I finally broke down and started reading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. I’m not even all the way through it yet. And yes, I do have to agree with the critics that the series is not the most well-written, has a lot of typos, and perpetuates the stereotypes of porn sex (those being things like men getting erections five minutes after having sex, women having orgasms at the slightest touch, all the unrealistic and potentially damaging beliefs about what real sex is like.)
For the 1% (haha) of the population that hasn’t read these books yet, they are basically about a man, Christian Grey, and a woman, Anastasia Steeele, fictional characters, who get involved in a strange, wonderful, terrible realtionship in which he introduces her, a virgin, to the world of BDSM and all that goes with it. Of course, there’s much more to it than that, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. And I do suggest you read these books!
Despite my agreement with the critics, I can already say that E.L. James, the author, has made a major contribution to the world of sex. Similar to the way Rhonda Byrne, who wrote The Secret, brought the world of new age woo-woo to the mainstream arena, E.L. James has done the same with sexual freakishness. For Rhonda Byrne, it was about the law of attraction. For E.L. James, it’s about BDSM.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, is reading these books. To prove my point, I know a woman who literally carries a bible around in her purse. Not only that, but she also makes jokes about how if she were to become pregnant it would be the imacculate conception, referring, of course, to the fact that she hardly ever has sex with her husband. So this woman has read the entire series. She tells me that it’s going to change my life. ( I don’t think so, I’ve been exposed to a couple of things already. ) It has changed her life, she says, jsut ask her husband. Whoa! If that doesn’t prove it, what does?! “Freaky fuckery”, to quote Christian Gray, has gone mainstream!
So what is the benefit of all this? First of all, I think it cuts down on the stereotypes and misconceptions about “sexual freaks”, if you will. ( And I use that term in the most affefctionate way.) Also, it has expanded people’s sexual horizons. As in the example cited above; people who never have dreamed of having kinky sex are exploring their limits. And, having more sex. Which can’t be a bad thing. Sounds like the answer to world peace to me!
I heard that the author, previously a housewife and mother of two, just sold the rights to a movie for thirty million dollars. Good for her. I say, hats off to you E.L. James!