Whipping American literature into shape

What is it about sadomasochism that has attracted the attention of so many people? For those of you that are unfamiliar with S&M, think bondage, whips, and chains. Ten million people in the U.S. have already bought a book that revolves around the S&M theme.

Fifty Shades of Grey is your typical erotica book written by E. L. James. Very shortly after the book was published, it became viral and is now on the best-sellers list.

The main buyers of the book are women, which does not make much sense to me. I cannot understand why women would want to read a book about a woman getting beaten, whipped and tortured during sex.

I eventually caved and bought the book and discovered something much more than a cheesy, erotic novel with sensually described sex scenes.

Sigmund Freud, the founding father of psychoanalysis coined a variety of relatable theories involving the unconscious mind and the repression. The best-known theory refers to infantile sexuality. In the early 1900s, Freud theorized that men eroticize domination over women, and women eroticize submission. He concluded that this behavior is something hardwired into our genetic codes.

However, this does not mean that women enjoy sexual activity against our will, because that is not the case whatsoever. Psychologist E. Barbara Hariton concluded that force fantasies are not about abuse, but about desire and attraction.

The tricky line that the book does not cross is that the two main characters are both consenting adults exploring fantasies and new things with each other.

The roles of dominant and submissive appeals to women because they occur in a controlled environment, providing readers with their indulgent dose of erotica.

What angry critics do not realize is that psychology plays a large role in this books popularity. I believe this book is as popular as it is, is because although the male protagonist Christian Grey plays the dominant role, his love interest, Ana Steele, is the one with all the power.

Now, before you dismiss this book and frown on its indecency to women, keep in mind that the S&M does not occur unless Ana Steele approves. Though the woman in this book falls into the submissive role, she is the one that has to grant the dominant permission.

After reading this book, it was understandably easier for me to comprehend why such a large amount of people were attracted to Fifty Shades. The psychological effect this book has on its readers is as simple as being in control and exploring in a safe way. Everyone wants to feel desirable, and this book allows men and women to feel just that.