Fifty Shades of Messed Up

coverI am loathe to give this any free publicity, but as a sex therapist who specifically works with a lot of pornography and sexual addiction issues, and has a passion for helping couples have great, healthy sex in their marriages, I hope to steer people clear of getting caught up in the hype of ingesting any of the Fifty Shades of Grey messages about sexuality.

I know many reading this wouldn’t even consider reading the books or seeing the movie, but it’s pretty hard to miss the media onslaught prior to the “coming out” of this movie. It’s important for all to be at least informed enough to know what this movie is really about and to avoid it like you would poison.

NOT The Ideal Valentine’s Day Movie

The fact that this movie is being marketed as an ideal Valentine’s Day movie is particularly sickening. You don’t need to watch it to know that this movie (and the books) are nothing more than violent, pornographic material that are detrimental to real, intimate relationships. The disturbing fantasies these materials promote continue to degrade and distort what healthy sexuality with real partners looks like as does all pornography–making good sexual relationships more and more difficult for porn-ingesting individuals to attain in their relationships.

Books and movies such as this and the entire porn industry have pushed to the point where I cringe to even hear women (or men) being referred to as “hot” or “sexy” (unless within the bedroom of a passionate, married couple) as it promotes objectification of human beings rather than seeing them as valued individuals. This leads to a continuing desensitization of pornography.

I realize pornography is literally everywhere, but that doesn’t mean we have to just take it lying down. Many good organizations have made it a priority to educate the public on such things, so I will share some of their materials here in hopes it helps you be more aware of the continued coursening of our culture, and the many efforts to protect the sacredness of healthy, intimate, mutually-respectful and fulfilling sexuality.

To Everyone Who Thinks 50 Shades is All Sorts of Awesome: Please, Stop and THINK

by Jonathon van Maren,

Key Points

  • Those women who defend the book because they think it spiced up their sex life are being incredibly selfish and negligent, refusing to think about how this book could affect other women in different situations, as well as young and impressionable girls.
  • “Needless to say, Christian [Grey of 50 Shades of Grey] is the poster boy of the list, not only with his jealous, controlling, stalking, sexually sadistic behavior, but his hypersensitivity to what he perceives as any slight against him, his whirlwind romancing of a younger, less powerful woman, and his Jekyll-and-Hyde mood swings. Any one of these is potentially dangerous, but a man who exhibits them all is lethal.”
  • I notice that commenters rarely break down what the acronym “BDSM” actually stands for: bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism. If they did, they could no longer make the repulsive claim that “love” or “intimacy” have anything to do with it.
  • What does sadism and sexual torture (consensual or not) say to our culture about the value of girls? What does it say to boys about how they should treat girls? The youth of today are inundated with porn and sexually violent material—is nobody—nobody—at all worried about the impact this has on them?
  • Would you want your daughter to be in a relationship with Christian Grey? Would you want your son to turn into Christian Grey?


If You Find This Filthy Book in Your Home, Burn It
by Jonathon van Maren,

Key Points

  • I don’t believe in book-burnings, but for the 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy, I’ll make an exception. I prefer charred books to scarred people.
  • Boys are also growing up without fathers, never having a positive male role model in the home to teach them how to treat women with love and respect. And what is teaching them how to treat girls? At an enormous rate, the answer is online pornography, which increasingly features vicious violence against girls and women. The average first exposure of boys to pornography is age eleven. It is an absolutely toxic mess—insecure and hurting girls seek love from boys who have been taught how to treat them by the most vicious of pornography.
  • Boys used to get taught that they shouldn’t hit girls, but now the culture is telling them that it’s actually a turn-on.
  • I genuinely feel sorry for many teenage girls trying to navigate the new, pornified dating landscape.


Pornography Harms

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5 Tips to Spiritually Spice Up Your Marriage

Excellent article about spicing up your sexual relationship in healthier ways than those suggested in “Fifty Shades of Grey” — quoting one of my instructors at the Institute for Sexual Wholeness, Dr. Michael Sytsma.

Key Points

  • With the release of the movie, 50 Shades of Grey this Valentine’s Day weekend, it seems that everyone is whispering about sex. As Christian married couples, we don’t need to watch a movie to get the spice we’re looking for in our marriage, but it’s time we start talking out loud to our spouses–and even a therapist, if necessary–about keeping the passion alive.
  • “[When it comes to 50 Shades], I remind people that sexual fantasy is powerful. Kept within a healthy marriage it can be rich and enhancing. Moved outside of marriage it can be intoxicating but often does great damage to the core of our security, playfulness and true erotic intimacy.”
  • “Erotic sex cannot heal someone’s brokenness, depravity, depression or loneliness, and we need to be very cautious in filling our mind with stories and images that play with this fantasy (Philippians 4:8). There are far more valuable ways to spend a couple hours enriching sexuality in marriage.”
  1. 1)  Flashback to the Past
  2. 2)  Be Playful
  3. 3)  Rest Up
  4. 4)  Talk About It
  5. 5)  Focus on the Intimacy


Christian Women and Christian Grey
by Scissortail Silk

  • So, here’s my challenge. Let’s take back sex. No. Seriously. Instead of watching Christian Grey have sex with Anastasia Steele? Try this. Have sex with your own husband. Spend the evening in your own bedroom remembering what being in love felt like when you first got married. Yup. Sex is good and important.


VIDEO — Four Lies About Sexuality in Fifty Shades of Grey
from Covenant Eyes–Internet Accountability and Filtering

 The Four Lies about Sexuality

  1. 1. Violence is sexy
  2. 2. Sexual brokenness is sexy
  3. 3. Women should just put up with stalkers
  4. 4. Consent is a secondary concern

Other important points:

  • Narcissism, addiction, being sexually disturbed isn’t sexy.
  • Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.
  • Consenting to being sexually degraded doesn’t make it any more cool, especially when there is also an imbalance of power in the relationship.
  • Intimidation is a form of emotional abuse.
  • Lust is not love.


Related Resources:

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