The real reason women like ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’

I got really intrigued by the overwhelming success and popularity of ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ books. I know that many people read it because they were curious about the naughty sex parts, and probably even more read it just to see what all the hype is about.

But it’s hardly the first mainstream book of its genre – there have been many works of erotic fiction out there for quite a while now. Plus, in this age when everything and anything related to sex is so readily available and practically thrown at us on daily basis, kinky content can’t possibly be enough to turn a book into the biggest bestseller since the Harry Potter series.

I believe the true reason that made this trilogy so big is that there are so many women out there who got swept away by its main character, Christian Grey. If you just take a look at all the heated discussion on the internet – about which famous Hollywood hunk will play him in the upcoming ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ movie – you’ll get the picture: Mr Grey is the type of man plenty of women find extremely desirable.


For those of you who haven’t read the books (and somehow miraculously managed to dodge the related news too), he is super rich, breathtakingly handsome, mysterious and charismatic. Ambitious, successful and driven, he seems to have it all sorted – until you find out he is deeply emotionally disturbed and traumatised by his troubled childhood.

In other words: The Ultimate Bad Boy.

Christian vents his issues through power games in the bedroom – by dominating his sexual partners, but not just during sex. He wants to control his partner’s life to a point where she practically surrenders her free will to him. He tells her what to wear, what car to drive, how much sleep and exercise she needs to have, how much to eat, even goes so far to buy a company where she works – so he can sack her sleazy boss and make sure she doesn’t get harassed by him. And that’s of course all for her own good – he wants her to be happy, safe and fit.


His latest potential submissive partner is a young, naive, indecisive and pretty insecure girl Anastasia – a virgin at 21, so sexually inexperienced that she never even masturbated or had a single orgasm (!). She seems to be the perfect object of his desire and an easy target for his controlling nature, but – she resists it, which makes her much more interesting than the readily submissive ones that came before her.

She falls head over heels for him, but isn’t so keen to play the submissive part – but (or maybe even because of that) he falls in love with her so madly he is willing to change his dark ways and become a nice guy. Which of course – combined with his amazing looks and enormous wealth – transforms him finally into an every girl’s wet dream man.


What makes all the women fall for Mr Fifty Shades Of Grey (and guys like him) is this:

  • He is a wealthy, powerful, charismatic, intriguing man – not to mention also smart, educated and cultured
  • Troubled but eager to be “saved” by the right girl, the one who can tame his need to dominate
  • He takes care of her and makes all the hard decisions so she doesn’t have to – makes life so much easier
  • He makes her feel safe and secure – not just because he’s got tons of money, but because he always knows what to do.


How about I put it this way – he might also be:

  • So deeply insecure that he had to create this enormous wealth and gather vast knowledge to hide behind it
  • Lacking the courage or emotional maturity to deal with his issues on his own, so he projects them on his partners
  • A control-freak who can’t be around people who don’t follow his instructions, because he’s too scared of getting hurt
  • A man with no idea of who he really is, therefore tries too hard to appear as if he always has all the answers, otherwise he might have to admit he doesn’t – which would crush his enormous but fragile ego.

Plus, I know this is cheating – but try to imagine him average looking, overweight and with no money in the bank. Would he still be able to keep you under a spell of his amazing charm and dazzling personality?


Way too many women fall for Christian Grey lookalikes – they seem like an easy way to getting an exciting and full, yet stable and carefree life we all want. And his troubled soul is not necessarily a minus – it’s a sign that he is capable of deep emotions. And we all like to date a guy with some emotional capacity, don’t we?

How many of you girls have at one point or another been attracted to a guy because you thought you could save him from himself? Heal his wounded heart, bring out all the wonderful potential you know he has – and shape him into this amazing guy you know he could become, and he will, because he finally has someone who loves him so much (you!).

Theoretically possible. But unfortunately, doesn’t really work very well in practice. He won’t change unless he himself works hard on his issues. And gets a good therapist. He won’t get magically transformed by your love, he’ll just use it as a crutch at times when he feels sorry for himself.

Until all his wealth and charm eventually stop compensating for his immaturity, and you realise you’re sharing your life with a selfish prick.

If you want to read more on this topic, here’s another article on the appeal of bad boys and why you should resist it!


Have you ever been in love with the Christian Grey type? Maybe you still are?
What got you attracted to him?

Please share your story in the comments section. Thank you.

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28 Responses

  1. woo says:

    I waited until the fuss calmed down and bought the books in a charity shop. At least the charity shop got some money. Poorly written books “inner goddess doing a merengue” – help! An abusive relationship with an rich man basically. People who liked it I knew were usually v strong women who liked the fantasy of a man controlling them for five minutes, but in real life would not stand for Christian’s nonsense for five minutes! Bad boys are alright for a fling but are a nightmare for relationships.

    • Petra says:

      That’s exactly how I feel about the books too… but I do worry that women find that kind of fantasy even remotely attractive. Thank you for commenting.

  2. Anonymous says:

    oh my gosh. Whoa! I do know someone who could possibly be similar. He got the interesting eyes and likes the power he has over me and possibly power over others, minus the sex aspect. I think he got some childhood issues too but I have yet to find out if I can even possibly find out. He’ sgot some kind of story. I recall the parts when he would “glare” at her mad, and if I re-read the book, I would probably have a tough time reading different emotional parts that’s how eerie the person I know could kind of be like Christian Grey.

  3. alysbcohen says:

    Please allow me to share these links:

    Why I think this trash is so popular.

    If you take away Christian’s money, or make him average in appearance or even balding, who would still love him? He’s sexy and rich, and that is what matters…..

  4. Interested guy says:

    I appreciate your concern over women’s health, and how reading such junk can affect what they think is an attractive and healthy relationship.
    it is sad to see how so many women liked such a darkly-themed book so much.
    I used to have an EX who was into this sort of things, and sadly, she had been abused by three guys before me, and I kept resisting the urge to control her, smack her around, and “use” her sexually, like she wanted me to, over and over.
    I tried healing her, and helping her, I even took her to therapy with me, seeing as how she was unstable, and hurting almost all the time from being weak and “Wanting” to be stepped on.
    for some reason, that made her angry, and we never recovered, so she is my Ex.
    the point is, this sort of rubbish is bad for the mind,
    Remember, “everything you see, read, or hear causes a change, that is variable in size depending on its intensity, timing, and density, which is permanent.

    I am glad to see people such as yourself, issuing a warning to people.

  5. Claudia says:

    That’s an easy question. Why Women love Christian Grey? Because he’s pretty as a greek god, rich as hell, intelligent, polite, seductive, mysterious, enigmatic, intimidating, he buys expensive stuff to his girlfriend, he takes his girlfriend to chic restaurants and parties, he gives her so much pleasure in bed, he has nice taste for clothes, he is heterossexual, he feels jealous of his girlfriend and he does everything for her. That’s why women love him.

    • Petra says:

      Hm, wanting a guy who is intimidating and has tons of psychological issues, no matter how rich or handsome – is a road to relationship/emotional hell. Why do women desire guys with issues? That is the million dollar question. Thanks for chipping in, always good to hear different opinions!

    • Amanda Beaver says:

      And he’s fictious.

    • Greyfan15 says:

      Exactly the reasons I was hooked on him

  6. Amanda Beaver says:

    I didnt find myself compelled or curious enough to read the book. I gathered from all the gaggle that it was about sex and women dying for men to take control of their lives. What!?!?! What kind of ass backwards ridiculous stupidity is this ? Why would I waste my time with this? The second any man even thinks about making my decisions he is gone. Simply makes my blood boil just contemplating it. It scares me to think about the men like that and even worse the women . Did these people miss the entire elements of the Women’s Movement? My favorite live by quote: “Think for yourself, and question authority.” Timothy Leary. Or better yet all women to own and read “The Creation of Feminist Consciuosness” by Gerda Lerner. Now there’s a book to treasure.

    • Petra says:

      Dear Amanda, I agree with you – the one thing that really intrigued me is why so many women fall for this (fictitious) guy. Is this really what they want, and what’s behind it… hence this post 🙂 Thanks for chipping in!

    • Ms Jones says:

      Never read the book 50 Shades…. but just a brief comment on another famous quote from Timothy Leary: “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition”. Take it however you like. I found it mood elevating, thought provoking and just the thing to hear from time to time – especially coming from a man.
      A creative incarnation of “think for yourself and question authority” – one that directly addresses women from a man’s perspective.
      Love this blog!

  7. Tara says:

    To be fair, there are plenty of times where she stands up to his ridiculous demands and he backs down. On the really crazy ones. What was unrealistic to me, and what I can see would be the cause for women’s addiction is just how unfailingly attracted to and taken with her he is. He’s obsessed with her. But in the way every woman wants. He wants her badly at any and every given moment, he’s constantly staring into her eyes “intensely” and she has just as much of a hold on him as he does on her. I don’t defend it in any way, because duh, we shouldn’t want to be controlled IN ALL THINGS, but what attracts women to Christian is his ability to SEE her. And to want her endlessly. So many women are with men who are apathetic after a while. The fantasy here is the fact that she has him just as completely as he has her.

  8. I can’t fathom why this book ended up in print. Isn’t it a piece of Twilight fan fiction? That should be illegal shouldn’t it? What a farce.

  9. y0s says:

    I’m doing a case-study on this book for a project.

    This book scares me because it enforces the idea that a woman has to give up control (of her bank accounts!) to be considered erotic. It also postulates that the ideal woman is a sexually repressed virgin. This is a rewrite of another horribly conditioned book from the cult-of-the-man: Jane Eyre. While the book does reveal subtle truths about the nature of femininity and masculinity (feminine beauty is equal and opposite to masculine confidence), it shows that a woman is most satisfied when a man takes control of her totally except for leaving her with the responsibility of the emotional lives of both. You might just as well say that a woman is happy staying in a wife-beating relationship so long as there is hope that she can change the man to not be a wife-beater.

    This book highlights a problem more than it does a human grace.

    This is a step backwards for the social and economic independence (and safety!) of women, and for women to own their sexualities, confidence, and self-image! At least the writers of Frozen made their sociopath prince the badguy. Time and time again, love doesn’t work like this. Shakespeare had the right ideas of equality in emotional and sexual spheres, in his works such as Romeo and Juliette and Antony and Cleopatra. The ideal man is not the testosterone freak millionaire like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho or Grey from this novel. Scientific research has overwhelmingly shown that women from economically unstable countries want to f*k roid-rage guys and then settle down with normal guys to ensure best passing on of genes AS WELL as maintaining their freedom. Testo-Millionaire guys are a lot less sought by women in developed countries that have universal health care because they statistically turn out to be worse fathers and to mistreat their dates. Study here –

    If anything, this book is a reflection of our country’s imminent need for healthcare and above-par wage standards for men AND women.

  10. Sheila says:

    Great post Petra – I haven’t read the above comments but – anyone interested in wondering why the Psychopath free forum (brilliant) has this story nominated as ’50 shades iof abuse should go there right now and be enlightened.
    Be careful out there guys – all is not what it seems – bdsm is not a game off the naive.
    Best wishes

  11. Lesley says:

    I loved your observations. Especially the last bit about being stick with a selfish prick. So funny… And true. I myself always make the mistake and fall for the bad boy! Ive been single for nearly four years now, because deep down, Im too scared to be hurt again!

    • Petra says:

      Thanks! If you’d like to discuss your situation – contact me for a consultation. I might be able to help you get those fears in order.

  12. Emily Wilcox says:

    I have not read the books because I figured I wouldn’t be into this sort of thing. Once I heard from friends and co-workers about the movie 50 shades of grey… I just had to watch it to see what was all the fuss about this guy.
    Throughout the movie, I found myself thinking I am a little bit like Anastasia where she is trying to explore her ownself with Mr.Grey sexually while Mr. Grey explores his own emotions.
    How I felt with everything is wanting to know and understand more of what it would be like as the character of Anastasia Steele and feel what she feels when being the submissive to Mr. Grey.
    I would totally give a Mr.Grey type of man a chance if there was ever an actual man who is like this… Handsome,wealthy, fit, successful, gentle but not, who knows what he wants and actually would accept me in all of who I am as long as he doesn’t break my heart.

  13. Cat says:

    Gorgeous, ambitious, rich, emotionally complex, attentive… Christian Grey would be incredibly attractive IF he weren’t a sadist. I even like troubled bad boys, but men intentionally hurting women (in or outside the bedroom) is so repulsive to me, I literally get sick to my stomach. I wish this book had never been written and this lifestyle weren’t becoming such a fad (people are sadly such sheep). The potential for harm in this area is so high, and I worry for all those who will feel pressured and/or be forced into crap that will emotionally damage them because of this book and the new messages we’re all being sent. I find no appeal in a man controlling or hurting me, and I find men who intentionally hurt women to be the opposite of sexy and as much of a turn off as men who hurt children (either way they’re inwardly weak and perverse bullies). This new fad is making us backslide by decades. Rewind back to the hugely popular Titanic movie – She wants her freedom from the controlling, good looking rich guy, who we see is the evil one, and she chooses instead the adorable, carefree, playful guy with the boyish charms. The message was that our freedom is valuable and an attractive guy is one who we have freedom (including freedom from pain) with. Lately the widespread message to females (presented in tons of YA fiction, songs, etc.) seems to be: that good looking guy who’s going to control and hurt you is the one you really want. No thank you!!!

  14. Marlene says:

    Ultimately, even with the Dom/submissive roles as part of the story , it is another romance novel. That’s what the end result is .. The connection of the two characters and the head over heels in love they become.. That’s what 75% of the three books detail. Christian says things like , Ana , look at me… I need to see you” They say each others name and have an orgasm Cause their love is so powerful!!! Which is not real life . Like all romance novels, The beginning of relationships may start that way but sure don’t stay. I think there are many layers that one could peel away that appeal to women. As everyone has said his success, good looks etc don’t hurt. The domineering sexual behaviors can be analyzed a hundred times over. But underneath all of that I think women are drawn to the fairytale connection that these two characters have. Often after reading romance novels where this connection exists I think women who are happily married and busy raising kids, working, maybe caring for elder parents etc think for a moment , did I miss something?? Is this how it is supposed to be? Wow, I missed the boat. No … It’s fiction

  15. how about meeting an almost christian grey attitude alike ( eventually fell for him) long before reading the trilogy? and in the end, i found myself wondering whether to continue helping him change or not. honestly, i dont want to be like ana steele. your post enlightened me a lot. thanks.

  16. NN says:

    Christian grey is handsome, rich, sex experts and bad boy. All woman need. I had read all 4 books, cool.
    But i wonder, what about if he’s not rich and handsome?

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