Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My take on Fifty Shades

This is not a review, but just my take on the book that EVERYONE is reading.

I didn't want to download this book. I thought $9.99 for an Ebook was crazy, BUT I told myself if I won the drawing for a B&N giftcard at my RWA drawing that I would buy it and see what all the fuss was about. Guess who won the drawing?

I read the first chapter and was intrigued. My RWA chapter actually does a Magic Moment contest every year in which we judge the first ten pages or when the hero and heroine meet. If this manuscript came across my lap as a judge I would give it an A for the sexuality in that first magic moment. After that...ehhhhhh....

Here is what bothers me about this book dubbed "mommy porn"

1.) When I heard that it was based on erotic Twilight fan fiction that was all I could think about. I saw Ana as Bella and Christian as Edward Cullen. Really it was the same characters except one was mortal. I know people say that my books resemble Twilight, but come on now I don't have a brooding egotistical maniac and meek little girl who becomes a sex goddess overnight.

2.) I hated Christan. I found him egotistical and very stalkerish. It was creepy enough that Edward watched Bella sleep, but Christian takes it a step further.  "Hey I'm going to find out where you live, work, and then just show up at your mother's place in Georgia when you say that you need to get away from me. If a guy did that to me I think I would get a restraining order.

3.) The nookie was so unrealistic I felt like I was reading a cheesy porn flick. If you are a girl and you 'got off' and enjoyed it your first time then we should probably meet because I've never met anyone that had that experience. I also never met a girl that enjoyed having a guy put his thumb in her mouth after...ew...ew...ew.

4.) I didn't like the plot, which didn't help that I got bored with the sex every ten pages and started skimming. Same story over and over: shy girl + brooding male = romance. Okay you can say that about the alien series, but at least Alex is a BA and stands up for herself, which leads me to the part I hated the most...

5.) "I'm going to punish you Ms. Steele."


Yeah whatever I understand the BDSM thing, but this just seemed wrong. Ana really didn't seem to like it and at the end she cried and left. I decided to give it a go and read the next book, but had to put it down because I was so upset by this.

As someone that has been the victim of violence in a relationship I was mortified at the way the author used Christian's "control issues" as an excuse for his spanking and belt whipping fetish. Why was it ok that Ana went home so upset after the belt whipping for her to go back to him? There was nothing sexual about that, it was her bent over and him whipping her like a bad child in the 70's with daddy's leather belt.

So that's my take on the book. I did read the whole first one and put down the second book. I do understand why everyone is into it. It's mainstream erotica that isn't in some backroom or covered with half naked people. The publicist the author spent $100,000 on really worked for her. But everytime someone tells me they want to read this I do have to stress that the violence was not something I tolerated reading.

What did you think of this book series? Are you okay with violence in the name of sex?


  1. I have not read the book, so take what you will from my comments, but I have read snippets. I sampled enough to see if I could get past the writing quality to check out the hype (turns out, I couldn't).

    My opinion on the overall concept is that since it was written as a naughty take on Twilight, it makes sense that you would see the characters as older Bella and mortal Edward. As a fanfic concept, it's pretty clever. Edward was increasingly stalkerish in the Twilight books, so to make him a sadist looking to control good little white girls makes sense as a gimmick. I totally get that.

    From what I've gleaned from the author/reader community at large, is that this does not reflect the BDSM lifestyle or even the genre of books on that subject. Again, haven't read it myself but given how many women read erotica, I would assume most of it has an empowering edge, that the women willingly branch out into roles and actively participate rather than being abused. In the hands of a respected writer, this could work. From what I read, I didn't see it working.

    1. Good information to know that people from the BDSM community doesn't think it actually reflects on their lifestyle. Thanks for your input!

  2. Have you ever tried spanking? I have and it's pretty stupid and frankly embarrassing. Not at all erotic.

    1. One time when I was younger my mom spanked me for coloring on my aunt's couch. That's about it. Nothing erotic.


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