Friday, March 16, 2012

Mommy Porn

I heard about it at a dinner party.

Well to be honest, it was just Sunday dinner at a friend's house. My friend was taking the chicken out of the oven.

I was keeping her company with a glass of wine while our husband's talked about football or baseball or cigars or motorcycles in that way that makes it hard to differentiate one subject from the other. The kids, all four of them, were off doing kid things.

"Have you read that new sex book?" she asked me, one eyebrow raised, knife plunging into the chicken.

"No," I said and she seemed surprised, which isn't all that surprising because, as a writer, people often assume I've read ALL the new books.

"It's this sex book for moms! Everyone's buzzing about it. I can't believe you haven't read it."

Maybe it was the wine, or maybe it was the way it was described but I came away from the evening with the impression that Fifty Shades of Grey was a how-to manual. A chic and updated version of the Kama Sutra.

And because I'm sort of a sucker for the next new thing, I immediately downloaded the book and then, because I'm perpetually overscheduled I sort of forgot about it.

In the intervening two weeks Fifty Shades of Grey is everywhere I look.

It got a mention in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. There's a piece about it in EW and all week long social networking has been thick with parodies. Fifty Shades of Mean Kitties, in my Facebook feed, Fifty Shades of Faeries on Twitter and Fifty Shades of HooHa on Google Plus.

But back to the book, Fifty Shades of Grey started as fanfiction based on the Twilight series. A what if piece...what if Bella hadn't waited and Edward was forced to struggle with his desire to tie Bella up instead of his desire to drink her blood.

 Remember, the Twimoms? This is the book they should have been reading in the first place, because, let's face it, with one notable exception, mothers have already had sex. 

And while we're facing facts maybe we should acknowledge the real allure of the Twilight series. It wasn't due to a sudden spike in love for Native American culture, Stephanie Meyer's deep and thoughtful character development or our fascination with a small rainy town in Washington state. Nope, pretty sure it was all about the sex, or lack thereof.

Which makes me wonder why it's taken so long for a book like Fifty Shades of Gray to go mainstream? In a society that feeds on stylized and sexualized images of women, using them to sell everything from magazines to toothpaste, why is it big news to discover woman might actually want to engage in the act itself?

Lucky for me, I have an unexpected window of time this weekend. I'm looking forward to curling up in the living room with my own personal handheld device...which would be my Kindle!

I'll be reading, and joining the thousands of other woman who are rejecting their role as fantasy fodder for others and claiming the right to fantasies of their own.

17 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think any comment I leave would get me in trouble. So I'll just say I hope you enjoy the book!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Now I'm curious. I haven't read it either.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I haven't read it but I did read a review of this book and I'm very curious to find out what you think.

chelsea heights said...

I read all 3 before they became main stream and still find myself thinking about Christian Grey. What the heck is wring w me? I LOVED it! #1-2 more so then #3. Hope u like them :)

Rachel Morgan said...

Okay, honestly? I've visited a lot of blogs the past two weeks and this is the first time I've seen this book! Hehe! We're obviously hanging out on different blogs, you and I ;-) But now you've made me curious and I'm going to have to check out some reviews...

Anonymous said...

OK, I'm taking advantage of my "pedantic uncle" privileges to point out that there were *two* notable exceptions: Saint Anne, Mary's mother, was also supposed to be a virgin, at least in Catholic liturgy. Unbelievers might even argue that that's where Mary got the idea--the angel who whispered in Mary's ear was really her mother saying, "Now dear, don't worry. You think you're the first unwed mother in history? I know how to solve this problem...". Okay, how many people have I offended with this one post?

Kathleen Barker said...

I'm going to fork over money for an Amazon Prime membership just because of this book....there are 3 or 4 of them in this series and it would pay for a good chunk of the membership just to read one free each month....then on to the Hunger Games. Only problem is I'm betting once I've read the first one, it will be torture to wait a month to download the next one for free!

Johanna Garth said...

Thanks Alex! You always say exactly the right thing!

Diane, curiosity is what did me in.

Jenny, maybe you should download and take it on your romantic coast weekend...just sayin' ;)

Chelsea, I started it last night and have to admit being a little enamoured myself.

LOL Rachel. Let me know if you end up buying it.

Stephen aka anonymous, no blog is complete without a pedantic uncle!

Kate, that's actually a really good idea because I think I'm going to have to download books 2 and 3 as well!

Lisa Zhang Wharton said...

Johanna, i have heard of this book but now I'm curious enough to wanting to read it.

Connie J Jasperson said...

Hmm...may have to download that book meself...

Carol Kilgore said...

I've been reading about 50 Shades of Gray for a week or more ... but I haven't downloaded it. Yet. Let us know what you think!

Happy Weekend :)

erica and christy said...

It was difficult enough to not imagine teenagers having sex when I read the original Twilight books! Now they actually do??? ;) (yes, I've heard of it, but can't quite imagine what it's about!)
erica

Misha Gericke said...

Hmm that sounds like an interesting read. :-D

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I've also been seeing mention of this book everywhere. Didn't really know what it was about, but now you have me curious about it too.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

This is the first time I've heard about this book, but you can be sure I'm running off now to find out more about it!

Jo Schaffer said...

This is new to me. Intrigued. Might give it a go. And then make my hubby read it. Haha!

naida said...

hmmm...I have this one on my wishlist. There's alot of talk about it. There's also sequels to it, three of them, I guess it's a trilogy.
Enjoy it!