Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Hotness of Fifty Shades of Grey

I know I had PMS when I first encountered Fifty Shades of Grey. I could raise hell whenever I have sanitary pad down there. All I remember was, I was pissed off by my pantry dinner and was begging my husband to make a quick detour for French fries. To cut the long story short, the most popular food chain can brag about its 24-hour operation near a BPO zone, but still can run out of fries at 11:15 PM! How unfortunate. So I grabbed a Time magazine, with high hopes that the same will bore me and bring me to dreamland immediately. 

I did a quick scan and – voila – these words captured my PMS-stricken body and soul: MOMMY PORN! What the… H-E-double-hockey-sticks! Tremendous amount of curiosity followed me until the next morning. I asked Fully Booked thereafter to reserve me a copy. Apparently, all the major bookstores were waiting for the next shipment of this book that time. Although this creature visits me regularly every month, the PMS monster gave me a gut kick, painfully reminding me that patience is not and will never be a virtue (in my case).

You, article, you!

The Time article said that the books are selling like hotcakes in Kindle and even in bookstores. Whenever I’m interested about something, I usually match that curiosity with diligent research. I did my fair share of online research why Fifty Shades is a hush-hush among the conservative crowds. Blame BDSM. It led me to google BDSM discreetly in my office table (wi-fi at home could be a pain in the ass sometimes). Two weeks after, I got my own copy of Fifty Shades of Grey (a grateful shout out to Lucy of Fully Booked!) My two-week old hunger manifested right away. I finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey in less than 24 hours. I admit I cringed, I squirmed and I blushed several times. Two days after, I finished reading the Kindle versions of Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, the second and last book, respectively, of the trilogy. I tell you, I've never been swept away by series reading addiction since Stephenie Meyer's Twilight and George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Hot copy. Fan please!

At first, I thought Fifty Shades of Grey borders on a suspense thriller and love story. It is an eye-opener and instant blush-on for me. Chapter by chapter, I could feel my cheeks get warm without warning because of how graphic a storyteller E.L. James is. I could also feel my heartbeat quickened whenever Grey gets angry.

Brushing BDSM aside, Fifty Shades is a love story of Anastasia Steele (Ana) and Christian Grey (Grey). Despite his hectic CEO life, Grey showers Ana with precious time and equally precious gifts as well. From 1stedition of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles  to an Audi, Anna just couldn’t say no to those plus the fact that Grey is described as heart-stopping handsome and mysterious. And, Grey is Anna’s hymen conqueror. Please pretend this is highly significant.

Grey and Anna’s relationship got steamier and steamier as each chapter goes on. It progressed from vanilla sex to more graphic BDSM cartwheel acts. Every non-sexual encounter can be likened to a foreplay already. Thanks to their non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Well, it turned out Grey has some conscience not to subject virgin Ana to BDSM during their first night together. Otherwise, female readers would hate him. It’s funny though such NDA is unenforceable in reality.

I dislike Grey in the beginning. Yes, he has stalking tendencies and has commitment issues. I really thought he would kill Ana if the latter will say no to BDSM. I thought he’s a psycho who will eventually end up in an asylum. I thought he would beat Ana and slapped her to death in the Red Room of Pain. I fear for Ana's life. He would force Ana to eat and would not allow Ana to touch him (chest part) during sex. Frustrating? Yes.  He is a control freak, a total jerk. But he earns $100,000 an hour.  He can fly a helicopter during dates, buy a fruit-and-vegetable painting in a random alley in France at 5,000 euros and could afford to buy a company in a snap. His generosity in giving gifts can be likened to a fairy tale. For Ana, Grey is her fairy tale which came true.

His behaviour was gradually explained throughout the series and the scale of balance tipped in his favour. Grey had a dark past. As a reader, I can’t help but feel pity on him towards the end. And you will eventually forgive him for letting our poor Ana undergo those heavy emotional dramas. It turns out that he loves Ana very much from the start. Ana could give Helen of Troy a stiff competition in the beauty department. As the story progresses, Ana became bolder and bolder. Grey was a great teacher and Anna was a willing, straight-A student.

True enough, it’s highly comparable to Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, save for the BDSM part. Anastasia Steele is similar to Bella Swan. She is pale-looking, unassuming and doesn’t think highly of herself when in fact she’s incredibly attractive to male population. And they both have cool moms who had divorce (make it two divorces for Ana’s mom). On the other hand, Christian Grey is handsome, mysterious and oozing with sex appeal and obscenely rich. He is every inch an Edward Cullen, except he's 101% lust-driven human.

But what separates Fifty Shades from all love stories I have read is obviously BDSM. All the steamy Harlequin-esque romance novels I’ve read in senior HS till college seemed to pale in  comparison to Fifty Shades in terms of sexual activities. Think red chili pepper kind of hot!

After reading the trilogy, I did not really recommend it to anybody. I wouldn’t dare recommend it to my sister and female cousins. I recommended it to friends whom I know have an open mind, in a mature relationship and Twilight fans as well. I’m quite hesitant since some people have been vocal that the trilogy is actually smut pretending to be a love story. Really, the BDSM part is taboo for some.

Maybe this is just a result of social networking power that propelled Fifty Shades to Kindle stardom. If you trace the history of Fifty Shades, it’s actually a fan fiction.

At this point, I am absolutely hoping that Universal Pictures will be able to make - as E.L. James bluntly said - “kinky fuckery”  worth watching in the big screen. I dread that it might come across as cheap sex flick. I am also crossing my fingers (and toes) that Ian Somerhalder of The Vampire Diaries fame will be dom Grey and Kristen Stewart as sub Ana.

 Ana prefers it weak, black and bag out. I, on the other hand, want it with sugar and lotsa creamer. Instant nai cha.

Lastly, I can never look at Twinings English breakfast tea or Ben and Jerry's ice cream the same way again. May the erotica flames brought by Fifty Shades die down just a little bit so I could enjoy the ice cream. Cheerio!

1 comment:

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