What are Common Personality Traits of Women Who’ve Read the “Fifty Shades of Grey” Trilogy?

'Fifty Shades of Grey' still (The Tipsy Verse)

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ still (The Tipsy Verse)

Now that we’ve all seen “Fifty Shades of Grey” (or are waiting for Netflix/Redbox/not-so-legal means), we can all relax until the franchise’s next installment comes out.

Until then, you have time to catch up on the rest of the trilogy. But that might say certain things about your personality.

Last year, Michigan State University researchers found that women who had read the erotic trilogy were “more likely to have a verbally abusive partner with stalker traits and eating disorders than non-readers.” The study polled 655 women ages 18-24, and was published in the “Journal of Women’s Health.” The subjects were divided into thirds of non-readers (those who hadn’t read any of the books), one-book readers (those who’d only read the first book) and three-book readers (those who’d read the entire trilogy).

Compared to women who hadn’t read the books, women who had read them reported more abusive behavior in relationships: They were 25% more likely to have been yelled at by a partner, and 34% more likely to have had a potential stalker.

But it’s unclear whether the subjects engaged in this behavior before reading the books, so we can’t say definitively that the books influenced them.

How Many People Experience Same-Sex Attraction (SSA)?

TLC's 'My Husband's Not Gay' (Salon)

TLC’s ‘My Husband’s Not Gay’ (Salon)

With TLC’s special “My Husband’s Not Gay” premiering recently, same-sex attraction (SSA) has come to the forefront of discussion in sexuality. SSA is just what it sounds like: a person is attracted to someone of the same gender, or sex. However, someone with SSA may or may not act on the attraction, and may or may not identify as homosexual, gay or lesbian.

“My Husband’s Not Gay” follows three (hetero) married couples and one single man. All the men featured admit to struggling with SSA. The couples and man reside in Salt Lake City, Utah, and cite their strong Mormon faiths as to why they have a traditional male-female marriage (or, in the case of the single man, why he wants one). Since conservative Christianity, and Mormonism in particular, has traditionally frowned upon homosexuality, these men have made a decision to honor their faith and not their attractions.

I wanted to find some stats on SSA, but couldn’t find any information that weren’t connected to any religious sites (of the “pray the gay away” stripe). Apparently, no university has done a study with people who experience SSA but who do not identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual. (Kinsey Institute, get on this.)



Are Male or Female Submissives More Common?

Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey (EW.com)

Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey (EW.com)

In a recent interview with “Elle UK,” actor Jamie Dornan discussed his role in the upcoming “Fifty Shades of Grey.” He will play businessman Christian Gray, who initiates Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) into his world of pleasure and pain.

Dornan described going to a sex dungeon for research and expressed surprise at how large and widespread the lifestyle is. He then claimed that “more men are submissives than women.”

Is this true?

Dornan was probably speaking from his own anecdotal experience of visiting the dungeon. We don’t know if he visited more than one (and where the dungeon or dungeons were located), and so cannot extrapolate any larger trends from his observation.

But a couple of recent studies illuminate how dominant and submissive roles in BDSM break down along gender lines. Naturally, one of the questions asked was how participants self-identify: as doms, as subs, as women, as men.

In 2013, a Dutch study found 33% of the men surveyed identified as submissive, while 48% identified as dominant. Among women, 76% of respondents identified as submissive, and 8% identified as dominant.

Closer to home, a study from Southern California came out, which examined mental health among BDSM practitioners.

Within the study, 26% self-identified as submissive (with 61% self-identifying as dominant). Amongst women, 69% identified as submissive, and 30% identified as dominant.

This might be a stat where the anecdotal evidence differs from the numerical data. The male respondents might not’ve wanted to self-identify as submissive, and so might’ve skewed the data. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.