franchise hasn’t quite been living up to the incredible novels that they’re based off of. It doesn’t seem to matter. If our favorite books become movies, we nerds will be there for the midnight release. There’s just something incredibly mind-blowing about experiencinfault-our-stars-movie-posterg your story in a more visual format, even if it isn’t spectacular.
Thankfully, Divergent was awesome; one of the better book-turned-movies so far. Still, there’s a lot more for book-ies to look forward to. Not only are there two more installments in the Divergent series to cover, but there’s also plenty more book-turned-films in the works! Case in point, I’m currently reading the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie. Lo and behold, my dear friend Google informed me that there are rumors of the movie rights already being purchased by Disney (insert girly fit of giggles here). A few of the other highly anticipated titles include, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Maze Runner by James Dashner and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. That’s a whole lot of lit! Book freaks, are you ready for the upcoming lit lovers paradise?

Fifty Shades of Great


“Palm-twitchers” across the globe have been very vocal concerning casting for the upcoming film, Fifty Shades of Grey. The movie adaptation of the best-selling novel is pressured with the daunting task of depicting Christian Grey—the young, impossibly gorgeous, mega-rich bac50-shades-of-grey-photos-dakota-johnson-jamie-dornan-portraithelor with a dark past and even darker fetishes. Fans don’t seem too thrilled with E.L. James’s final choice, Jamie Dornan—preferring favorites such as Matt Bomer and Ian Somerhalder instead.  While some finally agree that Somerhalder is too boy-next-door and Bomer doesn’t have that wow factor, why Dornan? Admittedly, at first glance, the former Calvin Klein model doesn’t seem quite right for the role. However, after researching Dornan’s modelling and acting careers, one can see why James’s choice was the right one.

First and foremost, take a look at Dornan’s steamy C.K. ads, especially those beside Eva Mendes. Aside from being insanely handsome, he always has the brooding and mysterious look that the character is so famous for. With his messy dark hair, built frame and infamous grey-blue eyes, he fits the character mold “to the T”. If you haven’t seen the film Marie Antoinette, check out some of Dornan’s scenes alongside Kirsten Dunst. Once you see the smoldering look Count Axel Fersen often gives Marie Antoinette across the table, you will have no doubt that Dornan will do his part in portraying a deliciously reprimanding Christian Grey.  Dornan definitely has the necessary tools to slay this role. As long as he bulks up as he’s done for past photo shoots and keeps a little bit of stubble on his chiseled face, he’ll be able to win over those that are still in doubt.

Let’s move onward to Miss AnastaskPsVl6Eia Steele, the unassuming object of Mr. Grey’s desires. Steele is described as a bit of a “plain-Jane” and quiet beauty with uncooperative brown hair and “too-big for her face” blue eyes.  While Alexis Blidel and Emilia Clarke were both fan favorites, E.L. James unexpectedly went with Dakota Johnson. The immediate complaint expressed by readers was that Johnson is (heaven-forbid!) blonde. Nothing that a simple dye job can’t fix! Johnson now sports the brown locks that fans are expecting. The actress has somewhat of an older look about her, though she is only 24. As a recent college graduate, the character of Anastasia has to have that fresh-grad aura. Looking into some of Johnson’s previous roles and on-screen interviews, fans will notice that she is quite youthful, although it doesn’t translate well in photos. Most importantly, she is a solid actress and has an unconventional sex-appeal that might prove disappointed fans wrong—not to mention she has those perfect, coveted, full lips that is crucial to the role!

Still in doubt? Check out YouTube and watch some of the more recent fan-made trailers for the film. You’ll be surprised at how well cut and paste works at giving us an idea of what Dornan and Johnson will look like on the big screen. Simply put, they are blazing-hot! While the two aren’t what we expected and are far from our first choices, there is some serious potential for a great and intense film.  Some of the other finalized roles include Eloise Mumford  as Kate Kavanagh, Anastasia’s best friend; Luke Grimes as Elliot Grey, Christian’s brother; and Max Martini as Taylor, Christian’s right-hand man and bodyguard. We won’t get to see Grey’s scrumptious grey tie until February 2015, but we will be waiting anxiously and obediently, Sir.

Photos courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.

Feature image courtesy of FanShare.