Gym convo

I arrived at the gym this morning just as Belle was leaving.

“Are you going to see Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend?” the trainer asked with a smirky tone in his voice.

“See it?” Belle replied, “We live it.” Then she looked at me. “Don’t we, babe?”

“Yup,” I said.

General merchandise kink

2015-01-11 10.24.10I once said I’d never post another thing about Fifty Shades of Grey ever again, but I cannot not post about this.

While trying to find my little girl the exact kind of oatmeal she wanted (only had to go to three stores…), I stumbled upon this endcap at our local Target. Right there at the end of the shaving aisle, a veritable “My First BDSM Scene” kit. Blindfolds (“No peeking!”) and vibrating cockrings along with (not shown) teeny tiny bottles of lube and something called a “massage candle” all sold as licensed “Fifty Shades” merchandise.

Look, I get that Fifty Shades isn’t high literature or even a faithful depiction of a BDSM dynamic, but my opinion of it hasn’t changed. Fucking Target is selling kinky shit on an endcap. Not just the book. Actual gear. Yeah, I know it’s just about the tamest things you can imagine (and that Durex has been selling vibrating cockrings there for a long time), but this is kinda like seeing muggles perusing a selection of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes merchandise in the toy department.

Anything that helps people do something other than vanilla missionary stuff in bed has to be a good thing, right? I mean, Jack on Will and Grace was hardly a realistic portrayal of a gay man, but he begat Cameron and Mitchell on Modern Family. And they, in turn, have probably helped buffer America’s acceptance of gay marriage and families. Anastasia and Christian may be horrible representatives (I still haven’t read it, probably never will, and won’t make seeing the movie a priority), but if they’re the price to pay to get D/s-type relationships and dynamics in the mainstream, then so be it. Let the real people take it from here.

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.

Shades other than the 50

According to the dear readers of this blog, Fifty Shades of Grey sucks. Here’s my question then: If you could choose the work of erotic literature with which to introduce the unsuspecting masses to the world of BDSM, what would it be? As I said in my other post, I’ve never read Fifty Shades but I’ve also not read much else other than a large number of pornographic ditties.

So let’s have it. What deserves the attention Fifty Shades is getting? What’s a better choice?

Fifty shades of get over it

Over on The Facebook, I follow a technology website called The Verge. Great site. Probably one of the best tech sites on the web. This morning, they posted a link to an article about how Fifty Shades of Grey has become the top-selling series of books in the United Kingdom, surpassing the seven Harry Potter books. Along with the link, they added…

The correlation between popularity and quality grows ever weaker

Before I go any further, what correlation between quality and popularity?! It seems more often the case that things that are popular and of high quality are a happy accident than the norm. But I digress.

The article itself just covers the facts of the situation, but the comments are enlightening.

How sad…

I have no words to describe the sadness that I am feeling because of this.

Human kind has deteriorated.

I just died a little inside.

Etcetera, etcetera. It reminds me of the comments from the recent article on Karezza Tom pointed out. Discouraging.

Now, I haven’t read Fifty Shades because M/f dom/sub stuff just doesn’t do much for me. I’m more a little M kinda guy, after all. But I can’t think of anything better for those of us espousing non-traditional sexuality than this book. I mean, I’ve got boring, middle-aged hausfrau friends living in Connecticut reading this in their book clubs. Like, out in the open. And talking about it. With their friends. As a culture, we’re so hung up in our own fucking undies over sex that any popular work that helps thaw our icy Kegels has to be a good thing, high literature or not.

Four millions copies of these books have been sold in the UK alone since March. Imagine how many thousands of people may have been inspired by the story to open up to themselves and their partners about their own kinks. Something made somewhat more easy, I assume, since the work has been embraced by the popular culture. And if it leads to further interest in non-traditional erotic literature (like the works of Anne Rampling/Rice, for example), even better.

Fifty Shades makes being weird slightly less weird, so I don’t give a shit what it means to the Boy Who Lived. He defeated Voldemort, after all. He’ll get over it.