Saturday 3 December 2016

Carol Hunt: Women embrace sex in way not seen since Brehon times

The secret sex lives of the Irish

Published 28/07/2013 | 05:00

Fifty shades: Older woman are also interested in the book by E L James
Fifty shades: Older woman are also interested in the book by E L James

I knew the tipping point had arrived when I heard three women discussing it in my local St Vincent de Paul charity shop. Loudly. Without embarrassment. Even though two of them were in their seventies and the other was at least 84 or so.

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That was last year and the book they were dissecting in great detail was the now infamous Fifty Shades of Grey. One was just about to go off on her holliers and was determined to pay greater attention to the young Adonises on the beach now that she "knew what they could do for her". And yes, I was a bit shocked. I had to admit to myself a well suppressed streak of prudery – I had refused to finish the erotic novel on grounds of pseudo-intellectual priggishness as opposed to the (also pseudo) feminist 'morality' excuse some others used. Mea culpa.

This year, thankfully, there's a book that explains the entire Fifty Shades phenomenon – and reactions to it – in scientific detail. As an aspiring intellectual (slightly prudish) feminist I'm much more comfortable with a hefty tome researched by academics – even if one calls herself a "sexologist". This book also explains why there's been a huge rise in (reported) infidelity in women of all ages and classes. Stop the presses! Women like sex. Not just as much as, but even more, than men do.

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