50 Shades Of Grey

British author Jilly Cooper has told the Daily Telegraph that ‘women don’t want to have sex any more.’ Doctors’ waiting rooms, she said, were ‘brimming these days with women suffering from low libidos’. Her explanation is that ‘we all have so many other demands on our time now’.

Well, is she right? I’ve been looking at sex surveys. A current internet sex survey asked people ‘Do you have a low sex marriage?’ A staggering 88 per cent (16,583 out of 18,691) said they did. Not very scientific but significant, all the same.

And a study by Sarah Murray and Robin Milhausen of the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, found that women’s sexual desire in a relationship decreased every month – while men’s remained more constant.

But now there’s something that is apparently curing low libido in women quite effortlessly. It’s not a pill but an erotic novel by E L James called 50 Shades Of Grey which, with its two follow-ups, is said to have sold some 20 million copies worldwide. The book is being credited with causing a boom in bondage accessories as well as pregnancies. Women, it seems, need to be titillated – and men, nowadays, are not very good at it. The story involves the young and beautiful Anastasia Steele signing a contract with the handsome and extremely wealthy Christian Grey, giving him complete control of her life – and he’s a man into bondage and a little light sadomasochism.

Of course, we’ve been here many times before from The Story Of O to the film Nine And A Half Weeks. On the face of it, the book mines the well-known idea that women can’t fully enjoy their sexuality unless they are somehow absolved of guilt. But there is another ingredient in the book’s success that is less commented on. It’s not that Anastasia is forced to do what Christian wants. It’s that Christian does everything Anastasia wants without being asked. He understands. He knows. He washes her hair, he puts money in her bank account, he takes care of her. It’s this that seems to appeal to women so much.

To me, the book’s impact confirms that no one has a fixed sexual appetite. I’ve never subscribed to this idea of sexual incompatibility based on the notion that the man ‘needs’ sex, say, every other day, while the woman ‘needs’ sex only twice a week. If everyone had a fixed need then a book like this wouldn’t change anything.

You don’t have to wait until you ‘need’ sex. Given that it’s something highly pleasurable, why not do it as often as possible? Why wait for lust to become overwhelming?

Just think about it. Let’s take Janet. She’s 20. She’s not in a relationship. She masturbates once or twice a month. Then she falls for John. They start having sex. She moves in with him and they’re having sex every day. After a year they’re down to twice a week. They get married. They have a child. They’re down to once a week. After five years they’re hardly having sex at all. Then Janet reads, let’s say, 50 Shades Of Grey and wants sex every day. So what is Janet’s true ‘need’ for sex? Is it none, is it daily, or what?

If the sex has gone out of your relationship this book might be worth a try. But if your libidos are fine and you’re looking for ideas then you might like to read my books Have Great Sex and Get Intimate With Tantric Sex. They’ll certainly improve your technique and keep you entertained in bed for many years.


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