Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey are into all sorts of wacky sex. But there’s one type they wouldn’t try. Period.
Whether you love or hate the 50 Shades of Grey enterprise, one scene — or rather its absence — had everyone talking following the film’s release.
No, it’s Christian Grey’s cringeworthy “I’m 50 shades of f**ked-up” line and it’s not the controversial belt-thrashing scene.
I’m talking about the so-called “tampon scene“, narrated by Anastasia in the book like this:
“He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string … what! And … gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet.”
Yep, they have period sex in the EL James book.
Hot, messy, raunchy period sex, up against the bathroom sink.
In the movie, however, Ana seems completely devoid of a period — even though the hot love affair takes place over the course of a full month.
It appears that, while the film is happy to refer to butt plugs, whipping and spanking and fisting — and while it notably incorporated contraception into its sex scenes — Ana and Christian are conveniently relieved of having to deal with the biological fact of menstruation.
Related content: THAT scene from 50 Shades of Grey won’t be appearing in the movie.
Now, period sex may not be everyone’s idea of sexy, but it’s reality for a whole lot of women — including Chelsea Summers, who sings its praises in an article for the Guardian, writing: “Sex feels good, menstruation is a fact of my life, and, as far as I’m concerned, period sex is what dark towels were made for.”
Summers’ not alone: one survey revealed that more than 40 per cent of women have sex on their period, while Cosmopolitan US claims that 62 percent of men would be “willing” to have period sex. Period sex has even been shown to relieve menstrual cramps, a factor no doubt driving at least a few couples to get down and dirty during that time of the month.
Related content: These men are turned on by period sex.
Given that so many people are doing it, why didn’t the infamous tampon scene feature in the film? Why, as director Sam Taylor-Johnson has revealed, wasn’t its inclusion in the film even “discussed”, as Variety reports?
And why, in a broader sense, does Hollywood shy away from discussing period sex as even an option for otherwise sexually liberated lovers?
It’s fair to say that menstruation isn’t exactly an everyday topic for mainstream films to tackle: Occasionally, you’ll stumble across a “first period” scene in a movie – My Girl or the Blue Lagoon went there, for example — but after that first cutesy, euphamistic coming-of-age moment (“daddy! I think I’m haemmoraghing!”), menstruation almost entirely vanishes from the big screen.