Bettie Reads Mommy Porn (After Everyone Else)

Oh boy. I recently jumped on the latest book bandwagon and read the first installment of the “50 Shades” series, “50 Shades of Grey”. Refreshingly, this series is not intended for young adults and doesn’t involve a love triangle of any sort. Unless you count some of the hardware Mr. Grey stores in his “red room of pain”. Blossoming from what I believe was Twilight fan-fiction, “50 Shades of Grey” follows the story of a recent English-Lit grad who enters into a relationship with Christian Grey, a gorgeous, charismatic and disgustingly rich business tycoon. Grey also happens to be into BDSM, a dominant-submissive sexual relationship involving, but not limited to, bondage and punishment. Intrigued yet? I was too. Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey are such vom-inducing “romance novel” names that it was hard for me to take it seriously at first. However, once my brain started to form a picture of Christian (a combination of Dr. Troy from Nip/Tuck and Zac Efron from…life) I was able to enjoy the story.

Dr. Christian Troy (coincidence?)

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After reading about the book and the sensation it was causing amongst housewives and moms, I knew I had to see what all the fuss was about. I expected page after page of raunchy, gratuitous detail, but what I got were a few unanticipated layers. One of which is the story of how the smoldering Dr. Grey became the insatiable “dom” that he is. Plucky Ana digs at his inner psyche and pushes his buttons throughout the book. She manages to reveal a few key pieces to the puzzle, but fails to get the whole story, which is more frustrating than reading an erotic novel as a single gal. Trust me. The bits that graphically describe their (many) sexual encounters are nice and deliciously descriptive, but the real story is in the “why”. Spoken like a true chick, right? That’s why they call it “mommy porn”. It’s got a story that actually holds up between the sexcapades. If it didn’t, every woman in America would have put the book down after the first chapter.

Several things in the book were scoff-worthy to me, however. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the sheer “thesaurusness” of the dialogue. Have you ever heard someone say “envisage” rather than “envision”? No. You haven’t. Because it sounds pretentious and fake. Ana, however, uses the word about 400 times throughout the book. I think I pulled a forehead muscle from all the eye-rolling. I’m not an expert on erotic fiction, but when it comes to the dirty details I’d kind of like to be able to get wrapped up in the scene. When the author refers to the vagina as the woman’s “sex” every time steamy Mr. Grey gets his hands down there, it kind of throws me off. I’m not sure what I’d rather they call it, actually. But something. “He slid his hands down my stomach and rested them on my sex.” You giggled, right? It’s silly. Can we take a vote and decide on a better, more swoon-worthy way to put it? Vagina is too clinical and the slang words are a bit crude for my taste. I’m open to suggestions.

A lot of the internet flack for this book comes from those who say that it sets feminism back a few giant steps. I disagree. BDSM isn’t about gender submission. It’s about the precarious exchange of power. There are PLENTY of women who make a great living as dominatrix(es?) and plenty of men willing to submit and snivel under their leather boots. This book just happens to follow the story of a male dom and a female (would be) submissive.  So…there.

In the end, I was annoyed that I didn’t have the last two books to complete the series and sate my wild imagination. The book was good. I cried, I squirmed, I smirked, I was mildly uncomfortable…it was a whirlwind. If you see me wandering around town with a riding crop, steer clear. Unless you’re into that sort of thing. Sir.

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One thought on “Bettie Reads Mommy Porn (After Everyone Else)

  1. Ash-hole says:

    John Mayer was on Jimmy Fallon last night, and he told a story about how he met a girl, found out she had “50 Shades of Grey” on her Kindle, and to make her laugh, he sang an excerpt of the book to her. Here’s hoping I meet John Mayer while reading “50 Shades of Grey”.

    Dr. Troy seems like a great choice for an older, sexy, successful businessman.

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