Bitch’in Life, Pop Culture

Fifty Seconds of Grey: The Real Mommy Porn

Fifty Shades of Grey has unleashed a genre of female-oriented lit that is guaranteed to bring us to our collective knees, dominating the media and our oh-so-fertile imaginations. So ladies, put down your sippy cups filled with chardonnay, your Cosmos, your True Blood vampire juice. Spark up your Kindles, set them to vibrate (oh, if only we could!), and prepare for… Mommy Porn.

From a zillion posts online to spots on the Today Show, features in huge media outlets like the LA Times, the New York Times and even a Entertainment Weekly cover story that touts the series as “the Shocking Best-Seller We Can’t Stop Talking About,”  E L James‘ soft-porn, S&M-filled Fifty Shades of Grey series has whipped the media into submission with its tale of 22-year-old Anastatia Steele’s kinky relationship with her 28-year-old dom, Christian Grey.

Although the characters are young, 40-something E L James’ readers are wearing their readers to read by the light of their Kindles: hence, the nom-de-Mommy-Porn. Like our own personal brown paper bags, e-readers make it possible for otherwise upstanding and responsible women to disguise our taste for whips, chains and things that go bump and grind between our yoga classes, carpool driving, and Little League games.

While I enjoy explosive orgasms as much as any other gal, I can’t help but laugh when I read the coverage of the phenomena of Fifty Shades of Grey, and watch footage of Chico’s-garbed grown women giggling like school girls over who will play Christian Grey in the movie. As someone who was initiated to the joy of sex through a book — specifically, the tattered copy of Forever that automatically opened to certain dog-eared pages and was mandatory bedtime reading at sleepaway camp — I’m all for a steamy hot fictional romp. But like the part in Forever when Katherine christens Michael’s penis “Ralph,” things often go from the sublime to the ridiculous, when fiction diverges from any relatable reality.

But is the truth about sex in the pages of a book as compelling as an impossible fantasy? In the novel I’m writing, here’s a snapshot of my version of real sex in the suburbs:

“I nodded, put my head on my husband’s chest, and then my hand on his crotch. I wasn’t sure why I was so turned on, but maybe it was because the conversation was the most intimate we’d had in weeks. Johnny peeled off my t-shirt and worn sweats, and was excited to find I wasn’t wearing underwear. I didn’t bother telling him it was only because I hadn’t had a chance to change out of what I wore to bed the night before – let him think it was just for him. As Johnny stripped down, I realized it had been too long since we really saw each other naked. The last time we lingered over sex was the night at the Coldwater Tap. Every other time had been a quickie, no foreplay, not even one passionate kiss. Now we took our time, and I delighted in feeling his rough, hairy chest against mine. I drank the closeness in as he moved into me, and just as I started to enjoy it, I realized I didn’t have my diaphragm in.”

Ahhh, coitus interruptus. The thing that has kept sex hot in the suburbs, from the time we first did it until today, when squeezing in even a quick shot of pleasure is a push. The phone is always ringing, the insistent buzz of a text message distracts, a kid will predictably call in the middle of the night for a drink of water, a dog barks to be let outside at just the wrong moment. No wonder lingering for days on end in a hot billioniare’s dungeon is striking a horny chord in women everywhere.

Hint: It’s not just about the sex. And I’d argue that what intoxicates most is the idea of being told what to do, when to do it, and without any real world interruptions.

If somebody cleared your decks, what would you do?

Fifty seconds where the world is not black or white, but grey. In a dungeon there’s no daylight to push us out of bed and harshly spank us with reality. As Christain Grey constantly says to Anastasia Steele, “breathe.”

Of all the commands in the book, that’s the one that turns me on the most. And it’s the one we can each do by ourselves, if only we would give ourselves permission.

BREATHE.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Mere May 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Remembering “Forever” and “Ralph” brought a smile to my face and a slight shudder to my crotch.

    • Reply Trudi May 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      RIGHT?! I should’ve mentioned WIFEY – ah well, next time…

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