After all the hype or should I say the global orgasm, which followed the publication of the Shades of Grey Trilogy by E.L James, I wonder, have you had yours or are you left several shades of red with embarrassment?
It was the winter of 2012 and I was late night shopping in Asda, for nothing specific, just a change of scenery, you know, you've all done it! Sloughing up the book aisle and at the end of the shelving in a tired looking bin, used for selling c, d, e level titles, were a few copies of the 3 titles in the trilogy, all three for £7! I thought, well I'm not up to a read of any literary or deep and meaningful proportions, but I do just fancy escaping into a bit of lacklustre escapism , I did not realise then it was literally Houdini-esque escapism!
I devoured these books, just for the sake of reading again for the first time in 18 months, as I had lost my reading mojo, along with my sleep pattern, appetite etc FYI, divorce. It wasn't for the prose you understand, as that was lacking, it was a simple ditty in that regard, nor for the story either as it was pure Mills and Boon; the will he won't he, but with ropes and smacking of various kinds thrown in and the will she, won't she part. This, the part where fiction was thrown to the devil, the main theme of , ugh can I bear to say it, 'I can change him, if he loves me enough he'll change.' well without going into the childhood abuse theme and counselling which was seemingly thrown in for well I'm not sure what couldn't be realism, well eventually, he did and she did.
I wonder if these books may be one of those, 'where were you when..' moments! It's obvious the books touched a nerve, if you get my drift, especially with us 'pre, mid, post' women, the narrative became quite the acceptable face of S and M, if there is such a thing? Is this what is expected in this new age of dating and relationships? Well it did bring a lot of sexual taboo behaviours out for the linen cupboard for sure! It seemed to me, that with everything else we talk about so openly these days, how this seemingly ambidextrous contorting had not been addressed in the mainstream. It tickled me that many women were horrified, but then we don't ever know what goes on (or what doesn't) behind the closed doors of our nearest and dearest friends and family, and certainly reflects why it isn't talked about, especially in the public domain. As long as it is consensual between two adults, that should be fine by any ones' leather yard stick, ouch, and surely it's no one else's business. If it has made some people a little more open to explore together, it cannot be a bad thing, however with the spare room tax, not many of us would be able to dedicate the spare bedroom for a personal red room of pain.
Hell, who needs a red room of pain, there's always the broom cupboard!
p.s. NOT my favourite books, by any stretch of your latex glove, just thought it would be a fun one for starters...or not