Dear Tell All: My wife and I were at Star cinema with another couple, and the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey came on. The women started giggling and whispering to each other. They were obviously turned on by the hunky actor and the titillating plot about sadomasochism. I found their behavior in poor taste, given that their husbands were sitting right there. How were we supposed to feel, other than inferior because we weren't as sexually adventurous as the guy on the screen?
As we walked out of our movie, my wife and her friend breathlessly made plans to see Fifty Shades of Grey with a group of other women. The other husband and I awkwardly joked about it. It felt emasculating to have our wives so sexually aroused in a public place.
I'd never paid any attention to the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon, and my wife never read the books. But all of a sudden it feels like this BDSM porn fantasy is invading my life, and I have no control over it. Am I supposed to feel good about myself after my wife sees the movie and gets aroused by bondage, dominance and other sexual practices that have nothing to do with me or our relationship?
Dear Manley: After millennia of men controlling women's sexuality, I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see guys like you squirm. Sorry, pal, but you can't stamp out female desire. Why should it be any less acceptable than male desire, around which the whole world revolves?
Males have their easily accessible underworld of strip clubs and pornography, not to mention a whole mainstream culture that's geared toward turning them on at women's expense. Women are considered desirable when they wear uncomfortable high heels, display painfully heavy breasts, pluck out their eyebrow hairs and smear goo all over their faces. Do you think all that self-torture is for their benefit or for yours?
And as thanks, you begrudge your wife a night out with her girlfriends at Fifty Shades of Grey. Sheesh. You need to adjust your attitude toward women, Manley, acknowledging that they're allowed to have strong sexual feelings too. To put it in terms of the BDSM subculture, you also need to acknowledge that they have a right to dominate you just as much as you dominate them. A good start would be to drive your wife and her friends to Fifty Shades of Grey, preferably wearing a dog collar and leash.
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