I think I am the last person I know to pick up and start reading the book Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James. I have been feeling very left out of conversations about this pop culture phenomena. I finally downloaded it, and read it completely. I have to say, reading Fifty Shades of Grey, turned me fifty shades of red.
At first I felt flushed with excitement, then I became red from embarrassment, and finally I felt hot under the collar, feeling frustration and resentment. I think I have gotten over that last part now. I needed to remind myself that fantasy is not real, and people usually enjoy them so much because there is little or no chance of them becoming real.
The book started out just lightly erotic and I thought there was a nice build up of anticipation to the relationship of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey (both names that sound like they come from a book with Fabio on the cover). Around chapter seven, it got into the more dark S&M side of Grey, and what he wanted from the unbelievably (really... so unbelievably) inexperienced Steele. He needed to control her, and she slowly seemed to be enjoying this idea. I'm sure, for some people reading the book, this is where it started to get exciting. For me, other than a little morbid fascination, this is where I lost interest.
I wonder if maybe this is a younger woman's fantasy? There was a day that I dreamt of a man similar to Christian Grey (minus the S&M). He would sweep me off my feet, protect me, take care of me and provide for me. I used to find that idea exciting. I suppose, on that level, I can relate to the strong appeal many women are having to this book.
Today though, at 42, I am so different. I am much more attracted to the kind of man who treats a woman exactly as he wants to be treated. And as for the sex... I am all vanilla. For those of you who haven't read the book, vanilla sex is what Grey called the act of basic, mutual love making. O.K., maybe I'm vanilla with sprinkles... but no more than that.
Even though this book wasn't completely for me, I love it when a book blows up like this. It gets people reading, and talking about it. I'm happy that I read it, and I can join in the conversations. I'm all about keeping an open mind, and hearing other people's opinions and views.
There is one thing that I would love to know from other female readers. If it turned out that E L James was a man, and not a woman, would you have enjoyed the book as much?