Fifty Shades of Play?

Woman jumping over man on beach

The novel Fifty Shades of Gray has attracted enormous attention since its recent publication. The popularity could be attributed to the characters’ scandalous sexual trysts laid out in vivid detail. Or it could be due to the fact that women really do want more sexual pleasure in their relationships. In a recent article, clinical psychologist and sex therapist Dr. Stella Resnick explains why she believes the public has such a voracious appetite for this type of literature. Resnick practices Gestalt therapy, which integrates body and mind presence and awareness. Her experience has taught her that every form of physical contact, including touch, kissing, and even eye contact, increases overall sexual pleasure. She believes that intimate play is an integral part of a healthy sexual relationship.

Resnick has been working in her field for more than two decades and says that contrary to popular belief, men seem to lose interest in sex more quickly than women. This could be a result of the pressures men feel to provide financially and their sense of responsibility as the head of the family. The natural progression a partner makes from lover to family member can actually undermine sexual attraction and excitement for men and women alike. In fact, Resnick says that these feelings of “love” for each other can create barriers to healthy sexual fun. Resnick says that maintaining a sense of playful sexual activity is important for many reasons. “New brain research has shown that what’s essential for enhancing new learning is to keep the brain engaged and attentive and that playfulness is one of the best ways to do that,” she says. Learning about each other’s wants in and out of the bedroom helps broaden the bond between partners both physically and emotionally. Resnick suggests couples engage in conversations about sexual desires and act on them. Taking time to relax and enjoy a sexual encounter, including play, can create a sexual experience that will satisfy both partners and keep both brain and body engaged.

Related articles:
Fanning the Spark of Sexual Passion
7 Steps for Talking Your Way to a Better Sex Life
Different Shades of Sexuality: The Psychological Aspects of BDSM

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  • april leigh

    June 23rd, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Might I just say that my husband and I I have had a far more interesting sex life since I have read this book! He has even gone and bought me the 2nd and third books so we can hopefully keep it up! And it’s not just about the domination aspect, it is about opening a dialogue about sex that the two of us did not have before, or maybe I was too afraid to talk about before. As women I think that for the most part we have been encouraged to stay mum about sex and what we wnat in the bedroom. But this is a different time, and for me this book has given me a reason to talk about my wants and needs, and honestly I think that my husband likes it!

  • Mel G

    June 24th, 2012 at 4:09 AM

    great for marriages, great for book sales, great for getting people to read- what’s not to love? ;)

  • Eleanor

    June 24th, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    Good Lord!
    You mean to tell me that this kind of smut with S&M is really what my peers want in a marriage or relationship?
    This is a sick kind of control freak show, and I don’t want any part of it.

  • Alan

    June 25th, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    The article speaks of knowing the in and out of your partner’s needs…but isn’t surprise and the whole idea of uncharted territory elements in keeping the relationship exciting…?

  • kathryn revis

    June 25th, 2012 at 4:07 AM

    I really don’t see what all the fuss is about this book anyway. Haven’t women for years been reading about in romantic paperbacks the way that they really want their men to treat them but have been too afraid to say? Maybe this is just the 21st century update that until now no one until this author has had the guts to put into print. This is not about violence toward women or a way to set back the feminist movement, it is fiction. And maybe something we can take and learn from and add a little spice to our marriages or relationships.

  • Jaeleen

    June 25th, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Great article ~ thanks!

  • Annika

    June 25th, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    maybe this is all just a fictionalized account of what this author yearns for in her own relationship and has just chosen this way to tell us about it. What’s the problem with that? Either take it for what it is, a fictional novel, or don’t read it. Nobody says that this is what you have to do in your own bedroom.

  • brad

    June 26th, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    a relationship is not just based on sex as we think of least in the definition of sex as most of us would think..

    there needs to be that connection for the relationship and even the sexual relationship to has just do many things in it that help make that connection and it has been pointed out right here.

  • bethany

    June 26th, 2012 at 4:32 AM

    Sometimes when you give any one thing too much attention, good or bad, then it grows into something that many of us don’t want itto becomes. But we do it- we feed the beast with all of the attention and then for everyone else it takes off.
    I am not saying that the novel is good or bad, that is up to each reader to decide for him or herself.
    But if you can take something from it that helps you out in your relationship, then why does that have to be bad?
    It could just mean learning that this is not the kind of role that you want to have in your marriage, that you don’t wish to be dominated by someone else.
    Or it could allow you to see that role play can be fun and exciting and this is something that you would like to try.
    But just remember that we are the ones w ho give the story power, either good or bad. Words are simply words until we take them to meet the situations going on in our own individual stories.

  • kendall

    June 26th, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    With all of this talk, I think that I need to go read this book!

  • Mills

    June 27th, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    lmao saw the funniest thing today- it was a little greeting card post on Facebook that said that in nine months we will experience another population boom, and these babies will be called the Shades of Grey babies! Move over baby boomers! Your population boom is going to be nothing compared to this one.

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