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Hotter Than All the Fifty Shades in the World
Hotter Than All the Fifty Shades in the World

My marriage of nine years, one mortgage, and three insanely young children often seems to read more like a construction punch list than a Shakespearean sonnet: three daily loads of laundry, two car payments, one long meeting on Tuesday night.

Even this week's "buy Rob an anniversary card" loses sparkle, flanked as it is on the list by "fix hole in ceiling" and "remember multivitamin."

If not stoked, passion will get lost in the mundane.

To remedy this, many of us modern Americans turn to novelty. In my native state of Connecticut, a glass-paneled truck drives through the city of Hartford during normal business hours. Inside, two women perform an exotic dance for pedestrians and commuters.

And millions of otherwise traditional, married women have downloaded E. L. James's erotic fiction series, Fifty Shades, to their Kindles and Nooks, making the first book of the series one of the fastest-selling of all time.

Above all, the Fifty Shades trilogy promises readers an escape from boredom. New Yorker writer Jessica Weisberg interviewed a group of women about why they liked the book. They said reading the books took them back to a less responsible time in their lives, "when you can do whatever you want and have as much sex as you want and don't have to walk the dog."

In a recent Atlantic article about the series, James Parker posits that today, in matters of sexuality, "Above all, we fear numbness. We fear deadness."

Compared to exotic dancers and erotic fiction, married romance may seem dull. But to a culture seeking to flee sexual boredom, God's design actually provides the necessary spark for sustained passion.

Miss Manners calls that spark ...

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Hotter Than All the Fifty Shades in the World
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March 2013

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