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4 Lies About Sexuality in Fifty Shades of Grey

Last Updated: August 4, 2020

Matt Fradd
Matt Fradd

Matt Fradd is the author of Delivered: True Stories of Men and Woman Who Turned from Porn to Purity. After experiencing a profound conversion at World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, Matt has worked through full-time lay ministry in Australia, Ireland, Canada, and Texas. He has served as an apologist for Catholic Answers and has traveled all over the world, speaking to tens of thousands of teens and young adults. He and his wife Cameron have four children and live in North Georgia.

The Fifty Shades of Grey franchise is enormous. When Vintage Books rereleased the already-popular trilogy in 2012, it took less than five months for Amazon UK to report it had sold more copies of the first book than all the Harry Potter books combined. The author, E.L. James, has earned an estimated $95 million from the franchise, and the trilogy has been translated into 52 languages. Due to the phenomenal success of these books, Time magazine named E.L. James one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Soon, Universal Pictures will release a movie based on the first book, and it is expected to be one of the biggest Valentine’s Day opening weekends in film history.

Perhaps you are like me: you have no intention of seeing the movie or reading the books. Even so, due to the enormous influence of the franchise, it is wise for Christians to be prepared to respond to it. I anticipate that decades from now, historians of eroticism and pornography will look back on the publication of Fifty Shades not just as a passing fad, but as a watershed moment.

Learn the facts. Watch our short video, “4 Lies About Sexuality in Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Spread the word! Share the video on Facebook or Twitter.

See our first video about Fifty Shades:50 Things to Know About Fifty Shades of Grey.”

  • Comments on: 4 Lies About Sexuality in Fifty Shades of Grey
    1. Wow

      I did not know that this book sold more copies than all the Harry Potter books combined. That is very telling. What it tells me is that a lot of women are closet freaks and make no mistake, it is women who are reading them. Women are such hypocrites. They talk about violence and an imbalance of sexual power, but it all becomes okay if an Audi and cash is in it for them. I find all this laughable. 50 Shades of Grey is why I will never take a woman seriously. The say one thing and then their actions are totally different than what they say.

      • I agree that reading this book is troublesome, but I’m not sure I would say every women is a hypocrite who reads it. For those who don’t decry violence against women or those who desire the kind of relationship presented in the book, they probably feel no hypocrisy.

        That said, there are also a lot of women who didn’t read Fifty Shades for the very reasons you mentioned.

      • Interesting But I Disagree

        I noticed this too about these books. America is kind of in denial about its hypocrisy. What I find interesting is the whole domestic violence issue. One football player hits his girlfriend and the world goes nuts even though she chose to marry him. She obviously forgave him but no one else will. But anyhow, one football player does this and we hear about it over and over again. But the police have TWICE the rate of domestic violence of anyone in society. Yet, we never hear a thing about this. It is like we pick and choose whom to chastise. No matter what. The illusions in America must be maintained. The whole Audi thing in the books did bug me. But frankly, most women would go for that. Not all, but most. It is like I always say. There are lots of decent men in homeless shelters. Men who would appreciate a good woman. But no woman goes looking for a man there. Why? Because for women, on some level, it is all about money. Now there is varying degrees. But on some level. It is about money.

      • Michael

        Keeping in mind that you’re basing your harsh generalisation of women based on a poorly written character in an erotic novel. Not all women would sell themselves out for an Audi and a first edition. I don’t think I know any that found this book even slightly arousing or anything short of God awful literature. I know just as many guys who have read it, and if you think that the victimisation of women is a problem in this book, you might want to look at the converse: the okay for guys to be ******bags towards women. THAT is the frightening thing.

      • Dan

        The demand for this book highlights a measure of brokenness experienced by the women (and possibly men) who buy it. And since the number of women (I don’t know about the men) in demand is extremely high, this issue warrants a response by men, especially Christian men, who need to take charge of the situation. How will they do this? Becoming men who can present themselves best to women is one step, but knowing what a woman really wants when they say they want something is another. I know I’m not being very specific, but this is a general overview of the solution I propose.

        That being said, thank you very much for the article and video, Luke. If you could link an article or follow up on this one for men who need this, I would very much appreciate it.

      • In some way, a woman’s attraction to the character Christian Grey is to be expected in a world where there is a serious lack of men who exude a healthy masculinity.

        Time and time again I’ve seen interviews with the author of these books and many female book critics, and they give a very similar sentiment: The kinky sex in the book is a nice little thrill, but what really draws us to Christian Grey is that he is a man who takes control in the bedroom; he gives, he leads, he adores. Given these qualities, many women can overlook the poor writing and the fact that the guy is seriously disturbed and is basically an instigator of Intimate Partner Violence.

      • Vick

        First off, Wow, I’m not going to go into how incredibly sexist and unfair to women your comment was. Secondly, I know many women who read the book and couldn’t believe that other people were finding it erotic and enjoyable to read. Although fans will say that despite the violence portrayed, Ana saved Christian, the fact is that most domestically violent relationships don’t have a happy ending. The victim of these relationships usually feels it’s their fault and they have to stay to fix it, and for the lucky few who realize there’s nothing they can do to fix it, they have to run and sometimes hide from their abuser. Yes, it is telling that 50 shades sold more copies than the entire HP series. What it tells isn’t that “a lot of women are closet freaks,” but rather, as a society we are failing in valuing good things like friendship, loyalty, and bravery to stand up for what’s right.

      • Joy

        Hi. Firstly I just want to say right of the bat : O obviosulsy don’t know you other than what you said here. So I reply to that…. I don’t think it’s appropriate or kind to call women “closet freaks”, that kind of name calling is what makes many suffer with sexual sin in silence and fear.
        I was one of those women for almost 12 years of my life. I’m 22 now and I have read every kind of “romance” novel there is and I can sadly tell you 50 shades of grey is tame compared to what this industry is trying to convince women true love is.
        The women who read this are foundationaly just broken and struggle with understanding love in a culture that says “a woman is here to please a man”. So I ask for a little grace and mercy. And as for the audi and cash, if you would see the movie and understand woman at a basic level you would see – most of the woman are not there for the Audi or the money, but for a chance at pleasing a man no matter how he comes. This is don’t beleive in but that’s our problem as females – we think men and their love can complete us BUT they never do. Only Jesus Christ completes a human being ,male or female. Fifty Shades of grey is a dark and twisted and fictional intepretation of what happens when society allows violence to be normalised in all aspects of life.

    2. Jenny

      I find this rather offensive that you find all women hypocrites ,i feel that many men feel threatened by the liberation of women and just because one reads a book or goes to see a movie because it is raunchy for women ,it is men who are hypocritical .As Luke stated not all women read or found the book interesting so don’t judge us all the same .

    3. Michael Markunas

      Thoughtful and helpful comments. Unfortunately, the obscene has become routine.

    4. Tor

      Wow, the misogyny is thick in Christianity. How about you guys keep your repressed lives to yourselves, and let people fantasize and do what they want in their own bedrooms. Talk about hypocrites, you want the gov out of your lives, but want to be in everyone else’s.

      • Not sure I follow you on the misogyny comment. What do you mean? Are you saying that many people who are Christians are also misogynistic? Are you saying that Christian doctrine endorses misogyny? Both? Something else entirely?

        I’m also not following the “repressed lives” comment. Who are the “you guys” who are repressed?

        Who here wants the government out of their lives? I’m not sure there’s been anything said here about that (on this post or any of the posts on this blog, for that matter).

        What do you mean that we “want to be in everyone else’s” life? This video is about pointing out the lies about sexuality in Fifty Shades of Grey, not about whether “we” (whoever you think “we” are) are in your life.

        I’m just not following.

    5. Alyssa Warner

      Here’s the thing gentlemen, it’s obvious when people have not actually read these books. The sex is not even the main part of it, and other than the last scene of the first part, it was violent or degrading either. These books were about a broken man who was horribly abused and made a lifestyle around how that affected him. In meeting this woman, it helps him deal with all the problems. And so they happened to have some kinky sex too. So call women hypocrites or whatever you want, maybe girls reading this might take it the wrong way in seeing the money and sex. but real women who know about life can appreciate the story behind it. I only wish it was written by a better author.

      • The sex is not even the main part of it.” I’m not sure that’s what this video is trying to say.

        These books were about a broken man who was horribly abused and made a lifestyle around how that affected him.” True. See Lie #2 in the video.

        I don’t think this video is trying to prove that there’s a lot of violent sex in the book, but that Christian Grey, who is portrayed in the book as the sex symbol, has equated sexiness with dominance and control, even violent tendencies. The reader is made to feel the sexual tension as Ana is drawn to someone who’s grasp of healthy sexuality is seriously limited and twisted.

        I don’t think this video is about calling women hypocrites, either. Can you help me understand how you got that message out of this?

    6. Amy K

      I’ve always been anti 50 shades for many reasons but what troubled me was that – no matter how difficult, no matter how out of our comfort zone it is – I somehow realised that the Christian response to it couldn’t be to just ignore it or simply dismiss it as porn.
      I think Jesus would have gone head to head with it – as He had that knack of doing in all difficult situations – and engage with it on some level that glorified God’s love over the ‘love’ portrayed in the series. I had no idea how to do this though and I like that Christian blogs and writers have tried to do so. The problem was always that – non believers – had no interest in this standpoint and I didn’t have the skill to get over that wall.
      I tweeted a lot about my opposition to it and someone sent me a link to a Christian fiction response that takes the original format of the book and then ‘mirrors’ it with a story about God’s love taking in concepts like ‘doulos’ and salvation along the way. I’ve given it to some friends – the same ones that had no interest in Christian blog posts – and they’ve really been engaged and informed by it and have gone on to engage in real talks about faith underpinned by it. One is (tentatively) attending church.
      For me that underpins that the key in the debate is – not to preach to one another about it – but to use it as a chance to outreach. The link – should anyone be interested is

      • Thanks for sharing your book with us! Looking interesting.

    7. Shane

      Anyone else find it interesting that the characters name is Christian Grey? Christian. Grey.

    8. Joy

      Hi. I’m sad that maybe you’ve thought a certain way about Christians and that has obviously negatively coloured your view on “God’s appropriate design for sex between 1 man and 1 woman”.

      Our lives may seem repressed to you but if you look at the lack of control and rules the world you live in lives by and YOU think it’s better : I kindly plead with you to rethink. God put rules in place because human beings are incapable of living without “repressions” as You call them. The Government is no government if it allows lawlessness to reign supreme. I’m sad that maybe you’ve thought a certain way about Christians and that has obviously negatively coloured your view on “God’s appropriate design for Men and Women”.

      When they allow freedom of speech to the point of accepting anyone’s fake news and opinions as fact then we are all in danger.
      Christians are people of God’s truth we are bound to live by IT first and foremost. If that seems narrow-minded…well I accept that label. reme. When they allow freedom of speech to the point of accepting anyone’seen fake news and opinions then we are all in danger. Christians are people of God’s truth we are bound to live by IT first and foremost. If that seems narrow-minded…well I accept that label.

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