Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fifty Shades of Erotica?

Recently the trilogy Fifty Shades, by the British author E. L. James, topped the New York Times Bestseller’s List. It set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time, surpassing the Harry Potter series.
The books tell the tale of a dominant-submissive affair between a manipulative millionaire Christian Grey and a college graduate, Anastasia Steele. It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes which include elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism (BDSM).  
At first, when I heard about it, I got curious about all the attention it was receiving. It’s not like there aren’t any “erotic” or sex scenes in other books! Take Jeffrey Archer for instance, I think in each one of his books you’ll find a pretty steamy passage.
So anyways, I decided that I just had to read it. I mean it’s not like I am doing much anyways, these days. So, barring common sense, I downloaded the eBooks and starting reading it.
Well, long ago I had devised the habit of passing over or simply scanning those pages which were a little uncomfortable for me and taking up the tale when all the panting had subsided into normal narrative. This at least made Fifty Shades a fast read, since most of it is about sex and – spare us all – sexual contracts.
But I’ll say this much, I was intrigued by the relationship and how it developed.
The author, E L James, had started it as a Twilight fan fiction, and let me say I wasn’t surprised!
I think by now everybody knows about the Twilight series, but for those who have some doubt, Twilight is a series of four vampire-themed fantasy romance novels by American author Stephenie Meyer. It charts a period in the life of Isabella "Bella" Swan, a teenage girl who moves to Forks, Washington, and falls in love with a 104-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen.
Well, just like Twilight, I could see why everyone was so “in love” with these books. It is all there, just like Twilight -- the moodiness that keeps the woman off balance, the aggression that makes her blame herself, the desire to hurt. Christian Grey doesn't sparkle though. Not even under the sun.
Now I know that there’s a reason why it’s called fiction but seriously people, a dream to fall in love with a Vampire?
I don’t know how many people out there watch the show Supernatural, well I do. There was this one episode in Season 6, where the protagonists, Dean and Sam, who hunt demons and all other kinds of creatures, come across a Vampire’s Nest that has been taking advantage of teenage girls by “pretending” to be a vampire like Edward. That was one of the most hilarious episodes for me.
Anyways, my point here, except for telling you that I am a supernatural fan, is that I understand fantasy and the need to fantasize but isn’t all this going a little too far?
Anyhow, this Fifty Shades phenomenon has been called “Mommy porn” and some serious objections are being raised about its success and questions that were always discussed in a “hush – hush” manner, are now being asked in an approach that’s more open and factual.
It is being hailed "for bringing the debate on female sexuality out in the open.”
What seems evident to me after the huge success of Fifty Shades that the market for sexually arousing content in the written medium or literature erotica, the term that is being used in relation to such books, seems to be gaining momentum in India. This can be seen from over 100,000 copies sold in India. I mean, just the other day I saw this whole series in one of those small time side walk stands.
There have been rumors that after the phenomenon success of EL James's Fifty Shades, a publisher of adult fiction is giving literary classics such as Jane Eyre and Pride And Prejudice an erotic makeover. Also publishing house Mills and Boon, which is famous for its romantic fiction for housewives, is hoping to emulate the success of erotic novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey' by launching its own erotic series, entitled 'Twelve Shades of Surrender.'
So will erotica surface from under the blanket to occupy prominent space in bookstores?

5 comments :

  1. a lot of what people I've talked to about this series, was besides the relationship aspect and the moodiness and the "fifty shades of ****** up" lol was the BDSM part. Quite a bit of modern women well few that I know at least *smiles* are either wanting to be dominated in the bedroom, or are wanting to dominate. And the play in the bedroom, or actually his playroom, is quite intriguing. Though while most of us wish we could have our "Christian Grey" the rich, young, dominate male... most of us just want something more in the bedroom. But I must say this has been one of the best reviews I've seen on the book that's on the opposite side of the spectrum. The side where they aren't swooning over the books. I'm pleased to say I am one of those who is a swooner over the series lol.


    On another note.... I'm basically right there with you on what you said on you're "about me" I'm currently a student getting my BA in Interactive Media, and a minor in Digital Media... it took me forever to figure this out. I've also been trying to write my own book for a few years now and well let's just say it's a slow going process. So its ok that you can't figure out what you want to do with your life right now... but once you do figure it out... the passion for it will be so strong that nothing will get in the way of that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, thank you, i am really glad you like the review, fifty shades was actually my first series in the adult fiction genre,so i was a bit surprised by it. Also thanks for the insight about how you feel, really appreciate it, its so truthful! Again i am really glad we connected!!
    Also, thank you soo much for the advise, it really takes time to figure what we want to do with our lives, and it also gets a little scary, but thanks for the support.
    And best of luck for the book. Some of the best things are the ones that take time and thus leading to perfection.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am a big fan of romance and did start reading fifty... and could not go beyond fifty pages.

    Well, I must get back to the book. Maybe, some day :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can't wait for the movie. I loved the books. I should agree these are the best written books.
    50 Shades Of Grey Movie

    ReplyDelete