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Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)
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message 1: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (lahilden) | 106 comments Hello everyone, I have a question. Since The Doctors had a show that said romances were bad for your health and took this comparison from reading 50 Shades, I've been having a discussion with people on another site about what is considered romance. I was saying 50 Shades, due to the content of S/M, makes it an erotica romance, not actually a romance, but a sub-genre of romance, and when referring to the book in the media, it should be presented that way. Many disagreed and said it was romance. My questions, since I've not read this series, is if you remove the sex from the books is there still a story? Is it a love story? Do you consider 50 Shades an erotica romance? I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts.

L.A. Parker (lafp) | 22 comments Yes, it is an erotic romance, and follows the basic Harlequinesque format, bad boy meets good girl. Life is not the same until she is his. Conflict, conflict, conflict. Resolution. Happily ever after. Twilight was the same. The formula is not bad in itself, it is how the story is told and the conflict unfolds that makes it a good romance. I have mixed feelings about 50 Shades.

My definition of pure romance is simple love story, not much story other than the love one. I like romantic suspense especially with a spec ops format but I write long stories with a romantic component that builds more realistically and has a broader character list and story line. I like to think I write love stories but I am probably delusional. I think we spent a large amount of our life trying to find true love whatever that is and you find it represented in our movies, music and culture. Check out country music radio, it should be called romance music!

We have the same initials!

Marina Fontaine (marina_fontaine) | 70 comments Agree with L.A. #2. It's basic romance with some erotica/BDSM thrown in. Yes, it has a plot if you take out the sex, esp. since sex scenes get very repetitive after a while. In fact, I got so bored with sex scenes that I started skipping them completely in Book 2 (eventually gave up when I realized I couldn't stand the female lead, but that's another story).

L.A. #1, I'm intrigued by the original statement that romance is bad for health. I'm not a romance fan AT ALL, but if it leads married women (who supposedly are the audience) to have more sex with their husbands, and marital sex is good for health, what's the problem?

message 4: by Angel (last edited Mar 18, 2013 05:53PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Angel Lepire | 62 comments Its very interesting that you posed this question. So as not to be repetitive, I will just post a link to my review of the book from Jan. that addresses just this issue. Ironically enough, I even touched on exactly what Masha said in her response (though we have differeing views, I'm sure you're still a very cool person.) ;-)

I like that this book has so many people talking about this stuff...I just didn't like the book.

Thanks for starting the thread!

Oh, and to be fair, it has been pointed out to me (several times) on another thread I started about this, that the love story aspect really develops more in books 2 & 3. Since I didn't read them, apparently I missed it. Which I believe is probably a valid point.

message 5: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (abigailsharpe) I write and read romance, and I have to wonder - if reading a romance is bad for a woman's health, then how much damage does a murder mystery cause?

message 6: by L.A. (last edited Mar 18, 2013 06:28PM) (new)

L.A. Hilden (lahilden) | 106 comments Thank you, ladies, I'm glad to hear that it's considered an erotica romance. I assume The Doctors were trying to grab attention with the Romances are bad for you headline, but they discussed STD's and such, and women living in fantasy.

Here's the clip:

I agree, Masha, if romance books, of whatever genre, lead to women having more sex with their husband's then I see no problem. I see happy and healthy husbands. :)

I thought The Doctors should have stated it was erotica romance.

I like the LA #1 and #2, funny. It reminds me of Dr. Seuss. Do you write under your initials too? I write under LA Hilden, that's why I wondered. Mine stands for Lori Ann.

LA, you said you write longer love stories. I'm curious, how long are they? My time travel romances tend to be less pages than my Regency romances. I'm not sure why it always works out that way, but it does.

L.A. Parker (lafp) | 22 comments Leslie Adams

L.A. Parker (lafp) | 22 comments Should have read the whole thing. It's early!

Mine tend to be around 500 pages in 6x9 format and rather small print. 10948 is the max location on kindle.

My last book is Stella's Sheets and my new one should be out late summer. They are contemporary romantic fiction.

Steelwhisper | 118 comments It's a romance. Being a subgenre of romance doesn't mean it isn't one.

I agree with those doctors, for different reasons:

message 10: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (lahilden) | 106 comments Wow, Steelwhisper, those are some crazy articles. I never saw those.

Thank you for sharing your review, Angel. The things you wrote were along the same lines of the many things I've heard in regard to this series.

Leslie Adams, those are some long novels you are writing, which is great. I shall look you up an amazon.

The umbrella of romance is huge and the sub-genres are endless with lots of crossover genres. I tend to prefer when people are clear in their assessment of novels. If you are dealing with a time travel romance, mystery suspense, or paranormal, then this should be stated. They are labeled this way at the bookstore because people shop by genre. I know if I was discussing a book I would add the sub-genre. Truthfully, I believe if The Doctors were dealing with another sub-genre other than erotica, they likely would have mentioned it. I've read erotica and the stuff I read in erotica in no way compares to a romance novel, the romance novels don't have to be tossed in the trash or hidden from children, whereas the erotica does, at least the ones I've read. :) For many readers, 50 Shades was their first look at a romance novel. Great discussion ladies.

message 11: by L.A. (new) - rated it 4 stars

L.A. Parker (lafp) | 22 comments Thanks, I can use more readers. I will check yours out as well since I like regency, Lori Ann!

Missy Johnson | 24 comments Books more often than not crossover into other genres, but usually whichever focus is more prominent is what it is classified as. So fifty shades, though it does crossover into BDSM, I'd still say it is predominantly a romance novel.

I agree that authors should state what genres are involved in their novels, as some people might not want to read a whole lotta filthy sex (me personally, I love it!!), just as someone might not want suspense or mystery mixed in with their romance.

Missy Johnson | 24 comments Abigail wrote: "I write and read romance, and I have to wonder - if reading a romance is bad for a woman's health, then how much damage does a murder mystery cause?"

lol, I like this :)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments Actually books do. At least short and middle term behaviour is influenced and changed by what we read. And that's not me speaking, that's rather serious research ;)

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

It is an erotica romance, and yes, erotica is a sub-genre of romance. Romance is an umbrella, and there are plenty of sub-genres beneath it, just like there are plenty beneath fantasy or sci-fi.

No romance is purely "romance". They all fall into one of the sub-genres, based upon their content, time period, characters, etc. Due to its heavy sexual content and focus on S/M, Fifty shades falls into erotica -- contemporary erotica, more precisely. That doesn't mean that there aren't a variety of other genre bits in it, but if the author listed every single genre bit that made up a novel, most novels would have a little bit of everything listed, or most of it, and then that would make reading more confusing; there would be no point in genres, then.

As to whether or not there is a story for Fifty Shades without the erotic content...I would say yes, but not without making the novel into something else. I haven't read all of it (I put it down after a few chapters; I'm not a fan), but generally, erotica fiction focuses on the sexual content, and not much else; that's what it's known for. Plus, the content is part of the story. If they took it out, it would change the story immensely, and you wouldn't have Fifty Shades anymore -- you would have Twilight without the paranormal elements. That is, after all, what Fifty Shades was written after.

Selina Bodur | 23 comments Abigail wrote: "I write and read romance, and I have to wonder - if reading a romance is bad for a woman's health, then how much damage does a murder mystery cause?"

Hi, I think romance reading sometimes can make us delusional, reaching for the fairytale and only touching smelly socks and dirty dishes, so I guess romance could be bad if you see it that way. I'm personally still waiting for the prince, hoping to stumble upon him. ;)

message 17: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (lahilden) | 106 comments Hi Selina, if you are looking for your prince then you will find him, eventually. I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit. :) This conversation had me thinking and I decided to write a blog on how We Are What We Read. I've found a few studies on the subject (Thank you, Steelwhisper) and according the study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, "the act of identifying with a fictional character also means we subconsciously adopt their behavior." They are calling this phenomenon "Experience-taking." Although I agree that we can make fantasy a reality in many ways, I didn't agree with all their conclusions, but it's interesting to think about and I enjoyed researching the subject.

I guess this means if you read murder mysteries then people should stay away from you until the aftereffects of the book have left your mind. LOL The study also claimed that people don't connect with characters on television as they do books because as viewers we are spectators and we don't put ourselves in the characters shoes. Perhaps it's just me, but I can often visualize myself as a character on television or at least I find myself sometimes thinking, What would I do if i was in their situation?

Steelwhisper | 118 comments L.A. wrote: "Hi Selina, if you are looking for your prince then you will find him, eventually. I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit. :) This conversation had me thinking and I decided to write a blog..."

You possibly also could read up on propaganda and how it works. Which is what I--also--meant. Namely that our reality is formed by instances of operant conditioning, whether we want that or not.

Example: most people who haven't yet seen the real thing believe that a person hit by a bullet will be pushed backwards by it, the bigger it is the more violently. That however is an expectation and belief fed by our watching countless movies and TV series, and also reading this time and again, where this is described in such a manner. It's so shown and described for visual effect. In reality--up to a very very large calibre (cannon-ball-sized or so)--the body will crumble where it stands. Simply fall down. That's because a bullet is much too small to push over a body, all the velocity is fed into the impact within the flesh (where it does all that damage).

This also works with just about anything else. If you are fed a particular kind of information (or behaviour pattern) again and again and yet another again, from many different sources, you end up believing it is fact and you act accordingly. That's why e.g. false information or wrong/leading information such as currently is the norm (NOT the expection!) in BDSM-stories can be very detrimental.

I'm always very astonished people think what applies to dogs and other mammals doesn't apply to humans (it does, where this is concerned), or that fiction means it doesn't influence people. If that were the case you could completely bin whole industry branches (such as advertising for instance).


Selina Bodur | 23 comments L.A. wrote: "Hi Selina, if you are looking for your prince then you will find him, eventually. I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit. :) This conversation had me thinking and I decided to write a blog..."

It's so true! We are what we read! So I guess I have to stop reading about dependent women, who can't breath, eat, exist without THE MAN in their lifes. No more "Twilight" for me ;)

Marina Fontaine (marina_fontaine) | 70 comments OR...Just throwing it out there, don't bite my head off...

I was re-watching Grease the other day, and the girl who sleeps around (Rizzo? not sure of the spelling) sings of how she's refusing to be "holding out for Mr. Right... Throw my life away for a dream that won't come true." We all know, however, why she happens to be singing that song- let's just say she's in a pretty dark place. There's something to be said for at least knowing the ideal exists, even if it may not be reached.

Yes, you are what you read, to a point. But in another way, you read what you are. Different people get attracted to different art for a reason. It's not the art's fault that sometimes it feeds the wrong emotions within the reader. It's the same discussion as violence on TV: does it make people more violent, or does it attract people who can't express their rage in real life, so they watch violent movies?

message 21: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (lahilden) | 106 comments I agree with all of you. I've seen war propaganda that is incredible and gruesome from my G. Pa's old photos. I also believe the influence of any character or story wears off over time. Steelwhisper, the study did mention how homosexuality was viewed more favorable when the story was about a gay individual, which further proves your point.

People are definitely attracted to different genres for personal reasons. I love romance, I don't see that ever changing. I've read other stories by Dan Brown, Lisa Jackson, and others, but I always come back to the boy meets girl story, there's just something about it that resonates with me. Plus the Lisa Jackson novels, although I enjoyed them, gave me nightmares.

Perhaps the shock factor is what made 50 Shades so popular. Now a days when a car alarm goes off in a parking lot, no one looks, because we've become so accustomed to it. There's nothing shocking there, even car alarms have become the norm.

I'm currently researching Vikings and I was surprised to learn that Vikings never wore horned hats. This was something the movie creators used to depict them, but archeologists have never found anything like that, the records show they wore domed leather helmets. In truth, I would prefer if they were portrayed as true to life as possible, but an invasion by men in horned helmets is likely far better visually when compared to plain leather helmets. :)

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