Grey day
June 18, 2015 12:56 PM   Subscribe



 
It's almost breathtaking how utterly dull and unsexy she can make BDSM kink.
posted by Windigo at 1:07 PM on June 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


THIS CALLS FOR SHOUTY CAPITALS
posted by Matt Oneiros at 1:08 PM on June 18, 2015 [13 favorites]


Same font, too. Yuck.
posted by Melismata at 1:09 PM on June 18, 2015


GAAAHH I THOUGHT WE WERE DONE WITH THIS FIFTY SHADES TREND

^the above are "blarfy capitals"
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:10 PM on June 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


LIKE A FREIGHT TRAIN BABY
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:11 PM on June 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


I cannot wait to tell mrsozzy that something is music to my dick. Cannot. Wait.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:11 PM on June 18, 2015 [24 favorites]


That guy's cock agrees with him a lot. I think there might be more dramatic tension if he and his cock got into an argument.
posted by dortmunder at 1:13 PM on June 18, 2015 [118 favorites]


I assume his cock is the male counterpart to Ana's inner goddess. (I swear I have not read these books. Just lots of analysis apparently.) I'm waiting for the next book that's just about, like, a disembodied penis and someone's id getting it on.
posted by kalimac at 1:16 PM on June 18, 2015 [15 favorites]


I woke up again. The man I'm attached to was thinking about his grandfather's apple orchard again. Fuck. Can't a guy just get some rest? I'm getting yanked around like I'm a cocktail shaker and this guy's Tom Cruise! If you think that's a bad analogy, you should hear some of the shit he says.
posted by codacorolla at 1:19 PM on June 18, 2015 [51 favorites]


Never read the book - the first page was so horribly written I just couldn't. So I won't read this one either. Any time an author re-mines old material it just screams: I have no real ideas.

I enjoyed the movie. Not if you think it's a love story (cus it's not) but the story of a young woman who isn't terribly assertive and doesn't really know herself that well, who then dates some boundary-pushing withholding douchebag and then she learns how to stand up for herself and say NO.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:24 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I assume his cock is the male counterpart to Ana's inner goddess.

No, he has an actual rooster in his pants.
posted by betweenthebars at 1:25 PM on June 18, 2015 [19 favorites]


The rooster was an important character they cut out of the movie #cockshaming
posted by French Fry at 1:32 PM on June 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


Motherfucking damn it to hell. Out of pure self-defense I'm going to have to read more cock-as-inner-goddess shitty fanfic ripping off the original shitty Mormon porn Twilight.

Because the first three 50 Shades books caused the words "spreader bar" and "anal beads" to come out of my mother's mouth. I can't fucking wait to see what grand surprises gingeroot holds in store for me.
posted by romakimmy at 1:35 PM on June 18, 2015 [18 favorites]


This is just standard romance novel/erotica writing, though. Why are we supposed to be surprised?
posted by johnnydummkopf at 1:35 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is just standard romance novel/erotica writing, though. Why are we supposed to be surprised?

Surpised, not necessarily given how the other books turned out, but the context is important. This isn't one of your grandma's lurid supermarket romance novels with Fabio on the cover; it's supposed to be the bleeding-edge in-your-face NEW romance writing that takes the bold, revolutionary step of depicting BDSM. And by "depicts BDSM" I mean "features a boorish ass who thinks ignoring consent is the height of being a great Dom". When we were treated to this character through the eyes of the woman he abused, it was one thing. Now we get his perspective, and -surprise!- his interior life has all the sexiness of a life insurance seminar.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 1:42 PM on June 18, 2015 [16 favorites]


News at ten, shit tastes and smells like shit. In other news, sky is blue and terrible writing will remain terrible.
posted by kurosawa's pal at 1:43 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Canadian edition has a lot of dirty pillow talk about real estate prices.
posted by Nevin at 1:43 PM on June 18, 2015 [8 favorites]



No, he has an actual rooster in his pants.


Now, see, that I would read. For many, many volumes.
posted by kalimac at 1:48 PM on June 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Jenny Trout has put her first recap up as well. This one doesn't have chapters, just datebook entries, so she'll be doing one day at a time.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:51 PM on June 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Do it," Ana breathed. "Peck my ladymuffin. Peck it with your sex-beak!"
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:53 PM on June 18, 2015 [121 favorites]


Sometimes it agrees, sometimes it concurs.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:55 PM on June 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


I feel like there's always one instance of "this person smelled/looked great and my cock agreed" in every romance novel I read, even the relatively good ones. The difference is there's only one instance. (Also there's plot and character development and adventure and witty banter and, like, consent in them.)

Also is this where I can link to one of my favorite Tumblrs? Pungent Love pulls just the parts about how people smell from romance novels and posts them. It's delightful.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:57 PM on June 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


No, he has an actual rooster in his pants.

The Canadian edition…


In which the Friendly Giant talks to his rooster (Rusty), who happens to be reading a terrible book with a happy ending.
posted by Kabanos at 1:59 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I rolled over groggily in my sleep, still dreaming of grandfather's orchards. After my session with Ana last night, and the way she called me an "unimaginative creep", I knew she was teasing me. Teasing me like an asparagus spear placed deftly on her bottom lip. Even as she slammed the door behind her, I knew she would be back. It was as certain as grandfather's apple orchards being replete with yellowjackets in the fall. Sexy yellowjackets, fucking each other silly on a heap of rotting apples. I stirred in my bed, turning towards the open window, as the sun's first rays peeked over the horizon. "ERK-A-ERK-A-ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!," shouted my cock. Sexily.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 1:59 PM on June 18, 2015 [40 favorites]


It brings me close to tears to think of the millions of women to whom this reads like music to their clits. Or whatever, I mean, do they really find it sexually arousing? Are they just getting off on the idea of a rich man making decisions for them, but doing it in a way that affirms their their their what, their intelligence? independence? free will? attractiveness?

I dunno, if ScottyB's conclusion is that he's not heterosexual, maybe that's my conclusion as well, because that's the most I've ever read of any of these books and I want to have a good cry and then vomit, or vice versa.
posted by janey47 at 2:00 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


At the bottom is a link to a quiz: "Can You Tell the Real 'Grey' Quotes From the Fake Ones?"

This is actually why I read the original book in the first place: someone blogged their reactions to it and I thought the quotations were the bloggers making up what they thought the book would be like and when I realized they were real I was like "NO WAY" and could not believe it so I had to verify. Then I went on read the second one because once you take out all the repetitive sex scenes and creepy undercurrents of abuse, the story becomes a hilarious parody of internal dysfunction at a small independent publisher. I'm still looking forward to reading the third one for that same reason, but I'll prrrrooobably skip Grey.
posted by sunset in snow country at 2:00 PM on June 18, 2015


>>No, he has an actual rooster in his pants.

>Now, see, that I would read. For many, many volumes.


Another Canadian reference, and an old one:

"What do you think, Rusty?"

"I agree."
posted by Trochanter at 2:05 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


It brings me close to tears to think of the millions of women to whom this reads like music to their clits. Or whatever, I mean, do they really find it sexually arousing? Are they just getting off on the idea of a rich man making decisions for them, but doing it in a way that affirms their their their what, their intelligence? independence? free will? attractiveness?

I think you're overthinking things. Some people just want to read smut. They may not have a particularly fine appreciation for smut, so any old smut will do.

In this case the smut is easy to find. The book series has a big shiny red light flashing "THIS IS SMUT HERE." And it's sold at the supermarket in the checkout aisle.

It's kind of like being a kid and reading Forever by Judy Blum, searching for the dirty parts. The actual sexual politics are beside the point.
posted by Nevin at 2:07 PM on June 18, 2015 [14 favorites]


It brings me close to tears to think of the millions of women to whom this reads like music to their clits.

I understand this sentiment, like on the inside of my head with the opinions I don't say out loud because they're not helpful to women, but out loud it's not a helpful approach to women in general or readers of erotica or people who have different kinks or kinds of sexual experience than you.

The books are miserably written and a weird mangling of consensual power play and pain kink, and horrendously insulting to people who have experienced trauma as children or otherwise - and I know these things because I got through 2.75 of them - but let's condemn the facts of the books and not women who might have been curious or don't know they can obtain better smut (for way cheaper!) or, for whatever reason, this happens to be their kink.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:09 PM on June 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


>"What do you think, Rusty?"

>"I agree."


Don't tell me this new Grey book features the Rusty Venture!
posted by Nevin at 2:09 PM on June 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


I rolled over groggily in my sleep, still dreaming of grandfather's orchards. After my session with Ana last night, and the way she called me an "unimaginative creep", I knew she was teasing me. Teasing me like an asparagus spear placed deftly on her bottom lip. Even as she slammed the door behind her, I knew she would be back. It was as certain as grandfather's apple orchards being replete with yellowjackets in the fall. Sexy yellowjackets, fucking each other silly on a heap of rotting apples. I stirred in my bed, turning towards the open window, as the sun's first rays peeked over the horizon. "ERK-A-ERK-A-ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!," shouted my cock. Sexily.

If Chekhov wrote porn...
posted by kalimac at 2:09 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]



Another Canadian reference, and an old one:

"What do you think, Rusty?"

"I agree."


I have to plead ignorance to the reference, but I'm reading this in a Maritimer accent (and illustrated by Kate Beaton), so I hope that sort of makes up for it.
posted by kalimac at 2:10 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


do you think when his penis agrees it does an appreciative nod in his pants?
i imagine this whole zero-dark-thirty thing where Mr. Grey is tortured and he's like *I will not tell you anything* and then that intense dude is all shouty capitals DO YOU AGREE MR GREY'S PENIS THAT THE COURIER IS IN THAT PLACE WHERE HE WAS and Mr. Grey is all shouty capitals NO and then the camera does a close up on Mr. Grey's crotch which is all *nod why yes I agree with that secret information* and Mr. Grey is all shouty capital NOOOOO
posted by angrycat at 2:13 PM on June 18, 2015 [12 favorites]


Is there something Christian says in this book as often as Ana says "holy crap!" in the first one?

Holy crap!
posted by kenko at 2:16 PM on June 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


It starts with Grey having an unsettling dream, but then he wakes up and is like "Whatevs, happens all the time. Now to jog on the treadmill for what seems like 15 seconds and think about my bro-crush that I pay."
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:17 PM on June 18, 2015


for whatever reason, this happens to be their kink.

Atrocious prose? Suum cuique, I guess.
posted by kenko at 2:17 PM on June 18, 2015


So EL James is going all in on this trolling thing, huh?

this FPP needs a WTAF tag
posted by fuse theorem at 2:20 PM on June 18, 2015


I can't get the image out of my head of Iago screaming "CLI-TOR-IS" long enough to read that article.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:21 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don't tell me this new Grey book features the Rusty Venture!

When you jerk off so much your dick gets red and sore?
posted by GuyZero at 2:25 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


In case anyone is wondering, that bizarre use of "fisting" to mean taking someone's hair in your fist is a total erotic fiction trope. When I was editing that genre, it was on the bingo card of things that appeared in every. single. manuscript.

("His breath came in short pants" was another one we saw everywhere, with a hilarious misread.)
posted by fiercecupcake at 2:26 PM on June 18, 2015 [48 favorites]


Apparently E.L. James believes the male internal dialog is something along the lines of:

"Mah Dick!"

*fist bomp*
posted by habeebtc at 2:36 PM on June 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


His breath came in short pants" was another one we saw everywhere, with a hilarious misread

That makes me giggle like the Eye of fuckin' Argon. I'm not sure if editing erotic fiction sounds like a fun job or a not-fun job.
posted by atoxyl at 2:38 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I assume his cock is the male counterpart to Ana's inner goddess.

This exactly. I read 50 Shades for my book club and one of the things we talked about was how it seems to be fiction written by a The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind hardliner. Anna has at least three personalities running around in her head, and it's a really unusual narrative technique. I kind of loved the book. It's really unusual technically, and yet perfectly effective storytelling.
posted by chrchr at 2:41 PM on June 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


The third trilogy from E.L. James will be from the perspective of Ana's tampon.

*sigh* Life is good. *breathes deeply* hey wait why am I moving I shouldn't be moving HEEEEEEEEY STOP IT STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP *splat*
posted by delfin at 2:42 PM on June 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


Is there something Christian says in this book as often as Ana says "holy crap!" in the first one?


Looks like it's "What the hell!"
posted by chrchr at 2:44 PM on June 18, 2015


Meh. I'm not getting the fiction horrors here. We've all read Anaïs Nin, right? This sort of porn-with-a-plot always has the same hackneyed "everything is sex!" flavour.

People don't want to scan for the naughty bits, so make it all naughty.

I dunno. With Internet porn, this quasi-artistic airport novel approach might be played out. Unless it's for nostalgia or irony.

In which case, carry on.
posted by clvrmnky at 2:49 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


his interior life has all the sexiness of a life insurance seminar.

This made entering this thread worth it.
posted by infini at 2:51 PM on June 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


This made entering this thread worth it.

I see what you did there
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:54 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]




I cannot wait to tell mrsozzy that something is music to my dick.

Your comment traveled straight to my groin.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:18 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Today, I am at the outdoor kiosk of my bookstore on Central Park as I am every Thursday. And each Thursday for the past three weeks, this rather deranged looking couple has asked if we got this in yet. You figure it out.
posted by jonmc at 3:22 PM on June 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


Why Thursday?
Is that agreeable cock day?
posted by angrycat at 3:35 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought it was Prince Spaghetti day, myself, but whatever.
posted by jonmc at 3:43 PM on June 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


Is there something Christian says in this book as often as Ana says "holy crap!" in the first one?

Looks like it's "What the hell!"


If I hadn't let my remedial programming skills go to seed I'd totally whip up a Slate-style "what's your signature erotic fiction exclamation?" widget

"Whillikers!"

"Shazbot!"

"Inka dinka doo!"
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:49 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Inconceivable!"
posted by jonmc at 3:54 PM on June 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


"Great shades of Elvis!"
posted by straight at 3:59 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Ut!"
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:02 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Shazbot!"

Is that from "Mork In Mindy" fanfic?
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:03 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Based on the BuzzFeed Tweets, the book reads a lot like Penthouse Variations.
posted by Nevin at 4:08 PM on June 18, 2015


Holy shit. Variations still exists!
posted by Nevin at 4:09 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure if editing erotic fiction sounds like a fun job or a not-fun job.

It was fun for about the first week, and then it was soul-sucking drudgery, but with lots of cocks. I will say one of my favorite things about that job was having to figure out if that many people could possibly be in those positions all at once ("hey, didn't it say A's cock was in B's mouth? How is it simultaneously in C's ass?").
posted by fiercecupcake at 4:13 PM on June 18, 2015 [18 favorites]


I thought it was Prince Spaghetti day, myself, but whatever.

"ANTHONY! ANTHONY!!"
His cock crewed twice. He punched it. It turned silent, if not sullen.
posted by the sobsister at 4:14 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: soul-sucking drudgery, but with lots of cocks.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:19 PM on June 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


I sensed a disturbance in the force, went to investigate and lo, E. L. James has written AGAIN.

Today is not the first day that I've quite seriously floated the idea that E. L. James is a sadist, one who enjoys the reactions of dismay and gnashing of teeth whenever she publishes. Because we soooo did not need Grey's perspective. I half expect we'll get a spin-off about Ana's roommate next.

Holy crap. And furthermore, what the hell.
posted by Ashen at 4:20 PM on June 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Because we soooo did not need Grey's perspective.

Yeah I thought part of what made him appealing? To whoever found him appealing as a character? Was that he was, like, inscrutable and mysterious

Telling the story from his POV where he's constantly reporting on his boner status seems to undercut that
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:23 PM on June 18, 2015 [12 favorites]


I've known several women who would never use proper profanity, but only say "holy crap." It seems to serve as a sort of "good girl" marker. So that, whether your soufflé has fallen or you've just been kneecapped or the skies have parted to reveal a giant eye, the most you'll allow yourself to say is "holy crap!"
posted by the sobsister at 4:27 PM on June 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


Melville did it better.

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago, I was fucking--never mind how long my cock is precisely--and having little or no money in my pants, but in possession of a raging hard-on and with nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would discuss anal with this hot chick who only wanted to discuss seamen or else tea, but I really know what she meant.

Such savage spleen! Such a damp and drizzly November in her pants! She made a sound like Queeg-Queeg when she walked.

Such is my substitute for pistol and ball.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:31 PM on June 18, 2015 [30 favorites]


I'm halfway through this article, and all I can think is that this guy seems like he's running a two-entity parliamentary body comprising himself and his junk.

I'm just waiting for the chapter that starts with:

"New business. I submit to the assembly that this alluring young lady is in need of a good, hard fucking.

My cock seconds that motion."

posted by tocts at 4:33 PM on June 18, 2015 [14 favorites]


WILL THE GENTLECOCK YIELD THE FLOOR
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:38 PM on June 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


On my naming day when I come 12 times I gone front cock and fukt a wyld boar he parbly ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs anyhow there hadnt ben none for a long time befor him nor I aint looking to fuk none agen.
posted by kenko at 4:39 PM on June 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came on the stairhead, creating a bowl of lather on which a mirror and ball-gag lay crossed. A yellow girdle, unbuckled, was sustained gently before him by his erect cock.
posted by kenko at 4:41 PM on June 18, 2015


Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.

That one doesn't even need to be changed!
posted by kenko at 4:42 PM on June 18, 2015


Melville did it better.

"Call me, Ishmael," She said with a wink, while doing the sexy little phone wiggle thing with her thumb & pinky.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:48 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


OH! OH! DO JANE AUSTEN!
posted by um at 4:51 PM on June 18, 2015


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of an agreeable cock, must be in want of a sub.
posted by kenko at 4:56 PM on June 18, 2015 [19 favorites]


I, screaming, come across the sky...
posted by Kinbote at 5:10 PM on June 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Because we soooo did not need Grey's perspective.

Ah, but Stephenie Meyer wrote Midnight Sun, Twilight from Edward's POV, and then didn't release it when it was stolen and pirated.

James claimed Grey was stolen, nobody else involved in the publication agreed, and then she published it anyway.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:11 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is disappointing. And yes, that bar is set pretty low by the first three books. But here we had a hugely successful series of books with a female protagonist, defying a lot of conventions (not to mention grammar, common sense, and quality writing), followed by a sequel written from the male's point of view. Veronica Roth did the same with the Divergent series, and I don't understand the reason (besides the money, obviously). It's not like these books were some great achievement of feminist literature, but did either series really call out for an understanding of the male perspective?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:17 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Plato's Repubic

I went down yesterday with Glaucon the son of Ariston, that we might on bended knees offer up worship of the goddess.

The servant took hold of me by the cloak behind, and said: Polemarchus desires you to wait.

I turned round, and asked him where his master was.
There he is, said the youth, coming after you, if you will only wait.

Oh, cock, dost thou have a marvelous point?

Yes, master it is a WHOPPER of a point.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:22 PM on June 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


It was the best of cocks, it was the worst of cocks, it was the cock of.... okay, not wisdom really, but it was definitely the cock of foolishness, it was the epoch of penis, it was the epoch of our Inner Goddess... we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct to the Red Room of Pain.
posted by shiawase at 5:43 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Holy shit. Variations still exists!


That means that woods porn still exists. It was thought to be extinct, but it must be out there somewhere!

*single tear*
posted by louche mustachio at 5:46 PM on June 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


For sale: Fuck-me pumps, used alot.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:57 PM on June 18, 2015 [16 favorites]


#notallcocksconcur
posted by Catblack at 5:58 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'll never understand why people want to read this dreck when they could actually read an interesting and well-written account of a S/M relationship. Just finished reading 9 1/2 Weeks. I did like the movie, and the scenes in both are similar, but the author is able to relate the heavy psychological toll as well as explain why she chose to remain in this relationship (at least for 9 1/2 weeks) as it got more and more punitive.
posted by jenh526 at 6:13 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


jonmc, if a customer asks where the music section is and if they have anything that their cock would enjoy, it's me.
posted by dr_dank at 6:14 PM on June 18, 2015


"It brings me close to tears to think of the millions of women to whom this reads like music to their clits. Or whatever, I mean, do they really find it sexually arousing? Are they just getting off on the idea of a rich man making decisions for them, but doing it in a way that affirms their their their what, their intelligence? independence? free will? attractiveness?
I dunno, if ScottyB's conclusion is that he's not heterosexual, maybe that's my conclusion as well, because that's the most I've ever read of any of these books and I want to have a good cry and then vomit, or vice versa."

Seconded. Things like this also make me hate humanity and think we all need to be nuked.
What is this affirming? I dunno, their need for money? It is billionaire porn, after all.

Also, must E.L. James copy everything Stephenie Meyer does? Yes, apparently she does.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:30 PM on June 18, 2015


I am in a book club where we read crappy romance novels and I've half developed a theory that shallowly-rendered characters and sort of bland writing and story are in some way necessary for fantasy literature to work. Real emotions and motivations and realistic action are messy and maybe not fun for readers who just want a sex fantasy. Things like 50 Shades are supposed to be immersive -- in that the reader imagines themselves in Anna's shoes -- as opposed to relatable. So instead of a partner with real life attributes we have a billionaire playboy. Do your sex fantasies have interesting characters, or are the figures in it just genericish people with some sexy attributes?

I haven't worked it all out. Clearly, more research is required.
posted by chrchr at 6:51 PM on June 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


A screaming cum, across the sky.
posted by kyrademon at 7:02 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the cock
that came in
your short pants

and which
you were seemingly
engaging
in dialogue

Forgive me
I was euphonious
to it
(so I'm told)
posted by Westringia F. at 7:16 PM on June 18, 2015 [20 favorites]




Seconded. Things like this also make me hate humanity and think we all need to be nuked.
What is this affirming? I dunno, their need for money? It is billionaire porn, after all.

So, I'm a rape survivor, I have an English Lit degree, and I've been involved in IRL BDSM, some of which I really loved and some of which in retrospect was pretty damaging to me. So that's the luggage I'm bringing to my reading of the 50 Shades books. And I quite liked them. I haven't read the new one yet, but it's on my list for sure.

The billionaire aspect doesn't do anything for me. And frankly, I found the porn parts kind of boring. And the er... unpolished... prose was sometimes jarring to my reading experience. And it's with grave, grave embarrassment that I say this- due to the incredibly obvious ways in which it fails to describe multiple central and significant aspects of the books- but what I liked was:

I found them realistic.

Sure, I've never been ferried around in my billionaire boyfriend's helicopter or glider or whatever the fuck it was, I forget, and if I was ever as innocent as Anastasia, it was maybe when I was like 6 years old. But there were several themes in 50 Shades that I haven't read in too many other places that I think are an important part of many womens' life experiences and that I found refreshing to have honestly hashed out, even if I didn't always think the author's end conclusions were super-sophisticated.

I liked that Anastasia was extremely open and vocal that Christian's sexual experiences when he was underage were rape and that she was antagonistic towards his rapist even though he did not himself interpret his experiences in that way. And then they had to deal as a couple with the fact that she thought this person was super-toxic and he thought she was an important part of his family of choice.

And I also liked that Christian's interpretation of his underage sexual experiences was fairly nuanced- he didn't interpret them as rape, but he didn't interpret them as entirely awesome either- his take on them might not be what we would wish in a perfect world, but imo it was pretty honest early sex for an abuse survivor (meaning a survivor of his mom's abuse, not "Mrs Robinson's"): he thought it was both helpful and harmful; that he needed it at the time, but it also left him with further trauma sequelae.

I liked that Anastasia and Christian tried to openly negotiate boundaries and it was a complete fiasco. It's unfortunate that this happens IRL, but it does, and while I know that it's problematic on a political level to air BDSM's dirty laundry in public, for those of us who have had to wash it, it's nice to read a couple just be like "OMG, this list is complete trash, I could never agree to it, well I need it, well okay then I guess maybe we can do something like it, hey wait you're the one who said you wanted it and now you didn't even follow it, no you're the one who said, etc etc..."

Anyways, long story getting way too long, like lots of fanfic, I found 50 Shades to be awful on some levels, but also very immediate, refreshing and honest on others. Like here's an author just pleasing herself, talking about her own interior fantasy life, which many other women will share one or more aspects of, and much of which is poorly explored in more conventional literature.
posted by shiawase at 8:21 PM on June 18, 2015 [18 favorites]


So! Many! Exclamation! Points!
posted by DarlingBri at 9:28 PM on June 18, 2015


If you're looking for better, may I recommend The Petals Fall Twice, by Chip Zdarsky.

"Let it just work its magic."

Outstanding stuff, Melanie!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 11:36 PM on June 18, 2015


Her words travel straight to my cock.

Has anyone experienced this before? I am 32 and words have not yet travelled to my vagina.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 1:04 AM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Enlightening. I didn't know dicks even cared about music.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:48 AM on June 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, Nickelback did sell a lot of concert tickets.
posted by litlnemo at 2:41 AM on June 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ignoring the terrible writing and drab plot, I just wish that the "big blockbuster kink books that took the world by storm" had shown healthy kink. There are so many terrible aspects in these books which is the opposite of what any good relationship should emulate, let alone a kinky one. Even in the jokingly-reviewing bits this post is about, Grey wants to hurt her any time she annoys him, or undercuts his pride. WTF? That's so messed up and abusive. Yeah, it's fantasy, and it's fine to explore more 'dubcon' ideas in fiction, but I still wish THIS writing wasn't now the poster-child of what kink is supposedly like.
posted by Windigo at 6:10 AM on June 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


(For what it's worth, the hottest depiction of healthy, well-negotiated kink I've ever read was a Tony Stark/Steve Rogers fanfiction series, so, ya know. The world's an odd, odd place.)
posted by Windigo at 6:15 AM on June 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'll just note that The Duke Of Burgundy is the second best film I've seen this year
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:22 AM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just wish that the "big blockbuster kink books that took the world by storm" had shown healthy kink.

I think that's because it's a fantasy. It's the relationship kinky people act out in scenes, and not the relationship kinky people have in real life. It's a scene about an innocent naif being ravished by a sadistic billionaire. It's really not trying to be a realistic story about a couple having an S&M relationship.
posted by chrchr at 6:55 AM on June 19, 2015


Yes, which is why I said "Yeah, it's fantasy, and it's fine to explore more 'dubcon' ideas in fiction, but I still wish THIS writing wasn't now the poster-child of what kink is supposedly like." I know it's not supposed to be realistic.

But kink is still such a misunderstood topic that a huge blockbuster book showcasing the worst stereotypes and abusiveness is frustrating. Even if the book had been written gorgeously and was the sexiest thing I had ever read, I would be a bit salty that, still, this is the compass rose in millions of peoples' minds for defining kink.
posted by Windigo at 7:07 AM on June 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Epic 50 Shades–themed trollery from Elle, of all places.
posted by kenko at 9:32 AM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Meh. I'm not getting the fiction horrors here. We've all read Anaïs Nin, right? This sort of porn-with-a-plot always has the same hackneyed "everything is sex!" flavour.

Yeah, but there is a vast and cavernous gulf with gale-force winds howling within it between Anais Nin and E. L. James when it comes to writing talent.

I'll never understand why people want to read this dreck when they could actually read an interesting and well-written account of a S/M relationship.

A counterpoint from OH JOY SEX TOY (nsfw).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:58 AM on June 19, 2015


Inadequate writing reinforcing stereotyped sex roles, graphic sex. Nope, I'd rather watch reruns of Law and Order (classic, not SVU) or do my laundry, or maybe mow the lawn.
posted by theora55 at 10:15 AM on June 19, 2015


Has anyone experienced this before? I am 32 and words have not yet travelled to my vagina.

That's why you let the fingers do the walking...
posted by e1c at 10:22 AM on June 19, 2015


We've all read Anaïs Nin, right?

I haven't, actually. (any suggestions where to start?)
posted by dnash at 11:29 AM on June 19, 2015


dnash: Delta of Venus has long been the gateway-drug to porn for a lot of literati. You can even get it for free.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:13 PM on June 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I assume his cock is the male counterpart to Ana's inner goddess.

This immediately reminded me of the very funny but NSFW Oglaf strip I read yesterday.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 12:26 PM on June 19, 2015


Speaking of Oglaf, This also-relevant, also-NSFW strip made me laugh too. The sound effects really sell it.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:13 PM on June 19, 2015


We've all read Anaïs Nin, right?

Whenever I come across her name I just have to laugh because all I can think of is Fred Ward, as Henry Miller in "Henry and June", calling her "anus" throughout the whole movie.
posted by Nevin at 1:15 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tangentially, Nevin reminded me that the movie Henry And June is another good intro to Anais Nin.

and Maria de Medeiros is so amazing as Nin that she actually made me question my sexuality
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:20 PM on June 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Related SLBuzzfeed: "If 50 Shades were about a realistic relationship."

Honestly, if 50 shades were written like this, I would be far more inclined to read it. I particularly like that bad literary puns replace the "inner goddess" thing. Also the more realistic and less disturbing relationship negotiations and discussions.
posted by litera scripta manet at 3:28 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


OMG kinky, the Oglaf links reminded me I needed to check Scandinavia and the World.
posted by infini at 3:35 PM on June 19, 2015


to my mind, one shouldn't be making a query while doing something involving a cock. I mean question, of course, like "do you mind a little teeth" is a good question if one is about to do some work. But to "query" while one is jacking off is just so off-putting, somehow. Someone might query while manhandling their john thomas, perhaps, but otherwise, nope.
posted by angrycat at 4:53 PM on June 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Melville did it better

Except of course it would be Queequeg dominating Ishmael:
Upon waking next morning about daylight, I found Queequeg's arm thrown over me in the most loving and affectionate manner. You had almost thought I had been his wife. . . .
posted by mubba at 11:35 AM on June 20, 2015


Also, according to Gawker, teeth on penis is something he kinda remembers fondly? Good heavens, why?

This is definitely a thing some people who possess penises request, though it may be a minority report.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:12 PM on June 20, 2015 [1 favorite]




#AskELJames goes horribly, horribly wrong.

"Which do you hate more, women or the English language? #AskELJames"
posted by fuse theorem at 8:47 AM on June 30, 2015


Lot's of primo snark at chainsofreedom's link.
posted by Trochanter at 9:50 AM on June 30, 2015


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