“Fifty Shades of Grey”: The truth about what women really want

Let’s not talk about sex.

I’m not going to reference any steamy scenes from “Fifty Shades of Grey” here. An exhaustive search online will lead you to many robust and highly inappropriate reviews of the film and book which I personally do not recommend (the books, the film or the search).

I might possibly have been the only woman in the theater who fell asleep a few times during “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Mostly because we saw a 9:30pm showing, way past my preferred bedtime, but also because it was so uncomfortable and so highly inappropriate to be watching bad pornography with a bunch of strangers in public.

I saw the film because I am so passionately inspired to understand and improve the self-care of women in our generation, and I was dying to find out why millions of women across the globe have melted into this story, devoured the book and and flocked to the theaters.

My dear friend and relationship coach, Shannon R. Smith, has devoted her life’s work to understanding the polarity between men and women. I asked her how the whole Anastasia and Christian “love” story relates to what’s happening culturally in a society where women try so damn hard to be successful and powerful and perhaps miss out on getting what they really want in relationship and in life. Here’s what she says:

“In western society, women are slowly shifting to an attitude that they don’t ‘need men.’ Understandably, with an increase in moms raising their children alone, women have had to step up to balance both Masculine and Feminine roles. Truthfully, a truly Feminine woman wants a Masculine male to protect her emotionally, physically, and sexually. Ironically, a strong and determined masculine male is a dying breed. Women are having to live with what they themselves have created. You cannot take a stand against men and expect them to want to protect you. Men and women need a wake up call. True fulfillment and chemistry in a committed relationship requires both a Masculine and a Feminine dynamic, regardless of gender. It works.” -Shannon R. Smith

So what is it that women really want?

  • Men who are devoted
  • Men who are committed
  • Men who are strong and stable
  • Men who court us
  • Men who know what they want
  • Men who are secure
  • Men who are adventurous and mysterious
  • Women want to be pursued
  • We want to be desired
  • We want to share and to grow
  • Women want pleasure
  • Women (some) actually want marriage and children!
  • Women are tired of having to ask
  • Women pretend they want to be in control, but what they really want is to let go more
  • Women will do almost anything to be taken care of

My takeaways from the film:

Men: Own your masculinity. Take care of your woman. Not by controlling her, but by being her shield. By giving her your complete and undivided committed love. Start being men again. Open doors for us. Compliment us. Be a classic gentleman. Raise your boys to be a mensch.

Women: Chill out. Let go of needing to be right and in charge all of the time. And, don’t fall for a Mr. Grey. The mystery and adventure fades as soon as your man treats you with anything other than 100% respect. Surrender to your beauty and accept nothing less than committed love. You can read my piece about marriage here.

Go home and love the one you’re with. Filter what you read, even in private. Filter what you are prepared to watch on screen. Just because something becomes a box office hit doesn’t mean mainstream pornography with a twisted message is the new normal.

Before I saw the film, I read an excellent piece that was picked up by a significant amount of press. The author nearly convinced me not to bother going, but I’m glad I did because I learnt something powerful about our burning female desires. And, my own.

Own yourself.


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