Let’s Talk Sex

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.”

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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53 Responses to Let’s Talk Sex

  1. Robin says:

    lol! Great ending. ๐Ÿ™‚

    This kind of stuff has been around for ages. They used to call them romance novels (and I’m not talking Harlequin romance novels, either). I guess the press and the young mommies just discovered it. Or rediscovered it.

    • Coming East says:

      But was that kind of stuff as graphic as this new stuff is, Robin? If so, I never knew it was out there!

      • Robin says:

        Some of it was extremely graphic. One series I read (decades ago) was described by a reader as:

        “Reading this is like watching a porno movie. Great sex scenes with attempts at plot inbetween. You got everything here – orgies, gang bangs, same sex, S&M, rape, love,incest… you name it.”

        I noticed, too, when looking for a review, that quite a few women my age mention something along these lines:

        “Well! Let me just say that I found this book on my auntie’s bookshelf when I was 14 y.o. and unsuspecting began to read what was to become my sex education! Scandalous! Passionate! Everything a girl from a small town needs!”

      • Coming East says:

        Where have I been? I can tell you my dear mother never read or would have read anything like that!

  2. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So I downloaded this book to my Kindle Fire. I was hoping there was some awesome story line that was really what was attracting attention to the book. I was wrong. $9.99 wasted. It is a mystery to me why this book is a best-seller. Just like all the vampire books. Popular literature is going in a direction I do not understand. Thank goodness I didn’t buy the trilogy…

  3. LOVE the last comment! We just celebrated our 29th…:) I did NOT know it was about S & M! Boy am I naive. I’d heard about it from my son, and was going to upload a wee sample onto iBooks…now not so sure!

  4. E.C. says:

    I totally agree with you: “If this kind of smut appeals to women, they must be missing something in their personal lives. ”
    I don’t understand it either.
    But it’s a major payday for the author, I read that she just bought a house for 10 million dollars…
    Wow! just Wow!

  5. judithhb says:

    Ah Susan. I had heard of the books and somebody said that you would have to wait three years if you reserved a copy of any one of them. I am obviously stuck in some rut out in ‘older women’ land as I don’t want to read smut ever. But – maybe I could turn to a new genre of fiction – porn for women. Just a thought.

  6. pattisj says:

    I’m in the same boat with you, Susan. I saw the title mentioned on Facebook recently, but had no idea what it was about. Not my cup of tea, apparently. I like Paul Newman’s quote, too, thanks for bringing it to my remembrance. Like Dianna, I think I’m stuck in a different decade.

  7. Huffygirl says:

    I’m so flabbergasted I don’t even know what to say. A new equality for women perhaps – making us as base as some men? I hadn’t heard of this book either, but the fact that it is poorly written is no surprise – much of what is passed off these days as books is poorly written. Sigh.

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, HG, for making me feel a little less out of touch. I was beginning to think I was living on another planet. It’s good to know that there really are other women out there who have not paid any attention to this nonsense.

  8. I cringed when I saw that all of her books are still in the first three slots of the NY Times Bestseller List. I have no desire to ever read one. For me, the writing has to flow effortlessly…if it pains me to get through a sentence, I won’t read it. Isn’t that what books should be? Good writing? Am I missing something? I don’t understand the fascination with these books at all. I guess the smuttier the better in this culture.

  9. Dianna says:

    I wasn’t aware of this either, but that doesn’t surprise me. I’m happily stuck in the 60’s: movies, tv, music. It’s where I’m happiest!

  10. You are waaaay behind, honey. Last I read the list, (now a week ago) Shades of Gray 1, Shades of Gray 2, Shades of Gray Trilogy gift pack, some other book, and Shades of Gray 3 are the top five on the NY Best Seller List.
    I heard about Fifty Shades of Gray first by viewing a YouTube of ELLEN doing a reading for the audio book. Hilarious. I didn’t know the subject, or the intensity, because mostly Ellen was too embarrassed to read it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on3JCwnwHbU So funny.
    Next, I heard the author interviewed on NPR. She and her husband did most of the “research” together. Ever hear something and want to stick a washcloth in your ear and wash it out?

    No, not for me. I”m not a prude. Still intimacy is supposed to be private.

    • Coming East says:

      Loved your comment, Adela. Yes, I know I’m waaaaay behind…rub it in, why don’t you! LOL. I am definitely going to check out the YouTube video. Thanks for the link. And just for the record, I’m not a prude either, but I agree that intimacy is a private issue. Plus I feel that S&M demeans women. And men, too, for that matter.

  11. You and your husband are so sweet! Sometimes I think I am the ONLY woman NOT reading that book.

  12. The books, as I understand, are terribly written. I believe they were initially self-published. They got a lot of chatter because libraries started banning them because we’re still a stupidly puritanical country sometimes… but I guess people like what they like. Hence reality TV and Freshly Pressed blogs that fail to achieve proper spelling or grammar throughout. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Coming East says:

      I am totally against libraries banning those books, SC, just like you. I’m just amazed that so many people would read such trash. And it is just that…trash. And poorly written trash at that.

  13. yen says:

    Awww what a sweet post! I especially loved the last part! Susan, it’s so timely ‘coz it was only today that I came across that title after a friend of mine posted the last page of the book on Instagram and I wondered why she described it as addicting. Of course, I searched for some info about it first before downloading it. Good thing I checked it first ‘coz it wasn’t something I wanted to read especially – like you – when I saw that it had S & M stuff in it. So there, you’re not the only one who’s the last to know or have heard about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. My first thought when reading this post was “where have you been?” The books have been discussed on every TV show and in every manner of print for months. Then I got to your last comment “Honey, you’ve been in bondage to me for over forty years!” I think THAT is your ticket… you could produce a series called “Fifty Types of Bondage.” There are many things that bond us together, only some of them involve whips and chains! Go for it Susan, you have a few more weeks with that appendage to your foot!

    • Coming East says:

      You are so right, Carol. What George and I have is a good kind of “bondage.” I talked to my brother and sister-in-law via FaceTime this morning. They are in Ireland right now. They’ve known about the books for a long time, too. I seldom watch any TV, and don’t have a local network of friends anymore since we left San Antonio, so I seldom talk to anyone other than my husband or the children when they call. None of them ever mentioned it. I feel like such a dork for being the only one in the civilized world who hasn’t known about them.

      • emilieann says:

        There is so much smut out there we don’t need to know about it…Satan has a way to infiltrate everyone’s mind without our help. Only the Holy Spirit can keep us from such
        filthy thoughts. Please don’t entertain these thoughts. It saddens the true Spirit in us. Once I heard of the contents of this book, I had to disassociate from some bloggers as that was their genre. Knowledge of the ploys of evil is one thing but to indulge or be inquisitive is another. No thanks. Glad all of your bloggers agree!!!

      • Coming East says:

        I know, Emilieann. I thought it was great that my blogging buddies felt the same way I did about that trash. I guess we follow each other’s blogs because we enjoy the same things and have the same moral compasses.

      • emilieann says:

        Being of the same “generation” helps but seeing younger bloggers is encouraging. Keep it coming Susan.

      • Coming East says:

        Yes, I was glad to see some younger bloggers who are disgusted with that kind of trash, too, Emilieann.

  15. Shary Hover says:

    I haven’t read the series and don’t plan to, but a few reviewers I trust have told me that the books aren’t very well written. An even stronger reason to spend my time reading something else.

  16. Al says:

    Ah ha! I always suspected that Patty had something else hidden behind that big volume of War and Peace.

  17. Lenore Diane says:

    The topic of the book may be disturbing, true. However, to me, the worst part is the writing and grammar. It is not a well written book – regardless of the topic. I cringe every time I hear how successful the book is on the lists, because it just makes me sad that the caliber of writing is not worth the success.
    I have not read the book, nor will I read the book. I’ve heard it started out as a fan fiction piece inspired by Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. Regardless, I am embarrassed such a poorly written book made it to the top.

    • Coming East says:

      Yes, LD, it’s sad that To make the NY Times list, you can be an atrocious writer. You just need to give the people what they want, which in the case of this book, seems to be smut.

  18. notquiteold says:

    I stumbled upon a great definition of ‘erotica’ the other day. “Erotica” is porn that works for you.
    Now I have nothing against erotica of many different kinds – if it works for you – fine. But what bugs me the most is that everyone agrees that “Fifty Shades of Grey” is very poorly written. Yet it makes a ton of money. How about some well-written erotica? (is there such a thing?)

  19. I pulled weeds yesterday and was very satisfied with how much better the island azalea bed looked after two months of neglect…been busy in many ways…my life is full without looking for weeds of another variety.

  20. Hilarious! I nearly choked when your husband stated he already read about it in Time…lol. It’s sad how many people think they’re “missing something” in their lives.

    • Coming East says:

      I know, Life! I was shocked at how long it has been on the best-sellers list. The article also said that libraries can’t keep it on their shelves and some of them have holds on it 150 deep or more. S&M is just plain creepy to me. Yuck!

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