Fifty Shades of Grey and the subsequent Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed have become a hit and the must read book for women over the recent few months. Is it justified? What is causing people to get these books and read them? There are a lot of spoilers in this review so don't read it if you don't want to know any of the minor plot details. You have been warned.
I was asked to read them and give my opinion by a friend and also my brother. I did. While they are entertaining, it is in the same way as watching an episode of Judge Judy, entertainment without any real substance and for the most part not particularly good. The book does get you to turn pages, I will grant that and some of the sex scenes are mildly titillating. But for the most it reminded me of a poorly written Mills and Boon book (I read several of these a week as a teenager and loved them). It also irritated me for several reasons.....
New blog post on CNN, is casual sex worth it? The post leaves the question open ended, but only after making a bit of a mismash about the risks of sexually transmitted diseases. Having a lot of casual sex increases the risk of catching an STD only because the you are more likely to encounter someone already carrying the disease, not because frequent or casual sex itself leads to contracting diseases. The risk during each encounter is actually the same. So whether you have one instance of casual sex or twenty, your risk each time is the same. Just like throwing a dice, each time there is still only a 1/6 change of throwing a 5. Just because you throw a dice 100 times does not change the probability of any individual throw.
It is quite easy to ask some one's sexual history before jumping into bed with them, and also to ask them to get a test done. It is also quite easy to get yourself regularly checked and thus if your have contracted something you can get treatment straight away. You can also read up, become knowledgeable about what can be carried, what the symptoms are and how it can be transmitted.
Additionally, it is not just intercourse that people need to be aware of regarding STDs. Some STDs can be transmitted via oral sex or simply kissing, most notably several strains of herpes virus. Any exchange of bodily fluid carries with it a risk, especially when it comes into contact with the mucosal membranes in the human body, i.e. the "skin" on our genitals and our lips, as these are more fragile than normal skin and are more susceptible to pathogen invasion.
Body fluids are also of concern when dealing with casual S&M play and the use of toys on more than one person. Cleaning the toys and dungeon equipment is thus very important, and relatively easy to do using chemical and/or heat sterilisation. With any fluid exchange it is also not just STD's that you need to be aware of, but pathogens such as MRSA and hepatitis are also a significant concern.
So is casual sex worth it? Sex is one of the most pleasurable things we can engage in and has numerous health benefits http://stress.about.com/od/generaltechniques/a/sexandstress.htm. Choice of partner It is entirely personal. It is no more moral or immoral than having sex with a long term partner/spouse. A long term partner will have a chance to learn what pleases you and thus the sex might be better in some respects, but there is also value in having different sexual encounters and learning new tricks or techniques or simply how much variation there can be in the human sexual experience.
Skeptical kinkster musing on whatever takes my fancy!