My first thought when I saw this week’s topic? Fifty Shades, of course.
If there were ever a time when hot books were all the rage, it makes sense it would be the year of the crazy heat wave. It’s almost as if Christian Grey himself brought about our 100 degree temps.
But seriously, I’m excited to have the opportunity to discuss this latest literary phenomenon. Because I am dying to understand it. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey. I enjoyed it. I did. It took me all of five days, after all. I have no regrets.
The thing is, I don’t quite get the ‘why’ behind the hoopla. It’s not like there have never before been erotic novels. Anastasia Steele is not the first heroine to get caught up in hot, mind-blowing sex. (I keep thinking of that scene in A League of Their Own when Madonna’s character is teaching her teammate to read from a romance novel and she’s sounding out “milky white bre… breasts.”)
But it’s the first erotic novel I’ve read. It’s the first for legions of women. And I just keep wondering, why this one?
I asked a friend who manages a bookstore and she said it’s the S&M of it all. “Sure there are other romance novels. But those are all bodice-ripping sex. This is bondage sex.”
One of the women in my book club (Yes! We read it in book club! Want to get to know the fellow members of your group better? Read a sex book) posited that at their core, most women want to save a man the way Ana saves Christian.
E.L. James told Today that many women just want to be dominated. “Once you’re in charge of your job, your house, your children, getting the food on the table, doing all of this, all of the time, it’d be nice for someone else to be in charge for a bit maybe,” she said.
I don’t have an answer, clearly. I just know that whatever the reason, Fifty Shades is getting women everywhere all hot and bothered.
What do you think? Why are the Fifty Shades books such a hot commodity?