Fifty Shades of Gray Through the Eyes of a Divorcee

Fifty Shades of Grey at SeaTac newsstand

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.)

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11 thoughts on “Fifty Shades of Gray Through the Eyes of a Divorcee

  1. Question(s): Would color cease to exist if everything were viewed only in 50 shades of gr_y? BTW are grey and gray the same?
    Somedays I see only shadowy gr_ys but then on others I see vivid colors.
    Nothing at all to do with the book only it’s title and my abstract thoughts…..

  2. The book is interesting for two main reasons. One is that it shows how, if you get the hype right and do your marketing you can still sell the paper form of books.

    The second is that it is opening the eyes of both sexes to the other facets of sex. I sat next to a young lady on the London Underground, who was openly reading the book yesterday. I wouldn’t read a top shelf magazine there. Idid comment politely to the lady and she gave me a smile.

    By the way, I used to be a pilot and the scenes where Christian flies Ana in his plane, aren’t very realistic. I doubt if EL James has ever sat in the right hand seat of a small plane. That really turned my late wife on. Especially when we had an engine failure in a single.

    James – aka the Anonymous Widower

  3. I too read the book after it was handed to me by a coworker. On several occasions, I fell asleep while reading the sex scenes. I spent a lot of time wondering WHY so many women thought the book was so great. I didn’t get it… I hadn’t thought of the contract aspect- that’s interesting. I think Christian Grey appeals to the nurturing side of females most of all…. He’s a rich and powerful man, yet to Ana he’s emotionally vulnerable in a way he’s never been- deep inside, he’s just a scared little boy who needs to be cared for. Within their relationship, she has a tremendous amount of power (security) – which of course she is a little too naive to realize, but the rest of us see it.

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