Have you ever had one of those Rip Van Winkle moments when you suddenly wake up and a seismic shift has taken place? I had one recently, emerging from a slumber to find that women of a certain age are being targeted by creators of pop culture in a big way–from books to movies and everything in between. And, the funny thing is, they like it. They really like it.

The first shot across the bow was the publishing phenomenon “50 Shades of Grey.” Every time I open my Amazon.com page I’m asked if I want to buy a copy. I thought it was a mystery and clicked on it. It wasn’t. It isn’t.

After reading an excerpt of “50 Shades of Grey” I turned 50 shades of red. Somehow I’d woken up in the wrong universe, a universe of “Red Shoe Diaries” for the AARP crowd.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a prude. Far from it. But I’m sort of blindsided by the success of this new cultural niche, this second liberation movement.

How do you explain, for instance, the box office smash “Magic Mike?” The movie, starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey and directed by Steven Soderbergh, is about male strippers. This exotic dancer fantasy grossed nearly $40 million on its opening weekend. And the movie has legs, according to audience surveys. Many of the golden girls in attendance plan to see “Magic Mike” again and bring their friends along, too, leaving their poor husbands (sniff, sniff) home alone.

So what does all this mean? Gosh, don’t look at me. I don’t have any answers so I reached out to relationship expert DeAnna Lorraine, who has theories on how “recent media have helped middle-aged women release their ‘Inner Sexual Vixen’. 

Lorraine has three main theories on how this phenomenon is taking shape: 

  1. “Magic Mike” and “50 Shades Of Grey”, both targeting the female population, has generated huge conversation among women – especially middle-aged mothers.
  2. This demographic, which has been more reserved in the past, has suddenly began talking very openly and explicitly about their sexuality. Relationship experts believe this can result in a wave of positive benefits to relationships and marriages all over the world.
  3. These media choices awaken a woman’s sexuality and promotes greater intimacy in a relationship, which can be especially rejuvenating to a marriage. Because sex is one of the top-three causes for divorce and cheating, keeping up a passionate and exciting sex life is essential for having a marriage that beats the odds and stays strong for life.

 

Okay, well, thank you, Lorraine. So, after learning her theories, I’m still not 100 percent sure if I’ve woken from a dream or a nightmare, but I’ll take the experts word for it, and look at this whole liberation phenomenon as a win-win, I just hope I don’t get dragged to “Magic Mike.”