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Reader's Station > Your thoughts on 50 Shades of Grey

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message 1: by Everly (new)

Everly Anders | 207 comments Mod
When a new subject matter comes up in mainstream writing, I love to get reader's opinions. What do you think of this trilogy about Bondage and SandM? Did you read the trilogy, and it left you wanting more? Does the subject matter make you uncomfortable? Is it inappropriate that the books are on every book stores front window display? Basically give me all your thoughts.

I have to admit I have read them. I heard they were amazing from people on Goodreads. I read them back in the fall of last year. I had no idea what they were about. I just thought it was some self-published romance trilogy. After finding out what it was about I was shocked that there was no disclaimer about the book in the description.


message 2: by Nora aka Diva (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) Honestly a friend of mine(who writes Twilight ff) used to read excerpts from it when it was still MOTU . I thought it sucked then and could not immagine paying to have the displeasure of reading it. Sorry but BSDM was rather weak as well. Not sure what the appeal is.


chucklesthescot I don't like romance or erotica so I've never been interested in even opening it up. However it doesn't mean that I think they should be banned or hidden in brown paper bags or something like that.

The covers don't have dodgy scenes on the front so I have no issue with them being publicly displayed. To each her own as they say!


message 4: by Quanah (new)

Quanah Edwards | 65 comments I don't usually jump on bandwagons, but last year I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did because I read all 3 books in a week. The first one took a few days, but the last 2 I read in a two days.

Were they well written? Not really. But for some reason I turned those pages rapidly. I devoured the books and felt so drained when I finished them.

They actually inspired me to write erotica in a more realistic way. I've never written erotica before, and now I have two ebooks (one is also in paperback).

There's no reason for them to not be displayed.


message 5: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 73 comments As someone who is in the lifestyle I could happily flog James twice around the town and then switch to a cane.

She has done BDSM a huge disservice with those books, one which already ended with roughly a hundred people severely harmed or killed.

And no, those books definitely did not depict BDSM, nor were they in any way, shape or form realistic. Not that your general run-of-the-mill erotica/BDSM erotica is realistic, but FSoG has its own pinnacle of fail.


message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Eliason (RachelEliason) | 102 comments I am reading it now. I am not impressed with the writing, the erotica or the BDSM element. If I manage to finish it will be one of my rare one star reviews.


message 7: by Quanah (new)

Quanah Edwards | 65 comments Steelwhisper wrote: "As someone who is in the lifestyle I could happily flog James twice around the town and then switch to a cane.

She has done BDSM a huge disservice with those books, one which already ended with ro..."

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Steelwhisper, what do you mean when you say "one which already ended with roughly a hundred people severly harmed or killed?"


message 8: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 73 comments I meant, that the stuff in her books is described so that accidents could easily happen and people end up having misconceptions of what BDSM is--to the point they get injured or even end up dead. Quite a few of these cases have happened.


message 9: by Lila (new)

Lila Veen (lilaveen) | 5 comments I'll bite.

I read this trilogy because if everyone is reading something, I have to know why. I came into it understanding that it wouldn't be the best writing and that it was about BDSM, which doesn't offend me. I thought it was a vaguely interesting storyline and by books 2 and 3 I was skimming through the sex (it got a bit boring, IMO) just to get through the plot.

This trilogy also inspired me to write, because I walked away from it saying "I can absolutely do this" to myself, so, uh, thanks 50 Shades?


message 10: by Quanah (new)

Quanah Edwards | 65 comments Steelwhisper wrote: "I meant, that the stuff in her books is described so that accidents could easily happen and people end up having misconceptions of what BDSM is--to the point they get injured or even end up dead. Q..."
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I haven't heard of any.

I would hope that people who want to start doing those things would research it first. The books aren't meant to be a "how to" guide. Plus, not all people in the BDSM lifestyle are the same. Some are using it as a form of "therapy". Some are actually violent and use it as an excuse to abuse people.

I took it as a story of 2 people, one in the lifestyle and one not. Not as gospel or a documentary or a true story.


message 11: by Quanah (new)

Quanah Edwards | 65 comments Lila wrote: "I'll bite.

I read this trilogy because if everyone is reading something, I have to know why. I came into it understanding that it wouldn't be the best writing and that it was about BDSM, which do..."



Lol, exactly Lila. That's why I wrote my erotica. One is a bit of a fantasy and one, the paperback book, is an erotic love story.


message 12: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 73 comments Uh oh. BDSM is never permissible as "therapy". Psychotherapists may not ever encourage or help anyone use BDSM for such a reason. I know this gets misrepresented in books, but that's just what it is, a misrepresentation and a dangerous one. As to people trying to use BDSM as some do-it-yourself therapy, I sincerely hope they go to a professional therapist instead. Or at least have family and friends to pick them up afterwards. BDSM is really not made for that.

Abusers who abuse BDSMers and pose as BDSMers to be able to abuse people are certainly neither BDSMers themselves, nor is what they do BDSM. It's simply abuse. ;)

As to people doing things--you wouldn't believe how many people take fiction books for being well-researched enough to base their behaviour and activities on them! They read it, they think it's "hawt", they'll do it. Happens all the time. Which is why I really dislike BDSM books which lack so much on facts as FSoG does.

And there have been quite a few cases. Here's just one:

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/bl...

If you google you come across more related stuff. Plus what nonsense I learn IRL. Hairraising.


message 13: by Lila (new)

Lila Veen (lilaveen) | 5 comments I do appreciate that 50 Shades helped erotica become more mainstream. But I still giggle when I see people reading it in public. I get embarrassed if I'm reading a dirty scene on a train or something, despite the fact that no one else really knows the exact part I'm on.


message 14: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 73 comments Lila wrote: "I do appreciate that 50 Shades helped erotica become more mainstream. But I still giggle when I see people reading it in public. I get embarrassed if I'm reading a dirty scene on a train or somet..."

I never had that problem. I tended to be embarassed because it was such a badly written book ;)


message 15: by Quanah (new)

Quanah Edwards | 65 comments Steelwhisper wrote: "Uh oh. BDSM is never permissible as "therapy". Psychotherapists may not ever encourage or help anyone use BDSM for such a reason. I know this gets misrepresented in books, but that's just what it i..."


I personally don't think it should be used as therapy at all. Actually, I think if you're in "real" therapy, you wouldn't equate the BDSM lifestyle with therapy. But I've heard people say that.

And those who abuse, I have heard of a couple who the guy saw a girl reading it and said he was a Dom. Later it's found out he's just an aggressive dick who likes to slap her around and bruise her. He used her reading that book as a way of making her think he was like that. He's just an ass.

I hear you on the cases and people thinking fiction books are true stories. Maybe there should be an IQ test for people reading books.lol You have to pass before you can purchase/read certain things.lol


message 16: by Quanah (new)

Quanah Edwards | 65 comments Steelwhisper wrote: "Lila wrote: "I do appreciate that 50 Shades helped erotica become more mainstream. But I still giggle when I see people reading it in public. I get embarrassed if I'm reading a dirty scene on a t..."

Lol. A lot of people think it was a well written book. It wasn't. I've always said that. And Ana got on my nerves...but dammit I was ravenous reading those books.

They were the first kind of erotica that I've ever read...even though there was no sex until like the 7th chapter.lol


message 17: by Quanah (new)

Quanah Edwards | 65 comments Seems like I'm the only one who enjoyed the books...well out of us that have commented so far.

Something about the story grabbed me. I don't identify with anyone in the book, yet I wanted to go on their journey.

Ana got on my nerves and was not a realistic character. Christian was like a semi-British over-achiever. I guess I liked Mia and Ana's roommate.


message 18: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 73 comments Quanah wrote: "Steelwhisper wrote: "Uh oh. BDSM is never permissible as "therapy". Psychotherapists may not ever encourage or help anyone use BDSM for such a reason. I know this gets misrepresented in books, but ..."

We fully agree there. I don't understand how people ever got into thinking this. You can engage in BDSM, as expression of your sexuality, while in therapy. But for that you should really get a kink-friendly therapist who knows what they are about and who know about BDSM. But BDSM *as* therapy? Hell. O.o

Such a girl would be exactly such a victim of FSoG as I stated earlier. And there are not just a few who ended up like that.

Books do influence. I'm always a bit astonished when people state the opposite. 200 years ago Goethe published his Werther, and thousands of young men committed suicide. Goethe took that chagrin and shame to his grave. Can't have been easy. So as an author, at least if you accept your responsibility, you at least try to do good research--and with such stories you perhaps add a bit more than just a generic disclaimer. Non-fiction writers do it.

Anyway, another aspect of FSoG which doesn't get that often mentioned, is that it actually stole off a fanfic of Twilight. It's not even an "original" fanfic. How's that for lame? ;)


message 19: by Quanah (new)

Quanah Edwards | 65 comments Steelwhisper wrote: "Quanah wrote: "Steelwhisper wrote: "Uh oh. BDSM is never permissible as "therapy". Psychotherapists may not ever encourage or help anyone use BDSM for such a reason. I know this gets misrepresented..."


I didn't know that when I read the first book. I've never read Twilight or seen the movies. I'm not into vampire things.


message 20: by Steelwhisper (last edited Jul 03, 2013 11:41AM) (new)

Steelwhisper | 73 comments I read the Twilight series, and moderately liked the first book. Meyer definitely writes a better prose than James.

The one good thing which came out of FSoG is that it got women to read and write erotica who didn't prior to that.

But I soooo wished it had been one of the better erotic romances which did that. There are so many good books out there.


message 21: by V. (new)

V. Pain (Vpain) | 35 comments Elle wrote: "When a new subject matter comes up in mainstream writing, I love to get reader's opinions. What do you think of this trilogy about Bondage and SandM? Did you read the trilogy, and it left you wanti..."

OMG Elle!

I read it without warning just as you did, let me say, if all writers could pile a bunch of steamy stories and be dubbed a hit, we wouldn't need help promoting ourselves. First of all, have you ever read Zane? She doesn't often use bondage, but she also exposes more in her stories. Sometimes, there is a lot of sex, after a few books I found a few stories repeated one another, but a balance between sex and character exposure are a necessity.

Progression: It was written chronologically, but the story did not show growth in the narrator. I felt her language never became mature. Putting her foot down was always joking. I just wish some of the decisions she was making were surrounded by dialogue that showed she was in love, and becoming an adult. Also, I felt the marriage and child happened in a whirlwind.

Strength: The fact that going to visit family was supposed to give her a reprieve, paired with Grey chasing her there was unrealistic to me. Any young woman who isn't desperate and is of sound mind and body knows a tracking device is a NO-NO! Should that have to be said?


Language: I hated all the "I guesses". It made her sound so indecisive and just young. Please don't think I am splitting hairs. I found the trilogy an excruciating read by the time I reached the last work. Mainly because when I say HMMMMMM I am thinking. Why did the author use "hmmmmmm" for moaning? We don't say uuuuummmmm or huuuummmm or hmmmm we say MMMM and sometimes UUUUUH or AAH or SSSSSSSSSSSS (inhaling deeply). But not hmmm, that annoyed me.

Story: Overall, the story was just an average love story. But the amount of sex in the story would lead any person longing for love to believe they could win it through sex. Just because he ended up marrying her didn't mean he was a changed man. Just because she found out about his mother didn't mean they were totally close. Since we had such an inside as having the narrator be the main character, why could we not be let-in on so many more feelings, and details? I got that he didn't want to be touched, he liked control and adventure. But who was he? Did she even know? And what did we know about her? She rebelled, but in the name of what? She got a job, but he bought the company. I mean.... I don't know, tell me if any of this stuff has ever happened? It was fiction, but it was a poor attempt to document a love's blossoming. Something in me was frustrated that I couldn't relate. She got more than she ever hoped for, and the author profited. So who are we to judge? The S and M wasn't as much of a turn-off as the hurried end, the overt sexuality which took over the story and the lack of growth in the character.


message 22: by Quanah (new)

Quanah Edwards | 65 comments V. wrote: "Elle wrote: "When a new subject matter comes up in mainstream writing, I love to get reader's opinions. What do you think of this trilogy about Bondage and SandM? Did you read the trilogy, and it l..."

YES!


message 23: by C.D. (new)

C.D. Mitchell (cdmitchell) | 6 comments Hello:
I hope my comments do not come off as demeaning or self-serving. If they do, I apologize to all on this thread.
I am an author, and my publisher has suggested we market my first book as a literary alternative to those disappointed by "Fifty Shades of Gray." My collection of literary stories titled "God's Naked Will" is due for release September 15th. The book does not address Bondage or S and M, but does address violence and includes several explicit sex scenes, which is unusual for literary stories.
So I thought if we were going to target readers of 5o Shades I should at least read the book to see what the fuss is about. I started last night and pitched the book across the room after the first page of "rolling eyes" and "primping hair" and the many adverbs and the poorly written dialogue. It didn't help that I had Robert Olen Butler's newest novel on my nightstand waiting for me to read it. So I had a quality alternative that kept me entertained the rest of the night. I will finish the book though. Someday soon.

If anyone is interested, and if they will allow me to do so, I am posting a link to the title story of my collection. the story, "God's Naked Will" is about, a virgin Pentecostal evangelist who decides he can't preach about the dangers of wine women and song without experiencing those dangers:

http://burntbridge.net/stories/gods-n...

I was hoping I might ask any readers of 50 Shades who might be interested to read the galleys of my new book and offer a comparison of the two, and an opinion if this can be effectively marketed as a literary alternative to 50 Shades, or if it should simply be marketed as another literary story collection. Or if they like it at all. So far, the readers of 50 Shades who have reviewed my book have given positive reviews on Goodreads, the only place available to comment on it.

If you delete my post as being self-serving, I certainly understand. My intent was not to come here and blatantly self-promote, but to see if well-writen stories with an erotic edge or element might appeal to those readers, who at least here, claim that 50 Shades was not a satisfying read.

I thank you for your time. My email is mitchell461961@yahoo.com.
CD Mitchell


message 24: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 73 comments C.d. wrote: "Hello:I hope my comments do not come off as demeaning or self-serving. If they do, I apologize to all on this thread...."

Oh dear.

The reason why so many people were disappointed in FSoG is certainly not the amount of sex in it. They were disappointed precisely because it wasn't well-written enough, lots (like me) were disappointed because the BDSM lifestyle was misrepresented and even more yet because it's the plagiarism of a fanfiction of Twilight.

There are oodles of FSoG alternatives out there, doing quite well even though telling the very same story, yet better-written. Enough and hiding away as so many allegedly different angles so quite many into reading romance or erotica are by now exasperated with them. Enough so no one will be particularly welcoming one more. The best of the bunch probably has to be--given her quality as a writer--Cecilia Tan's Slow Surrender.

I'm afraid to state it so baldly, but if I were to inadvertantly and haphazardly reading a book marketed as an FSoG alternative which is suddenly mingling God and erotica and not erotic per se I'd be livid, personally, not delirious with joy. I'm also terminally uninterested in most things religious, except maybe tortured martyrs in the middle ages.

Also, in that field "literary" is not exactly what people want to read. Nothing against solid prose, but "literary sex" has too many connotations with the "bad sex award" (you need to google it, the samples are hilarious). There are a few authors who pull "literary erotica" off, which is (along with simply well-written, intelligent erotica/romance) what people want to read who were disappointed with FsoG. Remittance Girl is certainly way on the top of the heap.

If you want an idea as to what people with a literary streak who read FSoG like to read, or which alternatives are out there, I suggest you read some of these:

Captive in the Dark (m/f)
Seduced in the Dark (m/f)
The Prince's Boy: Volume One (m/m)
The Prince's Boy: Volume Two (m/m)
Slow Surrender (m/f)
The Change (m/f)
Gaijin (m/f)
Beautiful Losers (m/f)
Heat (m/f)
Curio (m/f)
Leather+Lace (m/m)
Comfort Food (m/f)

I also had a peek at your excerpt on the publisher's website. To be honest, this isn't the sort of content which would get me to read on. Certainly not for erotic content, but it has too much Bible in it for other purposes of reading. I believe, and that's just my personal opinion, that you really shouldn't try to link this to a book which is geared to make people expect smut at the least.


message 25: by Bree (new)

Bree (breesc23) I've never read them and don't plan to, as I am not into erotica (anymore) or romance. I get tired of reading things like. I read a random line from the last book, I think, and it was corny. I roll my eyes at corny.

I don't think they should be banned though.


message 26: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Eliason (RachelEliason) | 102 comments I am reading Fifty Shades of Grey right now and I am not sure I am going to get through it. Its not the BDSM that bothers me, it's the writing, plot points that defy any attempt at suspending disbelief and believe it or not the vanilla sex. Every sex scene so far has included at least one really awkward moment for me.


message 27: by Elly (new)

Elly Michaels | 6 comments The sex was boring but the emails were cute!


message 28: by Quanah (new)

Quanah Edwards | 65 comments Elly wrote: "The sex was boring but the emails were cute!"

Yeah, I liked the e-mails a lot.


message 29: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra Lawson I didn't finish the first book. I had a lot of trouble with the idea that a woman about to graduate from college in Portland was that naive. I did think the emails were cute, but the face to face interactions seemed uncomfortable. I also didn't like the overused gestures and phrases.

With that being said, I think the author did a great job of writing a marketable story. I know people who said they hated the first book but read the other two. That is impressive. As an author I have to admire the ability to sell books, even when I don't like the books being sold.


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