Why ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Wrecks Marriages And Ruins Sex.

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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The movie Fifty Shades Of Grey opened in theaters this past Friday causing theaters to fill to capacity. In the background of this storyline, however, there's a dangerous reality that is destroying true intimacy.

Go ahead and say it. Okay, I will- “I’m jumping on the Fifty Shades bandwagon with this post.” I’m not going to try and convince you I’m not. I’ll even use the cliché of “I haven’t seen the movie but I have friends who have.” That’s not exactly accurate, however. I don’t know anyone who’s seen the film, but I do know a few people who read all of the books (which are supposed to be better than movie adaptations in the first place, right?).

My perspective for this post comes from 2 sources- conversations with those who’ve read the series, and my own reading of reviews and other blog posts about the movie. Truthfully, I only found one blog post to be worth my time. I stumbled across several posts from a Christian perspective and was sorely disappointed by nearly all. Instead of authentically pointing readers toward truth and freedom, they made Christianity look judgmental and nasty.

Make no mistake- I have a moral issue with this film. But my issue goes beyond the sexually explicit content or weird S&M games (honestly, who does that stuff anyway?). In fact, my issues are the same issues I have with pornography and other erotic novels.

False Intimacy. 

Lots of people- married couples, dating couples, engaged couples, single men and women, have been drawn to this film and novel series. Have you stopped to consider why?

It’s not necessarily the weird sex games or controlling nature of a character like Christian Grey. Like I said earlier- who does that and actually likes it? What most are drawn to is the fantasy. Fantasy in finding that mysterious, intriguing person. Fantasy in allowing your curiosity to trump your inhibitions and do things you never thought you’d do. Fantasy in experiencing a world unlike the world you currently live in. Fantasy in being the person who rescues a tortured soul and changes them forever. Fantasy.

Do you want to know the biggest problem with this?

Anytime you replace real-life, real experiences, and real intimacy with fantasy, or a cheap representation of romance, you create problems.

Why? Because fantasy is…well…fantasy. It’s fake. It’s not real. You see, my issue is not with the books or the movie as much as it is with the viewers and readers who consume them. They’re buying into a false reality. They’re following a rabbit trail of truth. They’re being lead to believe that people actually have these kinds of encounters and actually find fulfillment from them.

Pornography, and erotic romance novels do the same. They set the viewer or reader up for massive failure. Men or women who watch porn end up with deep-seeded intimacy issues. Why? Not because they don’t like sex. Not because they don’t get how it works. But because their sexual wiring becomes screwed up. The images on the screen, the experiences in the novel, implant themselves in the mind of a consumer, convincing them that this is reality and that every sexual encounter they have should play out like those viewed or read.

Not true. We are wired sexually. We are, in fact, sexual beings. That’s our physical ID. The God-given wiring we have within us is only fulfilled by intimacy built on trust, commitment, love and truth. Fantasy destroys all of this. Buying into fantasy, over true intimacy, wrecks marriages and ruins sex because it rips out our wiring and replaces it with a cheap representation, whether the fantasy comes from pornography, erotic novels, or an extra-marital affair.

Real Intimacy.

How do you achieve real intimacy then? How do you find that fulfillment that only a deep, committed relationship can provide? Believe it or not, the answer is not that complicated.

Fact is, you can have a great, fulfilling intimate relationship with your marriage partner if you choose to make it that way. You can have amazing sex if you choose to make it amazing. You can achieve deep intimacy, if you choose to invest in your marriage relationship. It all comes down to choice.

The problem that we human beings have is that we are always looking for something better, deeper, and more fulfilling. We grow tired of what we have and go on a search for what we believe will actually fulfill us, instead of opening our eyes to see what we already have: a husband or wife who loves us and has given their heart, mind and body to us.

Before you search for something better, choose to make what you already have better. You may just find what you’re looking for.

What are your thoughts on Fifty Shades Of Grey? What are your thoughts on intimacy verses fantasy?

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

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Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.