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Married Life

Is 50 Shades of Grey Just the Same as Porn?

I’m sure I’m not the only person in town who’s purchased a copy of 50 Shades of Grey for a friend. Women everywhere are reading it, egged on by converted enthusiasts who are lending, gifting and impressing the book upon all their friends.

I had a copy gift wrapped for a mum of two young kids (they don’t call it ‘mummy porn’ for nothing), handing it over with a wink and a promise to her husband that it was more for him than for her.

After all, the benefits this book can have on your sex life are legendary.

We caught her husband rolling his eyes as she unwrapped the book. When pressed, he told us he just couldn’t help wondering what the response would have been if a mate had gift wrapped some porn for him and handed it over in the light of day.

It stopped me for a second. How would we feel if men everywhere were all suddenly watching a porn video that was making world headlines?

I’m not a fan of today’s pornography. There is no doubt I would have been extremely unimpressed watching my husband unwrap a gift of pornography from a well-meaning mate of his. There would have been a huge argument.

And yet us women are so eager to share this new erotic adventure that we’ve found that we’re all openly talking about it, reading it on the train in full view of others and unashamedly discussing it in book clubs right across the globe.

Are we just delighted to finally be getting our own back after years of porn geared to men?

And when it comes to erotica versus pornography, is it even the same thing?

Actually, I think they’re completely different.

Let’s break this down for a minute: Male consumption of porn is mostly done online these days, and their brains aren’t really hardwired to cope with it.

On the internet, there is a never ending buffet of pornography to interact with. Most boys have searched and found their first online porn by age 10.

The big drawcard of the online pornography world is the novelty.

As this video explains, men’s brains are hardwired to respond to new female images and new sex scenes with high excitement. This is great in nature, where animals are encouraged to spread their seed throughout the wild.

But these animals don’t have access to a laptop and high-speed internet where those same brains can get very confused by the sheer amount of stimulation they’re feeding into it.

Watch too much online porn and your brain can start to adapt to the fake situation you’re putting it in.

It will actually rewire itself eventually and suddenly you lose interest in real sex and real women. Virtual sex becomes the only thing that turns you on, and even then you need to up the ante online just to get aroused.

Virtual sex is done alone at your computer, you’re watching others have sex, not doing it yourself, and as you’re getting into it, you’re still clicking, searching and swapping images as you get bored with the scene in front of you. The constant novelty drives a guy wild.

In comparison, real sex requires some active participation – you have to court and woo, then comes the touching, the pheromones, the emotional connection and interaction with an actual person.

The thrill is not nearly as immediate and the lack of novelty literally becomes a soft-on to a brain that has watched too much porn. They lose sex drive and become disinterested in real life sex.

Addiction to the novelty of online porn serves no one, while this new erotic fiction boom appears to be driving a rekindling of female libidos everywhere.

In pornography made for men, we don’t see much back story, it’s just all about the hardcore stuff now.

In erotic fiction, we are still given a realistic portrayal of how sex and relationships work (assuming you forget about the 28-year-old billionaire bit).

We get the back-story, the romance, the interactions out of the bedroom as well as in the bedroom. It’s altogether a more complete story and women are doing exactly what we would want them to do in this situation – heading for the bedroom with their partners and having a great time while they’re there.

It’s also an altogether slower medium. We can’t take in erotic fiction at the click of a mouse button, at a rate of knots. We aren’t bombarded with it all at once.

Erotica is porn 1.0, gone back to the good old days when it was just a few Playboys kept under the bed, and the same familiar faces would provide all the erotic entertainment you needed. And there’s nothing dangerous, or threatening, about that.

What do you think, is erotica and porn just the same thing?

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.

Discussion

One comment for “Is 50 Shades of Grey Just the Same as Porn?”

  1. Posted by Romantify | October 22, 2012, 9:31 am

    I believe the succes of 50 shades of grey lies in the known fact that most arousal happens in a woman’s mind and fantasy. Whereas men are more visually triggered and are more likely to watch porn instead of reading an erotic novel.

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