Fifty Shades of Tepid

I promised myself I wouldn’t do this.  I resisted for weeks.  Fought impulses, held internal debates with myself. 

It wasn’t pleasant.  But here I am.  I can’t contain myself any longer.

I have to say a few things about that insipid trilogy , Fifty Shades of Grey.  I’m sorry. 



Reasons Why No Healthy, Emotionally-sound Woman Should Read Fifty Shades of Grey:

1. It’s written by someone who started her “career” writing fan fiction.

I mean. Come on .   Her pen name was Snowqueens Icedragon.

Snowqueens.  Icedragon.

What’s her fanfiction creation called?  “Master of the Universe.”  Someone clearly made her believe that she had fabulous secret powers.

I’m sure there are many fans of the whole Edward and Bella crap (spoiler alert: I’m not one of them) who think that it’s completely legitimate to take this fantasy so far as to write a story in which Edward is totally a Dom and Bella is his Sub…

Sure, Ok. we’ll go with it for the sake of argument.

And, no, I have not read, “Master of the Universe.” I can think of far better ways to waste time.

I should also mention that this book is SO OBVIOUSLY written by someone non-American.  Wanna write a book about Americans? Use American vernacular.  This Anastasia chick is ignorant in EVERYTHING , but  uses phrases  like “…not this old chestnut” (she’s 22), and has a decent vocabulary (not many college kids would be likely to use the word “ensconced”.).

2.  The lead character hasn’t lost her  milk teeth, even after months of “hot” sex.

This girl, who is days away from graduating from college when we meet her, is a virgin.

Ok. Fine. Nothing wrong with that.

But, it’s not that she’s a virgin that bothers me. it’s that she seems to have been raised under a fucking rock.

What college senior doesn’t drink coffee?  Not only does she not drink coffee, she drinks her tea weak.

She apparently turns down physical attention of any kind – even from her hot photographer friend, who wants to lick every known substance off of her naked body. 

She is unfamiliar with almost everything.

Anastasia (of course that’s her name) has *never* heard Lakme’s flower duet.  She has never heard La Traviata. Even if she doesn’t know the names of these pieces of music, by 22 most normal, adapted people have hard snippets of the music.  What kind of woman /girl-being is this?

Of course, at 22, not many are worldly, and it makes perfect sense that a successful kabillionaire would want to seduce her.

(What does make sense, is that this 27 year old kabillionaire sees that he can TOTALLY take advantage of this milk-toast kid).

But, ok, here’s what really made me want to throw this book into the nearest sewage grate:

She calls her vagina/clitoris/labia “down there.”

For example:

“He gives me a wicked grin, the effects of which travel all the way down there.”

“My heart leaps and desire pools way down low…down there.”

“He traces his tongue … to my shoulder …he hums softly as he does, and the sound resonates through me. Right down…[sic ]right down there, inside me.”

For the love of Christ. 

Even after having very frequent sex with this guy for months, this girl still calls it “down there.”

That alone made me guffaw at this “author’s” talents.   Erotica? Hardly.

3.  This book is the Sweet Valley High of erotica.




So. Ok.   Fastforward to not very far in to the novel.

This 22 year old has an orgasm her first time.

I’ll pause a minute while you let that sink in.

I’ve already mentioned the use of “down there”, but what woman , what non-virgin woman (I assume the married EL James (not her real name) is not a virgin, but maybe that assumption is very, very wrong) has an orgasm her first time having intercourse?

It happens, you say? Ok. I’ll believe you.

But this orgasm is not from clitoral stimulation.   It’s supposedly a g-spot orgasm. Yeah.

Anastasia probably couldn’t bear to bring herself to say G-spot, yet, she somehow has a penEtrative orgasm nearly every single time she has sex with this guy? Unlikely.

And, hello? How about some variety?

Ok – so, we get it, EL.  You love Twilight.    You think Edward Cullen is a sexy beast (he SPARKLES, people. )  And, maybe vampires who are a thousand years old (don’t bother correcting me, I really could not care less) don’t have a lot of sexual experience, but … yawn.

Alright. They have sex in bed. In the shower. In the bathtub (yeah, i’m doubting Snowfire Iceunicorn has tried it in the tub).  In the “red room” (predictable).   They make out in the elevator.  He touches her “down there” in the elevator. They do it on his boat (oh, that might be book two, sorry).  They do it at his parents house…

You get the picture.

Not once (at least not as far as I could tolerate reading ) do they do it, stark naked, at night, in his office with the lights on, naked pressed against the window for all of Seattle to see, standing up.  The don’t seem to do it in the kitchen.   Or on the stairs.  

Boring. Ordinary. They have “normal” sex.

Or , not, depending on your current state of frustration.  But, if I’m reading erotica (and , yeah, some people are calling this pornography.  Hardly.   Judy Blume was more graphic than some of the scenarios in this book), I want to be surprised at every turn.  I want to read something that doesn’t make me feel insulted.   I want something *different*. 

Yes, real-life sex on a piano could very well be hot – but, we’ve all seen Pretty Woman.  It’s been done.

The sex described isn’t unusual.  It’s pretty standard.  So there’s a little bondage.  There’s a little use of sex toys.  Some flogging. So what?

There is nothing shocking about this book, and once you are halfway in, you realize that it’s just a story ( that I’m convinced is written by EL James’s 16 year old daughter) about a very inexperienced girl who has no idea what sex is, but who will do anything she’s told by this controlling asshole… well.  Alright. if that’s your thing. Go forth and read .


4.  This kabillionaire eats the lamest food ever.

Duh. Of course I noticed the food. How could I not?  Christian is constantly telling Anastasia to eat (ok, so that bit got me a little hot).

So, Christian Grey is a kabillionaire.  He has a kabillion houses, a kabillion cars, a helicopter, and god-knows-what-all (I only read books one and two, and after I read that they were GETTING MARRIED, I could take no more – I don’t give a shit what other great toys the guy has).

But, get this.  He has a household staff of 2.  T-W-O.

His housekeeper/cook Mrs.Jones (who is, apparently, very bored with her day job), and his driver/everything else, Taylor.

Mrs. Jones makes things like – hold on tight – SCRAMBLED EGGS!  BACON!  PANCAKES!


Grey’s first date with Ana (well, of course, HE only calls her Anastasia) is dinner (I don’t count that ridiculous coffeehouse bullshit) at the Heathman (a pretty cool old hotel in Portand, though why EL James didn’t choose the Benson is beyond me)  . 

What do they have? Champagne and oysters.  This book (soon to be movie – don’t get me started.  Unless it’s as provocative as American Psycho, it won’t be worth the ticket price) is set in the Pacific Northwest , home of salmon, trout, crab, deer, elk, local-organic-almost- anything and this author chooses oysters (oh, right, an aphro-DES-iac)? Fucking elementary.

Surely his cook would make something creative. Like, umm, lavender sorbet.




(try this: add some Domaine de Canton to this recipe and you will NOT be sorry)

Or a corn, tomato, cucumber, basil salad with olive oil and cider vinegar.  



(I added the tomato, cuke, and some honey mustard to the dressing – was fab, of course)

Or, oh, I dunno, anything interesting  or remotely non-vanilla would do.

The point is, please don’t read this book.  It’s being touted as “Mom Porn”, but nearly all of the moms I know are entirely too intelligent for this tripe.

You wanna be turned on?  Here are some suggestions:

1. A.N. Roquelaure’s Sleeping Beauty Trilogy.

I first read it more than 20 years ago, and it’s far naughtier than EL James could ever imagine. And, not a single character says, “He put his tongue down there, and, oh my!”



Check it out. 

3. EL James has created playlists on Youtube to go along with the novels. (Think of it as a mixtape – see? I told you it was written by her 16 year old daughter). 


I say, listen to these beauties instead:

Jessy J, Sexy Silk

Bush, Letting the Cables Sleep

Gereard McMann,  Cry Little Sister

Eurythmics, This City Never Sleeps

Van Halen, Black and Blue

NIN, Closer

Depeche Mode, I Feel You

George Michael, Freeek!

LL Cool J, Doin’ It

Alex Clare, Too Close to Love You

Alex Clare, When Doves Cry

Sade, No Ordinary Love

Madonna, The Beast Within

Jem,  Come on Closer







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