I was completely unaware of the Fifty Shades trilogy until last Monday (2nd July) when I was driving to work listening to Radio City and the DJ was playing a game called Fifty Shades of Andy Grey, where a listener called in and had to correctly identify whether the quotes they were reading out came from Fifty Shades of Grey or Andy Grey's autobiography.
The DJ could barely read some of the quotes for laughing - particularly the Andy Grey quotes which had been chosen to try and confuse the caller - things like "He always has great control over his balls" and such like. Of course I assumed at that point that the other book was a bit pervy, although I'd not heard of it and yet from that moment on I noticed my Facebook news feed was littered with people referring to it.
Curiosity got the better of me - why haven't I heard of it if everyone else has, although admittedly I don't watch the news and I don't read papers and most of what I know about current affairs is told to me by my other half or my family - so I fired up Wikipedia and searched for it. I've not read any of the Twilight books although they have been recommended to me. I am however a big fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books and I love True Blood so I was quite interested when I saw that it had originally been written as fan fiction and I assumed that the Christian Grey character was initially a Vampire.
But still I wasn't particularly tempted until my sister called in the next day and waxed lyrical about the whole trilogy. Now my sister has good taste, she's older than me by 16 years, and is sophisticated and smart and doesn't suffer fools gladly. So I was even more curious that she was completely taken with this book which sounded pretty trashy.
So that evening I searched the internet for it and downloaded it. "What are you downloading?" my other half asked, "urm just a book..." "Oh not that Fifty Shades book?" Even he'd heard of it!! But he understood my curiosity under the same curiosity I have about occasionally watching X Factor just to keep up with the office gossip - not that I have office gossip anymore being self employed but there's always small talk to be made with suppliers, customers etc.
So I finished the third book yesterday morning. Yep it took me less than a week to read the whole trilogy. Now I am a fast reader but I was quite taken with it because it was easy to read and although its hard to find the story line in the first book it does develop in the second and third books. However I think the genius of this book and the cause of it being so popular is not necessarily the sex scenes, which are abundant, but the simple root of most women's fantasy - finding the most attractive, richest single man who has no interest in finding love until he meets you because you are the only woman in the world he could love. Oh and he also has a huge cock to boot!
It's Pride and Prejudice with handcuffs.
Chistian Grey is actually a bit dull. I mean on the one hand he sounds a bit like a young woman's shopping list;
- Tall - tick
- Dark - well he's ginger but he's dark on the inside - tick
- Handsome - only the handsomest man in the whole universe, obviously - tick
- Rich - tick
- Likes music - tick
- Can play a musical instrument - like some kind of rock star - tick
- Knows about stuff like wine and art and the world in general - tick
- Kind - well he wants to feed the world and try to make sure no one goes hungry - tick
- Generous - he's filthy rich and likes buying presents - tick
- Good in bed - well he's apparently had a lot of practice but he never loved any of the others only me - tick
- Well endowed - tick
Not only is he this perfect man character he also happens to fall in love and propose within 6 weeks. I mean I've had a few boyfriends in the past and I'll admit that in my younger days when I would meet someone and fancy the pants off them because they were tall, dark and handsome and played the guitar I would think "oh my God I would marry him tomorrow if he asked me" but a few weeks later the novelty has worn off and I'm very much relieved that normal blokes wait a few years or even forever before they consider proposing marriage. It's a bit of a fantasy in fact for a woman to be proposed to and say "I need to think about it" as opposed to the "Oh My God yesss!!!" that most women say when their beloved gets down on one knee (I imagine, I don't know, it's never happened to me - I imagine I'd laugh and find the whole thing a bit embarrassing.)
Then again I also believe that when you know, you know and who's to say 6 weeks isn't long enough to be dead sure you've met the person you want to tie up and whip everyday for the rest of your life?
Of course the other thing that's worth pointing out is that Mr Grey has an amazing libido and the pair of them together have an amazing recovery time enabling them both to have countless orgasms within the same session. I think there are few people who would read this book and say 'I don't know what all the fuss is about, doesn't everyone have sex 6 times a day with riding crops and butt plugs?' Because - and maybe I'm on my own on this one but - I tend to just fall asleep after sex. But weirdly while Mr Grey likes his 'kinky fuckery', he is only doing all this for her pleasure - expanding her sensations and opening her up to a whole world of pleasure...he doesn't get anything out of it other than the pleasure of seeing her experience mind blowing sex.
I mean what a guy. He's all over her like an octopus all day long but only so that she'll have the joy of multiple orgasms.
Brilliant...and while I'm quite a big fan of orgasms I'm also a big fan of watching TV, cooking, going swimming, hanging out with my friends and you know generally not being tied to a bed and endlessly molested all in the name of my pleasure. Make me a cup of tea and I'll be more than happy!
On the other hand, one minute he's being a massive perv and the next he's talking to her like he's her dad. If I was about to marry someone I wouldn't expect to have to ask his permission to got to the deli in my lunch hour to buy a sandwich. I wouldn't expect my boyfriend to buy the company I just started working for so he can keep an eye on me and I wouldn't expect him to get angry with me and fantasise about tying me up and beating me to within an inch of my life just because I didn't tell him I was going to visit my mum.
But it's an easy read, I can see why everyone is going crazy over it and perhaps if the sex wasn't quite so full on it would just be yet another adult romance novel - however I don't get the fuss about Christian Grey. When I invite a man to watch TV with me he better damn well watch TV and keep his hands to himself!