I have been listening to the various conversations sparked by the release of the 50 Shades of Grey movie. The talk ranges from the BDSM community who dislike it for placing them in a false or negative light, to the conservative Christian community that thinks all the openness of the sexuality will bring us down in a ball of flames. I like to think that somewhere in the middle there is something to see and learn from all of the hubbub. It must say something about our culture, ourselves, and our relationships that the series created so much stir. There have been books like this out there forever! Literally, look at the Song of Songs in the Bible. It is one of the greatest works of literature of all time, and it is full of erotic imagery.
One of the problems with all of the talk is that much of the opinion comes from people who have never even read the book. Wow! Never read something and yet you are an expert. Another problem I have is with those that have read the series and are full of indignation and declare it kin to pornography in the same context as xxx-film and sexual addiction. I must say the main difference is this does not involve real people. No one is being subjugated or abused or hurt or placed on screen as an object or taken advantage of, in any way. No one. It is make believe. A story contrived in the mind of an author and told for the enjoyment of an audience. Even in the film, it is not any more pornographic than any other television program or R rated movie shown on late light TV. Wow the things that get on TV today used to be X-rated. Who is shouting so loudly about all of that?
I wonder why this one book is getting all of the attention. I enjoyed it, I always like a love story. But it was poorly written, it was juvenile and had a lot of errors in the editing which was distracting. It certainly was no work of literary genius. I have read many better written and more entertaining novels of erotica both before and after. I have read novels of Stockholm syndrome and D/S books and love stories of rockers and cowboys and vampires and a whole host of others. I also read children’s books and young adult and historical fiction and fantasy and the list goes on. Some are great and some not, but none are not getting the attention that our Christian Grey got. Why?
I believe it is not about the dominance, not about the submission, or about the fact he was gorgeous and she a little plain, and yet, still got the guy. What I do believe it is about, is the element of desire that was displayed between the characters. The desire that was consuming and held them enthralled with each other, and that desire enthralled us too. We want to feel that, even a bit of that. So few ever get to feel that they are desired at all, much less the desire that engulfs you, fills your thoughts and your mind to the point of madness. It is dizzying to think you might be loved like that, even in a small way, even for a moment, just to have a taste of what it is like. That is what drew people to this series. It drew men and women, it drew many who ache to be seen and felt and to feel. It drew me and it still makes me think and ask questions and want to feel and know and ache to be known, loved, needed and desired.
I will remain open to the experience and listen when something touches me. Open to the possibility of learning the hidden meaning behind why things make me feel. Perhaps that is the point of the conversation about this book. Perhaps that is what we should ask all of those shouting so loudly for or against, what is it in you that makes you shout?