With Magic Mike hot on the tail of 50 Shades of Grey, 2012 is a great year to be a woman.
It seems that for once, mainstream media isn’t catering to male sexual tastes.
First off we had 50 Shades of Grey – a novel that’s already outsold Harry Potter (quite a feat considering how wide the target audience was – kids, mums, college students, your dog…) and been credited with a 400% rise in sex toy sales.
And if you can manage to peel yourself off the ceiling for long enough to get to the cinema, we’ve been gifted with Magic Mike – which is basically Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey oiled up and parading in their pants.
The best thing about this 50 Shades of Mike combo isn’t that it’s out there, it’s that it’s fine for us to talk about it. You see women unabashedly reading 50 Shades on the train, and a group trip to see Magic Mike has been bandied about as a team bonding exercise by your boss.
50 Shades and Magic Mike aren’t the only shows out there catering to female sexuality; Twilight and True Blood are basically shit plots that result in men running around with no shirts on, and you’re kidding yourself if you think that Drive was about anything other than Ryan Gosling in a jacket.
Even nerd-porn such as Spiderman hasn’t escaped a liberal sprinkling of romance and a girl-crush lead (Emma Stone… We probably would).
So what caused this about turn? Cynics argue that it’s the lure of the other pink pound: with women becoming more and more financially independent, it’s them who control their purse strings. And for years, the predominantly male publishing and entertainment industry have failed to cater to this cash-rich demographic.
Others argue that shows like Sex and the City broke enough ground for women to be open about their sexuality. That it’s time to look at sex from the other side of the ropes. Shows such as Pulling and Girls support this – they show the slightly nasty side of female sexuality. The side where you wake up in bed with someone you’d rather gnaw your arm off rather than wake, or you sniff a pair of tights you find on your bedroom floor to see if you can get another day’s wear out of them.
Some argue that this prevalence of girl-porn doesn’t mean anything at all. Let’s be honest – 50 Shades is not exactly setting the world ablaze with its literary prowess, while Magic Mike has been panned for being a bromance in lady-porn clothing.
Regardless of the politics of this trend, if you’re into men taking their clothes off, then 2012 is going to be a great year for you. But not as good as next year; Channing Tatum has already promised us a Magic Mike sequel and Ryan Gosling has been slated as the bookies choice to represent Mr Grey on the big screen. Meaning that summer 2013 will be the hottest one yet…