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It’s a #1 best-seller and now a Hollywood movie. The 50 Shades franchise is worth millions. But this poorly-written “love” story is more than just a harmless novel for bored housewives. It is filled with subtle and not-so subtle lies.

Lie #1: Violence is sexy

If you know anything about 50 Shades, you know it’s a story about a man and a woman, who come from polar opposite worlds sexually speaking, becoming infatuated with one another. The main character Ana, who has the personality of a wet mop, is largely innocent and inexperienced when it comes to sex. Christian, on the other hand, is a sexual psychopath, deeply mired in a world of BDSM.

Fans of 50 Shades are quick to point out, “Look, Ana eventually tames Christian and leads him away from his emotionless world of sexual dominance. Just read the sequel books.” That may be, but it is the eroticism in the books that have made them best-sellers. Whatever change Christian goes through in the books, we can’t overlook the way his violent fantasies scar Ana.

This is precisely how the first book ends: with Ana alone, crying on her bed because she has fallen for a man who she now knows is deeply disturbed.

This is, sadly, the trend of all pornography, whether it be text, pictures, or videos. One study found that in the top selling pornographic films, nearly 90% of the scenes contain acts of physical aggression, and in most of those scenes the women portray themselves as enjoying being dominated or punished.

Now some people respond: “yes, but being dominated and threatened is so much more exciting than faithful marital sex.” To me, that’s analogous the meth-head who thinks normal, un-high life is boring. In both cases I just want to extend sympathy.

Lie #2: Sexual brokenness is sexy

For many people, Christian Grey seems like the epitome of female fantasy. He worships the ground Ana walks on. He’s unbelievably wealthy.

But Christian is also a terribly messed up individual who was sexually abused by a family friend starting at the age of 15. It was at that point that he started being in a dominant-submissive relationship with his mother’s friend, a relationship he says has left him 50 shades f___’d up, and yet his resulting perverted obsessions are the very thing that have sold millions of the books.

Sign a petition to boycott 50 Shades of Grey here

Can you imagine if the scenario was reversed? Picture a 15-year-old girl being coerced by a man her father’s age into a relationship where she’s sexually dominated for years. Then picture that girl entering into one relationship after another of emotionless, violent sex. Is that woman’s state of mind something to celebrate, something men should fantasize about?

The question answers itself.

Lie #3: Women should put up with stalkers

Many of the advocates of these books will say, “Look how much Christian wants to be sure he has Ana’s consent. This book isn’t misogynistic because Ana gives her full consent to him.”

First, consenting to being degraded doesn’t make being degraded any more cool.

Secondly, the book blurs the line between consent and control in the worst ways. In fact, there was an article published in the Journal of Women’s Health showing that the character Ana is actually a victim of Intimate Partner Violence. The study says the book shows emotional abuse is present in nearly every interaction the couple has, including elements of stalking and intimidation. 

At one point in the book, Ana actually says, “of course he knows where I live. What able, cell phone-tracking, helicopter-owning stalker wouldn’t?”

Don’t be fooled. 50 Shades of Grey is nothing but poorly written violent pornography. If you or a loved one is stuck in porn and wants to be free, download my new ebook The Battle Plan, and my audio presentation, The Hidden Battle for free here.

Sign a petition to boycott 50 Shades of Grey here

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Matt Fradd works for Covenant Eyes and is the author of the book Delivered: True Stories of Men and Women Who Turned From Porn to Purity. A popular speaker and Catholic apologist, he has addressed tens of thousands of people around the world and appeared on EWTN, ABC, and the BBC. Matt is also the founder of this website,, which is dedicated to helping men and women break free from the vice of pornography. He lives in North Georgia, with his wife Cameron and their four children.