You may have heard of this book that media pundits and housewives alike are gushing about on camera and at brunch while trying not to squirm in their seats. It's called "Fifty Shades of Grey" and was written by an English housewife whose obsession with "Twilight" led her to create an irritatingly similar storyline and publish it as an amateur e-book.
The only differences being no vampires, no glitter, lots of bondage, and far too much fantastical fucking.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" is bubble gum for your brain and an absolutely mindless read, but if you can ignore the 4th-grade writing level and excruciatingly painful character development you might actually get your panties wet.
Listen to this discussion of how "Fifty Shades of Grey" has swept the nation on "Between the Sheets With Lora Somoza" for more details!
The book desperately holds onto antiquated ideals of virginity, purity and innocence while forcefully -- and lubelessly -- pounding such taboo sexual concepts as spanking, suspension and period sex into readers' minds. It's a real mind-fuck and by the end of it you're either panting waiting to get your paws on the sequel (it's a trilogy -- hooray?) or desperately trying to piece together the remnants of your tattered, tortured brain.
But I will not deny the positive effects that this hastily edited erotic novel has had on society. Much of the country had never been exposed to the idea of sexual activity other than missionary and the forbidden doggy style, and merely opening a dialog discussing sex, BDSM and safe words has been enough to change the sex lives of men, women and married couples for life.
Some women have written to author E. L. James simply to share that since finishing the book, they've had sex with their husbands more times in one week than they'd had in years. And I don't care if the writing is Pulitzer-worthy or from the mind of a mental case, any $10 e-book that can help repair a failing sex life that fast is one I'll recommend to the masses.
But I urge readers to keep in mind that what they're absorbing into their brains is not reality. The floggers, restraints and silk bedding the main characters use are absolutely real and can be purchased online. But the instant sexual satisfaction, immediate effortless orgasms, unsteady sub/dom relationship, and the mind-numbing mixed messages that the two blast at each other exist only for dramatic effect.
Any virgins waiting to be swept up by a sexual pro only to be deflowered with a hard fuck that leads to explosive orgasms each and every time are setting themselves up for disappointment. And the extent to which the author goes to barely scratch the BDSM surface while casting judgment on the lifestyle using the innocent main character as a mouthpiece is infuriating at the very least.
So please please please read "Fifty Shades of Grey" for inspiration and titillation, but by no means use it as a manual or guidebook to figuring out whether or not bondage and dom/sub relationships might be your bag.
The closest you'll get to discovering your endurance for torture and pain is seeing how many chapters you make it through before wanting to bang your head against the wall or start touching yourself in your private area.
But if you're way beyond the "Fifty Shades" trend and looking for something different to satiate your hunger for literary porn, here are four books I suggest you take to bed tonight. Just be prepared to make a mess.
1. "The Classic Erotic Trilogy of Sleeping Beauty" by A. N. Roquelaure (aka Anne Rice)
Now this is a trilogy to sink your labia into. Rice, who writes these erotic folktales under a romantic pseudonym, tells of a lovely young princess under a nasty spell that can only be broken by the kiss of a prince. But not really...because what this prince does to her goes way beyond the Disney definition of rescue. And quite honestly there's no other way I'd want to be awoken from a deep sleep.
2. "The Leather Daddy and the Femme" by Carol A. Queen
The female protagonist in this book is into macho leather daddies and the only way she can get her fill is to dress and disguise herself as a boy -- but not always successfully. Yet when she meets her "daddy" her life truly begins and the well-written (thank goodness) prose describes a loving relationship while being sure not to skimp on the sexy stuff. This one will make you think.
3. "Tasting Her: Oral Sex Stories" by Rachel Kramer Bussel
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"Fifty Shades of Grey" was noticeably void of pussy-eating, and every male dom knows that cunnilingus is the key to melting his female sub into a puddle of ultimate surrender. That's why this unabashed and intoxicating series of oral sex stories should offer a bit of spice to your bookshelf -- and bedroom.
4. "The Story of O" by Pauline Reage
It's a classic coming of age story with an erotic twist as the reader follows the female protagonist's awakening into the world of sexual submission. The main character is 100 shades more likeable than anything you'll read in the "Fifty Shades" trilogy, and the unique direction this novel takes with the topic of BDSM is thoughtful while still being sexy.