Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fifty Shades of... Give Me a Break

(This post is an opinion piece, but does contain extremely adult material and spoilers of the book "50 Shades of Grey." So, if you haven't read it and don't want it spoiled, or you haven't put your big girl panties on today, then I advise just clicking on, my friend. ~Tatted Mom)
Pic Courtesy

I can't pull up a website, open my Kindle (yes, I have the version with the ads still on it), or watch something on TV without being reminded that the 50 Shades of Grey movie comes out this weekend.

Yippee. Can you see me doing me Excited Dance? No? That's because I'm doing the Annoyed Eye Rolling Dance instead.

I confess now- I hated the book. I can't even say I hated the books (plural) because I didn't read them all. Naturally, I have this ingrained instinct to immediately reject the popular (had it since birth, I think), so when the book went crazy, I vowed never to read it- it was a reflex, sorry. Eventually, curiosity got the best of me (and I wanted to be included in the 5,477 conversations going on about it at any given moment) so I bought the first book.

I tried, Inklingers. I really did. I read the first 40 pages or so... and then skipped through and read all of the smutty parts.

I just didn't get it. The character development was pretty shotty, the characters themselves were aloof and pretty one-dimensional. And the smutty parts weren't even really good smutty parts. I've read better erotica in the fiction section of Penthouse magazine.

Now don't go thinking I hated the book because I'm sexually frustrated and a prude. That couldn't be
further from the truth. My inner goddess and I talk on a pretty regular basis, and I follow the philosophy that whatever floats your boat- be it whips, chains, ball gags and Ben-Wa balls- is fine by me. Let your Freak Flag fly, ladies and gents!

But there is nothing sexy about having a tampon pulled from you by a dude. Sorry, there isn't. Especially (and yes, this is how my mind wanders off on a pretty regular basis) if she had just put it in there. That shit hurts, removing a tampon before it's ready to make its exit. And he didn't even ask first. He just grabbed the string and yanked, like the other end was attached to a tooth or something. Unless the author forgot to inform us that Ana had Vagina Dentata, it wasn't attached to a tooth, and it wasn't sexy.

I think I just found Christian Grey to be more negative asshole than positive asshole. We ladies love a bad boy, but there comes a point when you have to realize that the bad boy is really a mean, degrading, chauvinistic pig and should be sent packing. That's what I found in Christian Grey. Maybe it's because when I read the book, I had just come off of a few horrible relationships where I dated chauvinistic pigs (Hubby and I were separated), and just wanted to swear off men altogether. Or, it's because Christian Grey was really an asshole to his core.

And poor Ana. I'm not talking about the way he treated her, or the things done- I'm talking about the bar that Christian set for her. He took her virginity and slingshotted it so far out the door that she will be messed up for life. From that point of her life forward, sex to her is going to be all about what the guy wants, and how fast she can be gagged and tied up, not about what she wants, and not about a consensual, loving experience. My heart actually breaks for her future, as most men in the world aren't going to live up to what Christian has taught her to be a "typical" sexual relationship. The girl is going to pull out a blindfold and duct tape on her future first dates, for crying out loud.

These are the Ben-Wa Balls I'm
familiar with.
Pic Courtesy
I guess some good did come from the series. Americans have learned to loosen up a little- in general, we're a pretty prudish society. I lived in England for 3 years, where after the 10pm watershed at night, the television is full of boobs and penises flying around- and that's just the regular network channels, not cable. We lived there when Janet had her infamous Super Bowl Nipple Slip, where the Americans raised hell and threatened to sue the television network, and the British newscasters were saying, "Seriously, it was just a nipple..."  So, with the popularity of the book, the sale of sex toys skyrocketed, especially the sale of Ben-Wa Balls. These make me giggle the most. I used to sell Ben-Wa Balls in my new age store years ago, only, back then, they were used as a meditation and concentration tool... okay, a different, more PG type of meditation and concentration tool. You put both balls in the palm of your hand and tried to circle them around one another without having them touch, requiring a bunch of brain power. I think it's funny that somewhere along the line, someone thought to stick them in their hoo-ha to strengthen their vaginal muscles. I'm glad it worked out, though, because it doesn't always work out in a positive way. Take the fact that we have the "For External Use Only" warning on the tag of a curling iron, for example. Whoever chose to experiment with that one apparently regretted it and informed the company- hence the warning.

So, people are coming out of their comfort zone, experimenting sexually, and broadening their horizons. All of that is definitely a positive outcome from such a shotty book. The more good sex people are having, the less assholish they will be in day-to-day life, right? Great in theory, at least.

Ha! I wonder how many babies will be conceived this weekend. Everyone needs to pay attention in 10 months to see if there's a baby boom... and an increase in the names Ana and Christian given to newborns. Yes, this is the randomness that is my brain.

As for me, I will not pick up the book to give it another attempt. I will probably watch the movie eventually, just to see if the Hollywood people improved it (they couldn't make it worse), but won't read the sequels afterwards, because I still won't care. I'll stick to entering in 'Free Erotica' in my Kindle search and seeing what gems lie there. Most of the books I've found that way are so much better than the 50 Shades crap. I'll take 75 uses of the cheesy phrase bulging wand of love over Ana having 53 conversations with her Inner Goddess any day.

Did you love 50 Shades or hate it? Let me know your favorite (or favorite-to-hate) parts below!

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  1. The level of hate I have for these books... you can't even imagine.

    Let's just set the horrid writing- poor characterization, a desecration of the English language, not to mention NO thought to grammar, style, or writing voice, aside, for just a moment. Because, as a fiction writer, I recognize that not everyone cares about things like that. It hurts my heart to type that but we must face facts.

    The premise of the book- that Grey was abused by a friend of his mother's, under the guise of "introducing him to the BDSM lifestyle" at 14, is the first problem. GREY IS THE WAY HE IS BECAUSE HE WAS THE VICTIM OF A CHILD PREDATOR. (you don't find this out until the 3rd book, when Ana meets the femme freak show, and ends up throwing a drink in her face. Because the book needed just one more cliche *eyeroll*)

    Let's just let that sink in for a moment, shall we? He's an abuse victim who becomes abusive himself, using the construct of the BDSM "lifestyle" as a facade to cover his abusive nature.

    Then, to carry the sick factor just a little further (because it's not twisted up enough already), he's magically "saved" by Ana's purity and innocence. Her horror of his BDSM practices makes him realize the error of his ways, and by the end of the third book, they're having happy "vanilla" sex for the most part. Because a good relationship is all it takes to cure the severe damage inflicted by childhood sexual abuse. Everyone knows that, right?

    The romanticization of child abuse is just one of the factors that makes me absolutely sick about this book. It's not erotica. It's not kinky. it's not "hot" or sexy. It's sick. It fails to recognize the HUGE gap between the choices made by two consenting adults (a lifestyle), and the abuse of a teenage boy that leads to his obsession with some pretty twisted up expressions of dominance and control.

    I'm with you- consenting adults, getting freaky in bed in whatever way tweaks their nips? As long as they keep their games consensual, I have no problem with that. Romanticizing and glorifying child abuse and calling it a lifestyle choice? No. Just no.

    Needless to say, I will NOT be seeing this movie.

    #50ShadesofGag #NotThatKindofGag

    1. PS I shit you not, this is an actual excerpt:

      "Are you ready for this?" he mewled, looking at me like a mother hamster about to devour her 3 legged young.


    2. Hmmm... mother hamster about to devour her 3 legged young. Yep, just about as sexy as having a tampon ripped from my body.
      Excuse me while I go vomit...
      Oh, and PS- I had no idea about the origins of Grey's deviancy (like I said, didn't even fully read the first book). Sorry, but that's sick. And now that I know that, it's sick that people continued to flock to the story. OMG...

  2. I haven't read the books. They didn't really seem like something I would enjoy reading. So, of course, the movie is falling in that same category. If I want smut, I'll stick to a good old fashioned Harlequin. lol

    1. I love some cheesy romance novels. The different ways they come up with to describe man parts, lady parts and how the two join together, are amazing. It makes me giggle and blush at the same time, lol.

  3. What bothers me, also, is that this book is going to be what people think of when they think of BDSM. Now, that's not really my bag, but I have friends in that lifestyle. It is *all* about communication and consent. Nothing is done without the full consent of both parties, and it's generally the submissive who has the power during play, whatever it looks like. Because it is the submissive that decides what happens, how much, etc.

    This relationship (from everything I've read elsewhere, as I haven't read any of the books) is abusive. I won't give them my money.

  4. I've read all three of the 50 Shades books and I thought they were stupid. Never mind the writing style, but you take a 21 year old virgin that cums on an elevator just reminiscing about a kiss??? There may be some women that are like this, but most of us need a little more than that (a lot more?) to orgasm. This was only one of the many stupid premises.

  5. I'm in the "never read it, never seen it" club. I've heard enough "talk" about it to gain an idea of what it's about or be able to reference it in a joke. From the sounds of this, it may be a waste of my time. Then again, I've always been the type to want/need my own opinion of things. So after I WATCH the movie, I'll come back with my REAL opinion. Lol! Thanks for sharing yours!

  6. The books were fine...not great by any means and barley good. I admit to skipping over vast parts of the last two books but I kept going just because I wanted to see where the heck she was going with the "plot". All the people screaming and yelling about it being bad for women and all that...just because people don't write about it and read it doesn't mean this stuff isn't happening anyway. I would hope that the women that read it have enough brains to know what is love and abuse and if they don't the book probably isn't what's keeping them in a bad situation. My concern is for all the teenage gals that are reading this and thinking it's normal to have mind blowing sex 7 times a day...and all the other stuff is normal too (which I agree with you if a consenting adult wants whips go for it). but that leads back to their parents not paying attention to what their kids are up to, not the book. I don't plan on seeing the movie. Simply because A. I plan on giving birth here someday (fingers crossed) B. I cover my eyes when cartoon characters kiss (black swan mortified me and I only saw it with my husband) so it's not up my ally!

  7. OMG, the movie WAS awful! They DID manage to make it worse. I snort-laughed MULTIPLE times. hahaha. This was hilarious-you killed me with the curling iron--'FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY' LOLOLOL