Porn for Prudes


I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey, but I’ve seen some pretty thorough summaries, and I do indeed think it normalizes abuse, at least when a rich guy who’s supposed to be attractive is the one doing the abusing. I’ve seen enough to determine that it’s not all consensual, as some defenders have been claiming. Consent made under duress doesn’t really count. Am I disturbed at how many people have enjoyed the books and are almost certainly going to see the movie? Sure. On the other hand, I can’t help but see some amount of superiority from the people who are saying to boycott the film. You can’t very well boycott something if you never intended to pay for it anyway, and I doubt they’re going to change anyone’s mind. Now, to be fair, one of the main movements against the movie is encouraging people to donate to charities that deal with abuse instead, which is a good thing. I just have to wonder if they’re really going about it the right way. I mean, it’s an R-rated movie, so people going to see it are presumably adults, right? I can’t imagine anyone taking their children to it, although I’ll probably end up being proven wrong on that point.

Hey, no one told me they were making a second Curious George movie!
Beth read me some article she found on Kirk Cameron’s Facebook page (not that he wrote it; I’m not entirely sure he’s even literate) directed to daughters, saying in essence, “God wants more for you than to be some guy’s sex toy!” Patronizing as hell, of course, and aren’t these the same people who keep claiming the Bible wants women to submit to their husbands? I’m sure there’s a reason the dude is named Christian. But anyway, after so many years of ire at articles saying violence is caused by video games and cartoons, I’m not sure it would be fair for me to say Fifty Shades causes abuse. I think it’s more that people who have already convinced themselves that abuse isn’t so bad who are attracted to it. It might reinforce negative messages, but it’s probably more of an effect than a cause.


Quite frankly, I don’t really get its popularity. From what I can tell, it’s basically just the stuff of dime store romances, except for some reason the books have made it to the best-seller list. People like to call it “mommy porn,” which I find insulting to mothers everywhere.

More like porn for people who look down their noses at porn, but for some reason feel these books are okay. It strikes me as rather telling that I keep hearing how Fifty Shades brought BDSM into the mainstream, when it seems to me bondage erotica has been popular since long before I was born. Everyone who’s been on the Internet for any length of time has probably seen the bondage pictures of Bettie Page from the 1950s, whether they wanted to or not.

Also Wonder Woman in the 1940s.

This isn’t stuff you have to purchase from the behind the counter in an unlabeled package. Now, I don’t know how old BDSM is as a subculture, and quite honestly parts of that disturb me, like the people who think it’s fun to call submissives “slaves.” Am I totally off the mark in thinking it’s probably only white people who do that? And apparently any sex that ISN’T kinky is disparagingly referred to as “vanilla,” because that’s apparently the most boring flavor they can think of? If they want something with hardly any flavor, they should call it Papa John’s sex. Still, it looks like the BDSM community is mostly opposed to Fifty Shades, considering that what happens in the books is: 1) not consensual, and 2) presented as something only someone who was messed up from child abuse would do, and could be brought out of by the love of a good woman.

Incidentally, I’ve heard that E.L. James had arguments with the director because she wanted the movie to be much smuttier. I can kind of see where she’s coming from, because who wants to watch what’s essentially a porno where you don’t even get to see anything? Then again, the director probably knows what she’s doing, because how many people who loved the books would go to see an NC-17 film? While Twilight was abstinence porn, this is actual porn for people who won’t admit to liking porn.

He also tells you you have an Inner Goddess that you need to get removed before it destroys your insides.

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4 Responses to Porn for Prudes

  1. As long as it doesn’t scare the horses,..

  2. Glenn I says:

    The prose style is painful and I’m not enough of a masochist to take it.

    One of my favorite reads from last year was the book “fic” by Anne Jamison. As one who has written Oz fanfic (which the Oz oldies used to call “pastiche”), I am perfectly fine with writers playing in somebody else’s sandbox. What fascinated me about Jamison’s book was the exploration of how fanfic exploded on the internet. One of the stories in the book is how “Fifty Shades of Grey” was created as “Twilight” fanfic then was rewritten to take the Twilight out of it so it could be sold.

    • Nathan says:

      People who have read Twilight have pointed out some of the incredible similarities between characters. I think it might have been alternate universe Twilight fanfic in which Edward was a CEO instead of (or maybe in addition to) a vampire. There’s some other fairly successful series that started out as Harry Potter fanfic, but I forget which one it is.

  3. Pingback: Sex and Violence Have Never Been More Boring | VoVatia

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