pretend_farmer

pretend_farmer
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Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
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March 04
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Maker
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Rancho Laurena Rustic Arts
Bio
A wanton young lady of Wimley, Reproached for not acting more primly, Answered, "Heavens above! I know sex isn't love, But it's such an attractive facsimile."

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MARCH 23, 2012 6:05PM

Fifty Shades of Fantasy Porn

Rate: 14 Flag

First, my confession: I read a lot of smut. This five-year-old proclivity could be a symptom of mid-life crisis, a needed fantasy to replace what my life lacks, or a newly found disregard over what a lady such as I am supposed to read. Only The Shadow knows. But, since the arrival of the Kindle and, with it, the absence of scantily clad pulchritudinous lovers on romance novel covers, I read more than my share of pulsing loin bodice rippers.

 

Which brings me to “Fifty Shades of Grey” by EL James. I read about it in the New York Times of all things. Apparently, the gray lady likes smut, too. Or readers. Or advertising dollars; definitely advertising dollars. It’s the story of Christian Grey, a damaged, controlling, and handsome billionaire and Anastasia Steele, an intelligent and sexually inexperienced graduate. The usual clichés run rampant, she talks back to him and stands up for herself in his presence while most people, especially women, bow to him (sometimes literally). She cares not for his wealth and he wants to buy her things. He needs to run the world but finds himself unable to run Anastasia. Oh, and did I mention the gratuitous S&M, complete with a toy-filled fantasy playroom, a NDA, and a multi-page dominant/submissive contract? One must set their hard limits after all. No caning, no anal fisting. Way to limit the “kinky fuckery”, Anastasia.

 

It’s early “Funny Girl” meets “9 ½ weeks” meets “Twilight” meets “Tess of the D-Ubervilles”. And, yes, courtesy of Mr. Amazon and the magic of instant bank charges/electronic downloads, I read the entire trilogy. I enjoyed the first book. In contrast to most smut, the writing, though no means Pulitzer-worthy, was not dumbed down to a 3rd grade reading level. The author threw in some erudition in the form of art and cultural references. The plot was predictable but enjoyable; the suspense was lame but necessary. The second and third books, however, were not worthy of the first. The novelty of nipple clamps and floggers had worn off like old bruises and the situations became as trite as the first half of this sentence. I found myself slogging through to the rosy end and rolling my eyes enough to deserve Christian’s punishment and then some.

 

For its genre, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is a step-up from the formulaic. It is escapism with kink and heart designed to make you forget, if only for a few hours, that you’ve had routine sex in front of television and that your passion has taken a back seat to bill-paying and childcare. So read it.

 

By the way, Amazon also sells sex toys, including floggers. You’re welcome.

 

 

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By the way, I did read criticism over that, while the book is set in the US, it uses many British terms. But, since I read a lot of British literature, both smutty and not, I didn't even notice.
Lauren, I like this review very much, and I have to admit...so many books I come across only find my eyes reading their reviews-and this is not a book I would have even considered in the first place, but now, your piece on it makes me curious!....but only after my Downton Abbey collection viewing...
A few of those Downton Abbey characters could use a good flogging. :)
It's amazing, how huge the market for porn written for women is. It goes by the precious name of "romance," but it's still porn. Or, as my friends would say when my husband and I published a literary porn mag, erotica. For years, I refused to acknowledge the difference so as not to seem apologetic, but there really is one. The difference is an artful story.

Sounds like this series degenerated like so many porn offerings do, into a superficial, formulaic series of activities. I've done a few bdsm stories. I avoid setting them in actual bdsm settings like dungeons or master/slave relationships, because those settings do not suggest dramatic conflict to me. Porn focuses boringly on accouterments, fleshy or silicone, or hackneyed situations.

I want a narrative that draws you into the lust, that shows the back and forth of the power dynamic, that evokes the complicated emotions of bdsm. It's not about the nipple clamps. It's about how the nipple clamps introduce conflict into the story arc, how they move the story forward. I'm mostly boy-like in my sexuality, but I'm enough of a girl to want story with my porn.
I agree, Sirenita. I have read a lot of this type of fiction and a good story with a conflict arc makes all the difference. The book did start out well and Anastasia does not cave like a submissive does (I'd ruin the story if I went further).

In "romance", the publishers push for a series rather than allowing a standalone series as most good fiction is. This book would have benefited by being a solo work. But would not be as profitable and that, as you know, is the bottom line.
enjoyin the reviews of this book on open salon. 9 1/2 weeks, one for the record books.
theres a great writer here on open salon, keiko alvarez.. check her out.
ps I hope they make 50shades into a movie. I might not like it but Im sure it would be 50x better than Eat, Pray, Love haha :p
but strangely, the audience for the two might be the same haha
I love you, Lauren! I am on Part (2), "Darker..."

I cannot put it down...except when my grand kids arrive, full of piss and vinegar...need to put down the iPod till gramma's bedtime..damn!

It's all consuming and evident of latent desire for the needed voyeurism that accompanies a reading of this dire and timely necessity.

Bang!
Totally excellent review and so well written, as usual. In college I wrote soft core mag stories and a couple of books (referred to at the time, of all things, "bodice rippers) to make money. No S&M, mostly because it's not my thing. Ann Rice wrote porn before she hit it big, but zowie, she still manages to make her vampires and mummies steamy as hell.
Interesting. I have been writing about all my past love affairs and it is so much fun and so revealing. There were lots of them. lol Hayley's Comments is where I am putting them for now. I love that you read smut. Thanks for this post.
Sounds like something so many people would love to read. Thanks so much for sharing this. Good luck and more.
good piece, lauren. i too love to read steamy stuff, but i'll agree with serenita that it has to have a story. whether it's on film or paper, pure porn - now they do this, and now this, and then this - is boring. the smut i enjoy must have a plot - and a lot of kissing. a *lot*. :)
Well said. I enjoyed the trilogy and am puzzled by the vehemence of some of the negative reviews I've read. Must everything we consume be high art? I think not. Shades to me was like one of those corny pop tunes with a great hook that you can't stop humming. No, it's not intellectually nutritious, but James knows how to please the heart. I too thought the novelty of the "kinky fuckery" wore off after the first novel. I barely noticed the sex after awhile, focusing instead on the emotional connection. I think I too will write about the experience.
Well said. I enjoyed the trilogy and am puzzled by the vehemence of some of the negative reviews I've read. Must everything we consume be high art? I think not. Shades to me was like one of those corny pop tunes with a great hook that you can't stop humming. No, it's not intellectually nutritious, but James knows how to please the heart. I too thought the novelty of the "kinky fuckery" wore off after the first novel. I barely noticed the sex after awhile, focusing instead on the emotional connection. I think I too will write about the experience.