A year ago I kept seeing references to a piece of Twilight fan fiction with a BDSM theme. That sounded… interesting, so I decided to check it out for myself. The story turned out to be a modern-day gothic romance — a rich, handsome, but deeply flawed hero with dark secrets is redeemed by the love of a beautiful virgin. But this romance featured a “Red Room of Pain,” riding crops, handcuffs, and lots of kink that Charlotte Bronte would definitely not approve of. It wasn’t the best writing ever, but still an entertaining way to kill a few hours.
So I was fascinated when the author managed to sell her story to a legitimate publisher. Now a trilogy called 50 Shades of Grey, it has become a genuine phenomenon, downloaded to thousands of Kindles and written about in the mainstream press — mostly by people who want to trash the novels and the women who read them. Dr. Drew condemned the book for violence against women; Maureen Dowd wrote a column where she snarked on the “plump” author. The women who read the books are described as desperate, perverse, or not perverse enough (by those who think 50 Shades is BDSM light).
This got to me because, sure, the book is a silly sex fantasy. But can’t women enjoy silly sex fantasies without being beaten up for it? After all, men’s silly sex fantasies are on display in everything from beer commercials to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, but no one puts them down for enjoying, say, Pamela Anderson in a pillow fight. Women should have the same freedom to indulge their fantasies — no matter how politically incorrect they may be.
Download an erotic romance to your e-reader and enjoy. Guilt-free.
Tags: 50 Shades of Grey, BDSM, erotic romance, sex