It seems like once every few years something comes around to remind people: women have sexual fantasies! Sometimes, even BDSM fantasies! Back in 2002, it was the movie Secretary. Now, as you all know, it's the new bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey

The media is abuzz with this whole women-liking-sex thing, and wants to investigate. "It is intriguing that huge numbers of women are eagerly consuming myriad and disparate fantasies of submission at a moment when women are ascendant in the workplace," Katie Roiphe wrote in Newsweek. "This, when "[women] make up almost 60 percent of college students, when they are close to surpassing men as breadwinners…It is probably no coincidence that, as more books like The Richer Sex by Liza Mundy and Hanna Rosin’s forthcoming The End of Men appear, there is a renewed popular interest in the stylized theater of female powerlessness."

Girls just wanna get spanked. And you know, get their Masters in business management. Anyway, a new site called The Desire Project is looking to talk about just that very supposed conflict. The new website (riffing off the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey) encourages women to submit their sexual preferences, fantasies, and dilemmas in video form. 

I think it's great. Having an open dialogue about sexuality (especially when so many women think they shouldn't talk about the naughty bits) is a solid, sex-positive idea. The website won't let us embed the videos, but check them out here.

Commentarium (11 Comments)

Apr 20 12 - 6:54pm

A lot of women like being dominated, news at 11. Last i checked, guys like roleplaying too and I don't see anyone relating their sexual preferences to, I dunno, their paycheques. Why is it that guys 'just like what they like cause they like sex' but with women their sexual preferences always must have something to do with some lack of feminism or too much feminism or whatever. Let me have my fantasy life how I like it and let me have my separate personal life how I like it. I don't worry about it, why is the media concerned?

Apr 20 12 - 8:28pm

yes, exactly

Apr 21 12 - 10:53am

I don't know why this seems so noteworthy; men with submissive fantasies overwhelmingly compose most of the fetish/kink/BDSM community. It's not just girls that want to get spanked...

Apr 21 12 - 1:54pm

No, men don't just "like what they like because they like sex". Sexuality is an extremely complex thing (for example many scientists think the vast majority of fetishes develop during early childhood, though I have no idea if this is true). This is why some feminists want to take a closer look at what trends in fetishes might mean. That's not sex negative as far as I'm concerned, though some people will automatically label any questions about such things that way.

I think the title of this article is a little misleading. It's obviously sarcastic, but who is the sarcasm aimed at? Who thinks it's a "radical concept that women have sexual fantasies"? I guess Katie Rophie from Newsweek? But her quote just refers to the correlation between the number of women publicly discussing their BDSM fantasies and their success in the workplace.

Apr 20 12 - 7:25pm

Reading everything I can about this "Grey" book in order to judge whether Mrs Bee will like it. She's a fan of Ann Rice's "Beauty" trilogy - anyone care to compare and contrast?

Apr 21 12 - 10:46am
50 shades sucks

poorly written, full of cliches, tropes, and stock characters. the lead chick is the ultimate mary sue, complete with eating habits akin to anorexia. bdsm scenes are super unrealistic, sex seems like it was written by someone who has actually never had it. not to mention the novels link bdsm to childhood abuse, as if no one could/would enjoy it if someone hadn't cigarette burned the fuck out of their chest--kind of pisses me off that it only encourages the view that bdsm is perverted/deviant and a desire someone needs to be "saved" from. to put it into perspective, the entire thing started out at twilight fanfic erotica. I read the first novel and was seriously disappointed, tell mrs. bee to stick to anne rice.

Apr 21 12 - 2:00pm

Wow, that's messed up. Now I feel the need to mention that in an above comment, when I said "a lot of scientists think fetishes form during early childhood" I wasn't primarily thinking of abuse.

Apr 20 12 - 9:50pm
At Last

Women telling the truth about what they want! Yes!!! Victoria, you are a genius, and whether you meant it or not (I doubt it) you are providing information that men have been wanting for centuries. You are a genius, unwitting or otherwise. And yes, smart, great looking women turn me on. Double so when they are telling the unvarnished truth. Too bad it's nearly impossible for men to live up to those cartoon-inspired expectations. I guess we can at least deliver a lovingly rough ravishing once in awhile. ;-)

Apr 21 12 - 6:19am

In the video on the website, when the title page comes up saying "50 shades of grey", the background is a picture of the holocaust memorial in Berlin. Innapropriate much?

Apr 21 12 - 4:06pm

Yet another correlation measuring the success of women in the working world with their share of college degrees - agggh! Australian feminist and academic, Dale Spender, has made the useful observation that a growing number of successful males are eschewing higher formal education, instead following entrepreneurial paths. This is particularly evident in the tech industries but can be seen in many other areas of business to. Depending on your gender/politics you periodically see articles bemoaning the crisis of education failing males and there is some truth to it in the sense of feminization of early education and lack of appropriate teaching models and male role models therein BUT at higher levels a big factor in diminished male college numbers is the simple fact that their appetite for risk, clarity of purpose, vocational passions and self-directed learning preferences are leading them elsewhere.

May 03 12 - 4:33am

I am a professionally successful, submissive woman in a BDSM relationship with a man. I am also bisexual. This is not me merely submitting to a man; it is part of who I am. I LIKE to be dominated sexually. If I were with a woman I would feel the exact same way. This is MY choice, because I LIKE it and it gets me off!!! Anyone who has taken the time and trouble to conduct the slightest inquiry into the BDSM community will find that there are a large number of men involved in the submissive side of things as well, yet nobody seems concerned about this aspect. I'm not quite sure what the "proper" feminist sex is that I am supposed to be engaging in, but I do know that I was bored out of my skull with "vanilla" sex. It's almost as if the author is frightened of a woman who has become so powerful and so comfortable with herself, that she is free to entertain any and all aspects of her sexuality. As with any community, there are those whose actions are inappropriate and misguided, yet they should not be permitted to represent the community in general, and such people certainly do not represent me. Safe. Sane. Consensual.