Fifty Shades of Debate

Why has the Fifty Shades Trilogy suddenly become so popular? Have you read it yet? Are you going to?

I spent most of last week doing just that and I have to say that I loved the books. I got thoroughly engrossed in them, their humor, their twists and turns, oh… and the sex. There was more than a little of that! Basically they were good fun.

Since then I have spent some time reading reviews, descriptions, discussions and debates about these suddenly very popular books. Depending on what you are reading they are either wonderful or horribly written, addictive or stupid dribble, a giant step back for feminism or a great leap for embracing female sexuality. It really is amazing. Newsweek’s cover story discusses the sexual fantasies of working women with the headline “Spanking Goes Mainstream”. Wow.

The discussion there and many other places centers on how women working outside the home are craving a strong man like Christian to take care of them and control them. (By the way this annoys me. Why can’t the conversation be ALL women not just working women? Do stay at home moms not count? Oh yeah, that’s right. We don’t.)

When I started the first book I wondered out loud to Alex how different my reaction to it might be if we were not already engaged in a Dd relationship. Would I be identifying with the issues of control and BDSM in the same way if I were not already open to those ideas in my own marriage? Would I have a different reaction if I weren’t? Would I be willing to incorporate some of the scenarios in the book into my own bedroom if I were not already basically doing so already? I don’t know.

The rest of the female population sure seems to be enjoying themselves. Which is what I find so interesting. Maybe spanking IS more mainstream than any of us realize. Maybe people are more open minded to this than is currently believed. And maybe more will introduce it into their own lives.

It’s hard to tell. I have two friends in real life who I have suggested the books to. I explained the plot and some of the dynamics of Ana and Christian’s relationship but didn’t continue the conversation and disclose anything about my own relationship. It felt odd to be discussing any of this with them and I don’t think I will ever be comfortable enough to share this part of myself. One seemed eager to read them herself and the other seemed pretty indifferent. It will be interesting to see what they think of them if they do read them. Either way, it’s hard for me to imagine a time that I would discuss my own relationship openly with them.

I do hope that these books open more people up to the positive power that this dynamic can bring to a relationship. Safe, sane, consensual spanking has brought us to a new level of openness and understanding in our relationship. Opening myself to him sexually has made all the difference to us. I hope that others find benefit as well by allowing themselves to indulge in some of their own fantasies.

It will be interesting to see where the debate goes from here.

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17 Comments

  1. I’m in almost done with book two, although I have skimmed enough of book three to know where the story goes and how it ends. (That’s just the way I am when I read. I have to know it turns out good) I love the story. I find myself focusing more on the healing and growing of the characters themselves through the love they feel for one another and the physical elements play a vital role in the depth of their emotional bond with each other.
    I am interested as to whether or not most readers will catch how Ana describes what she feels when she is spanked. The author doesn’t go into immense detail so if Dave and I were not already in this dynamic I will have probably missed it, but it’s there.
    My sister let me know last night that she got the first book and is reading it. Now I’m expecting some questions from her. She knows that Dave and I are doing something different, something along those lines but I haven’t shared it all with her. What I have shared I don’t think she totally agrees with, so it will be interesting to see what she asks. I’m still not confortable discussing much more with her.
    Thanks for brining up the books. It should bring some good discussion. So glad that you enjoyed them as much as I did.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  04/24/2012

      I agree. I found her reactions very interesting and I’m not sure I would have picked up on it either. I’m glad you liked the books and good luck with the conversation with your sister. I hope it goes well.

      Reply
  2. I’m thinking of reading the books. Just haven’t taken the plunge yet…

    Reply
  3. I haven’t read them, but I will admit that I’m curious. I may read them, I may not, I haven’t decided yet. It sure is interesting to see this topic in the media and being discussed so widely though!

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  04/24/2012

      It is all the chatter in the mainstream media that I find so fascinating. And if I were you I would run, not walk, to read the books….

      Reply
  4. Slightly Naughty Princess (SNP)

     /  04/24/2012

    Hello Zoe,

    I agree with your whole post. I read the books a few weeks ago and I really like them. I was hooked. There seems to be a group of people that say the writing is bad. But, I was interested in the story and so that did not stand out to me about the writing. We take Newsweek and so I read that article as well. We also take Time and a few weeks ago they had an article about the author. E L James was also on 20/20 the other night, but I missed it. I read on another blog you can get the interview on their site. My husband is reading the books now. He just finished book 2. He likes them as well. I think the books and articles are good exposure and it is really interesting this has hit mainstream life. PK at New Beginnings Blog wrote a post about this also. You should read her post and the comments there. I think you would find them interesting. Regards, SNP

    Subbie, come join the fun and start reading them!

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  04/24/2012

      I’m glad you like my post and stopped to comment. I want my husband to read them too so hearing that yours likes them makes me think he might as well.

      It is amazing how widespread the buzz is about these books. It doesn’t get more mainstream than Newsweek, Time and 20/20. And I will head over and check out PK’s post. Thanks.

      Reply
  5. Humm…I haven’t read them and wasn’t going to, but you have made me very curious. My reasoning is sort of like when you read a great book and then go see the movie and are terribly disappointed b/c the movie doesn’t look like how the book read in your head.

    I feel like M and I are writing our own book and I’m afraid of reading anything that might hurt that instead of enhance it.

    Am I being nutty again?

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  04/25/2012

      You’re not nutty at all. That’s really sweet about how you are writing your own movie. I had never thought of it like that but you’re right, it does feel a little like that here sometimes too.

      The books didn’t ruin any of that feeling for me. For one thing, we are not gagillionaires so the fantasy lifestyle alone put it in a different class. I just thought they were good fun. If you read them, enjoy!

      Reply
  6. The buzz is because of the evolution of the story. There is an immense fanfiction community out there. And Fifty started as a Twilight fanfiction named Masters of the Universe. Edward (Christian) said he is fifty shades of fluffed up and in the ff community this story was known simply as “Fifty”. She ended it after the first and there was such an uprising in the readership that she agreed to continue it. It was so well-received that she decided to self-publish, changing the names of course as Bella & Edward are the intellectual property of Stephenie Meyers.

    So much of the hoopla, is one – that a BDSM Story that captured a mainstream audience, and two – that this was originally written simply as a not for profit piece of fanfiction that is on the NYT best seller list. It reeks of JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyers. Pretty cool!

    There are a few that are even better in the kink aspect if you’re interested you can message me & I’ll send you the pdfs.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  04/25/2012

      Thanks for stopping by June. It is pretty cool how the books have taken off.

      Reply
  7. Hi Zoe! I haven’t read the books, but I have heard all about them. I too wonder how I would react to a book like that, pre-ttwd. I think I probably would have thought it was a story and not reality. When I first started ttwd, I actually thought that the women with DD blogs were making stories, I just didn’t understand how people could live like that! Really, that’s what I thought. But now look at me. LOL. I’m not just living it, I have a blog and have made many other friends who live the lifestyle. For that reason, I’m actually surprised how mainstream the book has gotten. I imagine many more people are into that sort of thing than let on.

    Reply
  8. Zoe

     /  04/30/2012

    I am so surprised how mainstream they have become too.
    When I first started reading blogs I thought it was hard to believe as well. And you are right, look at us now.

    Reply
  9. Kim

     /  05/10/2012

    Zoe,

    I have a different twist on these stories. My husband of 12 years and I have been going through an awful time in our marriage. I kicked him out in September, we tried to work through our issues, thought we had and he came home in April. He moved out again just two weeks later. Said he didn’t know what was going on but something was still missing. I had tried to become the “perfect” wife…..a sexy, sultry, always pleasing wife. It was total crap! That was not my natural role and we failed miserably. But he missed when he moved out again and we both felt that awful emptiness. We agreed to try again to figure things out. In the following weeks he heard the girls at work talking about Fifty Shades. We have become interested in making the bedroom aspect of our lives a little different and he thought I might get some ideas from the story. What I got was sooooo much more. The character of Christian Grey……I swear I was reading about my husband. (Not the billionaire, troubled past part…..but the things he said and thought and liked.) It completely opened my eyes and all I could think was that I wanted to BE Ana. Then I thought, maybe I AM Ana???!!! Then I sarted quizzing my husband about ideas I got from the book………and got an amazing response. A weight has been lifted off our shoulders and I cannot begin to express what this has done for our relationship. I cannot research or read fast enough to gain information about the D/s lifestyle and I am truly loving finding your blog. We are new to this…..in the past week “new” to this! I am looking forward to the journey.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/11/2012

      Welcome Kim! I am so happy you stopped by and commented!

      I too did a lot of research to learn about other’s journeys. The blogging community has been so supportive and welcoming. It makes me so happy to know that I may have helped in some way.

      Incorporating Dd has been great for us. I hope that it does the same for you. Doing research is a great way to start. Take things slow and find what works for you. Good luck to you both.

      Reply
  10. Nope, I haven’t read them yet, and don’t plan on it, but I too have been fascinating with how the media/Blogland/everything else has been abuzz with them. Folks seem to either love them or hate them!

    Reply

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