Friday, April 20, 2012

‘50 Shades of Grey’ Speed Read: 14 Naughtiest Bits

Apr 16, 2012 The Daily Beast

Spanking, wrist cuffs, and dirty talk that’s fit for a porno (read: NSFW), the most shocking bits from E.L. James’s bestselling erotic novel.

Several weeks ago, I received a telling email from my 29-year-old sister-in-law: “Have you heard of the book 50 Shades of Grey? Get Involved.”

At this point, E.L. James’s erotica novel was a bestselling e-book, and my brother’s wife—a new mom who spends most days taking care of her 4-month-old son—had immersed herself in some pleasure reading in between changing diapers. Though paperback copies only hit U.S. bookstores yesterday, 50 Shades of Grey is the most buzzed-about series since The Hunger Games, if not a household name (my friend recently learned about it from her 60-year-old father).
There’s a reason the Grey series is being dubbed “mommy porn,” and it’s not just because of the rough sex and BDSM relationship that has its innocent, college student protagonist Anastasia Steele bending over backward (and forward and sideways) for the older, dashing Christian Grey.

Originally conceived as Twilight fan fiction, James’s 50 Shades of Grey “reimagined the Bella and Edward love affair set in contemporary Seattle, Washington with Bella as the young college graduate virgin and Edward as the masterful billionaire with secret sexual predilections.” So while the steamy scenes have no doubt sent many hands wandering beneath the sheets during bedtime reading, much of Grey’s appeal is its Cinderella story—the rich-man-sweeps-innocent-beauty-off-her-feet female fantasy. And as in so many romance novels, beneath the hero’s domineering veneer there’s a vulnerability that only the heroine can penetrate, though not without some emotional maneuvering. Jane Eyre has to confront the madwoman in Mr. Rochester’s attic; Bella has to come to terms with Edward’s immortality and bloodlust; Anastasia has to endure Christian Grey’s "Red Room of Pain."

Full piece at The Daily Beast.

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