The last thing I’ll ever post about “Fifty Shades of Grey,” I swear to god

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.

10 thoughts on “The last thing I’ll ever post about “Fifty Shades of Grey,” I swear to god

  1. “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.”

    I’m still torn on whether I agree this is a good thing or not.

    On one hand, it’s fantastic that people are talking to their friends and partners about sex/play.
    But on the other hand, it\’s awful that lots of people’s first (and perhaps only) models of kinky people are broken, damaged, and so fucking unlikable.

    Is it a good thing to get mainstream acceptance/embrace even though what the mainstream is embracing isn’t an accurate, safe, or healthy representation of kink?

    I guess I haven’t decided yet.

  2. It wouldn’t be a very fun book if all the characters lived a perfectly happy well adjusted life of kink where nothing bad or particularly interesting ever happened to them, and the characters just radiated confidence, knowledge about everything, and never handled a situation wrong. Wow, what a great read!

    I personally haven’t read it and I don’t care to, but I think it’s done a good job in gaining greater acceptance for our kind of relationships.

  3. But now kink is part of the conversation! If everyone is talking about it openly, then there are more opportunities for people to be exposed to the “accurate” image (whatever that is). There is a greater chance for people to get a more positive impression of kink now that it is out in the open than when it was lurking in the dark corners.

      1. There is no optimal state. No golden ticket with which the subject can be introduced into the mainstream in exactly the pitch-perfect way. Some are going to get it wrong and never be corrected. Some are going to get it wrong and find the truth eventually. Some will get it right.

        Is Fifty Shades the optimal vehicle to ride into the mainstream consciousness? No, obviously not. But it’s a start. All we can do is nurture the inroad to the best of our individual abilities.

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