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How Motherhood Ruined '50 Shades of Grey' for Me

On a recent girls’ night out, I caught a showing of "50 Shades of Grey". I wanted to see for myself what all the R-rated fuss was about. But instead of getting hot and bothered like I was supposed to, I just got, well, bothered.

To me, billionaire playboy Christian Grey wasn’t so much a sexy suitor as a creepy predator. He kept showing up uninvited in Anastasia Steele’s life and ordering her around. Though my daughter’s only four, I couldn’t help flashing forward and thinking that I definitely wouldn’t want her dating this guy when she’s a senior in college.

So, yeah, I’ve officially gotten to the age where instead of identifying with the young heroine in a movie, I imagine that she is my child. Which is why I was silently screaming, “Get off her, Christian—that girl is somebody's daughter!” for most of the movie.

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Let’s put aside the kinky sex for a moment and talk about Christian’s personality deficits. He’s got a temper, never smiles and doesn’t “do” relationships. A young woman should run from this man. But Anastasia does not, and I had a hard time understanding why. He’s definitely handsome and has a nice butt, but those dead shark eyes of his did nothing for me. In the hardware store scene, when Ana jokes that Christian must be buying all that rope and masking tape because he’s a serial killer, I thought, yeah, that sounds about right. He and Ted Bundy probably would have been pals.

If my daughter decides to embark upon an intimate relationship in college, I would hope it involves a couch of pleasure and not a red room of pain.

Now, as for the sex, I don’t have much experience with BDSM but it seems like something that should be attempted between consenting adults who are equally matched—not a wealthy older guy dominating a young virginal college student. Before meeting Christian, Anastasia had no sexual experience, and thus no frame of reference for what’s healthy and comfortable for her. In my opinion, nobody’s first time should involve a power struggle, a written contract and fear. When you’re just learning about sex and your body, you'd ideally have a partner who makes you feel safe, listens to you and isn’t trying to cause you pain.

You know who was having great sex in "50 Shades of Grey"? Anastasia’s roommate, Kate. When Kate shags Christian’s brother on the couch, that looked like a pretty good time. They were giggling and couldn’t stop kissing—not following some rigid script based on one partner’s pre-conceived set of rules. If my daughter decides to embark upon an intimate relationship in college, I would hope it involves a couch of pleasure and not a red room of pain.

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I used to have a higher tolerance for violence and danger in my entertainment. I remember thinking "9 ½ Weeks" was pretty sexy, even though Kim Basinger ends up walking away from an increasingly abusive Mickey Rourke. But ever since becoming a mom, I can’t even watch my local news, never mind take on a psycho-sexual drama where a young woman cries while being whipped. It was all too much.

It’s strange to me that so many journalists referred to the 50 Shades book triology as “mommy porn.” If I was to write my own mommy porn, it would involve an over-40 housewife whose partner insists that her muffin top and stretch marks are the sexiest things he’s ever seen. Would you pay to see that movie?

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