Shades of Pornography: Is “50 Shades of Grey” Pornography or not?

I’ve noticed the beginnings of the social media buzz for the 50 Shades of Grey movie, coming out in 2015.  While IMDb’s parental guide of the movie isn’t out yet since the movie isn’t completed, it does reveal this:

This is based off an erotic novel and is currently rumored to have two versions, an R rated and NC-17 cut.

Expected MPAA Ratings: NC-17 for explicit sexual content, or R for sequences throughout of extremely strong sexual content including explicit dialogue, graphic nudity, drug-related material, violence, and language.

What kind of movies get NC-17 ratings?  Typically these would fall into the label of pornographic movies.  Though pornos typically have their own “special” movie theaters, it seems like this one will be hitting the silver screen next to whatever new superhero movie is coming out on Valentine’s Day 2015 (how romantic).  While there is certainly a segment of our population that is okay with pornography, most people at least see it as something they wouldn’t engage in publicly.  One has to wonder if people who go to watch 50 Shades of Grey in theaters will feel like they are going to a porno or to a standard Hollywood romantic drama.  Most likely it will be the latter, but why is that?  What is it that actually separates a movie like 50 Shades of Grey from Debbie Does Dallas?  

Some would say plot.

But don’t all pornos have a plot to them to some extent?

And the plot argument certainly isn’t unique to 50 Shades of Grey.  It seems like you can put as much explicit sex and nudity in a Hollywood movie or HBO series that you want and people (including Christians) will eat it up without hesitation as long as there is a gripping plot, big name stars, and critical acclaim.

I’m thankfully not an expert in pornographic movies, but I do want to get people thinking about the things our society considers socially acceptable and the things it feels are taboo, as there is definitely some irony and a lot of hypocrisy in how subjective our culture’s view of morality is.

Would you tell all your friends you went to see 50 Shades of Grey? 

It seems that way.

Would you tell all your friends you went to see Debbie Does Dallas?

Some middle schoolers or college frat boys might.  No one else probably would.

I understand some would call 50 Shades of Grey “art” and that is what would distinguish it from porn.  But again one has to wonder how we quantify art anymore.  Strippers call what they do art, as do the actors and actresses performing hardcore porn movies.  Many are hoping their “artistic” careers in porn will elevate them to become Hollywood actors and actresses some day.  Does this description of the 50 Shades of Grey novel sound like art?…

Author E.L. James gives us the first-person perspective of a naive 21-year-old college graduate who is also — wait for it — a virgin who has never really been kissed. She is thrown into the presence of a young and extremely handsome billionaire who is powerfully attracted to her but has a dark secret life that involves riding crops, rope and something he calls “The Red Room of Pain.”

As for the sex scenes, they’re frequent, explicit, and full of breathy descriptions of how “hot” bondage and spanking can be.

(Quotes from ‘s article “’50 Shades of Grey: Just how smutty is it?”)

The “Red Room of Pain”, riding crops, rope, bondage, and spanking?

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.

We can put lipstick on porn all we want and rationalize it til we’re blue in the face, but all forms of porn do the same thing to our minds and our lives.  It feeds us with fantasy, making us even less happy with our reality, sinking us deeper into depression and deeper into the black hole of addiction.  Whether this addiction is found on the pages of a book, the lights of a movie screen, or in the activity of our imaginations, it all sucks the life out of us.

What happens if you try to live on fantasy food or fantasy air?

Are we designed to live off these things?

So why do we think we can live off of fantasy sex and fantasy relationships with no real life repercussions?

Hollywood has its recipe for sex, God has his.  We all get to pick which one will be the most fruitful in the end.




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One response to Shades of Pornography: Is “50 Shades of Grey” Pornography or not?

  1. Yes, this television show is pornography, unsuccessfully veiled.

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