50 Shades: Is “Mommy Porn” Really Okay With You?

Let me begin by telling you that, on principle, I am always skeptical of the “everybody’s doing it” philosophy of life.  I tend to be incredibly suspect of the masses.  I find myself asking why I would be interested in doing what everyone else is when I see the results of common choices.

So, given my bias that following the crowd is often unwise, I have chosen to address my concerns about the current cultural obsession with British author E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey.

I might be assuming too much here, but I suspect that many readers of this book have never before purchased or read erotic novels.  I feel fairly confident in this supposition because, until now, erotica has rarely, if ever, made the best-sellers list. And, if it has, it was minus all the hype because I never heard about it.

For most readers, James’s novel is likely a first encounter with this genre and I’m wondering why people (specifically women) are justifying it this time-particularly given the extreme emphasis on bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism that has caused such controversy?

As a Christian I could simply object on the basis of immoral content and as an English teacher I could take serious issue with the miserably written prose but I’d rather add some perspective to the discussion than dismiss the book without consideration.

My friends are all talking about it and, since I am confident that (for the most part) my blog appeals to the same target demographic as the novel, I am choosing to make this my first official book review.

Unlike most of the books I intend to review, this may be the first and last time that I actually write about a book that I have not read.

That’s right.  It is not on my bookshelf or my bedside table and I seriously doubt it ever will be.  But, before you consider dismissing my opinion on the “how-can-you-have-anything-to-say-about-it-if-you-haven’t-read-it” objection, consider hearing me out.

Continue reading → 50 Shades: Is “Mommy Porn” Really Okay With You?