Wednesday, May 2, 2012

50 Shades of I Can't Believe I'm Gonna Write This Post

Disclaimer:  Ok, fine.  The Hubs says this is my blog, and I can type what I want.  I'm always open to differing viewpoints.  Hell, I welcome the challenge to my thinking.  I love a good debate, an eye-opening dialogue, or personal experience.  But, and this is important, I am just a girl with a laptop...not an expert. So if you don't agree...tell me why.  Share.  Honestly, I just want to hear what y'all think about this book and why.

50 Shades of Grey.  Yep.  That topic.

I've read hilarious ecards on Facebook, emails with some of my blogging friends around the country, radio shows, and even Dr. Oz did a whole show on it today.  And I've discovered these books are not black and white, but their own numerous shades of gray.  Google would do a better synopsis than me, so check that out, if you haven't heard of this.  Apparently, there's a couple of you left.

Let's get this part out of the way.  The abuse/rape conversation.  I don't agree.  First of all, I don't remember any talk of rape anywhere in the series.  But abuse?  Honestly?  Yes.  He is a control freak.  He stalks her, propositions her, controls her relationships, clothing choices, and eating habits.  His mood swings are quick and cold.  He is 50 shades of f*cked up.  But he was honest in his desires; he gave her a damn contract that spelled it out in DETAIL.  She knew exactly what she was getting, and she signed up for it.  The people who are shocked by this relationship obviously skimmed the contract part or have no idea what BDSM stands for. And you can google that, too.  Before I became so invested in the lives of these characters, I almost quit the book.  But I paid for it on my iPad, and I'm cheap.  So if I paid money, I'm going to finish it.  I was offended by his control of her.  We (me and my girlfriends) were raised to be tough, independent, take charge women.  We don't allow anyone to tell us what to do, when, or how.  Yet, I found myself very close to this situation in my first marriage with verbal abuse and control.  So I began to realize the reason I was so appalled is that it was too close to my own experiences in loss of control and power, and I was embarrassed to have allowed it.  I sure didn't agree to it.  (and well, I sure wasn't getting spoiled and cherished).  But the important factor here:  she agreed to it.  But then, did everything to go against it and challenge it and him...CONSTANTLY. 

The writing.  Piss poor.  Hell, even the author said it was crap.  This isn't Faulkner.  You may even need to invest in the Merriam-Webster word of the day app when you are finished just to speak in complete sentences using language written higher than a 4th grade level.

Least favorite part:  the inner goddess.  By the time I was halfway through the first one, I was doing more eye-rolling than Ana.  I honestly didn't get it.  I think it was supposed to be the internal struggle between her thoughts and actions.  But after a few mentions, um, yeah, we got it.  Let's move on.

The sex: (Mom, cover your eyes.  Thanks).  Good sex.  But toned down more than most erotica.  I didn't find it Earth-shattering.  By the third book, I was skimming this section.  Her pyrotechnic orgasms became boring.  I read one review that said, "Ana Steele could sneeze and reach orgasm."  Almost, right?  Or another review of the main character's own naive demeanor in being shocked at her orgasms "what was she in some bizarre Puritan land?"  Yep, giggles.

Characters: Wasn't he the standard romance novel guy?  Handsome. Smart. Philanthropic. Sexy. Moody.  She was plain.  Not real standout features.  Young. Plain. Average. Clumsy. Waiting to be rescued.  It was to appeal to us all. (and by the way, this was fan fiction, written off of Twilight)

Favorite part: The emails and banter between the characters.  Loved. It.  Maybe that's because I love the all day texts and emails from my Hubs.  It keeps us connected all day.  It's like seducing each other throughout the day.  And minds out of gutter, not sexting...texting.  Just staying connected and involved and laughing.

The Problem:  I worry about the young girls who are reading this.  I'm hoping those Twi-Moms know their daughters are reading and discussing this in high school.  (also warning to the Twi-Moms of boys, heads-up to you, as well).  Are they really mature enough to understand this?  Can they determine between the "abuse" in this book versus real abuse?  Do they honestly understand the difference between the reality and fiction...I mean, it's not like there are vampires running around to signal fiction to them.

What appealed to me: Getting beyond what we are taught, beyond the "vanilla".  Not all relationships, sexual or otherwise, look the same.  There is no normal.  Everyone needs to get what they need, not what our parents or friends or colleagues tell us we need.  The main character was shocked that she was not disgusted by the "red room of pain," but intrigued and even turned on.  She became the instigator.  Most games were at her request.  I like that she explored life outside of the "one size fits all" mentality.  I found myself thinking about the book and the characters even when I wasn't reading.  That's a first.  But the desire to take charge in the bedroom and/or "play" didn't change. It's not like it changed my world after 9pm.  (of course, my world is pretty freaking fantastic, sorry, TMI).

So, if you read it without a red pen for editing and enjoyed it.  I'd love you to speak up and tell me what you loved or hated.  I wanted to know what you think the appeal is.  And why do you think women are standing up and shouting that it changed their lives, especially their sex lives (on national radio and tv shows).  And if you are embarrassed (your own 50 Shades of Blushing, because, hey, some of us are private people in regards to sex, right and wrong here.  Email me or FB message me.  Still love to hear from you!)

And here's hoping this post wasn't so long that you feel exhausted like a few hours in the "playroom"  Ha!


  1. Loved the post! I think you already know my thoughts on the book...

    —Jen, AKA Overworked Supermom

  2. Hi - I was just on overworked supermoms blog and saw your link to this review...Great stuff!! I also did a post if you are interested...I like seeing what other folk think about books I have read....