For Fifty Shades of Grey fans and Fifty Shades newbies alike, this highly anticipated movie has been met with excitement and, for most, a good deal of curiosity. The forbidden and dangerous pleasures that play a central role in this movie are intended to peak our curiosity and dare us to come and see. Are you too afraid? the teasers for the movie’s upcoming release seems to say.
But I Believe in Love contributors, Meg and Adam, are not about to shell out any cash to watch Fifty Shades of Grey on Valentines Day–or any day for that matter. Why? Read their responses to find out.
What Meg thinks…
I keep seeing Facebook posts hyping the “sexy scenes” from Fifty Shades of Grey, but I have to say, I find nothing sexy or exciting about the movie. I won’t be seeing it most especially because I think it perpetuates violence in relationships. I definitely don’t want more damaging relationships for my generation! It turns out my instinct is backed up by research.
A study from the University of Michigan found that young women who read “Fifty Shades of Grey” are more likely than non-readers to suffer from an eating disorder and to have a verbally abusive partner. They are also are more likely to binge drink and have multiple sex partners. “All are known risks associated with being in an abusive relationship, much like the lead character, Anastasia, is in “Fifty Shades,” said Amy Bonomi, the study’s lead investigator.”
Of course, it’s not clear if these behaviors were present before or after reading the book. But it doesn’t matter, the study investigator said, “[i]f women experienced adverse health behaviors such as disordered eating first, reading ‘Fifty Shades’ might reaffirm those experiences and potentially aggravate related trauma.”
Another study found that depictions of violence of women like in Fifty Shades of Grey, “normalizes these risks and behaviors in women’s lives.”
For a woman who has been abused by a man, how can she heal from that trauma if sex—what is meant to be a loving and intimate act—mimics her abuse? Will she always associate pain with sex (even if it’s reportedly ‘consensual’)? Not to mention, how will she determine what is “consensual bondage” and what is forced? And lastly, will she ever feel the freedom that comes from sex that is loving and accepting?
I’m with the researchers here, I think Fifty Shades of Grey makes it seem that it’s totally normal for bondage and abuse and sex to go together. That can’t mean a good thing for our hopes for a healthier dating scene and lasting love and marriage! – Meg
What Adam thinks…
Now we all know that I’m no expert on Valentine’s Day, but I’d really like to make this year special. My wife is the best gift giver I know, and I usually only focus on the next fifteen minutes, which makes it a lot harder to plan special days. My plans aren’t entirely finalized, but I can say that we won’t be seeing Fifty Shades of Grey, and I can also say with confidence that Kara’s ok with that.
Kara and I won’t be going to see Fifty Shades of Grey because it just doesn’t seem all that romantic, or even exciting. I haven’t read the book , but from what I’ve heard it’s a novel about diverse, varied and kinky sexual experiences. It’s about making yourself vulnerable to the thrill of the unexpected. and creating a sexual relationship that is constantly pushing the envelope. I have to admit that I have a very different vision of what makes sex fun. What excites me isn’t a constant quest for novelty; it’s a constant quest for depth. To me Fifty Shades of Grey is kind of like candy stores that have 600 different flavors. It’s impressive at first, but the pursuits of diversity have removed some of the quality, and you end up needing 600 flavors and then you don’t remember if any of them are all that good. Novelty in itself isn’t bad, and can be really great in a sexual relationship, but when novelty is all you have to look forward to, it can end up pretty stale. Instead I think sex is about growing in unity, and that’s something that can never be exhausted.
In my marriage I want intimacy. I want to share my heart with my spouse and I want her to share hers with me. I want to know the deepest parts of her, even the wounded parts, because ultimately I want to love her and not a caricature. And I want to share the deepest parts of me with her. Now that’s easy to say but it’s hard to put into practice. We’re all tempted to withhold ourselves in marriage, either for fear or just because it’s so hard to do. And that’s what I think makes sex so great. During sex we’re at our most vulnerable, or at least we should be. We share our bodies and that should lead us to share our hearts. We never do it perfectly, that’s true, but with practice and time, sex can draw us closer and closer to the other person, into a deeper intimacy that’s truly romantic.
In marriage I’ve come to learn what true unity is all about. It takes work, it’s hard, and sometimes it even hurts. But when you’ve tasted unity, and when sex becomes a way to become more united, anything else just seems rather bland. – Adam