Take Notes: Lessons Learned From “Fifty Shades”

Photo from newyorker.com

With the “Fifty Shades” movies being far from PG, there is much to be seen when it comes to sexual intimacy. The red room is definitely an acquired taste, but the movies aren’t without a few lessons about keeping it interesting in a relationship. Here are some lessons to take away from the “Fifty Shades” trilogy. 

1. Communication is Key       
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Ana and Christian know how to keep it interesting — especially when it comes to their sex life. But, a lack of communication led to their temporary downfall, which resolved once they were clear about what they were and weren’t willing to do.

Now, you clearly don’t need a contract, and you don’t need to keep it vanilla if that’s not your style, but when going into a relationship — especially a sexual one — it’s important to make it clear to the other person your desires as well as your boundaries. By having a serious conversation with your partner, you can let them know what you are and aren’t comfortable with, maximizing you are your partner’s experiences so there’s no confusion or mishaps. Outside of the sexual aspect of a relationship, Ana says it best: “Talk. Listen. Work stuff out.”

2. Don’t Compromise Who You Are
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Another main struggle in the relationship between Ana and Christian is maintaining their own identities and staying true to who they are. Christian is wealthy, to say the least, but Ana doesn’t let his wealth and lifestyle get in the way of the career she wants.

It’s important to go after what you want and to achieve your goals. You have to be comfortable enough in a relationship to do this because holding the other person back or bending to please the other person will likely lead to regret. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make compromises together in the relationship, but it’s important to not lose yourself in the other person or give up a part of yourself to make the other person happier.

Consider Christian’s part in the relationship: though he made some adjustments when it came to how he approached sex and intimacy, he still found a way to maintain his role in and out of the bedroom, without losing the aspects that made him who he is. 

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things
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A big scare in a relationship can be losing the element of surprise — falling into a routine with no spontaneity or flirtatious occurrences. Predictability, though it’s safe, can be very detrimental to a relationship. Ana and Christian never keep a routine but instead, try new techniques or activities to maintain that spark that drew such a large audience to theatres. From trying something new in the bedroom to shaking up your dining experience, the Grey’s aren’t short of ideas to try. 

4. We All Have A Past
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It can seem very overwhelming being in a relationship and finding out something big about your partner’s life. For Ana, finding out Christian’s relationship with Elena and his memories of his birth mother is not something that she took lightly, but she didn’t let that affect her respect for him. Though it took time, she was able to understand him in a more intimate way, and being fully honest helped their relationship grow. It can be daunting to meet someone and learn about their past, but we all have a story, and that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing someone or accepting who they are, and who they want to become.

5. Relationships Take Work
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From their sexual endeavors to their work and home life, Ana and Christian put in the work. They had to work out what they were comfortable doing and how they approached sex. They also had to find a way to balance their work life. With Christian being Ana’s boss’s boss, they communicated and agreed on a way for Ana to maintain her own identity and role in the company. At home, Christian and Ana worked through the news of having a baby, accepting the life changes. Being a party of two, both parties have to be willing to put in a little effort and work through their obstacles.

6. Vulnerability Strengthens Relationships
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Being vulnerable can be a very uneasy experience. You are opening yourself up to someone emotionally and physically, becoming more transparent and giving up a part of yourself that makes you feel safe. But a big part of vulnerability is trust. Ana trusted Christian sexually, and then she was able to open up, so he understood what was ok, and the experience became more rewarding for both of them. Christian learned to be more vulnerable and let his guard down with Ana, essentially showing her “all of him” with no boundaries or walls, revealing to her how much he loved her, and in a way, how much the relationship meant to him. 

7. Sex is an Important Aspect of Relationships
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A healthy relationship constitutes finding a balance. Having those moments to communicate and do things together while having those sensual experiences. We are all wired with a sex drive, and to ignore or lose that aspect of a relationship can create relationship issues. Ana and Christian have an active sex life and are constantly doing new things and making time to have sex with the other person.

Once you get to that aspect of a relationship, it’s an important way to express your love and connect with someone at a deeper level, making the other person feel desired. 


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