Sperm Count: Fifty Shades of Janovic Paint

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Fifty Shades of Grey is such a ubiquitous part of the collective unconscious that's its spawned a TV series, Submission, in which the characters' fantasies are fueled by a book called The Slave (though creators of the series have tried to differentiate it as a more realistic portrayal of human sexuality than that of its predecessor). It's a little unrealistic to have a book like The Slave lying out everywhere, as it is in the series. Usually you keep Fifty Shades clones, in a drawer or under a mattress. The Story of O, for all its notoriety, never had it so good. But what'd most interesting is the meta universe in which the series exists. Unlike Fifty Shades, the willing suspension of disbelief is constantly cut short when characters wake up from their fantasies. And daydreaming is really what Submission is about. Freud wrote The Interpretation of Dreams, but someone could do an analysis of the show called The Interpretation of Daydreams. Further, the world in which the series takes place, in which much of the sex is catalyzed by fiction, is a comment on our pornographic culture, in which those who read highly stimulating texts or go on sites, are inundated with imagery that ultimately separates rather than unites them with others. So strong are the images that may have stimulated sex that they end up overwhelming the sex itself, leaving the person who's fantasizing as solitary as he or she would have been were they simply masturbating to the same scenarios. E. L. James may find herself writing yet another sequel entitled Fifty Shades of Janovic Paint to deal with the color combinations on the walls of the rooms in which the characters of Submission live out their reveries of being enslaved.

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}