According to sexologist Émilie Couturier, B.A., fantasies and erotica have something in common: the imagination. “Reading about the subject allows us to satisfy our curiosity without having to try it,” she explained. What is it, what goes on, and why would we like it? In the novels, we discover the practice along with the narrator, Anastasia. Because the novel is fairly softcore, we might see S&M from a different angle. The author, E.L. James, was trying to break taboos and whet readers’ appetites for new sexual fantasies. She was, however, careful not to include scenes that could have been too shocking, thus reaching a wider audience and fans of “mommy porn”.
Nowadays, people talk more about BDSM (bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadomasochism), which involves sex play incorporating pain. This is, at heart, about role-playing. The dominated person chooses to be so and has control over his or her level of pain, because they can decide to stop at any time. Who would want to engage in this kind of activity? “Someone who has a lot of power and wants a release in the bedroom, or someone who associates passion with some kind of torture. The level of pain is different for each person and can be linked to a previous relationship or past trauma,” explained Couturier. There’s also the feeling of giving pleasure, letting go and being controlled. It isn’t just women who have these desires.