NOTE: Hot Firefighter Husband finally has released the Embargoed Post! And I adore him for it. In return, I’ve agreed to a handful of sexual favors.
At last month’s book club meeting, we discussed E.L. James’ runaway bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey. You may recall that this was not my choice. I wanted to read a book about life in the slums of Mumbai. Instead we read a graphic story of sexual domination, and it pretty much ruined my life for a while.
In fact, I haven’t been able to even write about it due to the trauma. Until now. SPOILER: I did not participate in any domination/submissive sex games. Sorry to disappoint you, boys. But I hope you keep reading!
Fifty Shades of Gray recounts the story of Anastasia, a 21-year-old beautiful virgin who thinks she’s homely. She catches the eye of Christian Grey, a 28-year-old multi-gazillionaire Adonis who was abused as a child and consequently uses whips and paddles and leather to satisfy his distinct sexual needs. Anastasia agrees to become Christian’s submissive. She actually signs a contract! In this role, she must essentially do whatever he says when they are having sex, which usually occurs in The Room – a special arena outfitted like a luxurious Roman torture chamber. But there’s a safe word! So if she ever feels like he might kill her, which he won’t, she can yell out the safe word. But she keeps forgetting what it is. Also, after he paddles her, he thoughtfully rubs balm all over her butt.
Anastasia has to agree to some other terms, too – work out with a personal trainer three times a week, visit a spa for various body treatments, and eat healthy food. He pays for all of that. She also receives a clothing stipend.
I found this book very offensive. You know why? Because of the typos. And because every time Christian touched Anastasia, he produced an electric current between them. His power bill must be outrageous. And because whenever they are in the beginning stages of an interlude, Anastasia says, “Oh, my!” Who says that?
Mostly, I’m offended that E.L. James, who is one-tenth the writer I am, sewed together a half-assed porn novel, threw it online, and is now the talk of the literary world. I’m brilliant, and turning moldy in my obscurity.
What James does really, really well is write titillating, detailed descriptions of each sexual encounter, from Anastasia’s first warm feelings down there (seriously?) to the inevitable climax. Get this: they almost always climax together! That’s so real life.
Fifty Shades of Grey is porn. Some pretty good porn disguised as a New York Times bestseller. But objectionable? Only if you object to porn. In fact, the whole domination theme was mighty attractive to me, and this is where the life ruination began.
I started imagining me being swept off my feet like that. What? It’s a fantasy, people. So in my dreams, I’m thinking: Let me get this straight: you want me to live in your luxury penthouse where you will supply me with a new wardrobe, provide me with a personal trainer, send me to the spa, and force me to eat gourmet healthy meals. And in return, you want to subject me to mind-blowing orgasms with maybe a little rough stuff thrown in. Also, you are gorgeous, rich, and falling in love with me.
Bye, kids! I’ll write!
Every woman I know who read this book was infected by a huge does of horny. One friend said, “It makes you want sex, but not necessarily with your husband.” Ouch. But EXACTLY! No offense to Hot Firefighter Husband, though I guess it’s hard not to take offense to that. This column might be difficult for him to edit.
But it’s so true. The story of Christian Grey and Anastasia makes you want hard, delicious, kinky, explosive, fuckery – followed by 12 hours of sleep, a few cocktails, and then the same thing over again several times. No strings attached, no obligations. Just you, lying there, waiting for a hunky man.
This is not to say I don’t have hot satisfying sex with Hot Firefighter Husband. I do. We do. And that’s hard for me to say (HARD! GET IT? BWHAHAHAHA!) because, you know, it just is. I don’t like you to know that I have sex.
But here’s the thing – all of our great sex is followed by, you know, life. The proverbial afterglow gets upstaged by WILL YOU LET OUT THE DOG? and I’M SO BEHIND ON LAUNDRY! and GODDAMN IT, I’M OUT OF BATTERIES. Girls, you know what that last thing means, right? Usually it means the sex wasn’t all that great. At least for you.
I guess this is why people have affairs – they’re in search of kinky fuckery that they can push to the side of their normal routines, like a secret stash of chocolate hidden amidst a sea of salads and grilled salmon.
I did not have an affair after reading this book. I did not even think about having an affair. But I developed a little crush on my Hot Handyman, a dark brooding sort of Hottie who smokes Marlboros, drinks Bud Light and takes his kids to Monster Truck rallies, the kind of guy I gravitated toward before Hot Firefighter Husband intervened. (Thank the aphrodisiac spirits!)
This crush totally threw me off my game. I’ve always been a flirt, and I especially love to flirt with Hotties. But this was different. I really had a strange sort of crush on this guy….but I didn’t have the urge to jump his bones or even make out with him. I just sort of wanted to look at him, and I wanted him to look at me.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with a little fantasizing, girls. Or boys. But listen – this isn’t me. I felt unsure of what was happening, and I started hating on life. I woke up cranky, and fell asleep depressed. I only felt engaged when the Handyman was here. (Since our house is falling apart, he was here every other day.)
One afternoon, as I sat outside (re)reading some of the more salacious parts of Fifty Shades, I set it aside for a moment and started thinking about Hot Handyman. I realized he reminded me of an ex-boyfriend, one of the guys I really recall fondly. I found myself smiling, remembering the me of 25 years ago.
And at that moment, I had a moment of clarity so introspective I nearly stopped craving sex. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Tomorrow, in Part II.