A friend of mine shared an article that Dave Barry wrote for the New York Times last March, reviewing Fifty Shades of Grey. Barry explains that he wanted to read the book, because…
“…as a man with decades of experience in the field of not knowing what the hell women are thinking, I was hoping this book would give me some answers. Because a lot of women LOVED this book. And they didn’t just read it; they responded to it by developing erotic feelings—feelings so powerful that in some cases they wanted to have sex with their own husbands.”
Read the entire article HERE.
Barry offers his review of the book, and it’s not favorable.
“This is the kind of a book where, instead of saying things, characters muse them, and they are somehow able to muse them matter-of-factly. And these matter-of-fact musings cause other characters’ brows—which of course were already knitted—to knit stillfurther. The book is over five hundred pages long and the whole thing is written like that. If Jane Austen (another bestselling female British author) came back to life and read this book, she would kill herself.”
He’s very funny about not liking the book (which one would expect from Dave Barry), but what I appreciated most about his article was that he brought up two interesting points. The first being that what women consider erotica (he used the word ‘porn’) is not what men expect from porn. I’ve been saying this to my sir whenever he edits one of my stories. His complaint is that the plot interferes with the fucking. I point out that it’s because he’s a man, and if I wrote a story for him it would be 95% sex and 1% dialogue. Thank you, Mr. Barry, for supporting my point.
The best part of Barry’s essay, in my opinion, is his conclusion about why women loved FSoG.
“Why was this book so incredibly popular? When so many women get so emotionally involved in a badly written, comically unrealistic porno yarn, what does this tell us? That women are basically insane? Yes.
I mean no! No. Of course it does not tell us that. What it tells us is this: Women are interested in sex.”
HOLD THE PHONE, people. Women are interested in sex??
And here comes my favorite of this article, he explains that many men grow up being taught that women don’t want sex as much as men. Shocker, I know. That’s one of the themes of our little ‘ol blog, right here. I mean, that’s exactly why we started writing about our sexual adventures. We, the women of Vagina Antics, wanted sex as much as men wanted sex. Not our husbands. Obviously. But like other men who wanted sex.
So despite my general disdain for FSoG (for poor craftsmanship on the author’s part), Barry’s article made me resent it less. If men can interpret it to mean that women like sex, then sally forth, gentlemen! Just be polite about it.