Fifty Shades of Seriously?

It started a couple of months ago. “Have you heard of Fifty Shades of Grey yet?” my friend asked. Nope, I responded. Should I have? YES, she sighed dreamily. Buy it now. Trust me. But, I didn’t trust her, back on that rainy day in March. Nor did I trust the next 20 friends who echoed the same sentiment. Memories of flipping through Twilight and wondering what the big fuss was about danced in my head and I resisted. But that was hardly the last I heard about it.

Overnight it seemed, the female population was obsessed. Moms at school drop off were discussing bondage in between bake sale numbers and PTA events. My online friends had it on their Kindle’s. My real life friends were snatching up paperbacks. My cousins couldn’t get enough. It was the topic of conversation at dinners out with friends and over pedicures and even at a recent Bar Mitzvah.

Last week, I officially became the last female in the country to climb on board the Grey train. I read it in a few days, not because I was so smitten with the intelligent writing, but because I’m still twelve and merely skimmed the book for the juicy parts… and, juicy they are.

Frankly, I still don’t get what all the hype is all about. But, what I really want to know, is what’s next?  If Fifty Shades is gateway mommy porn, what’s in store for us after the books?

The manager of a Barnes and Noble where I spoke told me that he gets at least 50 calls a day about the book and has sold more of Fifty Shades than any other single book in the store’s history. (This following a report that he’d sold exactly two of my books. Thanks, dude.) Yesterday, I received a PR pitch from a sex store who informed me that a vibrator, anal beads and lubricant was “just what mom needs this year for Mother’s Day!”

Does anyone else find this the least bit bizarre?

I mean, I’m not complaining about it, but I do find the whole thing to be highly entertaining. Is this the beginning of some new sexual revolution where porn is no longer relegated to back rooms and seedy basement stores? Will sex swings soon line the playground for after hour fun? Will whips proudly hang on our Pottery Barn coat racks? Will Playgirl sit out at the nail salon along with People and US Weekly? Will women proudly display burns and bruises? It’s… kind of odd.

But, most importantly, if this is the direction that we’re headed, how to we go about cloning our husbands into Christian Grey? I mean, my imagination may be good, but it’s not that good.

About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


Laura Kipp 3 years ago

I am just like you! I held out on reading the books too. I also read all three books in about three days. Still don’t get all the hype….how many ways can you describe the sexual act? The storyline did, however, keep me hooked & yes, I will probably see the movie…:)

kath 4 years ago

Would this book be *as popular* if the roles were reversed and it was the female who took the lead instead of the man? I don’t think so. IMHO I doubt if it would have had the buzz and it begs the question, how do the readers create the market? Do we really need more of these types of books (following the whole vampire issue that began with Anne Rice)

If you can get beyond the *juicy bits* – a really _good_ book- should be well written over all. not just passages that try to support the book. Fifty Shades of Grey was what I, and my friends call the “slap me” books- (right up there with Abraham Lincon vampire slayer and A Discovery of Witches) Slap me because we spent money on this! Oh come on. As readers have we become so jaded in our quest for reading material that stuff like this can be seen as good writing? No.
its like compairing Harry Potter to The Legend of Rah and the Muggles – the biggest slap me book ever.

Beth 4 years ago

OMG, this is hilarious!!! I haven’t read this book yet either but after reading this blog, I think I may need to check it out! By the way, I absolutely LOVE your blog, its freakin great :)

Alyssa @ Life of bLyss 4 years ago

oh my gosh, this is fantastic.

I’m also reading, and I can’t agree more. ALSO, the writing style drives me nuts. it’s middle school writing with a few SAT words thrown around, and the SAME words and phrases reused over and over again. I’ve only kept reading because I’m curious how the author makes this stretch on for 3 books.

Laura @ Joyful Shimmy 4 years ago

Awesome post- I blogged a “book review” piece on the book that has increased my webtraffic for about 1000% because I misspelled grey as in gray.

The book was juicy in the right parts. It was a fun read though I have to admit that it did weird me out that my male boss read it. We did agree not to talk about the content of the book. lol

LADY GOO GOO GAGA 4 years ago

UGH – I blogged about this last week – I think it’s absolutely horrible that women in this country are fantasizing about some rich guy whipping their hoo-ha with a riding crop and then buying them a new car….
I’d rather take the bus…..

zumpie 4 years ago

As a full on literary snob, I have ZERO interest. I read one Hairy Potty book and found the writing stilted and the plot a ripoff of Worst Witch/Narnia/Lord of the Rings/The Bible, etc. The Hunger Games (ripoff of Battle Royale/Theseus/Running Man/The Lottery) interested me even less.

So obviously, I have zero interest in reading a poorly written Marquis de Sade/My Secret Life/Fear of Flying ripoff.

The Mommy Psychologist 4 years ago

Did anyone see the Dr. Drew interview about the book? He called it a rape fantasy and that it was so insulting for woman. Um…Dr. Drew, have you seen any of the actual porn on the Internet? Are you aware of what the gentlemen are looking at? We get just a bit risque and suddenly there’s something wrong with us…Ugh! It made me SO mad. So mad that I had to post about it here. I wish I could find a link to the interview. I’ll see if I can and post it so everyone else can get mad too!

“The child psychologist who thought she had all the answers to parenting until she became one herself.”

Rachel 4 years ago

You are not the last person to hear about or read this book. I am. I just heard about it 2 weeks ago. After my best friend told me her 60 year old mother in law was reading it. And then my boss told me I just HAD to read it.

Stacey 4 years ago

I haven’t read it either and after skimming through some of these comments, I don’t think I want to. My kids are all readers and hover if I have a book in my hand. I’m thinking I don’t want them hovering over shades of grey.

LaynaDeigh 4 years ago

I haven’t read this yet either, but am very well aware of the title and the hype… Once I can spend some extra money on something such as a book (low on the ‘to spend’ list) I think I would like to read it… HOWEVER, I have read the book called ‘Nine and a Half Weeks’, and 50sog sounds like it is going to be quite similiar to that… Maybe I am wrong… Curious to find out!

Reena 4 years ago

This story is one of the worst stories ever written. It started out as Twilight Fan Fiction. Published on in chapters. The author got feedback on each chapter and unpaid editing and advice. She then suddenly deleted it. And published it. Oh and held any readers to ransom for what happened next by paying for something that was previously there for the whole world.
I object to this being banded about as original fiction. The author was blatantly influenced by the original copywrited saga series by S Meyer. And other Twilight fan fiction. All the author did was copy cut/paste and replace the names etc. Hardly original writing. Shoddy plot and characterisation. And a rip off of others ideas? This book is not original or innovative. Hasn’t anyone ever heard of “The Story of O”?

    JessGem 4 years ago

    I won’t be this harsh, as I do like the “Grey” novels. BUT, in all honesty, as I am a fan of Twilight – the book does come dangerously close to copyright infringement issues. I wonder how S. Meyer is handling it. No, E.L. James doesn’t refer to werewolves and vampires, but the characters (and their relationships/personalities) are CLEARLY derived from those originally created in the Twilight books. If you are in fact a fan of Twilight, you will see this, immediately. Not only that but I wonder how awkward it must be for the Twilight movie actors, particularly Robert Pattinson. Again, I’m a fan of Twilight and an even bigger fan of Pattinson as an actor/person. And she very creepily refers to many of his own mannerisms and interests. Whatever, I still like it lol

Kim 4 years ago

So, ladies…I never read or card about Twilight (I thought it was for kids, hinestly), but after reading all these comments, I am wondering what I missed by NOT seeing or caring about Twilight…

By the way…I just started Book #2 and bad writing or not, I still am hooked to this story. So be it. :)

Kristen Mae 4 years ago

My sister’s been harrassing me to read ‘Shades,’ too. Twilight nearly sent me over the deep end (I was really pissed at my husband for not being Edward), and that was rated PG.

Plus I’m pretty sure my brother-in-law has been spanking my sister lately, which really freaks me out.

And what if the books turn me into a nympho?

I’m just not ready yet.

Jennifer 4 years ago

You are NOT the last woman because I still haven’t bought it. I just can’t do it. Not because of the sex, but because of the really poor writing. I just can’t spend money on something that poorly written. I think it is ridiculous.

PS Somehow you became unsubscribed in my Google reader. WTF Google? Such an asshole. The problem has been corrected.

stylisticallystella 4 years ago

I guarantee that if vibrators were given as mother’s day presents, there’d be ALOT of happier families!

wendy @ mama one to three 4 years ago

I downloaded the first one after all the hype. It’s awful… There are better dirty books out there!

virginiallorca 4 years ago

I want to be next years ridiculously short-lived undeserved phenom. I’ve decided to read them and call it research.

Adrienne 4 years ago

I haven’t read them. But, I have been tempted. Thank God for the kindle, because if I do decide to stoop to mommy porn no one will actually know.

Judy @ Late Mommy 4 years ago

First, loved your book! Second, I’m on the third book of the Fifty Shades trilogy and I’m hooked. They are no great piece of literature, but are a great escape, quick reading and kind of, well, hot! We just never know what’s going on behind the closed doors of our neighbors! Hmmm…

Corporate Wife 4 years ago

I just bought this book at Costco. First, there was a 90 year old man blocking the book display (he was about three chapters in), then there was a grandma with a hearing aid in front of me in line WITH the book!

I don’t think you are the last to know. The geriatric horn dogs and I will take that honor.

The Mommy Psychologist 4 years ago

I am amused by all of this. I think it’s great that women are getting in touch with their inner freaks. I saw the interview with the author and she was so embarrassed and clearly uncomfortable throughout the entire thing. It was so darling. She really is just your average housewife living with the secret fantasies we all have.

Sean Bianca 4 years ago

I myself have not yet read Fifty Shades Of Grey. I’m told the writing is average at best, but women are going nuts about it. Funny how so many Mommy’s feel a need to escape their lives and I as an over 40 divorcee would give anything to have the boring existence of being a Mommy!

Charlene 4 years ago

Is it bad that I want to snatch up every “porn” book like this simply because it’s the only way I’m gonna even imagine sex right now? For whatever reason, my DH has put the Great Wall up between us and he refuses to talk about it so I’m seriously reading every Gena Showalter and Sherrilyn Kenyon book I can get my hands on.

Kim 4 years ago

I am reading 50 right now and I am head-over-heels about it. I haven’t read a book since I had my 4 yo as my time is limited and I also now have a 9 month old, but I read it every second that I get! I love it!

Sweety Darlin 4 years ago

I haven’t read this, but if you have seen the movie Secretary with Maggie Gyllenhall, then you will see a totally awesome version of her!

It is a great film and I love it!

Lollie – The Fortuitous Housewife 4 years ago

The population of non-Grey indoctrinated continues to dwindle, and I am still a member of that demographic.

I’m no prude (married twice, and had my fair share of non-married fun too – as Andie McDowell put it, “more than Princess Di, less than Madona), but I just can’t imagine what is so alluring about older man/younger woman, domination & bondage.

Do I have to relent & read if I’m ever to grasp the appeal?

shanan 4 years ago

I have not read it but I have read Scary Mommy! Thanks to my lovely sister and it was a great read. It’s too bad it didn’t come out when I had my first but I will be sure to give this to my friends. Just need to figure out what is the right ” time” to give after a first baby, don’t want to scare them too early on!

Katie 4 years ago

I can’t read it. I just can’t.

Not because sex offends me or because I will sit there and blush…I just can’t read “fan fiction”.

I can’t do it.

    Becki 4 years ago

    Just those words “fan fiction” make me gag and my stomach turn. Fan fiction writers can’t come up with their own ideas so they piggy back on someone else’s efforts … . .

    Remember glimpsing blogs that had horrendous fan fiction for “Dr Quinn Medicine Woman” lol.

    Hmmmmmm. .want to google and see what google thinks was the first fan fiction . .

Just Jennifer 4 years ago

I haven’t read it either, and I’m actually kind of afraid. I get the feeling that it’s not all that well-written, just steamy, which reminds of any ole porn movie. How is this better?

heather 4 years ago

you’re not the last. i am slobbering over the new stephen king. and confessions of a scary mommy. but, then again, i am a deeply disturbed and twisted person………………

Vicki @ Crowning Victoria 4 years ago

Ok so I’ve had the same experience thus far, but don’t have my eyes/hands on the book yet.

AND I heard that it’s extremely sexually charged.
But What-the-Hell?! I’m 30, a newly wed, and no plans of kids yet!
I loved Twilight and fell HEAD OVER HEELS for The Hunger Games.
Sounds like a great, shallow book for me, right now!

Dee 4 years ago

Nope. Not gonna either. I run the other way when something becomes a “must” read or have or do or see or something “everyone else is” doing, seeing, having, reading. It sounds like a bondage, controlling type of plot situation and that alone would tick me off let alone the poor writing everyone talks about. I prefer empowered women as the heroes in my books!

Tricia Gatto 4 years ago

I told my sisters and friends about your book and sent them the link to your site. great site and thank you for the book, looking forward to reading it. All the best, Tricia

Shannon 4 years ago

I just bought the book for my first book club meeting. Since I haven’t met most of the women yet, it should be quite the ice breaker!

Jadzia@Toddlerisms 4 years ago

I think this comment disappeared.

You know what my 68-year-old mother is NOT getting for Mother’s Day?

Anal beads.

I’m just sayin’.

Jadzia@Toddlerisms 4 years ago

You know what my 68-year-old mother is NOT getting for Mother’s Day?

Anal beads.

I’m just sayin’.

Alexandra 4 years ago

In other breaking news: mommies are STILL WOMEN!!


yeah and whaaaat? Scary Mommy, 2 books.

Written in one week smut: door buster??

WTF? Exactly.

Jack@TheJackB 4 years ago

A vibrator for Mother’s Day. Now wouldn’t that be precious alongside a loving hand written note from your children.

Dear Mommy,

I love you sooo much! Daddy says we should help you relax. Happy Mothers Day.

Yep, that would be a dandy.

Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom 4 years ago

I’m not really interested in reading “50 Shades of Grey”.
Maybe sometime when I’m three sheets to the wind.

Virginia Llorca 4 years ago

All three are available on bit torrent sites for free. Several locations. I might read it but not pay. But torrent sites scare me a little. What’s your experience with them?

Frankly, I had a beau that kinda wanted to get into that stuff a little, but I usually ended up crying. We did find other things to amuse ourselves though.

That Ellen clip was adorable. I love her.

Mike 4 years ago


Seriously? “Kindle’s”

You wrote a book and don’t know how to use apostrophes? Seriously?

Paraskevi 4 years ago

Hm…read it or live it? Could you imagine?!

KCSmommy 4 years ago

Its funny that you say its the new everyone is raving about book because i have never heard of it before nor heard anyone say anything about it. I am an avid reader and read just about everything people suggest to me. I have never heard of this book (is it a book or magazine?).
Then again I am the weirdo who skips sex in books because they embarass me!! Lol So if it’s pretty much like a book of porn I will the book to prevent me from changing 50 shades of red.

    KCSmommy 4 years ago

    ***skip the book to prevent me from turning 50 shades of red.

    Also I just recently read the Twilight books after refusing so long. I quite enjoyed the Twilight books, the movies leave something to be desired though, they are terrible!

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 4 years ago

Confession : I’ve not read the 50 shades trilogy, nor the Hunger Games, nor Twilight. Please excuse me while I climb back under my rock. But if you like the whole bondage-sex slave thing may I recommend Histoire d’Oh? Very entertaining…

Susanna K. 4 years ago

I didn’t read Twilight, either. I’ve recently heard the buzz about this book, but the more I hear about it, the less interested I am.

On the other hand, I recently purchased a copy of “Lace” from Goodwill. That’s the book that I skimmed thru as a 6th grader looking for juicy parts, and let me tell you, it is actually a highly entertaining read. I’ll pick soap opera over porn any day.

Barbara 4 years ago

Honestly I am sick of the hype and cannot wait until this trend goes away. I am no prude but it has becone a vehicle for way too many TMI discussions. Really, 60 yo lady at work, I don’t want to know you haven’t felt this h**ny since menopause. Sheesh.

Elaine 4 years ago

I have not read it yet myself but I know my husband wants me to…. ;-p

And who knows maybe books like these will help keep the divorce rate down. Ahem.

Lady Estrogen 4 years ago

I haven’t read it yet – I’m resisting – mainly because I read Flowers in the Attic and watch porn. I’m assuming 50 Shades in somewhere in the middle, and I’m more of an extremist when it comes to my filthy pleasures.

eschelle 4 years ago

I feel so completely clueless I know nothing of this at all I must google it immediately !!!

Shirley@motivatedmommyoftwo 4 years ago

Jill I do not think you were the last woman on earth to grab a copy of the book, I have not even heard of it until I read your post. But now I am intrigued

Corey Feldman 4 years ago

I guess I am going to have to read this book after all. I keep hearing nothing but good things

Carolyn 4 years ago

I’ve honestly never heard of this book. Now I’m curious. Off to Google – even that sounds naughty now.

Amber 4 years ago

I read it and didn’t see what the fuss was all about.. It’s so…just…gah! That girl needs a damn backbone.

Karen 4 years ago

You weren’t the last person on earth to read it. I still haven’t read the book yet and who knows when I’ll get around to it. Knowing me, it will be another year when the next big thing is out. I’m always behind. But I’m not sure how well I’ll take to a poorly written story with bad grammar either. Maybe we should all just wait for the movie?


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