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A Jewish shade in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

by Danielle Berrin

August 3, 2012 | 1:38 pm

Photo by Wikipedia/Simon Speed/Apavlo

I’m at work on a story about Jews and erotica, and in the course of my research came across this very cheeky video blog in which famed Jewish sex-therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer discusses Fifty Shades of Grey.

“I do believe every woman should read it,” Dr. Ruth instructs her viewers. “Women need to be aroused, and here we can prove that literature or reading will help women to get aroused.” But, she adds, the steamy story isn’t only a value for women: “I would like men to read that book too.”

Dr. Ruth compared the impact of the international bestseller Fifty Shades with a category of world famous erotica that includes D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying. Be warned, though, the latter examples are far more deft at seducing with sexy sentences than Fifty Shades which depends entirely on story.

Though it has sold upwards of 20 million copies, even Dr. Ruth is hesitant to canonize the trilogy: “I don’t know how long it’s going to be so famous,” she says. “But it’s certainly a good read.” Still, she advises couples to skip to the good parts and fast-track their own salacious scene. “You don’t have to read the three volumes; you read a little bit of each and then you put the book away and have some very good sex.”

Of course, you might want to find a worthy partner first. Say, a gorgeous young billionaire like Christian Grey.

“If this guy described here, if he were available and I would be much, much younger and not married,” Dr. Ruth confesses, “I would also go for a night with him.”

“Not because of the sadistic elements—that’s not for me. But because he has a plane; he has a helicopter; he knows how to deal with women and he knows how to make love.”

In other words, Grey is a man. He is, as Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield describes in his book “Manliness,” someone who “seeks and welcomes drama and prefers times of war, conflict, and risk.”

All these primal forces have their day in the dark of the bedroom. Where else is the measure of a man so plain to see?

Watch the full video here:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Danielle Berrin writes the Hollywood Jew blog, a cutting edge, values-based take on the entertainment industry for jewishjournal.com. A Los Angeles Times profile dubbed her...

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