Out and About with Miss Delish

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50 Shades of Grey

We have to talk about THE BOOK.

It is everywhere: On café tables as the ladies drink their lattes, on massive sale racks in Target, K Mart and Big W for $10 a piece, in the handbags of middle aged women and rucksacks of the average 20 something y/o, on the bedside table of 50% of the 50%of our population- women between 15-60.

I have asked the question so many times- “So…have you read the book?”. It is astounding that most people, male or female, know instinctively what I am referring to and answer in earnest, then comment unsolicited. 50 Shades Of Grey has become a household name.

Everyone has their opinions on the latest craze in literary sales, with the trilogy consisting of 50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades Darker and 50 Shades Freed. I felt I should share some of those I have heard recently. I have spoken to all of my girlfriends and their opinions are similar. I have spoken to men who have read it and most of their opinions were similar to each other but completely different to the female perspective. Allow me to indulge you in the two.

The Male conversation regarding this novel mostly sounds like this:

“Well it’s simple really- Women are fantasising about this guy because he is everything that women want; good looking with money. He’s a bit of a control freak, but he’s had a very bad past. He doesn’t want to hurt her- he wants to control her. 21 year old virgins don’t exist! Its soft porn that women can read in public! If we took out a stick magazine and sat in a café reading it, it would be totally unacceptable. It seems to be ok for women to be getting around reading it wherever they please. They should have some self respect and read it on their kindles at least!!”

The female conversation regarding this novel mostly sounds like this:

“Well, he sounds like a horrible man. What sort of man wants to hurt a woman? He’s a control freak, and he’s preying on a young girl. There is no way I would stay with someone who wants to hurt me. The sex is ridiculous!! As if you would have a room full of sex toys! As if you would have someone sign a contract!! Please- a 21 year old virgin? That’s fiction!!!”

So on it goes. Descriptions of how the main character, Christian Grey, is a monster hidden in perfection. He’s a beautiful face, beautiful body and a billionaire with no prior baggage, sexually giving and highly intelligent with emotional complexity. His flaws are then listed off; terrible temper, savage in bed, woman basher, controlling masochist, stalker, pervert.

There is a whole cohort of middle-aged women who are leading this charge to read and discuss 50 Shades. Why? Because it reminds them of the days when sex and romance was all that mattered. Before the children, the school run, the washing, the social calendar, the monotony; sex and romance existed on a daily basis. The emotions the main character experiences allowing her to feel ‘alive’ are igniting something in women between 40 and 60. Now that, as a person who is not at that stage in life, is extremely daunting and depressing in itself.

What most leave out of the conversation is how much of this ‘soft porn’ is actually being put to use. I have one girlfriend whose candour I just adore- “It’s the best sex you will have with yourself”. Thank you. She is absolutely right- particularly in the first half of the book. Do not think for a second that if your wife, girlfriend or partner is reading this book that they have not experienced the shimmy in the pants!

A masse opinion of the author’s lack in literary skills is topic of conversation too. Yes, there is no air of clever writing. Descriptive images will not be taking you to new places or allow you intimate knowledge of characters in 50 Shades Of Grey. However, I will remind you, the author was a middle aged woman whose career was spent at home raising her family. I think we should applaud her for capturing our attention and taking $10 per copy from us all. For being brazen enough to spice up a Mills and Boon style fantasy with controversy by way of sexual violence. A trilogy at that! I am also wondering how long it will take for someone to capitalise on the budding idea of S&M for housewives and begin to produce Shades of Grey merchandise in the form of paddles, feather whips and hand ties!

Things to take away: 1. Read the book, get your kicks and make up your own mind; everyone deserves a good shimmy in the pants from time to time. 2. Do not read it in public. I quite agree that one should keep their personal porn stash hidden away!

See You In The Village.


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