What We Talk About When We Talk About “Fifty Shades of Grey”

This may be sacrilege to say, but we can’t seem to muster any interest in reading the new, best-selling erotica novel that everyone’s talking about, Fifty Shades of Grey. After all, even the author admits that it’s not that good! For SM erotica, we’d rather stick with a classic like Story of O. Yeah, yeah, we get that Fifty Shades is “mommy porn” for grown women who wished that the Twilight novels were just a little dirtier (hi, we’re your target audience) but maybe we don’t want to read something that has garnered a reputation as mommy porn. That all said, what we are fascinated by are the kind of conversations that this new novel is inspiring:



We actually did finally end up reading it:
Em & Lo’s “Fifty Shades” Special Issue


  1. Figleaf, Zane is a prolific African-American erotica writer who has been writing for a while (10+ years)

    She’s not new but the TV series is giving her more exposure

  2. I have read all three of Fifty Shades and was totally and completely hooked from the begining. I’ve never ever been interested in BDSM, however after reading these books.. I could probably delve into a few kinky things. I was interested in the story and was sexually aroused at the writings. IT’S A SHAME THAT MEN WOULDN’T WANT TO READ WHAT WOMEN THINK IS SEXUALLY STIMULATING. Maybe they could learn a few things and not be so VANILLA !!! From: A woman married to a VANILLA… hoping to encourage hubby to explore something other than vanilla soon !!!

  3. I was curious to see if you guys had read this — just b/c of all the hype. I think for professional reasons you have to! Report back.

  4. On a semi-related note, while waiting for the second leg of a flight out of the Detroit airport there was a very young woman in a seat across from me reading a book called “The Sex Chronicles” by someone named Zane. And based on the cover it sounds like there either is or will be a TV series by the same name on Cinemax?

    I got the impression from the cover that it too is meant primarily for women rather than men

    Since I haven’t read either 50 Shades or Sex Chronicles I don’t know if they’re both part of a trend.

    But you two might. 🙂


  5. So… I’m perfectly prepared to believe Fifty Shades of Grey is (are?) a) a best seller but also b) not very good.

    If that New York Daily News writer is correct that it’s unquestionably porn that’s also unquestionably uninteresting to men that really would matter as it would directly contradict Rule #1 of the bogus Two Rules of Desire (That it’s somehow simultaneously inconceivable and intolerable for women to experience autonomous sexual arousal.)

    The question, then, would be is it true that it’s pornographic but uninteresting to men? (Um, does this mean I’ll have to read it?)

    Another point worth mentioning: since the cover uses an image of a disheveled necktie rather than a partially-naked woman, the book least partially passes Mathilde Madden and Kristina Lloyd’s “erotica for women” test.


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