Fifty Shades of Trust

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Fifty Shades of Grey is less about hot and steamy sex and more about trust.  The books that sold more than 100 million copies had women across the world fantasizing about the possibility of love, the power of passion and the pleasure of good sex.  It told a story of Ana and Christian navigating attraction, sexual tension, relationship expectations and yes kinky sex (even as mild as it was).

However, in spite of all that, the thing that kept me reading was trust.  Even as I plowed through the poorly written prose it was clear to me that trust was the issue at hand.  They were both asking the other to step out and trust.  Ana by wanting him to be in a “traditional” vanilla relationship and Christian by wanting her to willingly become his submissive.  Both were asking for trust.

Trust is having a belief that someone has enough interest in you to be reliable and caring.  No matter how hard we try we can’t love or even get it on without trust.  Not to mention the blindfold, tie you up and spank you kind of doing it where trust is clearly integral to the process.

You see dear heart the draw of Fifty Shades is not just the hot and heavy sex but the various ways relationships, sex and intimacy call us to trust others and most importantly ourselves.  We take seriously the considerations to open ourselves up to another person.  No real substantive sexual interaction can take place without trust.

Pulling Back the Shades is a Christian book that explores the various types of spiritual pitfalls women could face after reading erotica.  The authors acknowledge the reality that we are spiritual and sexual beings that experience sexual longings.  What they go on to share is God’s will for our sexuality can be understood through scripture.  They take the reader on a journey of sharing and reflection which may be helpful for anyone figuring out how to trust what they think is right for them sexually according to their faith.

Now personally, I think the book is theologically conservative.  It has a literalist understanding of scripture and a very heteronormative view of relationships and gender roles.  However, I offer it as a resource for many of us who just want to get guidance from a clearly Christian perspective.  I did find the chapters easy to read and questions engaging.

At the end of the day all of the hoopla over the book and the buzz around the movie all point to one constant theme…TRUST.  Just like the characters, we are learning how to trust ourselves to ask for what we want relationally and sexually.  As well as trusting another person to thoughtfully respond to our needs for intimacy and pleasure.

Fifty Shades does more than get us hot and bothered, it provides characters and storylines that reflect the human need to be loved, trusted and cared for.  The hot kinky sex only becomes the focus because we are generally challenged with trusting ourselves enough to ask for what we want in the bedroom or even to accept someone’s offer to give us what we asked for.

How does believing and trusting God affect your relationship decisions?  In what ways is your understanding of trust shaped by your intimate relationship experiences?  How can we blend what we believe, with what we experienced and how we make decisions about our sexual needs and desires?

Will you be whole?