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Why ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Appeals to Women

Posted 2/23/2015 by UHBlog

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ opened Valentine's Day weekend, based on the bestselling book known for its provocative themes of dominance and submission. Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD, an expert in human sexuality, says the provocative nature of the book and movie is only part of its popularity, especially with women.

"It's the idea of women being desired," says Dr. Kingsberg. "To know that the richest man on earth would go to the ends of the earth to seduce you is what turns women on." Dr. Kingsberg adds that the role playing and adventurous sex portrayed in both the book and movie are not unhealthy. "If it's fun for them and they both enjoy it, we don't consider it a pathology."

Dr. Kingsberg acknowledges a gender difference in what women and men find sexually appealing: women focus on the story and men like the visual. She expects ‘Fifty Shades’ will be successful at the box office just like it was at the bookstore because it provides both romance and sex, a fairy tale story rated R.

"Who's driving ticket-buying? This is really women," says Dr. Kingsberg. "It makes it clear that women have just as much interest in romance, sexuality and seduction as men do."

Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD, is an expert in human sexuality and Division Chief of Behavioral Medicine at University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital. You can request an appointment with Dr. Kingsberg or any other doctor online.

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