The Fifty Shades era is upon us. Women everywhere are tearing through the pages, film
producers are preparing for the next big franchise, and sex shop sales are increasing. But amidst
all of this frenzy, there’s a problem: the books are creating unrealistic expectations.
The trilogy follows the virginal Anastasia Steele, a twenty-something college graduate who
falls into the dark mystery that is Christian Grey. And while there is nothing wrong with being a
virgin, there IS something wrong with creating unrealistic expectations about sex.
While you should never take direction from a fictional story (exception: you want to teach your
boyfriend the ways of Noah from The Notebook), you should also not “read into” E.L. James’
exaggerations of sex.
One of the first things I noticed in the books was that when it comes to sex, Anastasia never
turns Christian down. Granted, it’s in her contract, but it seems like she’s always “rearing to
go.” Call it the sudden discovery of sex and the attraction of a beautiful man, but there’s always
those times when a girl doesn’t feel well, she’s tired, or just plain not in the mood.
In addition, Anastasia does not only have an orgasm/multiple orgasms during every sexual
encounter with Christian, but her pleasure can happen on demand. Christian says the magic
words and Anastasia becomes instantly undone, and sometimes Christian doesn’t allow her to
But as you read these books, you might be thinking “Is this for real? Can this really happen?”
Unfortunately, the answer is no. And the fact that this idea is spreading like wildfire is not good
either. So can this story be setting girls up for disappointment? If you take the books seriously
enough, then yes.
The idea that all women are 100% satisfied with their sex lives has always been exaggerated.
Take movies, for example. In romantic comedies, the sex scenes usually last less than five
minutes, and you often see the couple pleased afterward. Not only is this unrealistic, but it sets
girls up for minor disappointment when they become sexually active.
Because the sad truth is that it takes more than a verbal command for a woman to orgasm, and
studies show that a woman is actually less likely to have an orgasm her first time having sex, or
any time that her mind isn’t fully in the moment. It takes time and energy, and if your partner
isn’t willing to put in the work, then you shouldn’t be willing to share yourself with them.
You just have to remember: fiction is fiction.