When Fifty Shades of Grey came out in 2011 it seemed to do what a lot of erotica prior had been unable to; it swept erotica as a genre out from under the carpets and from behind furniture and dragged it into the open. As it became a runaway success it became clear that women around the world were embracing erotica in a way that hadn’t been seen before. Women from all walks of life were reading erotica in the open and becoming more interested in the genre.

No matter what my personal issues with Fifty Shades of Grey are (and believe me, I have several), I appreciated this about the book: it was no longer taboo for women to discuss the fact that they — surprise, surprise — have sexual thoughts, crave sexual attention from a thoughtful lover, and like to indulge in some fantasies of their own. When I was in high school the done thing seemed to be to wrap Mills & Boon books (remember those?) in brown paper and read them in public, but now I see women of all ages poring over Fifty Shades of Grey and the like openly. The sexual revolution, it appears, has begun, and it is mainstream, and I’m all for it.

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