Fifty Somethings Of Something

Jul 19, 12

No, I haven’t read it. But since half of our website name is ‘Erotica,’ I suppose we should mention it here. I thought that I should read it, as research you know? But then the cringeworthy character names stopped me from even picking it up. The thing is, I’ve missed the part where someone explained why it’s such a big deal. As all us Internet dwellers ought to know, erotic literature and fan fiction are nothing new – and are the realm of many more happy pervs than just ‘mommies.’ But apparently Fifty Shades matters because suddenly the mainstream cares (again/for now) about BDSM. So, if you happen to be in the same boat of misunderstanding, stick with me as I run through some links that may help us.

If you need to catch up, here is a speed read of the moments that take the book from romance into soft core porn territory.

The main criticism that I’ve noticed from bloggers in the BDSM community is that the best seller is demonising BDSM. Clinical psychologist Pamela Stephenson Connolly explains in an Opinion Editorial for Sydney Morning Herald.

All the work that has been done to establish that BDSM is not a pathological symptom, but one of a wide range of normative human erotic interests, is in danger of being undermined by the success of Fifty Shades.

This CBC article by Andre Mayer addresses some of the fictional novel’s main points of departure from the reality of BDSM.

Fifty Shades of Grey, as well as films like Secretary (2002) and 9 ½ Weeks (1986), suggest that people who are into alternative sexual activities fit some sort of psychological profile — typically negative.

Blogger, journalist and BDSM researcher Peter Tupper is writing a play-by-play Curious Kinky Person’s Guide To Fifty Shades Of Grey. The significance being, in his words:

This book will be a lot of people’s first exposure to BDSM, and past experience has taught me that people tend to “imprint” on whatever they encounter first, and retain those ideas later in their BDSM careers. Fifty Shades needs to be scrutinized and, if necessary, corrected in order to properly educate people new to BDSM.

All this talk about BDSM inspired Katie Roiphe to make a controversial link between the book’s popularity with female-readers and a potential current desire to escape the pressures of feminism.

As I said before, erotic fiction has been an incredibly popular genre, since well before this book came along. This is a great interview with Patty Marks of erotic publishing house, Ellora’s Cave. Established 12 years ago, it has grown into a multimillion-dollar business selling about 200 000 books a month, leaving Marks surprised that people are even surprised about the pervasiveness of erotica.

I must also link to the valued opinion of one of our favourite erotic bloggers, Remittance Girl, who critiques the mediocrity of the characters and their dynamics, the tired plot devices and the overall poor level of writing.

You have a right expect much more of your kinky erotic novel that this.

Problem-solving lass that she is, she has written her own piece of fiction using the gulf between vanilla and kink as the central conflict. So please consider this piece of writing if you are seeking an alternative to Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.