I know that a lot of men read this blog, and generally most of the articles apply to men as well as women. This is one that is for the ladies only. Trust me on this. Especially if you are man who knows me, Tricia, the author personally. You want to be able to look me in the eye the next time you see me. You might not be able to if you read further. You have been warned!
What Is Fifty Shades of Grey?
I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey from my Zumba group and was shocked to not be “in the know” about a book! So I immediately started doing some research. The short backstory of the book is that it allegedly began as Twilight fan fiction called Master of the Universe. Because of that, you will see a lot of similarities between Fifty Shades and Twilight. Anastasia Steele is awkward, naive, and self-conscious. Christian Grey is rich, sophisticated, and “dark” for reasons we will not learn until later. They are thrown together and feel immediate attraction. Christian tries to warn Ana off but she will not listen. Sound familiar?
At that point the story takes a definite shift from Young Adult Fiction into the realm of sex-filled romance novels. More than that, the sex scenes are almost completely “BDSM.” I actually had to Google that. Turns out it means something like “bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism.” Without giving too much away, Christian approaches Ana with a contract (a literal, sign your name on the dotted line kind of contract) that outlines what exactly their relationship will entail. Remember when you were reading Twilight and wished that Bella and Edward would just get on with it? This book grants your wish.
Why Is the Book Called Mommy Porn?
Essentially women are not supposed to like pornography. Even more, we are not supposed to talk about it or be seen with it. “Mommy Porn” is a book that falls into the “Erotica” genre but is acceptable for carrying to soccer games and talking about at book clubs. I don’t think that I would go quite that far with Fifty Shades of Grey. The book does have very graphic sex scenes, but the language is actually pretty mild. With the exception of the “f” word everywhere, the author actually refers to the female anatomy as “down there.” I’m not kidding. Italics and all. The scenes were not any more graphic than those in the Sookie Stackhouse series (the basis of True Blood). There were just a WHOLE LOT more of them. Probably 20% of the book. With a lot of innuendo in between.
Did I Like the Book?
I am incredibly conflicted about this. I would not have picked it up if it had not been getting so much attention. I’m not a romance or erotica reader. On the flip side, I’m not a prude when it comes to talking about sex with my friends. (Hello, Pure Romance parties!) If the book were only about the sex and romance, I think I would have liked it. However, the parts that were about the “Spoiler” section below REALLY upset me. To the point of me being in tears at times. I am still so angry at part of the premise of the book.
Will I read books 2 and 3? Of course. I now feel invested in Ana and Christian’s relationship and I have to see where it goes. However, I will have a hard time believing that a leopard could change his spots just because of the love of a good woman. If the trilogy goes there, I will be very skeptical. Christian may have very good reasons in his past to be as messed up as he is, but a couple of months with Ana isn’t going to all of a sudden change his true nature.
Skip this paragraph if you haven’t read the book.
I was almost distraught over the scenes where Christian talks about how he takes genuine pleasure in hurting Ana. I’m not talking about the little paddles but the ones where he admitted that he really got excited by spanking her. When he was doing it the second time toward the end with the belt and she was in obvious pain, I was crying right along with her. I’m not sure that there is anything that Christian could ever do or say to make up for that. It might just be part of my own past rearing its ugly head, but the thought of a man who could take any satisfaction whatsoever in hurting a woman made me want to throw up.
Is Fifty Shades of Grey for Moms?
Although moms are getting a lot of attention for reading this book, I think it’s because we are all supposedly full of pent-up sexual desires that we never act out on and need some kind of release for. I don’t think that is really the case. I do think the book is for anyone who enjoys an edgy sex romance but is not too squeamish about anything besides missionary position sex (or “vanilla” as Christian calls it). Will you enjoy it? Maybe, maybe not. It depends how strongly you feel about some of the things that Christian does and whether you think Ana should put up with it.
Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey? Do you have any intention of reading it? I would love to hear your thoughts because I am finding myself very conflicted right now!