Goodreads Authors/Readers discussion

The Search For Intelligent Life on Earth: A Story of Love
315 views
General Fiction > 50 Shades of Surrender

Comments Showing 1-50 of 100 (100 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

Gerry Pirani (gerrypiraniauthor) | 35 comments Would love to start a discussion on the popularity of submitting to sadistic, emotionally lost men. Check out my blog at www.gerrypirani.blogspot.com.


message 2: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik Regardless of the reasons, this is an extremely disturbing and harmful trend which we must fight against by any means necessary! And yes, I believe this will require a coordinated campaign to tear down books which glorify these kinds of harmful relationships, by giving such books overwhelming numbers of one-star reviews on Amazon and elsewhere so as to drive away potential readers.


Gerry Pirani (gerrypiraniauthor) | 35 comments Thanks, Dennis, appreciate the comment. I read some of the 1-2 star reviews on AMZN before publishing this blog. They say why they hate the books, some of them quite articulately. Nevertheless, they read all three of them because they just couldn't help themselves. Sounds like people who can't stop looking at Internet porn, so I definitely think there's an element of psychological addiction. I love writing literature that's riveting and about relationships. But I prefer my characters to grow and explore the grandest versions of themselves, rather than the most emotionally fragile and insecure versions. I hope more of us will write, read, and share material on how we can overcome the need to control each other. Needing control is just about being anxious. Maybe if people get that, these male characters (written mostly by women!) won't seem as "sexy."


message 4: by Emma (new)

Emma Jaye | 151 comments Putting my head above the parapet, may I suggest that the genre is about fantasies not reality? Most of these books are written by women, for women. Have you considered that as guys, you might not get some female sexual fantasies?

Just because some women enjoy reading such material, doesn't mean they'd actually want it to happen to them, or wouldn't tell such a man to take a hike in reality. Just in the same way the readers of horror, wouldn't dream of becoming a mass murderer or that readers of fantasy and scifi believe in fairies, magic or little green men from Mars.
Give women some credit for having some intelligence. We know its not reality, and we wouldn't want it to be. Its fantasy, that's kinda the point.


message 5: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Emma wrote: "Putting my head above the parapet, may I suggest that the genre is about fantasies not reality? Most of these books are written by women, for women. Have you considered that as guys, you might not ..."

And my response is: abusers don't wear signs.

My source: primary.

The problem with these books, and the Twilight saga for which they were originally fanfic, is that they glorify abusive relationships (which is *not* the same as consensual BDSM).


message 6: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik Sharon hit the nail right on the head!


Gerry Pirani (gerrypiraniauthor) | 35 comments Emma wrote: "Putting my head above the parapet, may I suggest that the genre is about fantasies not reality? Most of these books are written by women, for women. Have you considered that as guys, you might not ..."

Emma, I understand most adults differentiate between fantasy and reality. But as my blog states, young people don't have the same filters. That's where parenting comes in. I agree with Sharon. I also think statistics speak louder than presumptions.


message 8: by Lady Echo (new)

Lady Echo (ladyecho) | 38 comments Just as we don't want young boys devouring porn, we shouldn't recommend a young girl read 50 Shades. As for adults, why not? I'm with Emma on this. If a forty year old woman fantasizes about Christian Grey, what right do I have to prevent her from reading these books?

If we're going to take steps to control literature for the good of all potential readers, we'll also need to ban playboy, penthouse, most of Stephen king's work, many graphic novels, and...you get the idea.


message 9: by Jitka (new)

Jitka Egressy Agree with Lady Echo.


Gerry Pirani (gerrypiraniauthor) | 35 comments Lady Echo wrote: "Just as we don't want young boys devouring porn, we shouldn't recommend a young girl read 50 Shades. As for adults, why not? I'm with Emma on this. If a forty year old woman fantasizes about Christ..."

I agree, as impressionable youth was my main concern. Most of our laws don't protect adults from themselves or we would have too many of them. I appreciate everyone's comments.


message 11: by Marc (last edited Feb 02, 2015 03:08PM) (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments My concern is that so many millions of women were all sharing the same fantasy. The nature of fantasy is that it is tailored by the individual to suit their own psychosexual makeup. Now maybe these women each put an individual spin on the fantasy I don't know. Ironically I suppose this concern only arises because the book was so successful. Something more niche would present fewer concerns on this score.


Gerry Pirani (gerrypiraniauthor) | 35 comments Marc wrote: "My concern is that so many millions of women were all sharing the same fantasy. The nature of fantasy is that it is tailored by the individual to suit their own psychosexual makeup. Now maybe these..."

Thank you, yes. I was surprised by the demographics. The rise in sado-masochistic fantasies (is it a rise?) might imply other attachment and psychosexual issues have become more prevalent, as well. I'd love to hear what some readers found so appealing about this and other need-to-dominate-and-control characters, if anyone is willing to share more personal sentiment.


message 13: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Povey | 44 comments It should not be banned - I'm against banning any book - but I've been told by several people in the scene that it is absolutely horrible, a completely inaccurate portrayal, and they're worried about people copying it.

So, not banned, but those who know it's awful need to keep saying so so people know that this is NOT what BDSM is.


Gerry Pirani (gerrypiraniauthor) | 35 comments Jennifer wrote: "It should not be banned - I'm against banning any book - but I've been told by several people in the scene that it is absolutely horrible, a completely inaccurate portrayal, and they're worried abo..."

Yes, I mention that in my blog. Thanks for comment.


Gerry Pirani (gerrypiraniauthor) | 35 comments I've started writing a spoof - only, it gets a little dark. There are other ones out there, of course. It might just be for fun. Or maybe I'll publish it.


message 16: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik Jennifer is exactly right -- it's not about banning it (which should ONLY be done to books which glorify terrorism, which "50 Shades" does NOT), but about telling all who would listen how awful it is!


message 17: by Marc (last edited Feb 04, 2015 02:23AM) (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments so 20 million women (or however many read the book)must be wrong? While I have a problem with it as cited above, it is just a book, bought & consumed by a lot of people. Why spend our time advocating against the book? Write our own, write better ones. That's all we can control.


message 18: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik Yes, 20 million people CAN be wrong -- and no, it's not "just a book" because it promotes abusive relationships and moral depravity, therefore we SHOULD advocate against it for the good of womankind everywhere (especially since its purveyors are spending God knows how much time advocating FOR it, and deceptively too -- with bought-and-paid-for reviews which deceive readers about its awful quality, with ads that rely on sex appeal and gloss over the abusive stuff, etc., etc.)!


message 19: by Marc (last edited Feb 04, 2015 03:24AM) (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments I appreciate your sentiment in not promoting the abusive, but I am uncomfortable with dismissing the integrity of 20 million people at a stroke. I also don't credit that art makes people go out and do things, (ie influencing their behaviour) not films, not music and especially not books. Whichever street assassin cited "Catcher In The Rye" as his influence in shooting (John Lennon was it?) was mentally ill. Without that mental illness "Catcher" would not have prompted anything. So we don't just ban or put warnings on "Catcher" because of this one outlier do we?


message 20: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik As for writing better books, I already have -- my "Wings of Mercy" series features a strong female protagonist, a relationship based on true love and mutual respect (unlike the "50 Shades" model of domination and abuse), and a series of suspenseful and heroic air rescue missions with an underlying message of courage and American patriotism (plus a good deal of edutainment in the aviation field)! So why is nobody promoting the hell out of this series the same way they are doing with this "50 Shades" garbage?! I *DESERVE* to have at least the same opportunity for reader outreach that this E.L. James witch has -- are you listening to what I said?!


message 21: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik If you cannot imagine 20 million people (or more) all being wrong, then how can you explain why Carter was elected President in 1976?


message 22: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments That's tongue in cheek right?

For what it's worth, I've written a strong female character too. No airplanes in it though


message 23: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik When am I *EVER* tongue in cheek?


message 24: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments Dennis wrote: "If you cannot imagine 20 million people (or more) all being wrong, then how can you explain why Carter was elected President in 1976?"

I'm not American, so I don't have to.

20 million people across different nationalities and cultures. They are not of one single psychological make up.


message 25: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik And yes, books and other art CAN influence people -- does "Mein Kampf" ring a bell?


message 26: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik No, YOU don't have to explain Carter's election -- the mere fact that such an incompetent (some would say treasonous) leader was elected IN ITSELF shows that millions of people CAN be and sometimes ARE wrong!


message 27: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments Dennis wrote: "And yes, books and other art CAN influence people -- does "Mein Kampf" ring a bell?"

Mein Kampf did not convince the German people, it was a mixture of the Nazis propaganda machine, the collapse of law and order so that the brownshirts filled in the breech on the streets. The people didn't read the book and then instantly become converts. The book was Hitler's musings on himself and his ideology.

Are you saying John Locke influenced the US framers of the Constitution, because if it did, it was through a misreading of him. Are you saying Soviet Russia came about through the works of Karl Marx, because again, Lenin's Bolsheviks made it up as they went along as pragmatic responses to help them gain power. These are non-fiction works anyway, not works of art.


message 28: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments Dennis wrote: "No, YOU don't have to explain Carter's election -- the mere fact that such an incompetent (some would say treasonous) leader was elected IN ITSELF shows that millions of people CAN be and sometimes..."

I would offer that most politicians are incompetent. Which out of Reagan, Bush x2, Obama have demonstrated any competence?


message 29: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik And what did the Nazi propaganda machine USE to convince the German people, if not works of art designed to promote Nazi ideology? They didn't have mind control technology to instantly brainwash people, you know!


message 30: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik And yes, Locke DID influence the Constitution, and Marx DID influence Communism -- the fundamental ideas were the same!


message 31: by Dennis (last edited Feb 04, 2015 03:38AM) (new)

Dennis Kitainik Reagan won the Cold War and fixed the economy after Carter ruined it -- and Bush Jr. took the war to the enemy and hurt them badly! So yes, these two at the very least have demonstrated more than average competence! (Not that you have any standing whatsoever to judge their competence anyway, not being an American!)


message 32: by Marc (last edited Feb 04, 2015 03:40AM) (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments I would disagree, but there's no point getting into a political argument as neither of us is likely to persuade the other they have it wrong.


message 33: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments Dennis wrote: "And what did the Nazi propaganda machine USE to convince the German people, if not works of art designed to promote Nazi ideology? They didn't have mind control technology to instantly brainwash p..."

you're still not showing me that people read his book. For the technology of the times, radio broadcasts and torchlight parades and demonising symbols for their enemies (cartoons etc) were extremely advanced and did represent the closest to instant brainwashing possible with those technologies.


message 34: by Emma (new)

Emma Jaye | 151 comments I haven't actually read it, and I suspect some of the more enthusiastic opponents of it haven't either. The actual quality of the writing and the material are two completely different issues.

50 shades has had the effect of making it far more acceptable for women to be open about their sexual fantasies.
The amount of discussion the books have caused, both between women and between the sexes cannot be dismissed as a bad thing. I can't think of anything else that has women of different generations discussing sex as a normal topic of conversation.
The huge rise in the amount of sex toys that are now being sold (the vast majority being purchased by women) points to a great deal more women enjoying themselves in the bedroom. Personally I think the openness 50 shades has produced is having the effect of liberating the sexuality of women not suppressing it.


message 35: by Emma (new)

Emma Jaye | 151 comments Calling E L James a 'witch' because you don't like her fantasies is completely out of order. I may be wrong, but the fact she is mindblowingly successful and you are not, sounds a little like sour grapes.
Maybe details about avionics and a romance written by a man don't have the same appeal for the women of the world.


Frank | 3 comments Just going to jump right in here, folks. First off, Gerry, love the blog, as usual. Gave me one more thing to worry about, what with a teenaged girl who lives with her mother - hope my ex has enough sense not to bring her to this movie at her impressionable age.

The irony here is that this is the second time this topic has come up for me in about a week's time. An older female friend of mine mentioned that her son is getting separated. He and wife have two young kids. She said her daughter in law was really into this lead male character in the most popular series of this genre - contemporary S&M or whatever you want to call it - and my friend's son, who is hard-working, supportive, faithful, and a good man, is no longer floating her boat. She wants him to be more like the character. Speaks to her mental health, I'd say. But, then, do we not have more people than ever on psych meds in this country??

Life certainly imitates art, so I disagree with whoever said otherwise. For better or worse, "art" these days is Hollywood more than anything else. Sometimes it takes two weeks to hit, sometimes two years, but eventually what Hollywood portrays becomes mainstream.

But, hey, if women want to get on their knees and do all sorts of other things to prioritize my pleasure over everything else (including their pain), who the heck am I to complain? (Still, I don't want my daughter going in that direction!)

If what Emma said about it liberating women and their sexuality is true, well then that's closer to what Pirani says is needed in the blog. Is it too much to ask for to raise a daughter with intact self-esteem and a healthy sense of sexuality?


Frank | 3 comments Marc wrote: "so 20 million women (or however many read the book)must be wrong? While I have a problem with it as cited above, it is just a book, bought & consumed by a lot of people. Why spend our time advocati..."

Lots of examples with millions of people being wrong. Not sure "wrong" or "right" is the point, though.


message 38: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments as to your last point, the assault on female sensibilities comes from so many different directions not just art. Fashion, food and dating industries are all far more pernicious I would offer.

Art imitates life. Rarely does it predict it ahead of time, not even in scifi, which instead draws on contemporary anxieties and projects them into future worlds. Orwell's "1984" was not predictive, it merely exaggerated many of the trends of totalitarian Soviet Russia which he and many on the Left were disappointed in as it didn't fulfil their political vision & expectations.

Hollywood has more penetration than literature I agree, which is exactly why I argued novels do not influence daily behaviour in any significant way.


message 39: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments Frank wrote: "Marc wrote: "so 20 million women (or however many read the book)must be wrong? While I have a problem with it as cited above, it is just a book, bought & consumed by a lot of people. Why spend our ..."

Dennis was dismissing them all out of hand because they read the book. I was suggesting that was an invalid conclusion to draw.


Frank | 3 comments Marc wrote: "as to your last point, the assault on female sensibilities comes from so many different directions not just art. Fashion, food and dating industries are all far more pernicious I would offer.

Art ..."


Agree somewhat with your first and third, but not with the second point. Artists set the trends. By that, I mean actors, writers, photographers,… Even if a novel just BECOMES a movie, there's the influence you mention in your third point. Yes, the media, fashion world, food industries, etc… assault girls and women, too. Doesn't make any of it ok in my book.

I do, by the way, understand the difference between fantasy and reality and don't consider myself a prude. Yet, desensitization to violence and violent sex has been on the radar for a long time.

Great discussion, folks! Gotta get to work now.


message 41: by Marc (last edited Feb 04, 2015 04:30PM) (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments "Yes, the media, fashion world, food industries, etc… assault girls and women, too. Doesn't make any of it ok in my book.
"
or in mine, but unless you're going to battle with them all, why pick on art as the one to go up against? Art is in the main made by individuals with their own unique sensibilities. Better to go against something with much more homogenous outlook, such as anything motivated by profit.

We'll have to beg to differ on whether artists set the trends. I only wish we did set the trends for public discourse, rather than politicians, marketers, advertisers and big corporations (including news media corporations).


message 42: by Gerry (last edited Feb 04, 2015 04:29PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gerry Pirani (gerrypiraniauthor) | 35 comments All good points, but do you deny that commercial fiction is profit-driven? Try to get a cross-genre novel published these days, especially if it's literary. I, for one, will keep plugging along, writing what I love and hoping it will help push us through the veil of illusions we've created.
In the meantime, still would like to hear from anyone else and appreciate the remarks so far. I can see the appeal of these goodreads discussions.


message 43: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik Marc wrote: "unless you're going to battle with them all, why pick on art as the one to go up against? Art is in the main made by individuals with their own unique sensibilities. Better to go against something with much more homogenous outlook, such as anything motivated by profit."

First of all, the publishing industry is PART of the media, so "50 Shades" is part of the media too; second of all, yes, it is our duty as citizens to battle all the things which harm our nation; third of all, who in his right mind can possibly deny that mass-market novels such as "50 Shades" or "Twilight" ARE in fact motivated by profit?


message 44: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments Gerry wrote: "All good points, but do you deny that commercial fiction is profit-driven? Try to get a cross-genre novel published these days, especially if it's literary. I, for one, will keep plugging along, wr..."

I agree with all that you say in this post. I don't even consider what I write to be genre, though I suppose most would call it literary. I just call it fiction


message 45: by Marc (last edited Feb 04, 2015 04:32PM) (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments Dennis wrote: "Marc wrote: "unless you're going to battle with them all, why pick on art as the one to go up against? Art is in the main made by individuals with their own unique sensibilities. Better to go again..."

commercial fiction is driven by profit - I fully accept that. For my part, it's not what i write.


message 46: by E.G. (last edited Feb 04, 2015 05:47PM) (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) Wow. Nice one, Gerry. Hottest conversation in this group for awhile.

First - What Emma said. All of it. And all the other comments that say 50 Shades IS NOT a valid representation of BDSM.

Second - I read it because the young 20-30 somethings on my team were laughing themselves silly over it. So again- Go Em. It's a fantasy and a silly one at that. And yes, I enjoyed it as the brain candy it is.

Third - EL James is being compared to Hitler, Locke and Marx? Hitler I can almost get - he did no research and wrote and egocentric fantasy (which EL admits is pretty much FSoG). Major philosophers and the framing of contemporary politics? Uhmm can I have some of what you all are drinking? Just saying...


message 47: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik E.G. wrote: "EL James is being compared to Hitler, Locke and Marx?"

Not a direct comparison -- the question was much more broad, and had to deal with whether books influence people's thoughts and actions (which they DO, without a doubt!) So the examples above were examples of books which have influenced large numbers of people, not any sort of direct comparison with "50 Shades of Garbage". And I could think of many other books which have influenced many people, for good or for evil: the Bible; the Koran; Walter Scott's "Rob Roy" (which practically created Scottish nationalism); "Uncle Tom's Cabin", which showed the evils of plantation slavery to the public and catalyzed the abolition movement; Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle", which greatly boosted the trade union movement; "All Quiet on the Western Front"; Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" (the bible of feminism); Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring"; Richard Perle's "An End to Evil", which had a great role in jumpstarting the anti-jihad movement... I could go on and on with this!


message 48: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik WHAT?! A son fucking his own mother, and when she was unconscious, too?! Now THAT is utter depravity, indeed! And your parents let you read this shit when you were just FIFTEEN, too?! THIS is what's wrong with people these days!


message 49: by Emma (new)

Emma Jaye | 151 comments Personal attacks on other users and foul language are not permitted on goodreads. Please remove your offensive post.


message 50: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Kitainik What offensive post -- the post which condemns that shitty book about a boy who likes to fuck his own mother?! I will NOT remove it -- YOU should remove YOURSELF from goodreads altogether for defending this sort of depravity! By defending it, YOU have become the problem with our country! And yes, I stand by my statement -- every copy of "Tattoo" should be BURNED, and the author permanently banned from EVER writing or publishing any book again! Such depravity MUST NOT be tolerated, PERIOD!!!


« previous 1
back to top