Saturday morning, as I was about to read the funnies, the only section of the newspaper worth reading, I came across this headline: Hot and Bothered. It took up half the front page of the entertainment section. Of course, I thought it was talking about the steamy weather that has been hitting the nation, but as I read on, I became rather hot and bothered myself. It was about a new book craze labeled “mommy porn.” The article went into detail about the novel, Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels. Apparently, it is a best-seller, atop the New York Times list for fifteen weeks now. I think movie rights have already been bought. According to the article, people like dirty books.
Erotica has gone mainstream. Where have I been? My husband was busy perusing the rest of the paper across the table. “You won’t believe this article on this book called Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s about…” Without looking up, he said, “Oh, you mean that mommy porn book?”
I was stunned? “How do you know about this?” I asked. He told me he had read an article in Time magazine. I went to the coffee table and grabbed the newest issue. “You won’t find it there,” he said. “It was awhile ago.” How is it that even my husband has known about this for quite some time and I’m just now learning about it? We must run in different circles.
The newspaper article said that the book is a woman’s kind of fantasy. If this kind of smut appeals to women, they must be missing something in their personal lives. One of the main characters is aloof, which is supposed to make women want him more because , so says the article, women always want something they can’t have. Really? I want what I can always have because I know how great it is. As Paul Newman said about his wife, Joanne Woodward, “Why should I go out for hamburger when I can have steak at home?”
“These books are about torture and bondage, and women are supposed to like that?” I asked my husband.
He shrugged. “It’s a turn-on for some women, I guess.” The only turn-on I have and have ever had was sitting right across the table from me, clearly enjoying my bewilderment. “Should we read the books and get some ideas?” he joked.
I looked him dead in the eye. “Honey, we don’t need those books. You’ve been in bondage to me for over forty years.”