A reader calling themselves Elle left this comment and I think it’s exactly what I was trying to say with my original post:
Of course Fifty Shades isn’t high brow literature. It’s not the best written, and there are surely faults. I found some. But then, I rarely read a book and get to the end and say “Everything about this was perfect!” My biggest disappointment from Fifty was that the kinkster had to have a traumatic background. Not the best message to send to the masses, but overall – the book has accomplished good things. In my opinion.
In my life personally? I recommended it to my best friends. And you know what? They loved it. Told me they liked their sex a little rougher than they’d ever hinted to me before. They even said, quite salaciously, *they liked to be spanked*. Wide-eyed but delighted by this information, I got brave and took the plunge. I told them I was kinky. That’s right! I told my best friends I was kinky, and it was all facilitated by this book. So maybe the way Fifty was written did some harm to the BDSM community’s image. But it surely also did a bit of good, even if we’d rather it were better.
Walking through Target this morning on a quest for children’s cough and cold elixir, I saw the entire series of books massed out at the end of a checkout aisle between packages of Oreos and The Avengers Blu-Ray preorder cards. I’m telling you, when books about kinky sex (even objectively bad ones) penetrate the popular culture to the level of blockbuster comic book movies and fucking Oreo cookies, it is a good thing.