An erotic trilogy focused on kinky sex has led to the question whether it will become a revolution.
The trilogy is about a recent college graduate Anastasia Steele and handsome young billionaire Christian Grey, who hopes to have her be involved in his secret dominant/submissive sexual activities. BDSM, or bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism, are explored.
The books, Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, were written by British writer E.L. James, and hold the three spots on USA Today’s Best-Selling Books list. The books have recently been banned from libraries in Florida and Georgia, and have even been parodied on a recent episode of Saturday Night Live.
Debby Herbenick, an educator at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University-Bloomington, has noted that the books have left many questioning what BDSM is and how to define the behavior. She described that the spectrum of BDSM can range from “handcuffs and little devices meant for spanking and things like that” to more extremes.
Most experts say that BDSM mostly focuses on role-playing and an exchange of power, and that they estimate that millions of people actively participate in it. The current believe is that the prevalence of BDSM is one in 10.
Susan Wright, founder of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, has applauded the trilogy for portraying BDSM “in a very responsible way.” She, however, has condemned the phrase “mommy porn,” which many use to describe the series, because she believes it is “another way of denigrating women’s interest in sexuality.”
Herbenick, who recently published a book entitled Sex Made Easy, has said that despite Fifty Shade’s popularity, she doesn’t expect to see lots of people engage in the practice.
“I do not expect massive changes in the bedrooms across America,” she said.