Sybarite is our Features Writer from London, UK
Right. Men everywhere are wondering what on earth E L James’ dirty book is all about? The Telegraph wrote that the sexual politics divulged in Fifty Shades Of Grey will be discussed amongst the female readers for years to come. You think it makes us horny, compelled to masturbate, and fantasise about sex toys and role play?
Well here’s the truth. We’re all too feminist and facts for that. Here’s hoping.
The plot: College graduate Anastasia Steele falls in love with Christian Grey, a troubled young billionaire who likes sex only if he can accompany it with formal, stylised corporal punishment. Steele is required to sign a contract that allows Grey to have complete control over her life. He dictates when and where they meet, how she is to dress, implements an exercise, diet and birth control regime, then picks up the tab. The agreement includes fulfilling any desires Grey has in the bedroom such as bondage and sadism.
As Steele is a still a virgin, she finds this overwhelming. In time, Grey entices Steele into his world and she succumbs to his needs and wants. Mmmm.
I shall start by noting that I spent the entire read shaking my head at Miss Steele’s pathetic, naive and subjective behavior. Clumsy and innocent, she flushes at the very sight of Grey (he’s that good-looking). She nervously nibbles her lip (which of course makes him hard). She champions her inner cheerleader and fights her inner goddess (ah, really?). She wears pigtails in her hair to protect her from the wrath of Grey’s advances (because becoming a little girl will save you from the deviant man).
Almost every friend I have surveyed has agreed that yes, sure, the idea of being blind folded, tied up, slapped on the arse and seduced to orgasm is hot. In fact, many of us have been there, done that and enjoyed it. With someone whom we trust, adore and love. Key point.
However, Grey’s designated room of behavioural reform is like no other bedroom. It’s an S&M playground but women with self-functioning brains are not invited. We are given a little understanding of Grey’s misogynistic, degrading and emotionally abusive behaviour. He’s an orphan of a crack whore mother and has a dominatrix cougar for an ex. So, he’s pretty well fucked up. One thing is certain, he wants to own Miss Steele, control Miss Steele and hurt her. His explanation, “because that’s just who I am Ana.” Oh, okay then.
After all the ‘mummy porn’ hype, I was disappointed to wait until Chapter Eight before encountering anything naughty, when smart sexy charismatic (or so we are lead to believe) Grey, pops boring plain Jane Steele’s cherry. Firstly, how many 22-year-old virgins do you know? In the UK the average age of first (heterosexual) intercourse is 16. Secondly, how many ‘first time’ stories involve the words ‘astounding’ and ‘coming’?
Even when the writer tries to inject Steele with a spine (she delays signing the contract for several weeks) she manages to bend over and take a beating. And cums. And cums. And, without lube? Anastasia Guts Made of Steel.
Any female who can cum two to three times in a session and sometimes by nipple kissing alone, must be faking it or a man in disguise. It just doesn’t happen. If it does, it happens with the nice guy, the sweet guy, the relationship of several years guy, who’s been trained for this by you and the women before you. Not the hot-shot up himself toy boy wanker that swanned into your life ten minutes ago. Sorry but it just doesn’t.
E L James is hardly ambitious or explicit. She can’t even scribe; vagina; clit; G-spot; flower; Fi Fi or whatever you want to call the female bits. This makes the saucy parts seem silly and immature. Just like Anastasia really.
Even today, us women spend our entire lives trying to prove to the world that we are a worthy species. We fight for equal rights, equal opportunities, equal pay and equal amounts of orgasms achieved in an evening, only for it to be overturned by what I believe is a whirlwind of over exaggerated, media hyped, idiotic reviews deeming this novel as a life changing piece of literature. Really? Anything raunchy can be a best seller these days. Just be sure to use the words ‘fuck’, ‘cunt’ and ‘cuffs’ and you’re on the list.
Not only is it poorly written, but it lacks a plot. What is the message? That given enough time in an abusive relationship you will either a) get used to it Missy, or b) change the dominant male into a kind and compassionate lover? The fact is that Christian Grey is just a controlling, unpleasant man whom, even 40 years ago, no sane woman would ever have married.
So, I try to take it for what it is. I forget that I completely hate the male protagonist, and despise the weakling heroine. I’m on Summer holidays and left alone for the afternoon. I’m lying on top of my hotel bed, sandy bikini, salty body, hot breeze coming in from the balcony. I take a glass of wine to knock the edge off and open up.
I feel warm.
A little tingly…
“He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string… what! And… gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet.”
Nope. No good.
It doesn’t even get me off. It’s revolting.
I dislike and do not relate to the characters. I don’t believe it. The writing is crap and it offers no wisdom.
It was not until the end *spoiler alert* when he belts and slaps the crap out of her, causing her physical injury and defying her moral values, that she packs up and turfs the twat. Only at this point I find a sense of relief. But not for her, just that it’s over. I’ve endured what the fuss is all about and I’m so far from fussed I could be a lesbian.
So, this is the fastest selling adult novel of all-time. Is this truly modern day erotica? I’m hoping that curiosity alone achieved the book sales. It’s dire to think that over 40 million women are getting off to the notion of an irresponsibly submissive woman getting beaten by a psychopath. I guess E L James gets off on the paper cuts caused from rolling around in her room of bank notes.
What’s worse? That I wasted £6.95 on Amazon and 50 hours of my life reading this nonsense? Or that I bought it for my mother before I’d read it? Eek!