Are women's 'erotica' and men's 'porn' the same thing?

The cast of Magic Mike


There’s change in the wind. I can feel it. Women the country over and putting down their Fifty Shades novels quicker than you can say “honey, please pass me my whip and handcuffs”, grabbing their handbags, popping on their killer heels and heading out the door to their nearest cinema (with girlfriends in tow).

That’s right; Magic Mike is in cinemas now. One giant serving of killer abs with a side of bulging biceps, coming right up! Gulp.

But will eye candy take up where word candy left off? Will women be replacing their daily fix of Christian Grey and his naughty naughtiness with a giant dollop of Matthew, Channing and their hunky male stripping posse?

Got me thinking, as I do, what if Mystical Monica was showing in cinemas, instead of Magic Mike? What if Megan Fox, Jessica Alba and a bevy of buxom beauties were flashing their boobs and butts, as opposed to their abs and biceps? What if this “must-see” movie was about a group of female strippers instead of male strippers? (Insert thinking music …)

How would you feel if your husband announced that he was off to the movies with his mates to see Mystical Monica get her gear off? Would you go, “Sure, sweet, have fun, say hi to Stevo, and don’t forget to treat yourself to a super-sized popcorn”?

Fifty Shades of Grey

Some women would definitely be a-okay about it, women who are clearly far more secure than I (power to you, ladies). Call me a prude, but I’m not mad about the idea of my bloke ogling a stack of hot, naked (or even partly naked) chicks – especially chicks who can rock a g-string (not hard to look better than me in a g-string, truth be told … a sack of potatoes would ooze more sex appeal in frilly knickers).

I don’t like the idea of my husband going to strip clubs (although I know he has been and probably will go again – bloody buck’s nights). I know men are visual creatures and all that – they do pictures more than words. I know that many of you would probably label me as pathetic and insecure and a prude (I could well be all three, and often wish I wasn’t), but I also know I’m not alone.

In fact, I know a stack of lovely ladies who would have some rather large “issues” with their blokes heading out the door to watch “soft porn” with their mates (Richard Wilkins’ description of Magic Mike from his Today review). These are probably the same women who don’t dig their dudes hanging out at sleazy strip joints either.

This is where I get a little confused. Generally (and yes, I am talking generally as I know a lot of women don’t feel like I do), women don’t encourage their men to read titty mags, slip $5 notes down the front of a stripper’s EE cup bra or watch porn (well, alone anyway). Generally. Are we looking down the barrel of a double standard here? Would we encourage our boys to enjoy a night with Mystical Monica? Probably not (again, in general).


Fifty Shades of Grey has certainly ignited some kind of sexy little fire in the loins and bedrooms of women everywhere. This is fab news – power to you and your newfound libidos, sisters! But are we being just a teeny weenie bit hypocritical?

Proven fact – women get off on words while men prefer pictures. That’s why there’s no great need for Playgirl magazine while Mills and Boon novels have been around (and doing a roaring trade, thank you very much) for a gazillion years. It’s just how we are wired.

The Fifty Shades phenomenon has given us a newfound sense of sexual power. We’re happy to talk about our sex lives (well, not all of us – I’m a prude). We’re happy to try new and naughty things. And we’re not ashamed. Happy days! Incidentally, could the release of Magic Mike be timed any more brilliantly? Women are already feeling sexually aware, so of course we’re going to nip off to perve at Matthew and Channing with our heads held high. They are, after all, beautiful specimens. Sigh. And is there anything sexier than a dude who can dance? My husband is a professional dancer so I speak from experience when I say HELL NO! (He’s not a stripper, just to clarify.)

But are we opening up a can of worms here? Just be aware ladies that what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander, and while we haven’t been so thrilled with the idea of our ganders gandering in the past, with our newfound sexual awakening may just come a change in the rules for our blokes.

Because seriously, if we can happily read Fifty Shades and take in the delights of Magic Mike, surely we have to loosen up and let our blokes enjoy Hustler and Mystical Monica. And frankly, they are within their rights to do so. Yep.

Who knows, perhaps we are about to witness a sexual revolution? Perhaps we are all about to get a lot more loosey goosey, in and out of the boudoir? Just be aware of your boundaries and what you’re comfortable with in your relationship. Oh, and be careful what you wish for ladies, you just might get it.

See you at the movies!

Alli Grant is co-blogger at Alli & Genine, co-author of ISSUES? What Issues? – The real, raw and honest ramblings of a couple of 30-somethings , a public speaker, an inadequate working mum and a small business owner doing her best to struggle through life. You can find the Alli & Genine Facebook page here.

Have you seen Magic Mike? What did you think?