Fifty Shades of Dumb (Blogathon 8/49)

***Spoiler alert*** I talk about characters and some of the plot from the first book in the Fifty Shades of Grey series. This post is also a little sexually explicit, so deal with that however you’d like to.

This week I broke down and read Fifty Shades of Grey. If you haven’t heard of this, clicky click on the link I just gave you.

So there were a few reasons why I picked up this book in the first place. The primary reasons being that it was a best seller, and I wanted to know why an erotic novel was so popular when there are probably hundreds just like it. Was it better written than others? Did it appeal for reasons other than the sex? The other main reason was plain curiosity. I had recently read an article that talked about rope sales increasing because of Fifty Shades of Grey, and my curiosity peaked. I’ll be honest, I don’t really have anything to compare the book to because I’ve never read erotic fiction before, but I do read a ton of fiction, so I’ll stick to that.

My first impression of the book: not impressed.

First there’s the characters. I hated the main character. I’m sure she’s likeable enough to some, but I just could not stand her. She was so up and down and couldn’t communicate her feelings at all. Which, okay fine, plenty of people are like that in real life, but for some reason I couldn’t relate to her and I think that really damaged my reading experience. Then we have Mr. Grey. Mr. Grey just happens to be the most attractive guy you can imagine. He has gray eyes (oh, I see wut she did there!), is young and has lots of money. He also happens to fly his own helicopter in his spare time. It’s a bit much.

Then there’s the plot. So the main character, Anastasia, meets Mr. Grey, graduates from college, gets a job in Seattle and moves to a new place with her roommate. Isn’t that exciting? Well, yes, there’s a lot of “plot” with Anastasia and Mr. Grey. Here’s how that goes: “I love you! ..Wait, I’m not sure. Does he love me? He tells me he doesn’t want to lose me. I love him! …Wait I’m not sure…” and so on and so forth. There really wasn’t much of a climax (well, there were lots of climaxes…but I’ll get to that in a second). Nothing really happened, except for -

The sex. Yes. There was lots and lots of sex as one might expect from erotic fiction. Sure, the sex was good. But it was just so…dumb. I mean, they came at the same time. Every. Time. Let’s be for real here. Also, Anastasia was a virgin. But somehow she’s amazing at everything she tries for the first time. How fortunate for her (and Mr. Grey).

I think one of the main appeals of this book was its descriptions of BDSM elements. Yes, there’s a bit of some kinky things going on in the story, but this bothered me as well. To be clear, the BDSM did not bother me at all. On the contrary, it didn’t shock me at all, but I can see how many people would be shocked and intrigued by it. My grudge with this was the idea that kept coming up. Anastasia was constantly trying to figure out why Mr. Grey is the way he is. She knows there has to be something that made him that way. She knows that Mr. Grey’s desire to be a dominant and control and punish his submissive (if she agrees to it) has to be caused by some terrible past experience. As it turns out, Anastasia is right. Mr. Grey has a dark past which makes him crave this BDSM lifestyle, and this leads Anastasia to the conclusion that Mr. Grey will never be able to love.

First off: woah. If I was to read this book without any previous knowledge of BDSM culture/lifestyle/kinks, I think this book would leave me thinking that someone like Mr. Grey who likes this in real life probably has had a dark past, or has some sort of psychological issues. And this just isn’t true. I know of several people who enjoy these things, and they’re just fine, thank you very much.

Granted, Anastasia does seem to enjoy some of the activities. When it comes to pain, though, she seems to think that no “normal” person would want to cause/receive pain. That’s where I hold my grudge with this book.

Long story short, I really didn’t like Fifty Shades of Grey. If you liked it, cool! Why did you? I’m fully aware that plenty of people enjoy these books; this is only my opinion of it. Am I thinking too hard about the BDSM psychology part of it? Do you think the way Mr. Grey is depicted is fair?

This is post 8 of 49 for Blogathon.

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About michaelyn

Michaelyn is a student at the University of Kansas. She has a BS in Behavioral Neuroscience and plans to pursue medical school. She's also married to some guy named JT.


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