• Tue, Apr 17 2012

50 Reasons I Still Have Not Read Fifty Shades Of Grey

1) Judging from the 4 pages on Amazon, it appears to be terribly written

2) Anal beads freak me out more than anything.

3) I don’t really even understand how they work.

4) Like Katie Roiphe, I have seen how they do it in Berlin.

5) Fine, I’ve seen the movie Cabaret.

6) I have also seen Quills

7) I am sexually sophisticated

8) After seeing Quills, I read 120 Days of Sodom at 14, and frankly, I found it kind of unrealistic.

9) Also, that is not a great book to read before you’ve actually had sex. Still. I kind of feel I’ve been there, done that.

10) Fine. I’m worried that anything that happened in 120 Days of Sodom might show up in Fifty Shades of Grey, but especially any of the list stuff at the end, where they start carving out new orifices on people.

11) Like, I don’t think you could carve a belly sex orifice, and have sex with it, and have the person live, the way they do in that book. I just don’t think you can.

12) Oh, God, they were having dying body sex in 120 Days? That’s awful!

13) I like it when people are nice to each other

14) I love Whit Stillman movies

15) My erotic kink might be “cuddling”

16) I am a hayseed.

17) If the heroine’s name is Anastasia Steele, I do not understand how she does not have superpowers?

18) I love colors!

19) Oh, I liked The Story of O. I would rather re-read that.

20) I think the desire for escape from the pain of simply being trapped inside a body, time moving forward, the hell of remembering other people, the grotesque, tortured act of being described in O – well, I do not think that is going to be effectively summed up by a millionaire (Christian Grey) texting a college student “laters, baby.”

laters baby fifty shades of grey

21) So, because Anne Desclos did this better.

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  • Cee

    Is her inner goddess code for vagina? I wouldn’t fuck a girl that called it that. I don’t think an Anastasia Steele would call it that, but hell, I’ve never met someone with such a porno name, aside from someone named Jenna Beaver.

    Also, i imagine anal beads having the sensations of taking a never ending poop that goes in reverse every now and then.

    • Jennifer Wright

      Yes! THAT!

      I don’t know. It seems like her inner goddess is always salsa dancing or doing the charleston or something, so she must have a really flexible vagina.

      Also, my new alias is going to be Jenna Beaver.

    • Cee

      Wow, yea the image of salsa dancing vaginas is not appealing. Now I don’t want to dance or eat anything Hispanic today!

      And yes! Use it, she had no sense of humor with her name. :(

  • L

    Reading Jane Eyre right now, which is incredibly well written, but, um, sometimes nothing really happens. So I simultaneously started reading 50 Shades, which is horridly written, but lots of doinking happens.

    Together it’s making for pretty workable bus-commute reading, but with the caveat that the sex in the first 70 pages of supposedly BDSM erotica has been incredibly vanilla. A little spanking makes this an envelope-pusher? That’s hardly worth having to spend any time in Ms. Steele’s head with her obnoxious Inner Goddess.

    • Jennifer Wright

      You know I always find the ending of Jane Eyre problematic, because it doesn’t strike me that your reward for being eminently sane and keeping it together for 400 odd pages should be… what happens. No spoilers. It just should not be that. I sort of feel like at the end of the book Jane should have said “you know what? I’m audi. Booking passage to Italy.”

      Then she could have gone off and been a Henry James character.

      But – if you like well written things with lots of boinking, anything by Anais Nin is fantastic.

    • porkchop

      In high school, I was way into St. John. Sure, he wasn’t perfect, but I always liked a challenge. Plus, ambition is a turn on. AND, with St. John you get a job. Now, I personally would have died of an epidemic disease almost instantly, but we know Jane doesn’t have to worry about that. We could see she had an ironclad immune system from her school days.

      Despite not having read 50 Shades, I feel 100% certain that Jane Eyre is hotter.

    • Sabrina

      Yes, I second that anything written by Anais Nin is fantastic. And I would recommend starting with her first adult diary, vol. 1.

  • thaumata

    All the middle-aged suburban housewives I know (the ones who have already named their offspring after Twilight characters) won’t STFU about this book, which was reason enough for me to avoid it. I am, however, having fun responding to their veiled facebook posts about it with graphic questions relating to BDSM lifestyles.

  • Daniela

    Jennifer, I just want to tell you that I watched ‘Metropolitan’, ‘Barcelona’, and ‘The Last Days of Disco’ specifically because you mentioned them in one of your ‘The Editors Discuss’-type posts. They were awesome. So thank you for that. (My two favorite quotes are ‘What are they for? Soviet troops racing across Europe, eating all the croissants?’ and ‘Playing strip poker with an exhibitionist somehow takes the challenge away.’)

    Also, Mark Oshiro of MarkDoesStuff, might, possibly, make a video of himself reading parts of this book (for every $1000 dollars he raises for the AIDS/LifeCycle this year, he’s reading a piece of bad ficton/fanfiction) (he’s already done ‘Atlas Shrugged’ (http://markreads.net/reviews/2012/04/mark-reads-bad-fic-1-atlas-shrugged/) and ‘The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner’ is next).

  • Cate

    Apparently I have been living in a cave because I have never heard of this book. Thank you for bringing it to my attention so that I can add it to my list of things to never read.

  • Electra

    I have only read the 1st book and it is just a sex book. All the characters are horribly written I just want to punch all of them in the mouth. Seriously, every single person in the book I want to punch. If she says “Oh, My” in her head one more time! Get a new catchphrase.
    I had a college roommate that read books like this all the time and this one is almost like- I think it was- Topping from Below. In that book this woman seduces a rich BDSM man that she suspects killed her sister. Every seduction scene he introduces something more riske and every time she is all “no this is crazy” but then she is all “best orgasm ever!” I think at the end she has sex with a dog and then cuts off his hands so he can never play the piano again.
    I think the draw is- is that he doesn’t want to be touched. So no begging for blowjobs or hand jobs and he really wants to get her off every time in a crazy way- if that is the case I wouldn’t mind being tied up and spanked too….

  • Melanie the Constant Reader

    “I don’t have time to read Fifty Shades of Grey because I have to go buy an owl mask.”
    Me too! Let’s go together and then I’ll tell you exactly what you’re not missing (Twighlight with strangely vanilla sex and really, really stupid personifications of inner goddesses and “laters, baby” as a phrase utter by someone who’s supposed to be soooo sophisticated, oh God why did I ever) and you can tell me if the horned feathers look too flashy. Deal?

    http://melanietheconstantreader.blogspot.com/

    • Jennifer Wright

      I really think you can pull it off! Sooners, baby!

  • MM

    I just read some of the excerpts and…holy shit, this is bad writing. Fanfiction-bad writing. Why is this book popular??

    • Gemma

      Fun fact – it was originally a Twilight fanfiction. This explains everything.

  • Robyn

    Crapsicles. I read 50 Shades to review it for the mag I work for, fully expecting to LOATHE it – and while it is atrociously written (my husband thinks it’s a comedy because I laugh out loud quite often, when reading lines such as, “I want you and the thought of anyone else having you is like a knife twisting in my dark soul”) – and the doinking is pretty tame… I couldn’t put it down. I had to keep reading. I adored the books. Fuck – I am going to have to kill myself now…

    • Angee

      Oh my God I felt the exact same way! I really couldn’t say they were great literature, they were so poorly written. But honestly, I couldn’t stop reading them either, I had to know what was going to happen next!

  • Tina

    I began reading this book because my friend kept going on and on about good it was . I must say I was extremely disappointed when I started reading it, in fact I put it down after Chapter 8. There is a limit to the torture I will allow my eyes and mind to endure.

    The writing is poor , the characters lack development . The book might satisfy others but being a young reader myself and having read a classic like Jane Eyre I can’t settle for such. So I will be returning all three books to her (yes I was given the trilogy).