Fifty Shades of Grey

by Anonymous, Australia

This month’s Women’s Weekly printed an article on the phenomenon of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey. The article points out it is “far and away the fastest selling book in Australian history”. It has sold 20 million copies worldwide, more than Twilight and Harry Potter. This could indicate it is a fair barometer of where Western middle class women are at. A brief synopsis of the book is that it is about a virgin college graduate and a billionaire lover who has a bondage dungeon called ‘The Red Room of Pain’. She plays a completely submissive role, where the lover does everything for her and they engage in erotic sex, including bondage, riding crops and handcuffs.

The book’s Facebook page is full of reports of renewed vigour and libido in women’s lives – and very happy, satisfied husbands as a result. But what can we draw from this phenomenon? Could it be possible that the female readers, mainly married mothers (the book has been dubbed ‘mummy porn’), have been without deep intimacy and affection in their marriages, and to admit that their lives are lacking this deeper quality is too painful to face? The engaging of the eroticism from this book then suddenly has aroused a renewed vigour in the bedroom, and love is deemed to have been rediscovered in their lives – but maybe all that has happened is that more sex has substituted for a deeper intimacy and affection of love, and the painful absence of that previously being longed for, is abated. Continue reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”

The Return of the Pad

by Annette Baker, Sydney, Australia

If somebody had said to me six months ago that in a few months I would only be using pads during my period, and would no longer be using tampons, I would have laughed in disbelief, and probably a bit of embarrassment too. I had some pretty bad memories of using pads during the first year of having my period, and based on that experience, to me pads were ‘backward’, clumsy and messy, so I wasn’t about to go back there. As far as I was concerned pads were antiquated, and used only by much older women who had neither discovered nor enjoyed the convenience of tampons. So how is it that today, I sit here in the knowing that it is very unlikely I would choose to use a tampon again? Continue reading “The Return of the Pad”