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.


The Scary Mommy Community is built on support. If your comment doesn't add to the conversation in a positive or constructive way, please rethink submitting it. Basically? Don't be a dick, please.

  1. 21

    Amy says

    Like you, I resisted the “Fifty Shades of Grey” obsession. I downloaded a sample of it into my Nook and–quite gleefully–announced to my girlfriends that I wasn’t impressed. My girlfriends, some still stinging from an age-old Team Vampire/Team Werewolf spat, were shocked that I was anti “Grey.” I love kink as much as the next mommy, but I prefer my dirty, bondage porn behind closed doors where it belongs. ;)

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  2. 23

    Courtney says

    Add me to the list of non-readers. Like you I kept thinking ‘Here we go again…..Twilight’. My husband even asked me if I’d heard of it because his friends wife said ‘it would change my life’. Seriously doubt it.

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  3. 24

    Stephanie says

    I’m half way through the second. The juicy moments are juicy, but my title would be “50 Shades of Could This BE Any More Poorly Written??” I mean FFS. Use a thesaurus. Proper grammar and a good vocabulary are just as big of a turn on as a cane to the ass.

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  4. 29

    Amanda says

    I haven’t read it yet either and I’m still on the fence about whether or not to even get the books. The description on the back page didn’t look convincing enough to buy it, but I have heard a lot of positive reviews from my friends who have read them.

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  5. 30

    Angel says

    Heard about it over and over and over and not the least bit interested in reading it. Well because I already write it.. on my other blog.. because my imagination is that good lol.

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  6. 31

    liz says

    I was at BBC last weekend, and one of the presenters (who later said, “Please don’t tweet that!”), slipped and made a reference from the book. Then she stopped awkwardly, asked if anyone else in the room was reading it, and a few admitted they were.

    I texted Kristin (TamingInsanity) because I had never heard of the title.

    But funny that you ask about porn not being relegated to the back rooms; it’s the latest thing on instagram.

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  7. 32

    Judy says

    IMHO, it isn’t the sex that caught people’s attention – that was just a nice side product, if you will. What Shades does (and Twilight, for that matter) is create the ultimate female fantasy, and yet leave it blank enough to let us insert ourselves into the story. In each story, you have one uber rich man, whose sole desire is to take care of you. In each story, you are the ONLY one who has ever been able to reach the man’s inner emotions. In each story, you are the ONLY one who is able to tame the bad boy / rebel. Whether you are attracted to the Sugar Daddy aspect, the “I’m the only one who can change / tame him” aspect, or the “I want to be taken care of and worshipped my entire life” aspect, it is all right there for you. And the female protagonist is written just blandly enough that A) we can identify with her and B) insert ourselves into the story in her place.

    After that, as I said, the sex is secondary….

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    • 33

      Erin @Momfog says

      You nailed it. Not everything we read has to be “literary.” Sometimes, we want an escape and some bad writing gets the job done. That being said, I’m not at all interested in 50 Shades of Gray. One series like this every 10 years (Twilight) is enough for me.

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    • 34

      Triplezmom says

      I think this is why I have no interest in Shades and why Twilight got on my nerves, I don’t have that fantasy. Possibly because I already sort of lived it and the whole thing turned emotionally abusive when I didn’t need to be taken care of so much anymore. All I can imagine is what it will be like in 5 years or 10 years. Give me a fantasy heroine like Katniss Everdeen any day. Although maybe someone could write one who’s a bit older and has lots of juicy sex?

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  8. 38

    Noemi says

    I haven’t read it. But really this kind of book isn’t anything new. Hasn’t anyone heard of The Story of O, Exit to Eden, or any of the Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice writing as A. N. Roquelqure

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    • 39

      JB says

      THIS is exactly why I can’t stand this book. There is material out there that is much better written and more interesting. First off, I tried to read 50 Shades but after page 12 I found it boring. Not to mention that horrible writing hurts my brain. The lead female is a wet blanket of stupidity and the lead guy? Ugh.

      I have to admit, I skimmed to the sex parts to see what the fuss was about and found myself saying “hmm I’ve done worse”. haha

      I just find it to be bad porn meant to titilate the bored moms at home who haven’t done much more then two or three sex positions and couldn’t imagine going near a sex shop with their husbands. No offense to anyone, but I think that we as women are capable of thinking and feeling/experiencing so much more sexually and this book just makes us look unable to.

      The biggest turnoff of this whole book series is that the media/publishing company(my spouse is in the business so I get a lot of insider dirt) was making a big deal about how the author wanted to stay anonymous. Yet suddenly there she is in her glory doing interviews in book tours. It makes no sense, why go out of the way one minute to say the author didn’t want to be revealed publically, then then the next she’s in a photo shoot for Entertainment Weekly. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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      • 41

        renselaas says

        I’m a bookseller, and it kills me to see all of the people clamoring for this garbage. I don’t mind the sex, but I do mind that it’s so horribly written. A “Christian-flavored lollipop?” Spare me.

        On more than one occasion, though, I have gotten a good laugh out of women of a certain age telling me that their book club is reading it. Better read that trendy stuff, you know.

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    • 43

      cheesehead4ever says

      I’m a pretty big reader and I’ve never heard of it either. Also, I put down Girl with the Dragon Tattoo after the first hundred pages. Had no interest in what was happening and didn’t care about the characters. I wasn’t going to waste my time with it.

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  9. 44

    Guerrilla Mom says

    Jill, you seriously should have just skipped the book, and read the reviews on Amazon.com. HI-LAR-I-OUS.

    This book just seems like a way for repressed peeps to get some porn. Jesus ladies, there is x-tube, and youporn, and a whole hell of a lot of sites that will get you there quicker than this. But, I kinda get it, I guess. Porn is pretty gross, and this is safe erotica. To each her own.

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  10. 45

    Jennifer Rustgi says

    I had literally never heard of this until seeing two references to it in the last 5 minutes. Guess the universe is telling me I need to add to my library!

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  11. 46

    Nicole @MTDLBlog says

    I still have not finished these books! I started reading and made it to Chapter 8 of the first book….and yeah…Christian Grey my husband is not. LOL….. :-) I think that the popularity of these books show just how desperate we housewives really are…haha!

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  12. 48

    Audrey says

    You are not, in fact, the last woman in the country to read it. I have not, nor do I intend to. I read a decent sized passage on a review somewhere and laughed my ass off. THAT?! I though.. THAT is what is driving female bloggers everywhere wild? Holy crap. There are some repressed women out there, that’s all I can figure. It’s so badly written it feels like it was ripped right off Literotica, that’s how bad it was. And from what I hear it’s just three books of the same. No thanks. Although I will continue to lol when I see “respectable” moms/women talk about how awesomely hot their porn is.

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  13. 49

    Carole Sokol says

    I read it only because I had to see if it was as bad as I expected. Sadly, it was worse. I think the author is secretly Stephanie Meyers. What a hack! And I agree – if my vocabulary was that limited, please, someone, beat me over the head with a cane until I am out of my misery. I hope that women are really not surprised by what is in this book. Come on, ladies, we all know about S&M so stop acting like Scarlet O’Hara. My, oh my, Sweet Potato Pie! On a positive note, at least this is giving women an opportunity to talk about what we all think about anyway…. Just sad that it is taking a book for us to embrace our sexuality…..

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  14. 52

    Marta says

    I may be one of the last women because while I’ve been hearing about it forever from everyone I felt the same way. “Eh its based around Twilight? No Thank You.” If it helps women be more open about their sexuality I think that’s great. But if the subtext is that women need to be subservient to men, not so great.

    I’m certain I will read it, sooner than later, but I’m in no hurry. Plus your book just arrived from Amazon today. =)

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