Fifty Shades of Confused: Why do people like this book?
June 15th, 2012
10:47 AM ET

Fifty Shades of Confused: Why do people like this book?

A few weeks ago, I heard the sort of whispered murmurs in my local bookstore that are reserved solely for people who want to buy books that they don't want other people to know they are buying. Furtive glances and giggles echoed back as happy customers walked out the door, peering into the brown paper bags containing such worthwhile literature.

Interest piqued, I asked the clerk what book the women had purchased.

"Oh, 'Fifty Shades of Grey,'" she replied. "You don't know about that?"

I was a bit late to the party, admittedly. The novel came out last year and has since drummed up a tremendous amount of attention. A British author named E.L. James penned it as "Twilight" fanfiction at first, then rewrote it with original characters. It tells the story of  a young, inexperienced woman and an older man with a taste for whips and chains. It's like the "Twilight" craze all over again, but with less supernatural creatures and more bondage gear.

I thought I got why everyone wanted to slink out of the store with this book. I spend plenty of time appreciating Japanese and Korean male idols, and I love their sexy photo shoots. "Fifty Shades of Grey" has lots of titillating themes: hot people having hot sex, wish fulfillment, virgin and master. What's not to like?

But I read it. And I just don't get it.

Christian Grey, the novel's central male character, is already a popular heartthrob, despite the fact that fans haven't seen his face outside of their imaginations. And when some hopelessly sexy actor plays him in the film adaption, Grey will skyrocket off the charts as the hottest fictional dude since Edward Cullen.

So why is this guy in so many women's fantasies? And what's the big deal about "Twilight with sex," as "Fifty Shades of Grey" has commonly been called?

Part of the answer lies in fanfiction itself, and the fans that create and consume it.

"I read fanfic mostly for the sense of voyeurism involved, " says Crystal White, professional illustrator and fanfic reader. "I often read fics about characters I'm emotionally invested in. They allow me to observe behaviors and actions that those characters would never normally exhibit within the confines of their original medium. It humanizes these characters, and makes you feel like you know them on a personal level."

White says that the dramatic tone of fanfic is a big part of its appeal.

"A lot of it is written by teen girls locked in their rooms obsessing over whatever character they're writing about, and these fics often tend to be an allegory for their emotional ups and downs. When I'm reading a fic, I'm not looking for classical literature. I'm looking for depression, hate, drugs, sex, abuse, love, death, injury. It's these extremes that stir up an emotional response."

If fanfic is at "Fifty Shades of Grey"'s heart, then sex is at its groin. And it's not just sex, but kinky sex, which makes it all the more taboo. Does this mean we all secretly dream for weirder adventures in the bedroom?

"The 'Fifty Shades of Grey' version of BDSM is sensational and formulaic," says John Patrick Robichaud, who has actively participated in the US & Canadian BDSM scene for close to ten years. "I don't feel like it represents my community. It's an idealized, romanticized depiction of one person who happens to have this be a part of his sexual landscape."

Robichaud says Christian Grey is not attractive because of his role as a dominant, but because of a larger part of the picture.

"Grey is the bad boy that gives you the fix. And this is just a very particular type of bad boy. We're in an age now when you can romanticize even a serial killer like Dexter, and so the options for making someone a valid bad boy character are more open than ever. You just have to keep upping the stakes. The magic is that Anastasia fixes the bad boy. The BDSM is not central - it merely lends the spark that helps to sell the book."

In the end, Robichaud feels that while the book may not accurately depict BDSM, that it may encourage readers to be more creative with their sexuality.

"If reading 'Fifty Shades of Grey' allows someone to connect with a part of themselves for reasons they would normally ignore, for any reason societal or otherwise, that's positive. Read it, recognize it as fiction, connect it with yourself. But then, dig deeper."

Maybe people come for the sex and stay for the fantasy. For me, neither of those things was entertaining enough to make "Fifty Shades of Grey" appealing. One thing's for sure, though: BDSM sure is popular this year. I bet no trend forecast saw that one coming.

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  8. slayer767

    Reblogged this on Soothsayer Never Sleeps and commented:
    Who do you see as Christian Grey and Anastassia Steele?

    My picks are Chris Pine and Ashley Greene... thanks to a dear friend for helping me understand the book and picking these choices...

    August 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
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    August 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  10. renee73

    I don't think it takes too much analysis to figure out why this is appealing to women. First of all, as a mom, you make almost every decision as to the lives of your children, you buy their clothes, plan their meals, determine if it's okay for them to watch a certain tv show etc. Perhaps moms just kind of like the idea of someone else taking over for a little while, deciding what they will do and giving their minds a break from decisions long enough to enjoy the pleasure. Secondly, there is some primal attractiveness to someone saying, "I will protect you and never let anything happen to you". This doesn't mean that we "need" a man, doesn't mean that we don't have our own college degrees or ambitions, just every now and then it's nice to let go of the reins and enjoy it being all about us.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  11. Ugly Mother

    There is however a wonderful song "Ana" by Nicky Rubin to listen ...

    July 5, 2012 at 6:42 am |
  12. anon

    read the book, prefer living the "lifestyle"

    July 4, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  13. kellie

    Just finished reading the 3 in 4days I was completely hooked from the start found it I don't know somehow romantic .. The books I found i could connect myself completely to the story, I guess any girl would love a man to sweep her off her feet, but I do adore how he changed throughout the book I defiantly feel in love with christian grey 🙂 Kellie ireland 19

    July 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  14. nadiggott

    Fifty Shades of unedited, plot-less, underdeveloped characters & over hyped reviews. Seriously, is this the first book these fans have ever read?

    June 21, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Jami

      I agree whole heartedly!!!!! I just wanted to see what the hype was about...never been so disappointed.

      July 5, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • KattyKit

      I'm so glad that I'm not the only one confused by the popularity of this book. There are just so many things wrong with it, I mean, did they just publish EL's first draft with no editing whatsoever? (JEEZ, CRAP, I'm blushing and biting my lip!) What is the deal with her fully conscious sub-conscious? and don't even get me started on her inner goddess. Also, I found it incredibly irritating how many Britishisms/slang this supposedly American girl uses. None of the characters were interesting, dynamic or likeable. Christian is an abusive jerk, Ana is a pathetic moron and I wish I could get the hours back that I wasted reading this.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  15. Andrew

    The writer of this piece should be aware of the difference between" less" and "fewer" .

    . It's like the "Twilight" craze all over again, but with less supernatural creatures and more bondage gear.

    Sophmoric at best.

    June 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  16. Hugh Jass

    Seems a lot saner here today.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Dr Freud

      You're still gay.

      June 21, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  17. Sunflower

    Actually, the fan fiction called, Emacipation Proclamation, was 1000% better than this story, although I did enjoy it... If you can get it in it's original version, it is WELL worth the read. BUT I have heard that some idiot convinced the author to slash it, and condense it, since it was rather lengthy, and as a result ruined the story. Again, I recommend it highly.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  18. Lord Grandrith

    A FEAST UNKNOWN or IMAGE OF THE BEAST by PJ Farmer are much weirder than these books. Probably out of print again by now.

    June 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  19. Beauty

    Go read "The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy" by Anne Rice. It seems like a rip-off of her work.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Beast

      Read STORY OF O and then Rice will seem like the plagiarist. There's only so much you can say about this subject.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  20. Back Door Man

    Masochist: "Beat me."
    Sadist: "No." (They both shiver. The masochist lights a cigarette.)
    Masochist: "Was it good for you, too?"

    June 20, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • MsLizzz

      BAHAHAHA!! I just spit water all over my monitor....TOO FUNNY!

      June 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
      • DearSigmundFreud

        I'm with you, MsLizzz...I nearly choked. That is perhaps the best concise definition of S&M I've ever heard. Kudos, BackDoorMan!

        June 21, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  21. Sarah

    I loved Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed better than Fifty Shades of Grey. The story is about BDSM but what people aren't getting is its mainly about what made Christian Grey into who he was, what happened to him to cause him to be so twisted. I don't want to give away the books but the stories were pretty good my only complaint is the author's overuse of certain words. Overall it was pretty good.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • nhpm900

      "Oh my", "flush/blush" "laters", "baby". Gawd, she does repeat herself!

      I'm half way through Fifty Shades Darker and I'm hoping to have the willpower to finish it and move on to the 3rd book, but the writing is atrocious. The author's admission about the writing being less than stellar doesn't make it any easier to wade through, but I've invested so much time in these books already that I feel I have to get to the end.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • You Jest

        uh, I dunno, if I was eating a sandwhich and found worms or something, I wouldn't feel compelled to finish it.

        I can't account for anyone reading this garbage. Other than life IQ.

        July 2, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Beast

      "my only complaint is the author's overuse of certain words" Throbbing? Purple?

      June 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
      • jmoyo

        Mummur....they mummur throughout the whole book. do these people ever talk normally to each other?

        June 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
      • Sabir

        Hi, i was just wondering when is the best time to take these prdtocus, eg. before food in morning and evening or after food?i have purchased both items and just starting to take them. just want to make sure i get the most out of them which ever way is best to take them. thank you

        September 14, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  22. Tracy

    I find it a little sad that middle age women who have been married with kids most of their 30's and 40's never had 5 minutes in all that time to fantasize and learn about their own turn ons . the fact that a book has to introduce bondage and dominance as if its a new concept to so many is a little sad. Not that I expect all women to be out doing this but my gawd the women at the book signings are screaming like she is John Lennon.

    June 20, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • You Jest

      I used to hate lying politicians and power hungry greedy people who took advantage of the general populace.

      After things like this becoming famous and time consuming to the gen pop I now think the others are doing their duty.

      July 2, 2012 at 1:11 am |
  23. Todd

    Southern – for some reason this site won't let me reply to your actual comment!

    But there are a few things have to consider about what you're saying. The biggest one being – can a dom push a sub further then she's ever been before? Sure, but only if she chooses to allow it. The ultimate control, whether it can happen or not and when it needs to stop, still lies with the submissive. The sub is still the one getting what they want, and the dom is still the one who has to play within her limits and has to stop immediately when she says so.

    I understand why the BDSM dynamic appeals to some, but the interesting thing about it is that when you cut through the "show" to the actual brass tacks – the roles of power and control are almost completely reversed in reality.

    June 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Back Door Man

      "almost completely reversed in reality" If the sub walks out, the dom is suddenly a lonely guy with deep fears about intimacy and spontaneity and a hard-to-satisfy kink. What's he going to do, put an ad on Craigslist? Heck, I feel sorry for them. The upkeep on a dungeon must be expensive compared to wine, candles, music and a nice bouncy bed.

      June 20, 2012 at 8:44 am |
      • Leonardo

        Joe, I am so glad that you enjoyed your trip to Splash Kingdom with your freind, Colby. I bet the water felt really cool on your skin in the hot sun yesterday!

        August 5, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Back Door Man

      Todd, there's a word-stopper that rejects certain combos, like it won't let me say 'CLB UTTIC" as one word.

      June 20, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • southern

      Todd, very good point. You are good. It is true especially on a long term level. Once you have been together it does become an issue for me. I get to the point I realize how I can manipulate the situation. A smart sub can manipulate a Dom on every level. A smart Dom must stay ahead of her. 🙂

      June 20, 2012 at 9:51 am |
      • calipeach71

        @ Southern, Just out of curiosity a sub can manipulate the situation to be more in control? I remember a discussion about this in the book, but it even puzzled me then, I am thinking the Dom will always have control no matter what. however this is all new to me.

        June 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
      • southern

        Calipeach, the Dom does believe he has control, but an intuitive and intelligent sub can manipulate the situation. I always knew my place in the relationship, but it did not keep me from pushing a bit. D/s is not for everyone that is for sure. It is a relationship which can be quite dangerous to a person physically and mentally. It takes a great deal of trust and devotion. It is definitely not something to play at doing. Don't get me wrong for some folks it is all about play, but for me it is what I must have to be satisfied in a relationship.

        June 21, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • sheandi

      I would like to point out that there are differences between dom/sub and top/bottom

      June 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • LiveIt

      @Todd – in a D/s relationship, yes. In a M/s relationship...absolutely not.

      June 30, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  24. Lyang

    I love Fifty Shades... It talks of a man who everyone see as strong, handsome and powerful but deep down inside he doesn't know how to cope with feelings or emotions. Then here comes a long this woman who looks fragile and weak but is strong and show this man a whole new life. She showed him how to love and to accept himself for who he is. She was able to break down his wall and showed him how to love his family and himself. At the same time, he showed her the world. It was a great novel, if you can see pass all the erotic stuff.... 🙂

    June 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • LinSea

      Isn't that pretty much the same old plot line used by most of the books in the romantic fiction genre? Handsome, emotionally repressed guy meets beautiful woman who magically breaks through his emotional barriers and teaches him to love. Go to Amazon and look at the plot summaries the books in the romance section.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  25. Leigh

    Anne Rice's "Sleeping Beauty" trilogy, written under her pseudonym of A. N. Roquelaure, puts this garbage IN the garbage where it belongs. Rice's stuff would arouse a corpse, I kid you not.

    June 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Back Door Man

      I read part of one and found it rather horrifying. You either like this stuff or not.

      June 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • iragathas

      I've read The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. In my opinion, it is the most terrifying yet arousing book I've ever read.

      October 27, 2012 at 2:49 am |
  26. Melody

    If women want to read books on S&M, they should read Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series. At least that is not written like garbage.

    June 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Michelle

      Absolutely-the Sleeping Beauty series is very intense.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  27. rvt123

    Women will not have the true equality they supposedly seek until they (a) stop seeing themselves as weaker and in need of a "strong man" to make them whole; (b) do not flinch if they are the higher-earning spouse; and (c) stop expecting men to pay their way on dates/in relationships and treat them like little girls by opening doors for them, showering them with expensive gifts, etc. You see, the Fifty Shades book is very telling regarding how weak women really see themselves. Deep inside, they believe they are the weaker ones who need protection (not just physcial, but emotional and intellectual), so they ideolize the stong, confident, successful, tall man who can mollify their feelings of inadequacy and at the same time worship them like the little princesses they fantasize themselves to be. Many women need to wake up, respect themselves as strong and capable, and demand true equality in all areas of their lives, not just the ones where it only benefits them. OK women (and brainwashed men), don't shoot the messenger!

    June 19, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Back Door Man

      What I get from this is that women would like the illusion of danger and force brought to them by someone trustworthy who will untie them afterwards instead of calling all his friends.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Lyang

      I totally agree with you...

      June 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • southern

      Different people have different needs. I am a very strong woman, but wish to release that control when it comes to certain areas of my life. Let's not make this about anything, but what it is. What does it for one person doesn't do it for another. Also, not all women have sought equality. I do in my professional life, but in a personal relationship do not desire it or find it mildly attractive.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
      • dimeout

        Exactly right Southern!

        June 20, 2012 at 9:44 am |
      • Back Door Man

        OK, I am sort of a control freak, but I have no problem riding as a passenger while someone else drives us to a place I've never been before. IF you know what I mean, wink wink, and I suspect you do. But it's likely that I will drive us home afterwards, and not likely that I'll be driven around like that every night, IF you know what I mean, nudge nudge.

        June 20, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Todd

      See, people who think this don't understand how BDSM relationships actually work. All the "control" the dominant has is completely illusory. The submissive is the one with all the actual control. The sub lays out what can happen, how hard, when it has to stop, etc. The submissive makes all the rules; the dominant just follows through on them.

      So what BDSM play basically boils down to is a woman bossing a "strong" man around while maintaining the ILLUSION of innocence, subjugation, etc. And yep – a lot of women find that dynamic arousing.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
      • southern

        Todd, that can be true in some cases. However, in a good D/S relationship there is the ability of a Dom to take his sub far further than she has ever been. Some subs are like me and we have a few truly hard limits, but for me it is always about making Him happy. In my case there is a psychological need that I know exactly where it started in my childhood. Though I have dealt with those feelings in therapy my deep seated desires are there and I have found a healthier way of relieving the pain of those past experiences.

        June 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Perv

      1. Women ARE weaker
      2. Women DO need a man to take care of them
      3. Women's cycles make them a bloody mess at least 5 days a month – then pms....etc

      July 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Amal

      For all its worth, Andre is what one can now call a legend, which will quliafy him as someone I would like to meet at least once. Thanks to this blog post. LOL.

      August 5, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  28. K and K Passion Party

    For 50 Shades of Grey style toys, visit and use coupon code 50SHADES for 10% off!!!!!!

    June 19, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  29. Hugh Jass

    Since it looks as if Doc and I are the only ones left here besides the Ghost Of PumpNDump, I am officially bored now. I'm going to go eat lunch and let Pumpy pretend to be me. Hear that, Pumpy? You can be a Real Man on the internet for the first time. A little advice: you lose your temper too quick and reveal your weak spots. You are sensitive about women and your inexperience, and you think way too much about fat and impotence and masculinity; you are a virgin and there's no doubt. You'll never last as a troll if you let us troll YOU. Anyway, you can post as hugh jass all you like, and God help you.

    June 19, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Dr Freud

      Do you think about Samuel L. Jackson when you touch yourself? I think you do.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:56 am |
      • Dr Freud

        Pumpman, you should quit while you're ahead, although I think you are losing on points. Lunch for me too, and I think I'll take off and go fishing. How about you hang around here all day insisting you aren't into bondage?

        June 19, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  30. Hugh Jass

    My real name is Jerry Sandusky. Sorry folks, I've got to get back into court. Long day ahead.

    June 19, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • PumpNDump

      Coach, I am you biggest fan. I keep a scrapbook of all your games. Please let me meat you.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      You still can't get it right, can you? Try using bigger words and more complex sentences to express your thoughts; oh, wait; all your thoughts are simple. Never mind. Hey, are you mad at me for thinking you are stupid, or for noticing that you are stupid?

      June 19, 2012 at 10:35 am |
      • Dr Freud

        There is no cure for your pedophilia. It would be best if you did what Marshall Applewhite did, and surgically castrate yourself, if you haven't already. It'll help you contain those action and desires you so obviously have.

        June 19, 2012 at 10:38 am |
      • Hugh Jass

        You think he's pedo? I think he just can't get near a woman and is going stale watching tv and commenting. He does seem to hate women, though. Maybe you're right.

        June 19, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  31. Hugh Jass

    Hey Pumpy, if you are going to fantasize about me, you should know I'm tall and thin and have a lot of hair. I've been married for decades and have kids older than you, and I have a life and friends without resorting to the 'net. But sorry, I'm straight. Find someone else to play "Boy Scouts" with you, or is it The Priest and the Little Boy you want?

    June 19, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • PumpNDump

      Leave me alone. I wish I knew how to quit you.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:15 am |
      • Dr Freud

        Hey, he's back. Still wrestling with your id, Pumper?

        June 19, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Dr Freud

      I truly feel sorry for your wife and the burden she carries being married to someone with your horrible psychological issues, impotency and deformations. Truly sorry.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:40 am |
      • Dr Freud

        Let it all out, PumpNDump. This is the fifth time you've mentioned impotence; it must really be on your mind. Find a woman who understands your mixed feelings about bondage and you will be all right in the end. And be yourself; hiding behind other people's nicknames just shows your basic insecurity and low self-esteem.

        June 19, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  32. Hugh Jass

    I've been rubbing my needled! ck thinking of how nothing beats tossing the salad of 18 year old smooth young men. I quit the seminary knowing my true calling was manning a glory hole in Haight-Ashbury.

    June 19, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      Sorry, kid, not even close. Haight-Ashbury? Seminary? You have some strange fantasies there, but you also seem to have about a ninety-word vocab and no sense of style. Were you really up all night fantasizing about me, dear boy? You really ARE a virgin.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  33. Brad Johnson

    The only women who read this are single, fat and very very lonely. Leave your house

    June 19, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      "Brad" I love it. Ashamed of PumpedDumper now?

      June 19, 2012 at 8:29 am |
      • Hugh Jass

        I guess the fact that you have quit using your brokeback pump & dump name means we stung you too badly to ever show your pink l'il face around here again. What is it really, Tabatha? Brad? Ben Dover?

        June 19, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      I'm sorry, the only real military service I've ever had was wearing a boy scout uniform and servicing the leader.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:40 am |
      • Hugh Jass

        Pumpy, this says more about you than anything else. So, boy scouts? Did you ever shower with Coach Sandusky? You have some really strange fantasies, and pretending to be me isn't helping your case.

        June 19, 2012 at 10:11 am |
      • Hugh Jass

        They DOJ is charging me with masquerading as a former serviceman and wearing someone else's medals. I know, it's typical of a wannabe tough guy who's just a tired, broken down old gay man.

        June 19, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Lu

      Not True, I'm married, skinny and certainly not lonely and I'm reading it!!! I love it and can't put it down, because of the storyline and suspense.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:48 am |
      • Hugh Jass

        I think 'single, fat, and lonely' describes our little friend perfectly.

        June 19, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  34. Evolved One

    Backlash literature. More patriarchal-driven nonsense. Demeaning to women. I pity the women out there who think this is erotica.

    June 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      I love when the fat, angry cat ladies claim "the partriarchy did it!" The shrill, irrational histrionic musings of women like you are great comedy. Lol

      June 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
      • Evolved One

        So, how is life in Mom's basement sweetie? You sound so longely and angry. Pobrecito.

        June 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        Hey, Evo – thanx for beating him up while I was tending to my real life. You must have really opened up on him; he's sure you are me. I bet he sat by his screen all night, sobbing and rubbing his knob. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

        June 19, 2012 at 8:29 am |
      • Hugh Jass

        My "real life" consists of mowing laws 5-6 days a week.

        June 19, 2012 at 9:49 am |
      • Hugh Jass

        Mowing WHAT, Pumpy? LAWS? Hey, that would be some job. Wow, are you ever angry. You can't even type.

        June 19, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • PumpNDump

      Honey, unlike you I do actually know who my father is. Lol I bet you love to work out at curves to make friends and discuss the "Patriarchy" while you eat your after workout donuts.

      June 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
      • Nikki

        You're so set on calling all the women on here fat... Let's see you post a picture cupcake 🙂 I'll even post one myself, holding up a sign so you know it's not faked... What do you say? Think you'll be able to back up all the pedantic claims you've been making?

        June 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
      • Evolved One

        Is your only purpose posting here to make your little appendage seem bigger? You get a kick it seems out of making so many assumptions about things you know nothing about and of course every assumption you make is wrong. Whatever floats your little boat I guess.

        The book is flawed, hackeyed, boring writing and is reflective of a trend that exists with regards to women's stories.....this outdated notion that women need to be dominated. Unfortunately craplit like this only serves to fuel the hatred towards women as exhibited so beautifully by folks such as yourself.

        June 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
      • Dad

        "I do actually know who my father is" The guy who divorced your mom?

        June 19, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Kealie

      Wasn't this story already done in the 80's?... 9 1/2 weeks? Good girl gets caught up in a purely erotic BDSM relationship with a hot bad boy.

      June 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
      • Evolved One

        Yeah, good call there. I had forgotten about that film.....had some pretty hot scenes in it too. If one wants to really read what a good BDSM potboiler series is look no further than the "Beauty" series written (under a pseudonym) by Ann Rice.

        June 18, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        It was a book first, and I think it sold fairly well.

        June 19, 2012 at 8:32 am |
      • southern

        read screw the roses give me the thorns

        June 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • phil

      You sound like a very angry person.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:49 am |
      • PumpNDump

        She's just the typical, fat, cat lady man hater who dresses in tents purchased from REI to cover her girth.

        June 19, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • PumpNDump

      I bet you make sounds like a heifer in heat when you get rolled in wesson oil and flower by the chubby chasers.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:45 am |
      • Beast

        Wow, that's a stranger fantasy than anything in the book. I guess real life is strange, too. Whatever turns you on ...

        June 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Gloglows

      I totally agree. I read about 1/2 of this novel and had just about enough! To think that they're going to make a movie out of this, makes me sick!

      June 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  35. Hugh Jass

    1, 2, 3 POTATO!!! I can count to POTATO!

    June 18, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      Hey, now we know to much about what Pumpy thinks men like. Stop swiping my name, Pumpy. We can all see it's you.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Bianca

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      September 14, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  36. Hugh Jass

    I prefer my women with a male appendage and to be shaped like they're 18 years old and very, very smooth.

    June 18, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      Try using bigger words, Pumpy., You still can't match my style, and accusing me of stuff just tells us what you are REALLY into. So not only do you fear women, but you figure being called g ay is the ultimate diss? Your lack of experience really shows. Join the military; see the world. Get the nonsense shook out of you.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  37. lgg

    This is one of the most poorly written books I have ever encountered!! I love to read. I read all sorts of things and I hate not finishing a book I've stared. The writing for this book was so AWFUL that I couldn't even finish the first chapter!! It was as if a pre-teen girl was attempting to write as she thought an adult female might feel. It was childish and moronic. Her protagonist was so inept it made me wonder how she managed to drive her roommate's car so far without getting lost or having an accident; forget how she managed to get through college! I literally couldn't tolerate it any further and just closed the book. I didn't have a single regret in tossing it aside; except for the money I spent. I'm not even curious about what happens! If I had continued to try to get through such horribly written trash I'd have been ripping my hair out before I was a quarter through book.

    For those who enjoyed the book – good for you. For anyone contemplating reading this, if you have ANY care for the writing itself and not just the story, DON'T start this book!

    June 18, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Sandy

      I completely agree. I read a bit further into the book but about 1/2 way through I had to quit. I don't care about the characters and I find the whole hoopla about it puzzling. I have wondered if those that are reading this book and loving it never actually read books hence all the excitement.

      June 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
      • kaeelle

        Sandy, I, too, believed that the story was poorly written. However, I finished the trilogy, and enjoyed it. I also read a great deal of other books.... I went into it not expecting a masterpiece. I went into it with a friend's recommendation, who told me to look into the characters deeper. I personally walked away from the book with the feeling that it was less about BDSM and more about two characters who had no idea how to love, and wanted to figure it out. I do not think that it is representative of the BDSM community in the least. I was expecting nothing from the book, so I suppose I walked away pleasantly surprised about the story of two people, but not at all impressed by the writing, or the depth (or lack thereof) in the characters, or the Scene. I read quite often, and I think this book, for me, was simply a stream of consciousness of the author, and she doesn't fully understand the scene at all. As a general story it was enjoyable, but only if you weren't expecting much to begin with.

        June 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        Sandy, speaking as a gay male I, personally, prefer more pain than what the normal, typical human likes.

        June 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        Oh, I really got PumpDump reeling. He couldn't say I was a fat lady so this is next on his "fear list." So you like 'em hairy, eh Pumpy?

        June 19, 2012 at 8:19 am |
      • Phorn

        Anonymous August 3, 2010 You did the right thing. I wpuild have done the same and even more than that. I would ahve spapled his face with my id.He deserves it for not only being stupid but irresponsible.Don't ever feel guilty for such persons.And I will not aologize. He should know better.

        August 5, 2012 at 3:53 am |
    • Evolved One

      The structure of her prose is redundant and tedious at best.

      June 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
      • Bernard

        I'm speechless. This can be a sruepb blog and very attractive too. Nice work! That's now not actually a lot coming from an newbie publisher like me, however it's all I may just say after diving into your posts. Nice grammar and vocabulary. Not like other blogs. You actually recognise what you?re talking about too. Such a lot that you made me want to discover more. Your blog has develop into a stepping stone for me, my friend.

        August 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • igmbsrmxclr

        Scya8x krdoyhtionoa

        August 3, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • jean

      it's very amateurish!

      June 19, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      I haven't read it, but there is often an obsessive quality about this kind of writing; the characters are so concentrated on their needs that they never seem to cook dinner or change their clothes. All the details that aren't about ropes and cuffs just melt away, and this is fine with the target audience but leaves those of us who aren't obsessed checking our watches.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:41 am |
      • PumpNDump

        You check your watch since your ED doc has advised you to time yourself advise him when you can last longer than 30 seconds and overcome the "2 pump chump" syndrome.

        June 19, 2012 at 9:48 am |
      • Hugh Jass

        Hi Pumpy; you really HAVE been up all night thinking about my wiener, haven't you? Sorry, but I'm straight. Hey, could you try to sound a little more insecure about your masculinity? We're not sure it's really you.

        June 19, 2012 at 10:27 am |
      • PumpNDump

        I know a lots of woman you don't know what you are talking about.

        June 19, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  38. Tessiepie

    My 16 year old girl is upset that this made the best sellers list, she is now learniing -Yes Virginia, there's such a thing as "dirty ole' women"

    June 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  39. Hugh Jass

    Fifty Ways to Tease Your Lover? How to make a woman scream in bed(wipe on the curtains afterwards).

    June 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Hannibal

      Fifty Ways to Eat Your Liver?

      June 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  40. Hugh Jass

    To sum it all up, this book has made a lot of housewives wet and gotten PumpDump rock hard over fat girls somehow. But it will never take the place of A SOLDIER ERECT.

    June 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      There is nothing I love more than the feel of male's hairy rear cupped in my hands.

      June 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        Glad you like my name, Pumpy. Good luck living up to it adequately. I suggest a thesaurus and some life experience . . .

        June 19, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      I'm so glad that "Don't ask, Don't tell" is no longer an issue. I can be free to live as I truly am.

      June 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        Gee Pumpy, not only do you swipe my name, but is this some kind of otaku mating ritual? Your mind seems to be a pathological swirl of fat chicks, neck beards, gay behinds, and cat ladies. I'm thinking those people who said you lived with your mom weren't too far off. Are you taking anti-psychotic medication? You ought to try it.

        June 19, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  41. HighLarious

    This has been the best comment banter I've seen in a while. I'm not a literature critic, but I do like an engaging quick read, and this book series is just that. Easy & quick to read. I don't believe for a moment that it was written to be considered anywhere near Pulitzer, Ovid, nor Nobel qualifying material. Since I don't have a degree in literature, nor a paying job as a book critic, I'll keep my opinion to myself. But I love reading everyone elses!

    June 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • kaeelle

      As a person with an English degree with a focus in Literature, I still found the book a quick and easy read, and engaging on a personal level. Even without it being a well-written book, it was still enjoyable on the basic level. Glad to see you enjoy the commentary. 🙂

      June 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  42. Jack Kieser

    I'm 12 years old and what is this

    June 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • PumpNdump

      What is this I don’t even

      June 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  43. JenniferK8

    To me, this book is just a modern version of an older book, "The Story of O." Some people are fascinated by Fifty Shades of Grey because it's a lifestyle/fantasy to which they are not accustomed. Books such as the aforementioned allow readers to fantasize without stepping out of their comfort zones. It's fiction, but not worth the hype it receives.

    June 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  44. Bookenz

    Anyone who has read the book knows what it is. A love story.

    June 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Victoria

      I totally agree!

      June 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • ready

      Yes a love story like so many other pulp romance novels that 40 year old women read.

      June 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
      • Evolved One

        Really? You can speak for every woman in her 40s? What a stupid, presumptive society this has become.

        June 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • swtnsassy

      Amen! You are so right. It is simply a love story and as another poster stated: theBDSM elements are just the "spark". People are comparing these books to the Beauty series (I read those many years ago), this is like comparing apples to oranges. Beauty was a true BDSM series.

      I really enjoyed the 50 Shades or Grey.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:37 am |
  45. forgiven

    Ok folks bashing each other. I have lived that life style. I can tell you after many years I know it is not for me. It is in every town and country you just don't hear that much about it. Most of the people I do know who are in the lifestyle are NOT frumpy fatties but very pretty ladies and gentlemen. And yes the sub does control what's her body...but yes a turn on for many ...that it is...and if you have never tried it don't knock just might like parts of it...

    June 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      Most of the women, and men, engaging in this are tattoed, unattractive, overweight, have piercings and have psychological issues, etc. That's a fact.

      June 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
      • forgiven

        Dear you know NOTHING.....and you do NOT know about the lifestyle because that is so NOT true..

        June 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
      • PumpNDump

        Forgiven, don't get your granny panties in a bunch. We both know it's true and that the exception proves the rule. That's why they call it a fetish. So, what's your safe word? Hagen Daz? Lol

        June 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • Yeah-right

        Passing off opinion as fact is usually strong sign of deep ignorance.
        How about some citation?

        Effectively, your comment just comes off like that of an id!otic troll who is probably just upset about their own insecurities, and thus you're just lashing out at everyone else by makign bald assertions.
        And even if you could provide citation, the fact that the US is the second most obese/overweight country on the planet is going to spike the numbers.
        The word "unattractive" is subjective. Yes, there are arguable social norms for what attractive is, but you did not provide us with context.
        Now lets consider how trendy tattoos and piercings are these days. I mean, they're REALLY trendy. So much so that having them is pretty much the norm. It's almost more of a stronger statement of individuality to NOT have them.
        Lets also consider that 75% of Americans have been diagnosed with one form of mental issues or psychological illness. Fifty percent of those people are medicated. That alone means that your average person is one with "psychological problems," as you put it.

        So even if your statement were true, it's no more accurate than saying "the people who engage in this are average people."

        June 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
      • Krandal.

        the only good woman is a gagged woman.

        June 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
      • Dr Freud

        "have psychological issues, etc. " Since this is about your third day of insisting these woman are all fat, I'd say you qualify as having psychological issues. Did a fat girl take your candy bar when you were seven? You want her to come back and give you the candy now? What kind of 'candy' are we talking about here, anyway?

        June 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
      • Evolved One

        Pot, meet kettle.....

        June 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
      • phil

        I coach soccer and the soccer moms circle up and secretly talk about this book. They are not as you describe.

        June 19, 2012 at 12:51 am |
      • swtnsassy

        Fact huh? Prove it....put your money where your mouth is! LOL

        June 19, 2012 at 5:39 am |
      • southern

        seriously I believed the same thing, but after experiencing it I can say NOT True at all. Wow, not true. It is amazingly equal in those who enjoy this lifestyle.

        June 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Not Buying It

      So, if only fat, ugly and insecure women are 'into' this, how do you know what a 'safe word' is? We all had to look that up. Busted, chum.

      June 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
      • Evolved One

        Yeah, he is a bit precious, non?

        June 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  46. Freddo

    I'll just file this under the heading ... "Get a Life".

    June 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      Some people call ME a hugh jass, but they should look at themselves.

      June 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  47. Notthatgood

    Well, because of all the hype I bought Fifty Shades of Grey. Not impressed at all by the book, will not be reading the next two books in the trilogy. Won't waste my time or money on it.

    June 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Jackie

      I felt the same way. After all the hype I was expecting a pretty good book and I think that it was mediocre at best. A big disappointment.

      June 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  48. Ricardo

    Its always the angry fat chicks and the Christians.

    June 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • phil

      What is "it?"

      June 19, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  49. Peter Venkman

    So be good, for goodness' sake! Whoa, somebody's coming... ..

    June 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  50. Fred

    What the heck did I just read?

    June 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      Probably 50 Shades of Tying Up Your Girlfriend. Either that or you are on the wrong comments board.

      June 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  51. Tabatha Stevens

    I guess the fat chicks always win in the end. But we always knew all along what they really needed for them to get their "stuff" together – a good thrashing! And all the chicks are putting on the blubber. Cant blame the boys for all going gay – us girls are whacked – too much drama. Gee I love men!

    June 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      Guys like me only like hot, fit, young chicks. Who wants to "take one for the team" with a beached whale?

      June 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        Calling yourself "Tabatha" is quite revealing, Pumpy. Did you dress up while you typed that?

        June 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        "Guys like me" Otaku clowns with no job? What does it matter what kind of girls you are into? They aren't into you. You are such an obvious virgin that it's kind of hilarious.

        June 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  52. Barnaby Collins

    The end of the world for sure as we all descend into hell led by someone named christian. so fitting.

    June 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  53. Virginia Gal

    Christian Gray, the main character, is 26 years old in the book. How does that qualify as an "older man." In fact, he's only 5 years older than Anastasia. Makes me wonder if this author really read the book. I actually think his character should have been much older. He was far too young to be the experienced, wordly man that the author tried to depict him as. The book is silly, light reading. Good for the summer. Clearly the author of the book and her husband are fueling all this publicity. It's not worthy of all the attention. I can't believe the media can't let go. I guess it's more fun than talking about real issues!

    June 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Bookenz

      He starts out as age 27.

      June 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  54. Miller

    Really – has anyone read the book and noticed that this guy is quick to the draw? A minute man? 30 seconds to mars anyone? Guess that what fat 40 year olds really want...

    June 18, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  55. Fred

    Paradise is utter surrender. The mystics all knew this, and so does anyone who has experienced it in play.

    June 18, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Krandal.

      I like chicks that have large udders.

      June 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        "I like chicks that have large udders." You are actually one of the most normal people to post here today, and most people actually agree with you.

        June 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
      • Beast

        You are right. This comment stands out like a neon sign. Guy knows what he wants and doesn't have to be tied up to admit it. One lone normal voice crying in the wilderness.

        June 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
      • Chris

        Thanks for the best laugh I've had all day; now I'll be seeing hens with huge boobs every time I look at my neighbor's chickens...ROTFLMAO

        June 20, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  56. PumpNDump

    I love how the angry fat chicks use the terms: neckbeard and sh! tlord. Lol

    June 18, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  57. Rachel

    Started it last night. It was boring. Formulaic and cliche, to the point of being humorous. But that's okay, there's plenty of other fiction out there. I'm just disappointed, given the hype. I'm not above the usual low brow beach reads, and I even read the Twilight series, but arrogant rich guy and helpless goody goody girl is just so unimaginative, and the writing is so basic, that I can't do it. This book is at the bottom of the trashy romance novel barrel.

    June 18, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Denae

      You are so correct Rachel. I did the same. Writing was mediocre at best. When you reflect on the book, Anastasia's character is not so innocent when you think of all of the cursing she did in the book.

      June 18, 2012 at 10:30 am |
      • Just me

        Just b/c a person curses doesn't mean they aren't innocent.

        June 18, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Miller

      Really – has anyone read the book and noticed that this guy is quick to the draw? A minute man? 30 seconds to mars anyone? Guess that what fat 40 year olds really want...

      June 18, 2012 at 11:06 am |
      • PumpNDump

        Miller, truer words were never spoken. Lol

        June 18, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  58. PumpNDump

    You know what the "safe word" is for the fatties and fugly chicks that read this and do this is? "twinkies"

    June 18, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  59. KGO

    ...or maybe I was just speaking for myself

    June 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  60. SeattleTim

    Next up: Puss in Boots for grown ups.

    June 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
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