The media has been pulsating with excitement over the character of Christian Grey, the male protagonist in the Fifty Shades trilogy. Despite his fictional status, he has nevertheless usurped the iconic most-lusted-after-male status of Robert Pattinson, who was recently dethroned, cuckolded by ‘K’. The inevitable question being bandied about, is whether Christian Grey fits the mould as the type of man women ‘really, really want’.
Rembrandt’s depiction of Samson’s marriage feast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You see, men have long struggled to understand what sort of man women truly lust after, and the popularity of this imperfect, sado-masochist, with his growing number of besotted female fans, has further confused the issue.
The trilogy has attracted as many critics as it has addicts, (primarily for writing offences that grate with the literati), but you do need to scratch the surface of his complicated alter ego a little further than the first few chapters, to begin to understand his appeal to women.
Which begs the question, what do we find attractive in men? Are we attracted to the hero or the bad-boy?
I do get the appeal of Christian Grey, and it’s nothing to do with his red room. The thing about Christian Grey is that there’s nothing more sexually attractive to women than damaged, male vulnerability, good breeding (albeit inherited through privilege), peppered with old-fashioned charm. I know I shouldn’t generalise about what women find appealing in men, but in spite of his dominant sexual perversion persuasion towards his chosen submissive, there is something about Christian Grey.
And whilst I was mulling over the darkness of Christian’s appeal this week, I was suddenly struck by divine intervention in the form of an ad by a Christian dating agency.
‘Single and Christian – Find God’s match for you’.
Which broadened my thinking process to the type of man that would be Christian’s antithesis? And before I knew it I was having my own little private fantasy about who God would pick for me, you know, the next time I’m in the marketplace for a perfect man.
Because although I understand part of his attraction, I don’t think that we women end up marrying the Christian Grey or John Gray (91/2 Weeks) type, even though the book sales might suggest otherwise. A ‘Grey’ fantasy is one thing, (as a form of escapism), but one should never confuse fantasy with reality.
So if the antithesis to Grey is ‘God’s match’, (even though it might take maturity to recognise it), what do we women have to do to catch one?
Because although I’m more than happy to welcome Jesus into my home, my ‘Christian’ man would presumably want to frequent church on a fairly regular basis too, and as much as I’m quite partial to a bit of happy-clapping and whining guitar acoustic, unfortunately I am odour-intolerant to the acrid smell of incense, (it makes me gag). Resurrecting myself from those pretty embroidered kneelers these days might be a problem too, with my sciatica, and I have always had a small issue with the ‘body of Christ’, which for some reason I find impossible to un-hinge from the roof of my mouth during Communion.
Although I am willing to embrace Bible study, even though it could prove a tad problematic with my myopic vision. I remember Bible print being ever so irritatingly minuscule and I remember struggling to transpose Disciplish (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) during Scripture at school; its archaic style and double meanng being more convoluted than Shakespeare and Chaucer put together.
The idea of sex merely for the sake of procreation, however, is definitely quite appealing these days, now that my responsibility for making more of God’s children is ending its natural cycle. Having said that, the whole idea of ‘two becoming one flesh’ sounds infinitely kinkier than ‘a quickie’.
According to the Christian Post, ‘Surfing the internet or playing games on your smart phone whilst she (the missus) is sitting next to you on the couch is NOT romantic.’ Obviously, Christian men have been shown the light and need to spread the word to the preponderance of philistines out there who engage in such inappropriate behaviours towards their chosen women.
Thankfully, R.E.S.P.E.C.T is obviously big in the Christian household, which would be refreshing as long as one can surpass the minor irritation of being seen as the ‘weaker vessel’. The Christian husband‘s prime responsibility is to love his wife primarily (Yes!)and to serve his wife and children (Yes, Yes!). Personally, I’m a sucker when it comes to the whole idea of unconditional love in marriage and the romantic concept of ’til death us do part’.
I am obviously the perfect Christian wife material, so now all I have to do is to lure one in; although apparently they’re as hard to find as the new iPhone 5.
‘Good Christian men aren’t hiding. It’s just that you won’t find them in places most people look find relationships. He will be more reserved and thoughtful, and has been bought up knowing that his responsibilities are in the Lord. So Ladies, don’t think that there are none, just know he’s working on developing his skills and abilities to provide for his wife and family some day.’ Bishop T D Jakes
I’ll start at St Marks, first thing tomorrow.