Communication and Sexual Self-help: Erotica, Kink and The Fifty Shades of Grey Phenomenon

  • Carey NolandEmail author
Original Paper


The success of the Fifty Shades trilogy signifies more than an uncovering of Bondage, Dominance/Discipline, Sadism/Submission, and Masochism sexual practices to widestream public audiences. It reflects a shift in values—what we value as a society, what we desire and fantasize about, how we talk about sex, what kinds of sexual practices we want to read about, experiment with, and watch. The underlying premise of sexual self-help in Fifty Shade’s helped it become one of the most widely read and discussed texts in generations. As the therapeutic ethos demands: If individuals have difficulty maintaining an exciting sex life, it must be their fault. People often turn to self-help to guide them. The sexual scripts in Fifty Shades provided women with these self-help tools. The ways that the Fifty Shades trilogy provide communicative sexual self-help and how that contributed to its explosive success are explored in this manuscript.


Communication Fifty Shades of Grey Self-help 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

There are no potential conflicts of interest.

Informed Consent

This research did not involve human participants nor animals therefore informed consent was not necessary.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northeastern UniversityBostonUSA

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