Fifty Shames of Grey

Hold still. Or do I need to make you hold still?

I want to make a few points about the nature of sexual desire.

That thing, you know, that secret thing that revs your engine -- whether it's back rubs, bondage or Barbie dolls, it's not logical. Not political. And not under your control. You didn't choose it. It chose you. If fantasizing about screwing unicorns gets you off, it doesn't mean you're an evil animal abuser -- it doesn't mean you want to go out and abuse unicorns in real life or tempt others to the unicorn lifestyle. It's just how you're wired.

What's the point in discussing the literary merits Fifty Shades of Grey? If the kind of fantasy it portrays is one that floats your boat, you'll want to read it regardless of the insipid writing. If it's not, then nothing is left BUT the insipid writing and Of COURSE you hate it.

Imagine for a moment you have a foot fetish -- not something that you're proud of, perhaps, but you can't help it and, hey, it is what it is -- and someone publishes a book about a guy who sucks the toes of beautiful women. Would poor writing or diatribes on how foot fetishism objectifies women stop you from wanting to read it? Please.

"But this is different," you say. "Some people might take it seriously and become easy prey for abusers." The "some people" argument is regularly trotted out about anything that doesn't conform to society's norms: TV, music, video games, homosexuality. It's the end of civilization! Think of the children! "Some people" listened to a Beatles song and heard it as permission to commit mass murder. Is it the responsibility of the writer if a reader can't tell fact from fiction?

A lot of people read Fifty Shades -- people who would never have read it had it not been for all the fuss -- since it's not, you know, their thing. And now they're all aflutter about the "implications" of two people playing a consensual game and yet they never question all the murder, rape, torture and violence on prime time TV.

For the people screaming that the series glorifies BDSM, I can only assume you haven't read to the end. Christian Grey's predilections are presented as a "sickness" that Anastasia "cures" him of. She doesn't just roll over and say "yes, master." This is romance fiction that doesn't stray an inch from the ONE PLOT that makes up the whole genre:

All romance novels: A hunky hero with a secret affliction that can only be cured by the heroine's magic coochie. Prove me wrong.

Let's have a little less shaming of people about something no more their choice than eye color.

Now behave before I go get my whip.