I read this book last week on assignment from a coworker. She has the delightful idea of have a Fifty Shades of Gray party, which sounds like the perfect way to blow off some steam after two weeks of standardized testing. I must admit, I was curious to read the book and see what all the buzz was about.
Let’s be frank. It’s erotica. Not that great. Not that unique. It’s spiced up with a little BDSM, but even that is pretty tame, at least in the first book. The characters are unbelievable (22 and never really been kissed? please!) and the writing a bit tedious at times. So, why the appeal?
I did have a few insights as to why the book gained so much popularity, especially among the divorced crowd.
For those of us on the other side of a marriage, we have lost faith in the binding nature of that contract. It has become a piece of paper, easily torn. The characters in Fifty Shades of Gray spend an inordinate amount of time debating the stipulations of their contract. I could see the appeal, the comfort, that would be brought by such a document. It spells out exactly the terms of the partnership and responsibilities of each person. There is no gray area, no room for interpretation.
The contract gives a sense of security in the relationship, essentially saying, “You do these things and it will be okay.” Real life certainly doesn’t come with assurance like that.
Many women probably enjoy the return to innocence that can be found in the female character. It can take them back to a time before their views of relationships were sullied. They can experience those early thrills again through her doe-like eyes.
Most of all; however, the book is simply sex. And, due to its popularity, it is sex that is safe for public consumption and discussion, encouraging women to be open about their thoughts and desires. That is the true value of the book.
Well, that and Fifty Shades of Gray parties, of course:)
(You can find my full story in my book Lessons From the End of a Marriage.)
- 50 Shades of Disappointment (hitchhikingmuse.wordpress.com)
- Fifty Shades of Grey: My Rant on Crappy Books and the People Who Buy Them (bookclubbabe.wordpress.com)
- Fifty Shades of Caution (turnapagewriteonpaper.wordpress.com)
- Fifty Shades of Grey Unplugged; Why the BDSM Sex Scenes in the Book is Turning up the Heat in Bedrooms and Raising Some Eyebrows (my.psychologytoday.com)
- Fifty Shades of Grey Review (blackhippiechick.wordpress.com)