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I just read "50 Shades of Grey"!

Do women not realize that Christian Grey is a psychopath?

by Anonymousreply 11611/23/2012

How is he a psychopath?

by Anonymousreply 111/21/2012

Explains it better than I can.

by Anonymousreply 211/21/2012

Edward Cullen was a stalker. Those sort of women are emotional masochists who like men who treat them like property.

by Anonymousreply 311/21/2012

Bingo, R3.

by Anonymousreply 411/21/2012

Indeed r3 and both these books are pieces of shit. Idolized by ignorant women everywhere.

by Anonymousreply 511/21/2012

It's internet slash fiction.

Some frau loved Twilight, but hated that it was so "chaste", so rewrote it (same characters, setting, everything) but spiced it up with tons of hard-core, kinky sex. She published this on her blog.

Someone saw it and said "Hey, this is good... if you change the character names and get rid of the vampire thing, changing just enough to avoid plagerism lawsuits, you could publish this!"

So she did.

It's ridiculous that this utter crap is so popular and made this frau so damn rich.

by Anonymousreply 611/21/2012

Isn't the chick who wrote this crap like 40 years old and married?

The "sex" reads like it was written by someone who has literally never had a sexual experience. And possibly has not even watched porn.

by Anonymousreply 711/21/2012

[quote]Someone saw it and said "Hey, this is good... if you change the character names and get rid of the vampire thing, changing just enough to avoid plagerism lawsuits, you could publish this!"

Actually, the author always wrote it as a human Twilight fanfiction. The entire story is exactly as is published now, only when she first posted it the story was called 'Master of the Universe' and all of the characters names came from Twilight (Edward, Bella, Alice, Emmett, etc).

Once it got popular among the Twilight fanfiction crowd she pulled it from the internet, changed the names and published it.

by Anonymousreply 811/21/2012

Haven't we discussed this before? That being said, I'll say that it was the most insipid read ever. The sex was so-so. I even read part of Book II but couldn't finish it because it was so stupid and poorly written.

If/when they make it into a movie, it'll be the next Twilight. Mark my words.

by Anonymousreply 911/21/2012

It's all about rape, basically. He's a sociopathic rapist. They're selling it as S+M, but it's not that at all. He does things to her without her consent. I have zero respect for any woman who likes this sick garbage. But then Twilight was pretty sick too. What's happened to middle aged women in this culture?

by Anonymousreply 1011/21/2012

It is the least sexy porn you can possibly find. If women think this is hot I feel sorry for them.

by Anonymousreply 1111/21/2012

[quote]Haven't we discussed this before?

We are discussing as aspect of the novel, not its existence. Because you have no original thoughts or insight, the topic seems tiresome to you.

by Anonymousreply 1211/21/2012

Is that Mitt Romney's autobiography?

by Anonymousreply 1311/21/2012

I've read excerpts online. I don't get the popularity. It's horribly written garbage and unintentionally hilarious.

Why is this such a big hit with suburban fraus? Where have they been? The S&M scene and much better S&M erotica have been around for ages.

by Anonymousreply 1411/21/2012

It's because EVERYONE is reading it!

by Anonymousreply 1511/21/2012

Tried to read it, got through the first couple of chapters, it was boring and dumb. Plus I'm a lezzie so I'd clock some douchebag who had even the slightest idea of treating me like that.

by Anonymousreply 1611/21/2012

"Those sort of women are emotional masochists who like men who treat them like property."

It's more complicated than that - the women who read this crap don't want to be treated badly, so much as they want to tame the beast. They want to take a man who's all kinds of bad, and make him love them. At the end of the book he adores the girl and devotes his badass powers to making her safe and happy, and all she had to do to get there was take abuse from him for about a thousand pages.

Needless to say, these books do not model healthy relationships.

by Anonymousreply 1711/21/2012

I read all three books- with all the emails and texts it takes about a day to finish each book. But R14 you answered your own statement. The popularity for me and my gay friends who read it was that it was so unintentional hilarious.

by Anonymousreply 1811/21/2012

There's only one book

The publishing company got greedy and split it into three books to get more money out of you.

The original ebooks (before the physical paper version was published) was just one book.

by Anonymousreply 1911/21/2012

This book is not about sex. It is about money.

by Anonymousreply 2011/21/2012


Put up with his sadistic bullshit, and eventually you be seen as superior in loyalty and goodness and you will be given treasure.

It's for secretaries who are being educated to put up with whatever bullshit their boss wants: 90 hour weeks; low pay; abuse.

by Anonymousreply 2111/21/2012

R19 well that explains why the first two books don't have any sort of ending. The first chapter of the second book picks right up after the last sentence of the first book.

They really were painfully written, but I laughed out loud a lot.

by Anonymousreply 2211/21/2012

These books make me rage. To think of all the great authors who can't get their work published and yet this utter garbage is making millions for a dumb frau who plagiarized Twilight. Arrrrrrgh.

I could write better than this fool. Think I will, in fact. I wanna be rich too.

by Anonymousreply 2311/21/2012

I got a free copy at the sex shop for spending over $100, maybe it will give me a good laugh.

by Anonymousreply 2411/21/2012

When I'm sick, I enjoy staying in bed with a very lightweight, escapist, trashy "biography," like Jackie Collins used to write. This series was hard to read, even a few pages at a time, because it didn't resonate. With over a thousand reader requests for the book at the local library, and an unheard of 23 copies, the over-hyped sales evidently pitches really worked. I'd compare it to "Pretty Woman" only because "50" is portrayed as gorgeous and wealthy and young. Neither story was meant to be taken seriously.

by Anonymousreply 2511/21/2012

[quote] "50" is portrayed as gorgeous and wealthy and young

Yes, and we all know how typical it is for someone like this to be attracted to a bland, average Plain Jane.

It's fantasy porn for dull, frumpy fraus who dream of what they can NEVER have.

by Anonymousreply 2611/21/2012

I just don't understand the interest in degradation and what basically constitutes abuse and rape. Are middle aged straight women really that fucked up in this country?

A friend of mine took her tween to a Justin Bieber concert recently and she said she was shocked at the number of middle aged women who were there in groups just drooling over him. A bunch of them had T-shirts with a picture of Beiber in a heart shape. She couldn't believe it.

Then there's the whole Twilight thing. What's wrong with women in this country? Is it an Oprah thing? Has she made morons of them all?

by Anonymousreply 2711/21/2012

[quote]A friend of mine took her tween to a Justin Bieber concert recently and she said she was shocked at the number of middle aged women who were there in groups just drooling over him.

I find this hard to believe. I know a lot of middle aged women and I can't think of anyone who would consider Bieber drool worthy. And if they did they would be deeply closeted about it because it would be so humiliating. Most of the women I know who are 40+ drool over George Clooney and Girard Butler....some will go as young as Bradley Cooper, but that's about it.

by Anonymousreply 2811/21/2012

Cheap internet fat-frau-porn, poorly written and not worth reading.

To the person who reads Jackie Collins when he/she is sick - stick with her. Collins looks like fucking Flaubert compared to this 50 Shades shit.

by Anonymousreply 2911/21/2012

R28...I'm only reporting what my friend told me. She had absolutely no reason to lie, she was actually disgusted by it. There was one group in particular that freaked her out, the ones with the t-shirts. They were not there with kids, they'd come as a group.

by Anonymousreply 3011/21/2012

For R28...

by Anonymousreply 3111/21/2012

[quote]It's fantasy porn for dull, frumpy fraus who dream of what they can NEVER have.

All porn is fantasy. This is different from all the fat male straight schlubs drooling over hot chicks they can never have... how?

by Anonymousreply 3211/21/2012

And is full of these sorts of rape fantasies. And don't think that the Masters there aren't pictured as wealthy, either.

by Anonymousreply 3311/21/2012's quite different. This "fantasy" involves being degraded, abused, and having your consent taken away. Even in situations where men want to be dominated, it's consensual. But these women are 'fantasizing' about having a man abuse and rape them. That is quite different. It's not sex-positive, it's sex-negative.

by Anonymousreply 3411/21/2012

"Even in situations where men want to be dominated, it's consensual."

Oh, believe me, I've read plenty of male-male-for-male fantasies where consent was taken away, and abuse and degredation were part of the thrill. It seems to be a huge turnon for people other than fraus; perhaps it's a fantasy way of getting over one's inhibitions.

One that doesn't work in real life, obviously, and everyone knows that. Even the fraus who read these stupid books.

by Anonymousreply 3511/21/2012

Seriously, though, why the fuck did you read it?

I can't take anyone seriously who would willingly read that. It's absolute garbage. Did you read Hunger Games and Twilight too? Grow up. Wanting to make an informed opinion is not an excuse.

by Anonymousreply 3611/21/2012

Hey sometimes people like reading exploitative guilty pleasure crap. Lots of people used to read penny dreadfuls and pulp fiction. People read extremely violent and rape-y comics like 300 without complaint. But a bunch of women enjoy 50 Shades of Grey and everyone decides to tell them "no, bad! you can't enjoy this! it's bad SM! it's rape-y!" fuck that, they can choose for themselves. everyone has a dirty fantasy side. indulging it through literature seems pretty harmless. it's not going to make women into slobbering sex slaves any more than Silence of the Lambs turned people into psycho killers.

by Anonymousreply 3711/21/2012

R6 doesn't know the meaning of slash.

by Anonymousreply 3811/21/2012

Women and a lot of gay guys fall for the 'bad guy' kind of image where they believe that they are the ones,the only ones, who can get through the thick wall that the guy built around his tortured soul and fix him.

by Anonymousreply 3911/21/2012

I fall for bad guys because I want them to rough me up, I don't care about fixing them

by Anonymousreply 4011/21/2012

S&M is about control. A lot of people (gay, straight, men, women, employers, employees, etc.) are either afraid of taking charge or let someone else be in charge. Watching and reading about S&M sex is an outlet to deal with that fear or fascination on a sexual fantasy entertainment level without getting 'your hands dirty' (like, performing amateur kinky sex without knowing what you are doing with catastrophic results).

by Anonymousreply 4111/21/2012

Christian = Randall Morrow of SVU in my mind.

by Anonymousreply 4211/21/2012

r40, while you may have posted this as a joke but there are a lot of people out there who believe they don't deserve to be loved, respected, admired, or even tolerated and they look for partners who affirm that belief or create such a toxic enviroment to keep that belief system alive and well.

by Anonymousreply 4311/21/2012

oops, let me try again (that 'but' at the beginning butted right in):

r40, while you may have posted this as a joke there are a lot of people out there who believe they don't deserve to be loved, respected, admired, or even tolerated and they look for partners who affirm that belief or create a toxic enviroment to keep that belief system alive and well.

by Anonymousreply 4411/21/2012

I haven't read the books, but I don't think the general outline of it (amazingly handsome, wealthy, perfect but internally tortured man engages in BDSM relationship with average woman to get his rocks off but eventually falls in love with her) is that odd a romantic fantasy or that much of a puzzle as to figure out as to why it'd be a guilty pleasure for women.

Books like this and Twilight tap into some pretty basic desires and insecurities:

Faithfulness and fear of infidelity: I don't think it's a mystery as to why the romantic ideal is depicted as gorgeous or wealthy. But being that "perfect" comes with a price - it's a dangerous fantasy because if our object of desire is that attractive, he must naturally attract others - others who are more beautiful, more interesting than we are. Many women (and men) fear that even if they catch a guy's interest, eventually his attention will wander or he'll cheat or be stolen. So there's a "romantic" appeal in the guy displaying jealous, possessive and even psychopathic behavior - that an attractive man could be focused on and obsessed with only you, to the exclusion of others. Even if he enters a jealous abusive rage, it's because his attention is fixated on you - he wouldn't be jealous if he didn't "care". This is represented quite literally in Twilight by the vampire hero being obsessed with the heroine because of her distinctive "smell" - she has an unknown quality which makes him ignore other girls for her and only her.

Being unique and special enough to fix a "broken" man: In line with above, internally tortured hotties are appealing not only because they're more interesting characters than bland golden boys who've been handed everything from birth, but because they offer a path of attraction beyond the superficial. The heroine doesn't need to be a great beauty to reach his heart; she just needs to have special internal qualities (like a steely personality) that attract him on an emotional level. Plain people know they're plain, but if the hero has emotoinal "issues", they can construct a romantic fantasy scenario by which they can uniquely win his heart and "fix" him through their winning personality, against competition from blonde cheerleaders and their like. This goes all the way back to Jane Austen (and earlier), with Elizabeth Bennett attracting wealthy but socially awkward hottie Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice because of her sparkling saucy wit and "fine eyes", despite other women being objectively prettier and richer.

Sexual desire and shame: many people grow up being taught that sex is dirty and shameful, that a woman who expresses sexual desire is a "slut" or a "whore", but at the same time they're obsessed with sex and have a driving curiosity to experience it outside of our boring and repressed little lives. BDSM and S&M (and even rape fantasy) stories offer a convenient "out" - they let the "victims" experience the full range of sexual desire and activity, but they're not morally responsible for it. They don't engage in sex because they're harboring dirty thoughts which they should be ashamed of, instead, they experience hot sex because they're "forced" into it. It's about giving up control and responsibility for their own desires and seeing a character get their rocks off, without the puritanical guilt.

So yeah, tap into 1,2,and 3 above, dole out some shitty writing, and voila - guilty pleasure romance novel. Add some turbo-marketing and see where it takes you.

by Anonymousreply 4511/22/2012

R45, that was incredibly well-written and insightful.

by Anonymousreply 4611/22/2012

Haha, thanks, R46 - it's a little embarrassing to write something that long-winded about bad fiction. What's even more embarrassing is that I've only noticed the tropes in my post because I've spent some time reading slash online (I'm a gay man) and those tend to be some common themes in the more popular slash fandoms. Like, a lot of the "Merlin" stories portray their relationship that way (sunny pretty boy Merlin gets through to domineering and stuck-up gorgeous blond Arthur with his winning personality), and especially a lot of the Teen Wolf Stiles / Derek stories (socially awkward teen Stiles is the "mate" of tortured hottie werewolf Derek, who likes to display possessive and jealous, almost animalistic behavior).

I don't think there's anything "wrong" with those tropes - but it's good to separate the fantasy from reality (especially concerning psychopathic behavior and rape), and think about why certain fantasies appeal to us emotionally, men and women both.

by Anonymousreply 4711/22/2012

I like when intelligent people post on DL. Thanks R45.

Your first point is what jars me the most - that this sort of ideal which sees literal ownership as romantic, to the point of tolerating and rationalizing psychopathic behavior, is flourishing in the 21st century. What's especially frightening is that young girls are reading this book and seeing this as mature behavior. And that society is in effect legitimizing this by recognizing "Edward Cullen" and "Christian Grey" as romantic ideals, instead of pausing and saying, "Hey! These guys are creeps!"

Going back to the 30s, even something like "Gone With the Wind" romanticized a strong-willed woman; Scarlett O'Hara herself may have attracted the gorgeous, jealous, wealthy, possessive Rhett Butler, but Scarlett's ideal was Ashley Wilkes. Butler was just the jerk she settled for. Even though she was a flawed character, women liked Scarlett because she dared to make choices about her life. Now it's about being chosen and having the man make choices for you.

by Anonymousreply 4811/22/2012

R45, great analysis. Do you write slash? It's a genre that desperately needs a gay male perspective. Amazingly, most of it is written by straight women, whose authenticity is always challenged by readers. I'm amazed that more gay male authors don't seize the opportunity to exploit this burgeoning trend.

by Anonymousreply 4911/22/2012

Well written R45! I would add that the allure of being forced and led is not only the fear of being a slut, but general sexual insecurities. Especially young girls and women might want to fantasize that an experienced lover leads them through everything and they do everything right just by being innocent and submissive - which is very easy. You can just lean back and be yourself and still have a great sex life and great passion. Aspiring to be Samantha Jones on SitC means work and time and admitting that you are lacking skills as of now, so that's not that useful as a sexual fantasy for many young women - or older women who are still not Samantha Jones.

by Anonymousreply 5011/22/2012

Op, do not people realize that this is not literature? ROFL!

by Anonymousreply 5111/22/2012

At least EL James can construct a somewhat coherent sentence to express her shitty ideas, R51.

by Anonymousreply 5211/22/2012

Lol, R52 i pass. :)

by Anonymousreply 5311/22/2012

[quote]I find this hard to believe. I know a lot of middle aged women and I can't think of anyone who would consider Bieber drool worthy. And if they did they would be deeply closeted about it because it would be so humiliating. Most of the women I know who are 40+ drool over George Clooney and Girard Butler....some will go as young as Bradley Cooper, but that's about it.

Weren't a lot of Claymates middle-aged women who used to lust after Clay and then turned vitriolic when he came out?

by Anonymousreply 5411/22/2012

Isn't the woman supposed to be fucked up too? I didn't read it, but my sister-in-law did and that is what she said. She also said it is a piece of shit and she can't believe there was a sequel.

by Anonymousreply 5511/22/2012

Yes the woman is just as fucked up. She's a mind fucking immature idiot. Who gets into a relationship with a Dom & then gets pissed or acts surprised that he's controlling & gets off on spanking? And when was she ever raped? All of their sex was consensual. These books are shit and the movie will be a disaster.

by Anonymousreply 5611/22/2012

Echoing others' comments about R45. Very glad I persisted with the thread and read it.

I have to say I'm a bit mystified why there are gay readers.

by Anonymousreply 5711/22/2012

Yes, I have to join the chorus and praise r45 for being startlingly insightful for DL. Wish there were more posters like that here.

by Anonymousreply 5811/22/2012

[quote]I'm amazed that more gay male authors don't seize the opportunity to exploit this burgeoning trend.

That's because men are visual, and porn exists. No reason for slash. We cut to the chase.

by Anonymousreply 5911/22/2012

50 Shades is actually incredibly enjoyable if you imagine it being read in the voice of Woody Allen.

"Chaptah Won..."

by Anonymousreply 6011/22/2012

Or Gilbert Gottfried.

by Anonymousreply 6111/22/2012

Another good article.

by Anonymousreply 6211/22/2012

I've only read the first book. That's enough. It was unintentionally funny for a while and then it just got too irritating.

I feels like it's been written by 18 year old virgin (maybe an Amish girl as the main character doesn't have a cell phone or laptop). I was surprised when I discovered it had been written by a middle aged TV producer.

by Anonymousreply 6311/22/2012

It's no coincidence that women tend to be into vampire books/movies. Vampires represent rapists who charm and seduce women before forcefully taking what they want.

by Anonymousreply 6411/22/2012

Well done, R45. Great analysis. I might add that the basic needs and desires discussed are applicable regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

I did read 2 out 3 of the books in order to give an informed opinion since many colleagues and clients were discussing them. Apart from a few titillating sex scenes, the books (at least the first two) are no different from your average romance novel. Boring and predictable (for me at least), especially the second one. I do want second that there is no rape.

by Anonymousreply 6511/22/2012

R59 I don't know about slash but a there's quite a bit of men who write m/m romance & porn style books now. It's still dominated by women but I've seen more & more men getting into this .

by Anonymousreply 6611/22/2012

Another well done for r45!

I haven't read this but I can understand the whole fantasy of being "totally" wanted.

There isn't anyone among use who wouldn't like to believe that the hottest guy in the room wants you and only you. Especially if you're plain, fat or shy. That's why it's a fantasy.

More mature people know it's just a fantasy. Just some trashy fun.

by Anonymousreply 6711/22/2012

Theres nothing wrong or immature about the wish fulfillment factor, it's been at the root of everything from Pride & Prejudice to Great Expectations to Superman & Lois Lane to Kavalier & Clay.

The issue is that now with 50 Shades and Twilight you have a troubling perversion of the wish-fulfillment fantasy being embraced as an acceptable ideal.

by Anonymousreply 6811/22/2012

Aww, thanks for all the comments! I'm sure others besides me have expressed that analysis much more coherently before.

And totally agree with R50 that some of the appeal of BDSM or sexually domineering characters / relationships is general insecurity about sexual inexperience and our ability to perform and satisfy someone else, and being able to do the "kinky stuff" and have great sex without putting yourself out there. Like, the responsibility is all on the dom guy to get off on the heroine being innocent and submissive; if instead she pleases him because she's an old pro at giving fantastic head from all the guys she's blown before him, it ruins the fantasy and raises that performance anxiety and sexual guilt, etc.

And agree with R65 and R67 that these fantasies apply across the board regardless of gender and sexual orientation (though I think female romantic ideals for heterosexual men tend to be portrayed a bit more one-dimensionally). The secretly sensitive / vulnerable / emotionally damaged hottie who everybody wants, but instead chooses the plain but intelligent / nerdy but cute / awkward hero or heroine is a pretty enduring staple of romantic literature and film.

They're comforting fantasies: attraction without competition, love without infidelity, desire without guilt, great sex without prior experience, but yeah, they're fantasies. And at base of wanting to be "possessed" or an object of creepy obsession is a human desire to be someone's sole focus, to be validated as worthy and special by the attention and love of another. There's that poem by Auden (from which the play title "The Normal Heart" come from) which expresses the sentiment pretty plainly:

The windiest militant trash Important Persons shout Is not so crude as our wish: What mad Nijinsky wrote About Diaghilev Is true of the normal heart; For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal love But to be loved alone

by Anonymousreply 6911/22/2012

Of course the fantasy of the guy who wants you completely is compelling, and so is the fantasy of the lover who'll violate your boundaries just enough to get you over your inhibitions, but not enugh to hurt you. Everyone knows these things don't work in real life, even the most obsessed of Twitards.

And the Twitards and their ilk get obsessed with this tripe precisely *because* they know it could never happen in real life. If they know real life will never provide anything more than a trollish lump of a husband, then they prefer to get serious about the fantasy.

by Anonymousreply 7011/22/2012

R45 can dominate me anytime!

Joking, but like everyone else I really liked reading your posts, R45. Well done.

by Anonymousreply 7111/22/2012

R45, Also love your posts, so please keep contributing. Weren't these types of fantasy "novels" at one time called "bodice rippers?" I will give "50" some praise; at least it's better written than a Harlequin Romance. I once read just a few pages of a free sample and literally threw it down. Now why can't more talented authors of soft porn acquire "super pap machines?"

by Anonymousreply 7211/22/2012

Glorified fan fiction. If the Shepard hype machine tells people to do/buy something believe me the flock will follow.

by Anonymousreply 7311/22/2012

[quote]Shepard hype machine

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 7411/22/2012

Does everyone who is reading this for an "informed opinion" realize they are guilty of lowering the bar of culture? You are part of the dumbing down of society.

How about this: if someone asks you to join in on a conversation about something as stupid as "50 Shades of Grey," just call them an idiot an walk away. Or do you force yourself to consume every piece of media in order to have an opinion? You're playing right into the hands of marketers.

by Anonymousreply 7511/22/2012

Most people are sheep who will buy and consume anything an ad campain tells them to.

I truly believe that we are only a few years away from a general mainstream mentality where people really do jump off a bridge, because 'everybody else is doing it'.

by Anonymousreply 7611/22/2012


Most people are sheep who will buy and consume anything an ad campaign tells them to.

by Anonymousreply 7711/22/2012

R75, we are deconstructing elements of popular culture in order to better understand our society. Go be a cunt elsewhere.

by Anonymousreply 7811/22/2012

Just to mention, one of the problems with the "possessive / obsessive stalker boyfriend" fantasy is that in real life, guys who get into jealous rages and try to control their girlfriends / boyfriends can turn out to be hypocritical douchebags who are cheating on them on the side.

Like, one reason he might be obsessive and jealous is because he thinks of the other person as property or a "trophy"; it's okay for others to show an interest (because that raises his status; other people want what he has), but if he suspects his partner might have a life besides him and be interested in others he takes it out in an unhealthy way. It brings out his own insecurities (he's a cuckold, he's being cheated on, he's not desirable enough for his partner to be devoted only to him), and it's considered a mark against his status and manhood. No one else can play with his toys or get in his sandbox, so to speak, and he's not going to give his partner the opportunity to step out on him.

And in line with that, a guy who thinks of his girlfriend / boyfriend as "property" or a status symbol might not have much loyalty or any problem screwing other people on the side, affirming (to others, to himself) how much of a stud and a man he is. So in real life, instead of the fantasy of an obsessed boyfriend who wants only you, you might end up with a plain old controlling creep who's also a philandering asshole. Nothing too romantic about that.

by Anonymousreply 7911/22/2012

You first, R76.

by Anonymousreply 8011/22/2012

It just boils down to this: women have bad taste.

by Anonymousreply 8111/22/2012

Surely there must be better and more enjoyable erotica for straight women to read.

by Anonymousreply 8211/22/2012

Here we all thought a bad writer like JK Rowling was an aberration: and here it is she's a high-end intellectual snob compared to Stephanie Meyer and the drunk who wrote this crap. Dean Koontz was right and we were all wrong: the public are hopelessly stupid and evil. That's why true crime and mysteries sell: all those fans are would be killers themselves.

by Anonymousreply 8311/22/2012

R75, R76, You are correct. I never would have tried one literally inedible Hostess product as a child, if I didn't believe the "packaging." How would I know that it didn't taste the way that I expected? Likewise I could not imagine how horribly written a Harlequin Romance or the comparable "50" book was until I picked it up. Rarely do I walk out of an awful movie; I keep hoping it will get better, even if it stars Jennifer Aniston and is free.

by Anonymousreply 8411/22/2012

R48 and R68, on whether the relationship is "healthy" or a good model for young (female) readers - hasn't that always been the worry with romantic literature? Anti-heros, bad boys, "Byronic heros", etc. are nothing new - I don't think anyone looks at Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights as a model of a good boyfriend (and I'm sure there was an outcry when the book was published), but young people still read that novel today and idealize the obsessive love within it, while not necessarily seeking out their own Heathcliffs in real life.

Yes, there will be a few idiots who take away the "wrong" messages from books, but most readers eventually grow up, and their fantasies grow up with them. And I think fantasies change with the times too - maybe Scarlett O'Hara had a stronger appeal to women in the 30's because her situation truly was a "fantasy" to most - independent, having romantic choices, creating her own financial destiny with cold calculation against the odds. Nowadays we have popular fantasies about obsessive love, having a secret supernatural life against the daily humdrum of school and work, having a wealthy and possessive lover who dominates and takes care of everything.

Again, I don't think any of those fantasies are new or exclusive to our time (TV shows, movies and books with those themes have been around for ages), but maybe the current appeal is that in an era where women are free to choose their romantic and sexual partners, but are increasingly expected to take care of themselves financially and live up to a sexed-up Cosmopolitan / SATC ideal to satisfy their man, and it's harder to create lasting bonds with one another (divorce rate is up) and have something private and genuine (with our lives on display on the Internet), there's something "old-fashioned" and appealing about having a secret relationship and life with an amazing guy who's obsessed with you and takes care of all the sexual choices, but still focuses on your pleasure and needs (and picks up the dinner tab to boot). Meaning it's an appealing fantasy precisely because women today actually do have choices and responsibility.

I think that's enough blathering for today. Time to get to the turkey...

by Anonymousreply 8511/22/2012

[quote]I never would have tried one literally inedible Hostess product as a child, if I didn't believe the "packaging."

Let me guess - they based Stewie Griffin on *you*, right?

by Anonymousreply 8611/22/2012

Internet has really opened the door to any hack who fancies himself or herself a writer to get some exposure. I've only read a few excerpts of 50 Shades of Grey and it's terrible in the sense that if fails on every conceivable level: as erotica it's un-titillating, it's not a competently written campfest, it's just just badly written dull crap. At first, I was wondering if it was a hoax designed by a professor of creative writing to show to his students what badly written prose reads like.

by Anonymousreply 8711/22/2012

It was really awful. I couldn't read it.

by Anonymousreply 8811/22/2012

"possessive / obsessive stalker boyfriend"

In real life a possessive/obsessive stalker boyfriend has a statistically significant chance of killing the woman.

Just saying ...

Men with these characteristics tend to be undereducated, under or unemployed, losers, really. I don't see how this personality type is then transposed on someone appealing or desirable.

by Anonymousreply 8911/22/2012

It's a bad attempt of a sexual fantasy. Bad idea, bad writing, bad execution. But since the publisher promoted the shit out of it it got on the New York Times Bestseller List for fiction novels.

Mainstream audiences avoid challenges and instead consume easy, fluffy, and mediocre entertainment. People feel at ease or even superior when they can go 'If I had done it it would be soooo much better!'.

by Anonymousreply 9011/22/2012

R86, Isn't that one of the reasons DL is so popular? Because it uncovers the myths and lies those of us, especially from very conservative or small-town backgrounds, have been force-fed our whole lives? Like the many different religions that tell us "we're bad," if we don't want to obey the commandment to "honor our parents," when they're physically, emotionally, and even sexually abusive? So what is the difference between being brainwashed into believing high-pressure sales/advertising pitches, because we don't really know what is true and what is not? A smart person would try it for themselves, to determine their own reality.

by Anonymousreply 9111/22/2012

I think I like "ad campain" better. It's much more spot on.

by Anonymousreply 9211/22/2012 win the prize for the most ridiculous post I've ever read online. Ever. Congrats!

Clearly you have no clue. We live in a sexist society, and that sexism is often reinforced with the very materials you're proffering as being harmless. This new material is particularly specious, precisely because it plays on false ideas of pseudo-"liberation." Oh yes, women are now "liberated" to have rape, abuse, and degradation eroticized and sold to them as something sex-positive, when it is extremely sex-negative. Twilight, 50 Shades of's all backlash garbage, comparable to those cigarette ads that encouraged women to smoke because they'd "come a long way, baby"!

It's dysfunction and self-loathing being sold as eroticism. There is actually S+M fiction written for women that observes the rules of things like 'safe words', and doesn't try to sell rape as being 'hot.'

The women who are drawn to this are expressing a deeply internalized repression of their sexuality, not an affirmed expression of it. All this crap fiction is about women being dominated by men, a fantasy that is hardly liberated.

But do go get the turkey for your family, dear, the men are waiting!

by Anonymousreply 9311/22/2012

Maybe the more things change, the more things stay the same, r93.

Frankly, I see nothing wrong with people considering ideas. Acting on them is another matter. If some frau wants to read tripe and fantasize until the cows come home, what does it matter to me?

However, if someone reads that tripe and decides to attack someone or hurt someone because they have an idea that this is what people want, then yeah, I have a BIG problem with that.

You can't control people's thoughts. Nor should you try.

An educated mind can entertain a thought without necessarily agreeing with it.

by Anonymousreply 9411/22/2012

I wonder if the reason that Matt Bomer is such a popular choice to play Christian is because "50 Shades" fans are subconsciously selecting a surrogate for the character who in real life would in no way present a sexual "threat"... They feel he's someone who would never [italic]really[/italic] hurt them.

by Anonymousreply 9511/22/2012

...or they imagine Anastasia's love curing Matt, er, Christian of his "deviance."

by Anonymousreply 9611/22/2012

R93, who exactly is forcing these women to read these trashy novels? Is it those sexist advertisers and publishers who "tricked" simple-minded women into buying and reading (and even enjoying) the book, because women by nature are easily pliable? So we need to protect them from themselves and "sex-negative" books, because they're incapable of forming their own ideas about their own sex lives and bodies, and what they should and shouldn't be fantasizing about?

Guess what, most readers probably don't need you to inform them that "it's just a fantasy! Actually rape is degrading!" They already get it; they really, really do. Just like you don't need to tell Harry Potter readers that "wizards aren't real", or Twilight readers that "a stalker vampire boyfriend would actually be really inconvenient." "50 Shades" isn't going to erase people's common sense or ability to form their own viewpoints, or all the other counter-messaging that already exists about women's respect and independence.

And a central part of that respect and independence for women is allowing each individual to decide what she wants to read and fantasize about for herself, and what to take away from it. I mentioned I read some slash online - some of the stories out there would put the subject matter of "50 Shades" to shame, going into more taboo and degrading subjects like incest, underage relations, actual violence, etc. And sometimes the authors of those stories get pilloried for writing about their subject matter, being told they should write about "safer" subjects that don't make their readers uncomfortable, or have a more "life-affirming" viewpoint.

To which the reply is, "I can write and read about whatever I fucking want. It's just fiction; no actual humans were harmed by writing down these ideas; I find something kinky and interesting about this, so don't try to "kink-shame" me. If you don't like it, go read the millions of other things out there." "50 Shades" may be poorly written crap, it may even present a degrading sex-negative viewpoint, but I see no problem with people choosing to read it if they want (and then becoming a fan and fantasizing about the characters, or discussing and sharing it with their friends, or throwing it in the garbage).

We can snidely disparage the "middle-aged fraus" who buy and read these books, but guess what, they're human beings who are perfectly free to read trashy books that aren't "good for them", that are even "sex-negative" and present a sexist viewpoint. They're not having the book shoved down their throats (or kept from them) by the government or the church or their employers; they're choosing to read it for themselves. Yes, there was a lot of marketing and hype involved, but you can't force people to like something and share it with their friends (as the billions of dollars that go into failed books and films each year attests).

That independent right to consume culture - even "bad culture" - doesn't exist for women everywhere (e.g. think of the Taliban). If you truly believe there is better and more sex-affirming literature out there, be a part of the communities that promote that fiction as an alternative. But telling people "I can't understand why you like what you like!", "you're going to get the wrong ideas from reading this!" isn't going to get you anywhere - people will (and should be able to) read whatever the fuck they want, and they'll form their own thoughts about whether they like it or not.

by Anonymousreply 9711/22/2012

It's got to be for women with horrible self esteem. It's not about the writing - I read just a few sentences of it on somebody's blog, and the grammar and writing were so horrible it sounded like a fourth class fanfiction, which is where it came from. Just those few exerpts made me realize I would never read it, not even for the camp value.

It sounds like it's a glorification of all the excuses a battered wife makes - "Yes, he beats me but it's ok because he REALLY loves me, so I suffer for his sake." Puke.

AS far as that being harmless, of course it's not. Glenn Beck and Rush LImbaugh and Sean Hannity don't come to your house and beat you over the head with a baseball bat, but they have changed society, bit by bit, until a lot of people believe that what they're saying is true. If we had lost this last election, you would have found out just how "harmless" ideas are. Propaganda is progranda, whether it's about politics or women's self esteem.

This is just another case of someone with "A woman should always be submissive because God intends it" ideas, going out into the marketplace of ideas and planting yet another seed. What do you think our society will look like in another generation, after the old 1970's "women's libbers'" are gone and people who can't remember women ever fighting to be equal, without being called "Femi-Nazis," are all that's left?

by Anonymousreply 9811/22/2012

I haven't read any of these books (and don't plan to), so I can't speak with any authority about the storylines or themes, but I find it sexist to want to regulate women's fantasies and fantasy lives. Maybe these books send sexist "women should be submissive" messages to its audience, but so does the average porn aimed at straight men. That's at least as harmful and degrading to women as some silly soft-porn literature, but I don't see anyone on DL trying to regulate straight men's fantasy lives.

BTW, many straight men, too, have fantasies about being the sub in a S&M-type relationship. It's common for people of all genders and orientations to fantasize about being freed from responsibility, although it may take different forms.

by Anonymousreply 9911/22/2012

It's a first amendment thing for me.

Having worked for the adult industry (in a non-performing capacity - software stuff), I understand that these scenarios can't be controlled; a demand will always exist for them.

Most hate speech falls in the same category.

We can't legislate against it.

That said, most porn, especially something like this is demeaning to women and encourages God knows what behavior.

Sexual sadist killers usually have a history of using porn that demeans their objects.

by Anonymousreply 10011/22/2012

As far as I ever knew, the "power exchange" for lack of a better term, is actually about blocking intimacy and fear of sexuality.

It's one person who doesn't have to (or want to) take any responsibility for sexual behavior or choices. It's a failure to mature and come to terms with adult sexuality.

In the other party, it is also an exercise in not coming to terms with adult sexuality. The need to rigidly control the behavior of both parties removes the opportunity for a relationship between equals.

Most of the weird shit we do to each other comes from fear. This is no different.

On the other hand, sometimes a little kink is a lot of fun.

by Anonymousreply 10111/22/2012

Bravo for R97. Good thoughts.

by Anonymousreply 10211/22/2012

As a classical professional musician the most interesting results of this best seller is the motet "Spem in Alium" written by the Elizabethan composer Thomas Tallis(1505-1585) knocking Pavarotti off the classical music "hit" charts.

Wonder if this is playing in the S&M bars in Berlin these days?

(a fragment is linked below)

by Anonymousreply 10311/22/2012

Those of you who are complaining about submissive-female relationships being harmful are missing one important point - at the end of the books the female is really in control of everything. Mr. Dominant adores her, has married her, and will give her everything she wants and never really hurt her. These stupid books are not just about the sexual fantasy of submission, they're about ultiately gaining control through submission.

And again, the readers know this stuff doesn't work in real life. Domineering, posessive, sexually thrilling boyfriends always turn out to be cheaters or psychotics, even if they are hot fucks. So the fantasy is ultimately about changing the hot-but-fucked-up-boyfriend into a genuine Mr. Right. Of course the readers know that these things don't work in real life, which is why they enjoy the fantasy so much.

Criticize these fans for their frightful lack of taste, but please, don't think you have the right(or duty) to control anyone's fantasy life.

by Anonymousreply 10411/22/2012

[quote]Mr. Dominant adores her, has married her, and will give her everything she wants and never really hurt her. These stupid books are not just about the sexual fantasy of submission, they're about ultiately gaining control through submission.

And that's exactly what makes them horrifying.

by Anonymousreply 10511/22/2012

This isn't about judging someone's cheap thrills. It's about judging people gettin their cheap thrills from badly written masturbatory material. This thread is about the mainstream public being content with bad (so bad it's not even camp) and mediocre entertainment.

by Anonymousreply 10611/22/2012

Exactly r106. And it's about the mainstreaming of unhealthy, reactionary views on gender roles and human sexuality.

by Anonymousreply 10711/22/2012

Exactly r97 and r99!

Protecting poor little women from their dirty fantasies or cigarettes is fucking offensive. Visual porn, straight or gay, is no more quality entertainment and no more politically progressive, actually it's mostly worse, plus actual human beings get exploited producing it. Your priorities are way off if you seriously think 50 shades is what is wrong with society.

That said I see that it's a little sad that such trash is so successful over better books/erotica, but people like their trash entertainment.

by Anonymousreply 10811/22/2012

The problem with 50 Shades and Twilight is that women are being told and are accepting that a state of unempowerment is actually empowering. But don't you dare tell them that, because that infringes on their empowerment.

Basically, we have as a society reached the point in the Onion article below.

by Anonymousreply 10911/23/2012

Who 'killed' the Paul Newman thread? This thread does not exist any longer. Who did that and why? Mean people you are!

by Anonymousreply 11011/23/2012

Everybody likes a challenge. Men, women, gay, straight.

Fact of life.

by Anonymousreply 11111/23/2012

[quote]It's about judging people gettin their cheap thrills from badly written masturbatory material.

Right, in stark contrast to the porn "films" aimed at men, which are known for their Oscar-caliber dialogue, well-crafted plots, multi-dimensional characters, and most of all, their respect for women.

"50" isn't supposed to be a great work of literature, nor is it supposed to be a how-to guide for "catching a man." If this were being marketed like "The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right," the handwringing on this thread would make more sense, but this book is fantasy, is marketed as fantasy, and the people who read it are perfectly aware it's fantasy. And unlike with visual porn, no actual humans were harmed in the making of this fantasy.

by Anonymousreply 11211/23/2012

You make too much sense to be a DL'er R112.

by Anonymousreply 11311/23/2012

"BTW, many straight men, too, have fantasies about being the sub in a S&M-type relationship. It's common for people of all genders and orientations to fantasize about being freed from responsibility, although it may take different forms."

Very true. When I went through a phase of picking up married guys, so many of them wanted that type of thing, being dominated by another man and physically overpowered,etc. Especially very successful alpha type executives. I know it was a change for them, and a break to "give up," their control, (and also kinky for them to be on the receiving end.) But it also allowed them to enjoy the experience almost as if they weren't responsible for their behavior. I would think that is what the woman who read these want, the chance to be a whore but still be a "good girl."

by Anonymousreply 11411/23/2012

Have not read this piece of shit book but I understand that fraus are devouring it because it turns them on. Isn't that enough? Unless you want to fuck them, who cares why.

by Anonymousreply 11511/23/2012

R45/85/97 has basically said all there is to say on this subject -- said it articulately and convincingly.

I have only one thing to add: Most true fraus are running the show at home. They have complete control of the kids' lives, they keep the adult social calendar, they make all the household decisions in terms of maintenance, purchases, menus, decorating, on and on. Most men who marry the true frau-ish type, even if they are high-powered in their career, are incredibly passive at home. They want or need a mommy to tell them what to do, although she may be diplomatic or manipulative enough to make them think they're equal partners.

These women may be sick to death of being in charge. The fantasy of a strong, dominant man is quite appealing.

by Anonymousreply 11611/23/2012
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