Fifty Shades of Grey has been the subject of highly entertaining scorn and mockery -- yet this "terrible" film had a record 94.4 million debut. I'm curious about the intense reaction of both critics and fans. What are we so excited by or uncomfortable with? I don't think the adoration and derision is really about S&M. It's about women's lust, the ways eroticism chafes romanticism, the conflict in negotiating sexual tastes and women exploring what they want (albeit, in exaggerated, symbolic means), and these are all topics worth serious discussion.
Just as the film is about a literal negotiation of a contract in a relationship, women express interest in the film because of what they are negotiating in their own relationships. Here are the top five ways the women on my couch can relate to Fifty Shades of Grey.