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50 Shades of Grand

Reading about sex is hot — doing it is hotter

By Dr. Dorree Lynn

“He follows with two sharp thrusts, and he freezes, pouring himself into me as he finds his release….” Shocked? Irritated? Excited? This quote is from the book Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, which gives us explicit erotic scenes and a look into a world full of racy sexual fetishes. Whereas Harlequin novels once grabbed the hearts of so many women reading in private, this New York Times Bestseller now grabs the attention of women of all ages who, thanks to e-readers and a simple cover, are burning through the pages wherever and whenever they can.

Unlike the Fabio-driven erotic literature of the past, Fifty Shades of Grey provides a detailed and uninhibited account of sexual encounters that have an edge that has garnered worldwide media attention for the book and has even gotten it pulled from some public libraries. No wonder this book is on everybody’s lips, allowing readers to become more open to discuss their own sexuality with their friends and fueling discussions about fantasies, desires, wishes and secrets. Despite what many younger people may think, or what some older people may believe, your sexuality is your birthright forever!

Erotic literature allows people to be more perceptive and open about their sexuality, so why not you? This particular book has done exactly that, and not just for singles but for couples as well, giving them the ability to exchange fantasies, wishes and desires and to achieve a more satisfying sex life because of it. Literature in this genre gives us an opportunity to see many different sides of the possibilities of sex.

Fifty Shades of Grey focuses on a dominant protagonist and gives us fictional insight into the sexual dealings of a man who likes to be in control. Whether that is something that you can relate to or see yourself finding an attractive quality — the need to be controlled or in control — remember that fantasies differ among people. By opening our minds to discussion and conversation about intimate wishes, we can break free and turn those fantasies into reality.

But reality is different from the world of literature, where fictional characters in erotic literature do not have to worry about the real life consequences of leading an irresponsible sex life. With the rising numbers of reported cases of STDs and HIV in the over-50 age group, we have to remember the importance of safe sex. Studies have found that among people with at least two sexual partners only 56 percent of people over the age of 45 reported using condoms the last time they were intimate, compared to 80 percent of the 18- to 24-year-olds.

Dr Dorree

Unprotected sex at any age is a behavior that needs to be stopped dead in its tracks before it stops us dead in ours. With age comes wisdom, not immunity, so use your wisdom wisely. Fifty Shades of Grey’s billionaire protagonist Christian Grey might not have to worry about his sexual fate or that of his submissive lover, but you do! Educate yourself, communicate with your partner, talk to your doctor, and then grab hold of the reins and rediscover your sexuality.

Video [2 min]: Dr. Dorree Lynn’s advice on “How to Share Fantasies with Your Partner”

Dr. Dorree Lynn is a Georgetown-based psychologist, author of Sex for Grownups and founder of FiftyAndFurthermore.com

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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