Why Women Love ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’

Above: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan star in the upcoming adaptation of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'
Above: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan star in the upcoming adaptation of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

If you have women in your life, chances are you have heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, the erotic trilogy that took the world by storm in 2012. Maybe your girlfriend gushes about it with her friends, or your coworkers talk about it in the lunch room. And let’s be honest, your mom has probably read it too. Women everywhere, young and old, have fallen in lust with the main character, Christian Grey. But why has a series that started out as a Twilight fan-fiction become a worldwide obsession? E.L James has said the characters, and stories were meant to portray her own fantasies, but clearly, millions of women share those fantasies. Here are four possible reasons why women can’t get enough of Fifty Shades of Grey.

The fantasy: The perfect (on paper) man

Christian Grey is the guy every woman is looking for, in theory. He is rich, successful, good looking, mysterious, and charming. He is very protective of main character, Anastasia Steele (Ana), and showers her with gifts. He even buys the company she works for just so he can fire the boss that doesn’t treat her well. Despite his need to be dominant, and controlling, Ana actually feels safe when he is around. It may not be realistic, but that’s why it’s a fantasy. Women like to wonder what it would be like to be taken care of, even if it is not something they need or want in real life.

The fantasy: Taming the bad boy

Logically, we all know trying to change a man isn’t a good idea. People don’t usually change that drastically. Accepting someone how they are is one of the prerequisites to love. Christian Grey may be the perfect on-paper guy, but deep down he has more issues than MAD magazine. His childhood was all kinds of messed up, which included him losing his virginity at 15 to a much older woman. Since then he has been through many, mostly sexual, relationships, and prefers to keep them on that level, rather than pursue an emotional connection. Until he meets Ana. Somehow, she manages to get under his skin, and he starts to change his ways. What woman doesn’t dream about being the only one that can reform a bad boy? By the end of the Fifty Shades trilogy, Ana has succeeded in changing Christian into the man of her dreams on paper, and in practice. Sounds like a fairy tale come true.

The fantasy: A life of luxury

Christian Grey is the CEO of his own successful company, which means he can buy, go, and do anything he wants. He also has the luxury, and freedom to buy whatever he wants for the women he is trying to seduce (read: control). Some of the gifts Christian gives Ana include a brand new Audi, diamond earrings, a new laptop, and a trip to Europe. It may be materialistic, but as a fantasy, what woman wouldn’t love to be showered with presents? The gifts Christian gives without a second thought, kind of makes the gift card for Bed, Bath & Beyond you gave to your girlfriend for your last anniversary, pale in comparison, doesn’t it?

The fantasy: Sexual awakening

Finally, being an erotic series, it is a given that the appeal is at least a little bit about the sex. The series focuses on the BDSM lifestyle, where one partner is submissive and the other is dominant, which is not exactly a new thing. There are thousands of people who are involved in those types of relationships, and this series has made the concept at least a little more mainstream. Women everywhere are reading explicit sex scenes and then wondering whether they can try out some of that stuff themselves. While erotic fiction isn’t new, the Fifty Shades series has definitely been the mostly popular addition to the genre in a long time. It may not be well-written, but Fifty Shades of Grey may be helping make women more open about their sexuality, and that definitely isn’t a bad thing.

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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