Soapbox Second: Fifty Shades of Grey

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My reaction to “fifty shades of Grey”

Unless you have been living under a rock, it has been nigh on impossible to ignore the erotic (using the term very loosely) novel ”Fifty shades of grey”. However, if you have been living under a rock, it’s basically a book about some virgin who meets an incredibly good looking and wealthy man who she has kinky sex with.Now this may surprise you, but I had no intention of reading the book; my primary reason was that I had a stack of books I wanted to read over the summer on top of the ones I had to read for university. Also ”Fifty shades of grey” has been classed as ”Mummy Porn” which immediately signalled to me that it was going to be a bit cheesey and incredibly Mills and Boon esque.

HOWEVER, there was so much hype about the book that I was just about to cave in when my friend told me it was a Twilight fan fiction, and then the book just became irrelevant to me. I severely dislike the Twilight series, and there was NO WAY i was going to read ”Twilight: the porno”.However, it’s difficult to class a book as irrelevant when it’s EVERYWHERE (unlike a certain mobile companies signal…yes 02, I’m looking at you) from Twitter to the Times – I gave in and ordered it off Amazon.

Now, the book in my humble opinion, is pretty badly written. The story doesn’t go anywhere and it feels like it’s just repeating itself over and over again, and the sex scenes aren’t even good, I’ve found music videos more erotic. I mean, who says ”Oh my” everytime they are aroused? The narrator (Ana) is meant to be a 21 year old girl living in the 21st century and yet she’s speaking like a women from the Victorian age, and the way Grey calls Ana ”Baby” everytime they are having sex makes me cringe.ALSO, there’s the fact that Grey manages to make Ana orgasm EVERYTIME when having sex, even though she has NEVER done anything sexual. I know it’s fiction and meant to be erotic, but seriously!? A virgin orgasming from a man simply massaging her boobs? NO!

Saying all this, I think it’s worth noting that I’m looking at the novel in literary terms, which is wrong. The book is an erotic novel, so it should be looked in context: which is a pornographic one. Porn isn’t meant to be intellectually stimulating, can you think of any groundbreaking Porno films (apart from deepthroat)? Do pornographic films win Oscars? NO. Porn is unrealistic, it’s meant to be sexually not intellectually stimulating. I still think that ”Fifty shades of grey” is a poor example of erotic literature and that more engrossing reads can be googled and read for FREE, but if people are getting a thrill from it then who cares?It’s also important for me to say that erotic literature is predominantly aimed at women, because we’re simply not as visual as men. Some women will watch porn but definitely not as many as men; we’re more psychological when it comes to sex.

Consequently, while ”Fifty shades of grey” may be poorly written, it’s empowering for women in a sense, because it’s allowing many women who don’t feel comfortable discussing sex or watching porn to explore it in an ”acceptable” way. Also my friend raised a good point in that the narrator being a virgin is one of the novel’s biggest pluses, because many people reading it will know the feeling of being completely overwhelmed when first being introduced to sex. In fact many people who have been having sex for years still feel overwhelmed and confused.

So yes, I do think ”Fifty shades of grey” is cringey, cliched and unrealistic, but this extends to most examples of porn, and it’s purpose isn’t to be realistic, it’s meant to gratify the viewer’s/reader’s sexual needs, and if it enchances anybody’s sex life for the better then who are we to judge?

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2 thoughts on “Soapbox Second: Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. Do you really think that the novel is empowering for women? A 21 year old is a virgin that has never had an orgasm and suddenly she finds a rich man to show her all the things shes been missing? Can women not discover and have their own sexuality? For me, that undercurrent outweighs all other “good” points. Then again, I’m a man so maybe Im looking at it all wrong.

    • I think the novel is empowering for women in that they are allowed to explore their sexuality in an “acceptable” way I.e in the form of literature.

      In terms of the novel itself, I think everything about it is ridiculous. However, it may allow more erotic novels that are better written to hit the mainstream 🙂

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