Yep, I'm reading Fifty Shades of Grey. I bought the first book on my Kindle, so nobody would be able to look at me and know that I'm reading "mommy porn". Of course, by blogging about it here, I've blown my cover. Oops.
I had to see what all the fuss is about. I almost titled the post "Fifty Shades of I SPENT MONEY ON THIS?". I will never get those hours of my life back again, though I may continue the series as bedtime reading, as I found myself dozing within minutes of each attempt to read on.
I've not read the entire trilogy, so have no idea how the story ends. If you don't want to find out what happens (at least in the first book), don't read any further - spoilers ahead.
I'm not a prude - I am comfortable having a conversation about sex, and I'm not afraid to learn about alternative lifestyles that are not on my to-do list (though I draw the line on reading stuff about children/animals - yuck). I've read The Story of O and Topping from Below, two books that showed the very dark side of a Dominant/submissive (D/s)/BDSM relationship, and the dire consequences that can result from such an exchange of power. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
I "get" that many women want a strong, decisive man who makes them feel safe and cared for. I think they're looking for dominant, not domineering. They want a man who is in control, yet not controlling.
The Dominant in Fifty Shades of Grey is Christian Grey, who is one gorgeous, messed-up billionaire with a horribly abusive early childhood. He gets pleasure from delivering pain; he's controlling, jealous and convinced that he "needs" a submissive partner.
In comes our narrator, and submissive du jour, Anastasia Steele, literally falling at the feet of the yummily handsome Mr. Grey. Anastasia is a virginal college senior who refers to her 'naughty bits' as "down there".
Yes, even I used euphemisms for female genitalia - I have no desire to show up on someone's Google search list for those wanting more prurient links.
He's intrigued and beguiled (like anyone actually says "You beguile me"). She is ga-ga over his hotness, and intimidated by his powerful presence. Just staring into his smoky grey eyes is enough to make her lady parts clench in ecstasy.
Yada, yada, yada.
Christian Grey offers Anastasia Steele a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and contract, listing the rules of their D/s relationship. It all sounds so clinical and bossy and un-fun.
And in his opulent penthouse, he has a "playroom" filled with all sorts of pain/pleasure hardware and implements...but compared to those other books, he is a lightweight.
He caves. He's wounded, needy and wimpy - he's far more human than monster. Despite his protestations to the contrary, his heart is soft (I blame it on all the beguiling). He would benefit from a good hug - if only he would let Anastasia touch him.
Christian continuously relents, proving what most females usually figure out - WE have the power in the realm of male/female relationships.
I'm now imagining the load of hooey that I'll get from The Mister for that comment.
Fifty Shades of Grey was started as fan fiction for Twilight...and it shows.
Anastasia goes on and on about her battle with her subconscious and her "inner goddess". Her inner dialogue is peppered with flushing, blushing, and remarking how "hot" her Mr. Grey is. His smoky (or burning) grey eyes obviously need a fire extinguisher and medical attention.
It's like Twilight meets Penthouse Forum, her mind filled with fluff and fantasy. She wants to "fix" Christian, change him.
She's controlling, jealous, petulant and rolls her eyes more than someone suffering from nystagmus.
If you're curious about this type of relationship (D/s, BDSM, etc.) there are plenty of sites to visit.
If you're looking for real people who live a "male-led" relationship that may or may not include physical punishment, and refer to the power exchange as "consensual non-consent", check out the Taken In Hand site, which I found so much more colorful than Fifty Shades of Grey.