50 Shades of Distraction

“Love easily confuses us because it is always in flux between illusion and substance, between memory and wish, between contentment and need.  Perhaps there are times when the contradictions of love are so intermingled that the only way to see the truth of love is to pit it against the irreducible reality of lust.”  –Tom Robbins.

A phenomenon is sweeping through the ranks of women (and some men, though these are probably the metro-sexuals that went to see Sex and the City in the movie theaters just to please their girlfriends).  It is rampant and spreading like a bad outbreak of the Clap.  And I, for one, just don’t know exactly what to make of it.  50 Shades of Grey is making us lose sleep, abandon our responsibilities, question our relationships, libidos, hard (and soft) boundaries, all via a literary escape into the bucking wild territory of some modern soft porn.

I’m not joking.  My roommate, a guidance counselor at a local elementary school, said that some of her Grade 3 kids were talking about the book.  Not as if they’d read it or anything but, and I quote, “Mom refused to make dinner last night because she was too busy reading 50 Shades of Grey.”  What the—F???

Personally, I just stayed up until 5 am to finish the first book in one sitting, and I haven’t done that since the teenage days of stuffing light-blocking towels underneath the door frame to stay up all night with a good novel.  And this is NOT a good novel.  It is not well written, or thought provoking, or insightful.  It’s fluff interspersed with every-other-two-pages of steamy, slightly kinky sex.  And now, half-way through the second book, and already I am skimming the sex scenes because every time, he “calls out her name, sending her over the edge and she dissolves into a million pieces” and they lay “spent” in each others’ arms.


I mean, are we so sex deprived as women that we need this to add fuel to flames?  I am single, and have been for quite some time, so perhaps I am more entitled to a little soft porn than most, but even some of my friends who are in relationships are starting to question the sexual spark between themselves and their partner, as a result of this book.  Do we secretly want a man that dominates us, pulls our hair and orders our dinners?  Or do we want the tortured soul that we can save and soothe with kindness?   I’ve been there before and I don’t think I’d choose either option, to tell you the truth.

So what, exactly, is it about this book?  Both partners are insanely jealous, fiercely possessive and borderline nymphomaniacs.  I mean, who really has that much sex?   There is absolutely nothing healthy about their relationship and yet, somehow, it vaguely reminds me of the thrill, joy and bliss of falling in love.  That mushy, knee-shaking, belly-melting loss of control.  That all-consuming need to be together, all of the time.

And while that was my prescribed method for falling in love in years past, I have to admit, the thought of that much Jello-ness and co-dependence now scares the shit out of me.

So then, what is it?   Are we all living such bland, vanilla sex lives that we need the hint of kink (mind you, so far, there has not really been any ACTUAL kink) to knock our socks off?  Or are we so sexually desensitized that we need to up the ante with various toys, games, and “accouterments” in order to feel satisfied?

I recognize this as a digression, and for which, I apologize.  But I am baffled.  Next week, I promise, we’ll be back onto yoga and spirit and all things deep and meaningful, but for now, it seems, I have some reading to do…….


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robin
    Jun 09, 2012 @ 07:50:46

    Can I just say, ” hear, hear” to your comments about this book. A friend of mine told me I HAD to read it because it would change my life (?). after reading the first I feel sad, humiliated and scared all at once for our society. Is this what other women want? Is this how we want men to be? I thought we were beyond this type of manipulation and control? Have we not learned that it is impossible to change someone, that they must do it themselves? Thank you for saying that the writing is pathetic, because it is very repetitious, simplistic, and the storyline lacks development. I won’t be reading the second or third because I know all the sex scenes now and I have better drama to live in my own life.


  2. aaron
    Jun 09, 2012 @ 07:52:44

    Well written! I was contemplating the same ideas about this book recently. Keep it up lady! 🙂


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