As I said on Friday, I think it's pretty cool that something like Fifty Shades of Grey, that started life on a fan fic website, has found an audience. Things truly have changed in the publishing universe in a way that's very freeing for writers.
And then I read portions of the book itself.
Before I go farther, I'd like to point out the following:
1) I do not object to edgy content. I write BDSM stories under a pseudonym.
2) I've spent far too many sleepless nights dealing with friends and family members in abusive relationships.
Unfortunately, the story in 50 Shades of Grey crosses the line from S&M edge play into outright torture with Stockholm Syndrome overtones.
My squick factor (as my editor refers to it) hit pretty early in the story. The heroine Ana is scared of Christian, like really terrified. She refers to their scenes as beatings and/or assaults. I think sexologist Dr. Charley Ferrer said it best: "You play with your toys. You don't break them."
Christian says he wants Ana to sign a contract in regards to their BDSM relationship, then he tells her he'll fuck her anyway if she refuses to sign, regardless of what she wants. Sorry, folks, but that's still considered rape in most states.
From the pages I've read, Ana seems obsessed with pleasing Christian so he doesn't lose his temper and hurt her. Excuse me? That's abuse. A decent dom/domme doesn't play out of anger.
Then there's other stuff that strikes me as off the weird-o-meter. Like being twenty-one and never having been to a gynecologist? Or letting the guy pick out your doctor? I can respect still being a virgin at twenty-one, but losing your cherry in a kink-o-fest?
My biggest problem with the actual story is that millions of folks believe Fifty Shades of Grey reflects a BDSM relationship. It doesn't. I'm worried that some of these fans may die because they chose the wrong partner.
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