• Entertainment

Fifty Shades: The “Mommy Porn” Book That’s Sweeping The Suburbs

Degrees Of Singleness
Where do you fall on the spectrum? Read More »
Be A Better Dater
Why having a plan is so, so important. Read More »
Baldies Rule
Six reasons bald men make better boyfriends. Read More »

What are moms reading in the carpool lane these days? Well, it’s not The Help. It’s a new trilogy called Fifty Shades, it’s notorious for its sex scenes, and it seems like every mother with a blog account is raving about it…

“In case you’re wondering why every suburban housewife from Philadelphia to Connecticut has been sending all her calls straight to voice mail. Fifty. Freaking. Shades.” – Suburbabble

“I am not in the habit of reading erotica, but this trilogy makes it seem okay, even for Westchester county. ” – StaceyKnows

“There is life in this book, outside of the bedroom, and in fact, there are even tons of ‘vanilla moments’ to make the harder stuff go down easier for some of us who might be apprehensive with these kinds of ‘scenes’.” – Maryse.net

Even moms in NYC have caught the Fifty Shades bug. According to The New York Post:

“I found myself explaining what BDSM [bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism] was to some of the moms at Saturday morning basketball,” says power publicist Alison Brod, who hails “Fifty Shades” as “the new kabbalah for female bonding in this city.”

A raunchy book that mothers across the country can’t put down? This was too intriguing to pass up, so on Tuesday night I downloaded the book for myself (lord knows I wasn’t about to read a physical copy on the subway) for $7 on Amazon.com.

I’ve never read a romance novel of any sort (unless Jane Eyre counts?), so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the genre. Obviously there were going to be explicit sex scenes, this I was prepared for. What took me aback were the cringeingly cheesy 50 pages or so of exposition before getting to the explicit sex scenes.

The (flimsy) premise is this: 21-year-old Anastasia Steele (who is a virgin!) goes to interview the famous billionaire business magnate Christian Grey, who, as it turns out, is conveniently drop dead gorgeous and only 27-years-old. (Which, like, OK, sure, there are very rich 27-year-olds in the world, but this particular 27-year-old, who owns a helicopter, is only seen working in like, one scene, which I realize is not the point but, I suspect shady business practices.)

Anyway, Anastasia “endearingly” (no) botches the interview, which is about all it takes for Christian to become madly in love with her and to start sort of … stalking her?  But not having sex with her because (of course) he has a deep, dark secret which prevents him from doing so.

Throughout all this, the author builds up sexual tension with subtle exchanges such as the following:

Can I pause here and add that throughout the entire book, the characters have the really annoying habit of calling each other by name?

Christian, this music is wonderful.”

Thank you, Anastasia. It’s the Flower Duet from Lakme.”

It’s distractingly obnoxious.

Annnnnyway, all this talk of coveralls and opera inevitably lead Anastasia back to Christian’s house where he tells her his deep, dark, secret…

Yep! Madwomen in the attic are so two centuries ago, this heartthrob’s secret is that he’s a sadomasochist! Which Anastasia has a huge problem with, but not that big of a problem with because, as you’ve no doubt gathered, there are lots of sex scenes in the book! (Remember how she was a virgin?!)

There are a lot of creepy elements to this book. The fact that a rich and older man lures an innocent virgin to his lair, showers her with gifts, and literally, literally wants her to be his sex slave (there’s a contract!) makes me squeamish.

Reassuringly, it makes the protagonist squeamish, too, and at the end of the book, she leaves him after he basically beats her. (In a sado-masochist way, if that makes a difference at all, but still.) Of course, that’s not the end of the story, just the end of Part 1, because we’re led to believe that she’s really in love with him, etcetera.

So, yeah, flimsy plot. But that doesn’t really matter, does it? Because if moms wanted to read a good story they could pick up, like, Barbara Kingsolver, or something. No, women who read Fifty Shades are in it for the sex scenes, and, to be perfectly frank, these do not disappoint.  The sex scenes in the book (and there are at least eight of them) are hot. Like, unequivocally.

The strange thing is that it’s very clearly sex written for a female audience: it’s explicit but not graphic, it’s domineering (very much so) but always consensual and always very much enjoyed by the woman. Clueless guys might do well to take a peek at this book.

So, would I recommend it?

Interesting question.

As a book? Absolutely not. No way. I’m embarrassed to upload it to my GoodReads, even.

But, if you’re into this kind of thing, if you’re looking at it purely based on its sexual value?

I mean … yeah. These suburban moms know their stuff.

But buy it on Kindle so no one can judge you for reading.

[Amazon]

This piece was originally published on How About We’s blog The Date Report.

Posted Under: , ,
  • Zergnet: Simply Irresistible

  • HowAboutWe

  • Popular