Fifty Shades of Grey Extra Credit Paper

Submitted By HannahgrayLiveCo
Words: 1057
Pages: 5

There are two definitions that could be used to describe Fifty Shades of Grey. These two things are pornography, being “any written, visual, or spoken material depicting sexual activity or genital exposure that is intended to be sexually arousing (page 550),” or erotica, which is “respectful, affectionate depictions of sexuality (page 550).” In this paper I will be discussing my thoughts on which definition I think explains the book, and what I think makes this story erotic.
When I first started Fifty Shades of Gray I was nervous. I had heard small tidbits about the story, and how it was raunchy, but amazing, or how it was shocking but excitingly so. As I started getting into the story I found myself getting less nervous and more excited. I had never read a book like this before; of course I had read books that had sex scenes but nothing like this. I found the scenes in the book to be more erotic than pornographic. I feel like in pornography, the girl is just a prop for the man to get off. In Fifty Shades of Grey not only does Christian get what he wants, but Anastasia always comes as well. Given, Anastasia is a prop in Christian’s weird life, she signs up for that and wants it as well. I also feel as though pornography is raunchier than erotica. Erotica is more emotionally involved than pornography, which is a factor in Christian and Anastasias relationship. Anastasia is in love with Christian, and even though he is not a romantic man, he is stepping up to the plate to try to give her “more.”
The text book states that erotica consists of “depictions of sexuality which display mutuality, respect, affection, and a balance of power (page 550).” On some level I agree with this statement. I think that Christian does respect Anastasia, and she respects him as well, and as the book goes on you can see their affection for each other growing. I do not, however, agree with the balance of power when it comes to this particular book. While they are in Christian’s playroom, Anastasia has absolutely no power, not being able to talk, or when being asked a question having to respond with “yes sir.” She is completely helpless when she is in there. Even when they are not in his playroom and Anastasia gives her snide remarks, or rolls her eyes at Christian, he does not take it lightly and will give Anastasia a spanking, or some other form of punishment that he sees fit. Erotica can be categorized as soft-core or hard-core. I think this book could be teeter-tottering in the middle of both. For example, when Christian and Anastasia are simply just having sex in bed, which Christian never does, I would consider that more or a soft-core erotica, where even though it is sex, and not making love, it is gentler and definitely not as rough. When they are in the playroom, however, that is when I would consider it hard-core, almost scary. Where it is okay for Christian to spank her, hard, and tie her hands together with plastic cable ties, where if she does something he does not like, he can punish her. All of these scenarios are erotic. It is testing one's limit which brings out the need to do whatever it takes to satisfy their partner.
Christian has a need to feel powerful, and has fantasies to fulfill these needs. On page 228 in the textbook, it talks about sexual fantasies and how they can help people overcome anxiety or overcome a negative sexual experience. Christian is a man who has everything but yet has nothing. From the beginning, he warns Anastasia of himself, of his sexual desire and deep internal frustration. The text goes on to say that in a fantasy, the fact that the sexual acts are “forbidden” makes it more exciting (page 229). I think the fact that Anastasia and both Christian know that this is…