I have a serious confession to make. No, I haven’t crashed my car, exaggerated figures to get a better tax return, murdered someone, cheated on my partner or stolen something (except for that time when I accidentally walked out of K Mart with the jeans still slung over my arms – honestly, why didn’t the checkout guy say something? But I digress…). The crime I have committed is far, far greater than any of these things; I’ve admitted, in public, that I didn’t fall head over panties for Fifty Shades of Grey.
Yes, I know. What the hell is wrong with me? Why didn’t I like this novel that captivated women worldwide, with it’s graphic sex scenes and guilty pleasure indulgence themes?
When I confessed my lack of love for this sexy story on the weekend, I was met with scorn and shock, followed by comments along the lines of “Oh, that’s because it’s not amazing from a critical perspective.”
Not true! I couldn’t give a pair of handcuffs about it’s literary acclaim. Instead, my prejudice runs deeper.
Here’s what I understand about the novel:
- It is a total guilty pleasure
- It has extreme graphic visual descriptions which fit in with our culture of cinematographic pleasure
- In today’s culture, sex is acceptable. People are indulgent, extremes are hot and bondage is suddenly desirable
I can totally understand why people like it. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with loving Fifty Shades of Grey, I’m just saying it’s not for me. Here’s why:
- The lead character has morals, and refuses to just have sex with any guy. Oh, unless the guy in question is a super hot, mysterious millionaire who could have anyone. Wait, what?!
- The ending isn’t an ending (spoiler alert!). I love series, sequels, and follow on novels, but for me to like them, book one has to be a complete book in itself. Don’t make the first book clearly incomplete and force the reader to buy book two. It’s cruel, there’s no closure, and I don’t like it. Increase the price and sell me all three at once or finish the book properly, damn it!
- The third, most embarrassing reason, is far worse. I didn’t find it sexy enough.
I know. How can that be? Not sexy enough?! But it was O.T.T.-step-by-step-naughty-descriptive-provocative sexy… Wasn’t it?
For me, the answer was no. Something is clearly wrong with me, because I don’t know a single female who didn’t find this a turn on. Perhaps I’m too much of a nerd and a total prude who is completely unaware of her own lack of sexual response. But, when compared to pretty much every Tamara Webber novel (which I read immediately after Fifty Shades) I found their subtle sexualities, their discovery of new activity, their body exploration a MILLION times sexier than the most risque of risque scenes in Fifty Shades of Grey. When I read Fifty Shades on public transport, I flicked through the sexual encounters (till my fingers were sore from page turning). When I read Tamara Webber’s sex scenes, I wanted to skip – but I couldn’t look away. I blushed, and tried to ignore the warm feeling building inside of me, while trying to angle my iPad away from the creepy old guy falling asleep on my shoulder… (ew)
My point is, I get it. I understand that you love Fifty Shades of Grey, and yes, “oh, my” (insert eye roll/lip biting here), isn’t it the stuff of fantasies?! But please don’t judge me, don’t tie me to the ceiling or whip me for not finding it a total turn on. Okay?