Tuesday, May 15, 2012

just say "red" to this book

Yes, it's been awhile since I've posted. Even two classes doesn't leave a lot of room for fun writing. I really enjoyed my classes this semester, and would encourage anyone looking for a good book to check out the blog that my classmates and I all contributed to for my Reader's Advisory class. It covers almost every genre, so there's bound to be something in there to appeal to anyone.

So after a semester of reading good books, I decided to turn off my brain and read the book everyone is reading right now. Do I even have to say it? Yes, I read 50 Shades of Grey. I was expecting it to be bad in a cheesy so-bad-it's-good way. In the words of Enid from Ghost World, "This cycled past good and went right back to bad again." I know it started off as Twilight fan fiction, but it didn't even remind me much of Twilight, except for the obvious bits about Christian and Edward being so handsome, and Bella and Anastasia being clumsy. To me it felt like reading a Sweet Valley High novel. If Francine Pascal had thought to get Elizabeth Wakefield and Bruce Patman  together and throw in some S&M (well, technically she did, but it was much more vanilla), it would have been this book. Although the writing would have been a lot better. Think about what I just said.

To give everyone who has resisted the lurid song of 50 Shades a taste of what they've been missing, here's my take on a typical 50 Shades scene.

"Anastasia, I'm going to fuck you fast and hard," Christian muttered as he thrust his enormous penis inside me. At least, I think it's enormous. I've never even had a sexual thought in my life until I first laid eyes on Christian Grey, so it goes without saying that I've never seen a penis. Holy cow! I gasped and bit my lower lip. "Don't bite your lip, you know what it does to me!" he murmured. My subconscious looked up from her copy of "The Feminine Mystique" and tutted at me while my inner goddess did naked cartwheels around the room, the slut. "Okay, you can come now," he commanded. I gasped and immediately had fifteen orgasms in a row.

That's pretty much it. The rest of the book is mostly text messages and emails. Seriously. Henry and June it ain't. In fact, as far as S&M goes, it's pretty tame. The first book is just spanking. There are two sequels, so maybe it gets more intense. I hear the next book has butt plugs.

I happen to know a thing or two...not very much, literally just a thing or two...about the fetish community, which might be why a lot of this seemed far fetched to me. First of all:

1. Men like Christian Grey who are very rich and very powerful are rarely doms. It makes sense that they would be right? He's a control freak so that means he needs control in every aspect of his life, right? Nope. It's men like Christian who go to dungeons and pay women good money to stomp on their testicles while wearing stilettos. It's very rare to want that sort of control in all aspects of your life.

2. Which is probably why so many middle class moms are eating this story like candy right now. When you're spending your days changing diapers, herding the kiddos to school and soccer practice, making sure all homework is done, cooking three meals a day, and all those other things that moms are expected to do, it isn't a surprise that the idea of being tied up and blindfolded while someone else does all the work sounds enticing.

3. Safety words exist for a reason. There are a few times Christian goes over Anastasia's boundaries. This isn't hard to do because Anastasia, despite bragging about how high her GPA is for the entire book, has the communication skills of a rock. I kept yelling at her in my head, "Say 'red', Anastasia. Just say 'red.' He told you to say 'red' if things got out of hand. How about 'yellow'? Oh never mind, you just had ten orgasms anyway. Stop crying."

4. One thing that the book got right? Anastasia emails Christian (half the book! I'm serious!) and simpers about how he scares her sometimes and makes her want to run away, but she can't because she'd miss him and blah blah blah. He writes back, "What I think you fail to realize is that in Dom/sub relationships it is the sub who has all the power. That's you." Yes! Finally, the book gets something right! In other words, JUST SAY "RED", ANASTASIA!


  1. I think I enjoyed 50 Shades much more than I thought I would because I read it with irony. It was easier to pretend that the narrative was lifted from a bad porno that pretends to have a plot, and I can't imagine someone taking it seriously. I do agree with all your points, though, and think it's a poor representation of the fetish community. Especially when Ana is the speshul snowflake who changes Christian and turns him onto vanilla sex. That was utterly awful, but for some reason, I couldn't stop reading, nor can I stop talking like Ana all the time. Whatever, though. My inner goddess rolls her eyes before snorting another line of coke. My subconscious also rolls her eyes before snorting another line of coke.

    P.S. The second book has butt plugs, but they are not used. Bummer.

    1. I thought I was going to enjoy it in a cheesy, ironic way too, but I haaaaated Anastasia so much. I was never a big fan of Bella either, so go figure I didn't care for her fan fiction counterpart.

      Also, I TOTALLY think you should write a 50 Shades parody with Kim Ho! Just something short you could post on your blog. It would be hilarious to see what Kim's subconscious and inner goddess would have to say.

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  3. Okay, I don't know where my comment went?! Anyway... I ate this shit up. I certainly rolled my eyes a lot but that hasn't stopped me from moving onto book three. Also, I think your hypothesis about why some mom's like this book so much is right on...atleast in my case. ;)