Why is Fifty Shades of Grey so Appealing to Mature Women?

Last updated: Nov 28, 2023

“I do believe that 50 is the new 40 and 60 is the new 50. Hell, maybe 60 can be the new 40, I don’t know. I believe that when we give ourselves permission, we can live with an excitement and heat and passion that most women in previous generations were unable to attain.” Marianne Williamson

Five years ago, my husband and I were in St. Lucia. I recall looking around the pool of mature couples and noticing how every single woman – myself included – save two of them were reading the first Fifty Shades of Grey book. When we got back on the plane to come home, even the woman sitting next to me was reading that book. It was everywhere and over the years I’ve wondered about why women of our age were so drawn to this story. Because it’s not just the young women who are more open and free that are driving the sales of millions of books and movie tickets.

What is it that we’re longing for in our own lives that causes us to sink into this story line so deeply? I’ve read the first two books and finally saw the movie myself and now I think I know what it is……

It’s not that women of a certain age all want S&M; that’s not it. That’s far too simple.

It’s that women want to be able to surrender in that one area of their lives and be desired for it.

A 52 year-old client, who I’ll refer to as Jennifer, helped explain it to me. After taking herself on a date night to see the latest Fifty Shades movie, she told me, “The concept of surrendering to your lover is very alluring. When our partners can take charge in the bedroom and we can show up in all our femininity and vulnerability – and be desired for it – that’s a major turn on.”

You see, as women we bring an awful lot of masculine energy to most of our days in order to get everything done we need to get done and take care of everything that needs handled.

Masculine energy is get-it-done, produce, take action, be decisive, be rational, and be strong. And even as women, we bring a lot of that to bear throughout our days. I’ve even met women who have picked-up a belief that their value lies in what they produce, what they deliver, or their contribution to the family.

Whereas, the feminine energy is gentle, nurturing, loving, expressive, intimate, at ease and in flow. When, exactly, throughout our busy lives do we allow that part of ourselves to come forward? When does that part of ourselves get to come out and play?

Maybe the bedroom is the one place where we, as women, don’t want to make it happen and get-it-done. Maybe that’s where we actually want the ability to soften and completely let go. And maybe we want to be wanted and valued for our ability and willingness to be vulnerable and surrender. Maybe……

What’s your take on why millions of women that are drawn to the Fifty Shades story? I want to hear it…

And if what I’m saying resonates with you, are you willing to let go of the reigns and let yourself soften?





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