Interviewed for Playboy article on “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Check out Adam Howard’s great piece on the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise over at Playboy It’s a great examination of the contradictory appeal of this very contradictory franchise—featuring some commentary from yours truly:

I do think it’s an interesting franchise because it’s premised on this whole idea of the forbidden,” Reina Gattuso, a columnist for Feministing who writes about gender, sexuality, violence and consent, tells Playboy. “If I wanted to see people having sex, I would just watch porn.”

But Gattuso concedes that for some women who may be more inhibited or may be constrained by a conservative atmosphere, material like Fifty Shades of Grey may provide a necessary outlet for sexual expression. “I don’t want to trash something that helps someone figure out their sexuality,” she says. “I would hope that if someone finds Fifty Shades of Grey to be really arousing, and [it] helped open up a space that they really couldn’t explore before, that could serve as a launching point for further engagement with these issues of sexuality and consent.”[…]

Now, the question remains whether the focus can shift to weightier issues like power: Who has it, how is it wielded and how can it be used in a positive way? “Being sex-positive means that sex is not the moral issue,” says Gattuso. “The way we treat one another is the moral issue.”

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