I’m not really sure when the 50 Shades trilogy became so hot, but it seems as if recently, these books’ popularity has exploded! Initially, I was hesitant to spend any time reading these books, not entirely thrilled with the controversy surrounding these books. However, after much encouragement from my customers, I broke down and downloaded these books to my iPhone to listen to throughout my day.
I’m currently a good ways into the first book, “50 Shades of Grey” and here are my thoughts regarding the book, and sex.
– So far, these books are not well written, in fact, you could start a good drinking game, taking shots every time Anna says, “Oh my” or “Holy (insert expletive here)”.
– I do not like Anna so far, she is quite annoying, and it feels as if Ms. James is trying very hard to duplicate the “maturity” Bella Swan seemed to posses, as an “old soul” or middle-aged teenager. In contrast, Anna comes across as a selfish, immature, and angsty person. Now, let’s remember Anna is only supposed to be 21 or early twenties, so we shouldn’t hold her behavior and reactions against her, they are appropriate for her age. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the attempt to make Anna seem older in maturity is disingenuous at best.
– Ms. James did not try very hard to create her own characters. Yes, I understand it was originally Twilight fan fiction, but really, these characters are easily identifiable as Edward and Bella, Alice and Jasper at this stage of the book.
Now that I’ve got my complaints out, let’s look at what I do like. 🙂
While I wish it was a better erotica book that had made the New York Time’s bestseller book, I am satisfied that a book of this nature has at least made the list. Why? This book is inspiring people to talk about sex in a more relaxed, comfortable, and open fashion. I adore seeing so many people discussing their thoughts so openly regarding such a heavily sexual book. It is fantastic that so many women feel inspired regarding their own sexual relationships, and are ready to step outside “vanilla sex”. 😉 (<– Just to be clear – there is nothing wrong with “vanilla sex”, every couple should engage in sexual activities they feel comfortable with, explore new ones together that they are interested in, and should not have to justify their relationship to others outside that relationship.)
With that said, I have read quite a few complaints regarding this book (outside the ones I’ve already mentioned) – most complaints heading towards the “why would you want your husband to be mad at your for getting drunk with your friends”? Or complaints that this book is domestic violence dressed up as an erotica novel. It is important to remember that this story began as a fantasy within the fan fiction realm. Let’s think about this a little bit – every woman has a fantasy, maybe she wants her husband or boyfriend to do a little roleplaying, to use toys with her in the bedroom, tie her up, or even use (mild to hardcore) BDSM accessories with her. Within a consenting relationship, none of this wrong nor should a woman made to feel shame for desiring these things within a consenting relationship.
Now, in regards to the “concerns” that these books encourage poor role models for relationships – if you or anyone you know are turning to an erotica novel to create relationship or sexual expectations, you will be sadly disappointed. That’s why again, it is a fantasy. Do you know why fantasy is important? While men are more visually stimulated – think of lingerie, or a strip tease, etc., women arementally stimulated. Fantasy and real life are very different, and I would hope women readers can tell the difference between real life and fantasy and make sound decisions based upon the differences. Love it or hate it, 50 Shades has changed how women are talking about sex, and that’s a good thing.