Ariel’s Book Report: Fifty Shades of Grey

So the book that’s making housewives everywhere squirm (in a good way) finally got into my grubby hands last week. Let’s just say it’s a quick read – think Jessica Wakefield from Sweet Valley High discovers Skinamax.

A few pages in I’m already annoyed because our fearless heroine Anastasia Steele (the 80’s are calling, they want their soap cast names back) meets her man by falling into his office. Cue the rom-com clumsy adorable dipshit girl! And our hero, who’s dashing but dark due to a traumatic childhood (SPOILER ALERT: crack whore baby mama) is Christian Grey. And guess what?!? He has gray (grey?) eyes, wears gray suits, likes black/white/GRAY, gray gray gray. And he’s gorgeous! Gorgeous. Did I say he was gorgeous? Because he IS. It’s mentioned on every page, lest you forget. And rich. Did I tell you he’s rich? Because he IS. Blah blah blah. His eyes do a lot of smoldering and shit every time Anastasia bites her lip. Which is often. Perhaps it’s a facial tic? No matter. That’s all it takes to turn gray Grey on.

I kept throwing the book across the room, then would grab it and flip through more pages, muttering with frustration: “Where the fuck is the SMUT?!? This PG-13, YA crap is killing me!!!” Until one of my friends told me, “Hold on until page 80. It gets better after page 80.”

OK so on page 80 they hook up in an elevator, but not really. But it is indeed the start of the SEX. The kinky SEX. (SPOILER ALERT: He’s a Dom. SPOILER ALERT: She’s a sub. SPOILER ALERT: But is she?!?!?) She hitches her breath a lot. I assume it’s asthma but apparently it’s severe arousal. And she’s a virgin, yet this sexy, “fifty shades of fucked up” dude makes her come. every. time. With like NO clitoral stimulation! Well, we can’t TELL if there’s any clitoral stimulation, because her lady parts are referred to as “her sex.” Not vagina, not vulva, not coochie or punani. Her sex. There’s a lot of parts to her sex, or so I’ve been told, by “Our Bodies, Ourselves” and a hand-held mirror. But if you’re using this book for sex ed purposes, you’re in deep shit. Like one of those evolution-was-only-made-up science books kind of shit.

OK back to the sex. She has fucking tsunami-proportion waves of cum every time he fucks her. She loses her shit, goes into convulsions, starts speaking in tongues, every single time. That’s just what he DOES to her! Ay yi yi papi. Toys, leather straps and silver balls are also introduced. Anal is mentioned but ultimately didn’t get the e-vite to the party. Perhaps in book two, Fifty Shades of Poop? And oh yeah, someone called her “inner goddess” claps a lot, hides behind sofas, does fist pumps on occasion. I got so confused – here we have a young woman, possibly schizophrenic, with facial tics, and some sort of genetic mutation that gives her orgasms with literally the possibility of a penis in the vicinity of her vag. And she’s America’s erotic sweetheart?

So here’s my take. It’s a mindless, sudsy, Harlequin-esque book; go ahead and read it, with a bag of Doritos and some boxed wine handy. If it helps women to be more comfortable experimenting with their sexuality and it helps them to push a few “gray” envelopes (you see what I did there), then I’m all for it. If it instead feeds into the dangerous delusion that you’re supposed to have an orgasm EVERY TIME A PENIS INSERTS ITSELF IN YOUR VAGINA (or just happens to be hanging out nearby) and therefore if you don’t, your body is deformed, your husband is a failure and you should just get divorced and find some fucked-up S & M dude on Craigslist, then Houston, we have a problem.


  1. metricjulie

    July 10, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Aside from the use of “retarded”, I fully agree with and love this. Have you read SlutWalk Seattle’s open letter to people experimenting with kink after having read this?

    There’s resources and links and stuff in there.

    • Ariel

      July 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Hey sugar, thanks for the response and the link. And I hear ya about the “retarded” -I was going for the literal definition of “limited, slow” in terms of the writing but I think that’s lost in translation-will change it. Xox

  2. Ken

    July 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    //the dangerous delusion that you’re supposed to have an orgasm EVERY TIME A PENIS INSERTS ITSELF IN YOUR VAGINA//

    Wait. That doesn’t happen?

  3. Nikki B

    July 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    OMG I LOVE YOU. I might have an orgasm after reading this. And I’m not even sitting on Ken’s face.

  4. Ariel

    July 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    that’s ok Ken thinks his PENIS could cause an orgasm-Bwhahahahaha!

  5. Ariel

    July 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Oh shit that sounds way harsh–it does, Ken, it does! In fact, every appendage you have gives me the big O!!!

  6. Pingback: Everybody’s doing it!* « Marriage, dating, and kink.

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