Why Women Pick "Fifty Shades of Grey" Over Playgirl
Dr. Jess     
Why do women opt for the written word, while men choose visual stimuli like Playboy?

From Saturday Night Live to feminist organizations, everyone has taken a turn poking fun at Fifty Shades of Grey. But literary and cultural criticisms aside, E.L. James’ so-called mommy-porn has taken the book world by storm. And with talks of Harry Potter star Emma Watson being cast as protagonist Anastasia Steele in the upcoming movie version of the book, the Fifty Shades phenomenon seems to have some serious staying power.

But what makes James’ work so appealing? And why do women opt for the written word while men choose visual stimuli like Playboy?

Read on to find out why stories are more arousing than pictures and how reading Fifty Shades of Grey can jump-start your sex life.


Saucy stories leave lots to the imagination!


You’ve probably heard that men are more visual than women when it comes to sex, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Women are visual creatures too, but sometimes we like to envision our own version of events and people.

Carlyle Jansen, founder of Good For Her, explains that women don’t always want the entire picture when it comes to sexual fantasies: “Women don’t want it all laid out. They enjoy using their imaginations and filling in the blanks.” Anticipation of sex can actually be hotter than sex itself. The written word allows us to build up anticipation whereas pictures and video can give everything away from the onset.

This is why some fantasies are hotter if you don’t try to play them out. In our minds, a fantasy works perfectly each and every time, but turning fantasy into reality creates openings for imperfections.


Stories help us find the words to express our own desires.


If you’ve ever tried your hand at a little dirty talk, you know that sexual desire is easier to feel than it is to express verbally. In fact, for most of us, it’s easier to perform a sexual act than it is to talk about it. This is because sex is something we’re expected do, but not something we’re expected to speak about. How frustrating! Can you imagine cooking, dancing or playing a sport without ever talking about it or receiving instruction? The learning curve would be far steeper.

Stories like Anastasia’s in Fifty Shades of Grey help us to find the words to describe our own desires, fantasies and fears. And though the fantasies described in Fifty Shades of Grey may not reflect your own, the variety and introduction of female pleasure can get women thinking about what we actually want in bed -- as opposed to what we’re supposed to want. Even unrealistic stories can inspire readers to expand our horizons and start talking about our own pleasure in new ways.




Go and enjoy some well-written erotica, and remember to always practice safer sex.

Dr. Jess

"An award-winning speaker, Jess has worked with thousands of couples from all corners of the globe to transform their relationships via her wildly successful Marriage As A Business program. From Prague and Istanbul to Albuquerque and New York City, her relationship retreats receive rave reviews from some of the most powerful couples in the world who are drawn to her enthusiastic, practical and no-nonsense approach to happily ever after. Jess's doctoral research focused on sexual health and relationship education and she is passionate about accessible, classroom-based education. When she isn't globetrotting for speaking engagements, she volunteers with students, teachers and social service organizations to empower young people to embrace healthy, happy relationships. As a global ambassador for several brands, Jess contributes regularly to the biggest names in international media. You'll find her advice weekly in the likes of Women's Health, Men's Fitness, Cosmopolitan, SELF, Showtime and The Movie Network. Her insights into couple' issues reaches millions of homes across America as the host of the hit reality series Swing, which just capped its fifth season on PlayboyTV. Canadian-born and Chinese-Jamaican and Irish by descent, Dr. Jess loves ultimate frisbee, crab, airplane turbulence, cheese and red wine. Makes perfect sense, right?"
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