“Perversion is in the eye of the beholder.” Today on BOLD, we discuss the socio-cultural origins of BDSM and other fetishes as it relates to the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon.
“That book connects to an accumulated reservoir of frustrated female sexual energy,” says researcher Christopher Ryan, author of Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray and How It Relates to Modern-Day Relationships. “Women have been programmed for centuries to carry shame around their bodies and sexual desire. It is actually freeing for many to say ‘someone made me do this.’”
From 19th century matrons who went to doctors for “vulvular release” to modern-day male CEOs who hire dominatrixes, Christopher sheds light on the shadow side of human sexuality. “The sort of kinky stuff we associate with ‘perversion’, you don’t see in the context of anthropology and evolution. It’s an interesting phenomenon of our time.”