The trailer for the film adaptation of the novel that started the "mommy porn" craze, Fifty Shades of Grey, was recently released -- and for the past several days, no one has been able to shut up about it. The movie starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornon (a.k.a. Christian Grey Number Two, as he was re-cast in the role after Charlie Hunan dropped out) will be released oh-so-appropriately on Valentines Day 2015. Come November, I predict/fear that there will be lots of babies named Christian and Anastasia.
Or will there be? Does erotic literature really turn us on? While studies say yes, I wonder how that can be applicable to Fifty Shades of Grey. If you have highbrow (and by highbrow, I mean anything that is a step above Star magazine) taste in literature, you might not be aware that this book is atrociously written. Had I been exposed to porn at an early age, I'm pretty sure I could have written it by my senior year of high school. Let me break down the book and find out if it can really amp up our sex lives... or just make us want to get it over with and go to bed early.
How to Make Erotica Fantastically Unsexy 101
While it's not hard to understand why Fifty Shades is a bestseller (it's erotic and controversial, everyone is talking about it, it has a sixth grade reading level), it's difficult to comprehend how this piece of junk was published in the first place. Under the pen name of Snowqueen's Icedragon (you can't make this shit up), author E.L. James posted a Twilight fan fiction story called "Master of The Universe" on FF.net. Anastasia and Christian were originally (you guessed it) Bella and Edward. The popularity of the story grew virally, and soon James put it on her own website, re-tooled as it's own story with original(ish) characters and re-structured as a trilogy, with a less threatening title.
One of many criticisms of the book is the elementary and repetitive language. Here is a list of the most overused words and phrases and how many times each is used or referred to.
Oh my (72)
Peeks up (13)
Hooded Eyes (9)
Long index finger (7)
He's so freaking hot (4)
Mouth presses into a hard line (10)
Oh my, my long index finger is so freaking hot and I am blushing from typing all this crap. This list reads like a transcription of a conversation between two 12-year-old girls after an under-chaperoned middle school dance. But sadly, it was written by an adult, who has made over $95 million from this book to date. Can someone please tell me what I am doing wrong?
Dancing Inner Goddess Time!
If "frowns," "blushing" and being "so freaking hot" doesn't titillate you, you cannot imagine how James strings together complete sentences and paragraphs. Let's take a look at a few of the more racy ones.
Before I know it, he's got both of my hands in his viselike grip above my head, and he's pinning me to the wall using his lips... His other hand grabs my hair and yanks down, bringing my face up, and his lips are on mine... My tongue tentatively strokes his and joins his in a slow, erotic dance... His erection is against my belly.
This mildly degrading scene, which takes place in an elevator, would potentially turn me on if Christian's grip were not "viselike." That sounds terrifying. I also cannot comprehend how tongue stroking can be "tentative." Maybe Anastasia means that she wants to make out with Christian later? With his erection on her belly, let's just hope he doesn't come in his pants and have to take an embarrassing trip to the dry cleaner.
He leans down and kisses me, his fingers still moving rhythmically inside me, his thumb circling and pressing. His other hand scoops my hair off my head and holds my head in place. His tongue mirrors the actions of his fingers, claiming me. My legs begin to stiffen as I push against his hand. He gentles his hand, so I'm brought back from the brink... I come instantly again and again, falling apart beneath him... then I'm building again... I climax anew, calling out his name.
Translation: Anastasia has multiple orgasms from both manual and oral stimulation. I hope the reason she's calling his name is that he'll get up and give her a break, so she can stop coming for a few minutes.
He holds out his hand, and in his palm are two shiny silver balls linked with a thick black thread... Inside me! I gasp, and all the muscles deep in my belly clench. My inner goddess is doing the dance of the seven veils... Oh my.... It's a curious feeling. Once they're inside me, I can't really feel them-but then again I know they're there... Oh my... I may have to keep these. They make me needy, needy for sex.
James' feeble attempt to empower women, especially a woman so deeply controlled by a man, is personified by Anastasia's "inner goddess," who is apparently very into dancing. I wonder if she's actually any good, considering the dance of the "seven veils" makes her feel curious. Or maybe the balls make her feel curious.
Perhaps they should have hired a better editor for this book, because the words speak more to my inner grammar policewoman than my inner goddess. The last sentence is also mind-boggling. By needy, did James mean horny or just psychologically needy?
His breathing is ragged, matching mine. 'When did you start your period, Anastasia?'... He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string--what?! -- and gently takes my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet. Holy fuck. Sweet mother of all... Jeez. And then he's inside me... ah!
Jeez, how is this supposed to turn anyone on? I don't even want to deal with my own tampons. This might be the grossest thing I've ever read. At least he was gentle. I hope Christian remembered to flush the toilet because I wouldn't want our heroine to find a dirty tampon in the toilet during her post-sex pee. Do you think he puts the seat down?
I pull him deeper into my mouth so I can feel him at the back of my throat and then to the front again. My tongue swirls around the end. He's my very own Christian Grey-flavored popsicle. I suck harder and harder . . . Hmm . . . My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.
Frankly, I'm surprised he's not choking her or pulling her hair during this scene. If Christian's popsicle tastes good, Anastasia should try a Ben or Jerry's popsicle, they're even better. Also, this inner goddess of hers is quite the dancer. I wonder if Dancing With The Stars would be interested in casting her next season.
While reading Fifty Shades probably won't make anyone intelligent enough to read this post wet, perhaps the movie will. Or maybe some erotic fiction classics such as Delta of Venus, by Anais Nin, or The Sleeping Beauty trilogy, by A. N. Roquelaure (pen name for Anne Rice), or even the instructions for an electric toothbrush will get the job done. Either way, I have to admit that my inner goddess is looking forward to trashing the movie next Valentine's Day--even more so than anticipating a romantic dinner with my boyfriend.