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?
Laters.

27 comments:

Lisa Shafer said...

I do believe you are the first person lacking a second X chromosome that I have heard even admit to trying to read the stuff. Funny.
Personally, I have no desire whatsoever to read more than the titles. But I congratulate you on being the first man to look at the stuff. :)

Choleesa said...

I know I enjoyed them....

Padded Cell Princess said...

When I read a book, I want something that has a good plot and decent character development. Those are two things 'romance novels' have never even heard of let alone managed to achieve. (I use quotes because they really are hardly romantic since they aren't even realistic!)I have real stuff that I need to read and thankfully none of them include butt plugs or mouth gags!

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah a big load of CRAP! God, it is like they just discovered porn or something, very sad.

The Angry Lurker said...

I read a bit in the bookstore just for research you understand...I was horrified!

Amy said...

I myself haven't read them, but an elderly coworker started the first one and said she couldn't finish it because it made her so upset that she was nauseous! Must be some pretty racey stuff!

YeamieWaffles said...

I think you're spot on with this man, the issues that these books are raising and bringing to the fore are important ones and that can't be a bad thing. I still don't think I'm ever going to read the books but at the same time I really do agree with you. I laughed at Amy's comment too, I definitely don't think that 50 Shades of Grey is for the elderly.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Lisa: It's full of sex, of course I will have a look at it.

Choleesa: Dirty girl.

Princess: Butt plugs are extremely impractical.

PAt: Like I said, you enjoyed them, then.

Lurker: Horrified, yeah right.

Amy: Your co-worker sounds a bit over sensitive.

Matthew: Right on, it's the effect they are having that is important.

Elisa Hirsch said...

The last time I read anything "spicy" it was recommended by a Mormon librarian and while reading it I blushed so badly my hair almost burst into flames. Just a guess, but maybe this series isn't for me. lol

Craziness abounds said...

I'm seeing these books pop up everywhere. It makes me curious but since I can't pick up a book and read anymore I might have to see if they have it somewhere that I can blow it up and read it.

MRanthrope said...

its funny because you're absolutely right. Men (well at least me haha) are pretty much desensitized to porn and adult type stuff because its pretty much all we use the internet for so its kind of funny women are barely catching on to the whole kink train so late.

Kelly Polark said...

Ha ha! I just finished the trilogy myself. Not the best written. I have to admit I started skimming over the erotic parts. But I am glad I read them if anything to be able chime in about this pop culture phenomena! :) I also thought Christian was a controlling ahole. But if it's making so many women read, more power to EL James! You go, inner goddess!

Al Penwasser said...

When they need a cigarette after reading it, it's gone too far.

Rob Z Tobor said...

Read a book Oooooooooo no it's not normal.....

Janie Junebug said...

I keep seeing these books mentioned but didn't know they're supposed to be erotic. I have plenty of other things to read and don't need anything else to make me even hornier.

Love,
Lola

D4 said...

I'm happy to think I've no female friends who are reading this yet. I'm almost giddy.

Jax said...

Ohh...a red room? Someone's going to be hitting up the hardware store. Tell Mr. Grey I said hello... lol

Mynx said...

Not read it, not all that curious. Had plenty of people tell me that the writing is pretty average and after struggling through only one twilight book, I cant be bothered by another series that seems to rely on huge media hype

Powdered Toast Man said...

I can lend you my sex swing and riding crop if you need them.

Brandi said...

Haven't even come close to reading these. I am no stranger to dirty girl books though. I have reviewed and discussed things that are way more naughty than this particular series. I am probably gonna pass.

I think it is pretty awesome that the lady's are embracing their lady bits and their sexuality more openly though.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Elisa: I laughed when I read your comment about blushing, brilliant.

Melynda: Don't be using a blow up machine in public with this book, there maybe consequences.

MRanthrope: I know, my eyes are crossed and palms are hairy.

Kelly: anybody behaving like Christian in real life would probably be arrested.

Al: That comment is pure Penwasser.

Rob: Get back to your studies!

Janie: Cold shower for you, lady.

D4: They are, they just aren't telling you.

Jax: I can't get a gimp mask that fits my massive head.

Mynx: Good decision.

PTM: You sound kitted up.

Brandi: This stuff must seem tame to you.

Bart said...

i dont know how he squints either. it made me wonder after i posted it. lol women get so pissy once u start making fun of how ridiculous this story is. its entertaining

Adam said...

It's the newest fad among women. I can see why the author wrote all 3 books in such a short time. I can't imagine how weird the movie version will be.

Jimmy Fungus said...

Do they have Cliff's Notes for this yet? Well, it's hard to say why certain books become a craze. I would think it is a similar phenomenon to something going viral on the internet. If someone important like Oprah thinks a book is worth reading, then it will take off. I don't know a lot about the content of the book, or why it would be steamier than romance novels, and I don't plan to read it unless they come out with the Cliff's Notes, or a comic book version.

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altadenahiker said...

If I get a free week, I'm dying to do a Shamela on this one.

Deus Ex Machina said...

I'd rather be fucking than reading about fucking. Plus, my husband and I have written everything from soft core to pure raunch back and forth since we were kids. One of the things we occupy ourselves with when he was in Iraq and Afghanistan.