|Rex has been 50 Shades of Grey since before it was cool|
Dearest reader, last week I got through the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy*, so now you don’t have to.
Within the first 50 pages we are warned that this is Definitely A Fantasy: our protagonist Anastasia Steele, is a twenty-one year old ‘goofy-but-obviously-beautiful-but-oblivious-to-it’ college graduate. And a virgin. And she has never been on the internet. And the week after graduation, she has two prospective job interviews lined up with publishers. And within a few months of being recruited, she is an Editor (oh the irony!).
Christian Grey is a 27 year old multi-billionaire, with a chopper (steady) and a plane and a boat and a house in Aspen. He is Super Hot. But damaged (sad face). And he lives with his housekeeper and a top security chap in his penthouse apartment replete with white leather furniture and The Playroom, where he likes to sexually control and dominate young brown haired girls. He has had 15 Submissives in all.
Most of the first book is taken up with the well-used plot device: ‘will she won’t she become Submissive Number 16′; a contractual relationship with very strict rules: food, clothes, and wee times all pre-ordained, and she is not allowed to masturbate. But thats ok because Mr Grey can make her come with a whip. Yes really. And anyway, this is just his Super Hot way of working through his ‘mother issues’. So there’s that.
I won’t spoil the ending.
Ultimately, I think its fantastic that there is erotica and porn out there in the world that has been created by women, for women. That James self-published before it was picked up by Vintage is thrilling for the book industry and sales suggest 50 Shades is to women what Harry Potter was to small people: YAY FOR READING!
It is BRILLIANT that women all over the world have been prompted to tune into their sensuality and sexiness. And I can totally understand that for a woman feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities and/or fear about the future, a story that describes a relationship where all of those worries are taken away and your only job is to be beautiful and have A LOT of sex, (some of it involving canes, floggers and La Perla underwear) can all seem quite appealing. Though I am a bit concerned that for those trying BDSM-lite for the first time. Mostly becasue the stark reality might be a bit of a let down, should you not actually find yourself bound with cable-ties on red satin sheets, in a Seattle penthouse listening to Thomas Tallis on repeat, while a Super Hot But Damaged Billionaire flogs your arse.
(Mostly, we just use his dressing gown belt. Neither of us like any kind of pain. Sometimes the cats watch).
Anyway, it needed a freakin’ good edit and it didn’t turn me on at all, but it wasn’t as awful as I expected. The parodies alone are enough to justify the existence of these books in the world. Frankly, its going to take something pretty special to knock Shirley Conran’s Lace off the top of my list of all time best ever sexy books.
*I read them on my ipad kindle thingy, because of The Shame.