Monday, 23 July 2012
Fifty Shags of Grey.
I've tried to avoid commenting on the phenomenon that is Fifty Shades of Grey but so many women I know have read it that I can't resist spouting off about it. In my local supermarket there is a stand full of the trilogy, right next to the Get Well Soon cards. Buses and trains are full of commuting women reading them and getting funny feelings in their lady parts. Suddenly erotic literature is mainstream and not something to be furtive about.
Perhaps this is partly to do with it being an almost exclusively female phenomenon, women are asking each other if they have read it yet and if the answer is no they lend their friends their own copy and refuse to say anything about it as though there is anyone left that hasn't heard that it is full of sexy bits.
It is as though women have only just discovered porn. Men tend not to read these books as we have all been reading and looking at porn since we were teenagers so forgive us if we seem puzzled at the commotion.
I've just been on holiday and Mrs Van Helsing borrowed all three books from a friend who, like I said, wouldn't tell her what they were about. We were only on holiday for a week but she read all three and managed to re-read the first one again before we came home. If we weren't hiking, driving or messing about on boats she had her head in the books.
I'm ashamed to say I started feeling a bit jealous and unwanted. Is this how women feel when they know their men read and look at porn? I put down my Tom Clancy and tried reading one but found it to be much like a Mills & Boon with better sex scenes.
I'm not complaining about these books at all, I think what is happening is a good thing. Suddenly women are talking about erotic literature and no-one seems embarrassed or ashamed to say they enjoy it. The fact that it is prose and not pornographic pictures or films means nobody is being exploited in real life. The characters may be exploited in the stories but we all fantasise about each other in different scenarios. It will be interesting to see if this fizzles out or more books from other authors are given the same mainstream status.
I'm off to convert the spare bedroom into a Red Room, I wonder if you can buy suspension racks at B&Q?