‘How is it possible that you are eating a smoked salmon sandwich again?’ asked my boss. ‘That’s been every day for what? Maybe four weeks now?’
I shrugged. ‘I’m a creature of habit,’ I said. ‘I get little obsessions, and just do that one thing over and over and over again until I get bored and ditch it for something else.’
‘Any chance of ditching the panini for a salad obsession?’ she said.
‘Fuck off,’ I replied.
Sandwiches called Wonderwoman aside (yes. Really. Everyday I say, “I’ll take a small Wonderwoman, please. And that cream cake.’) it will come as, oh, I don’t know, ABSOLUTELY NO SURPRISE AT ALL that my current obsession continues to be the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. It’s hot and sexy. BUT, as much as I’ve threatened the men of Rome, I refuse to break my promise to myself. I’m not going to go on some raging sex spree just because I have read a particularly saucy book.
Probably. Maybe. OH GOD HOWEVER WILL I NOT JUST START HUMPING THIS TABLE LEG?
Wow. I think that’s the saddest thing I’ve ever typed.
Do women have loins?
Am I a pervert?
Should I even be writing about this on the Internet?
That’s all beside the point.
Apparently the press are calling it ‘mommy porn’, because before last month when it was finally published in pretty paperback form, it was only available on download to an (YUCK!) eReader. Thus, many a bored housewife could happily consume the tales of Ana Steele and Christian Grey at the bus stop, or waiting for Clementine to finish ballet, or in the coffee shop with a cappuccino after noon, because nobody could tell that they were learning how to use Chinese love balls, discreet as an eReader is.
Related: CAPPUCCINO IS A BREAKFAST DRINK INTERNET. Let’s at least get that right, please. It really is upsetting me.
Anywoohoo, apparently all these stay-at-home mums and wives and girlfriends are reading this trilogy, feeling a bit naughty, and as a result there’s a wave of very surprised but very satisfied gentlemen across the globe who are now lay panting and purple and wondering what the fuck happened whilst they were at work, because women across the globe are getting their fantasies on, and the boys are reaping the benefit.
(At this point in my reverie I’d like to point you in the direction of this particular Simpson’s episode, wherein Marge writes similarly effective prose. Is there anything in life that can happen that hasn’t already been parodied by Matt Groening?)
The effect of these books knows no age limit. The audience is not just single twentysomethings, as one would expect. Oh no. Seeing my pregnant thritysomething friend at the weekend, one of the first things I whispered to her was OHMYGOD I NEED TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THIS BOOK I’M READING, and she was all, FIFTY SHADES? BEAT YOU TO IT. So then we burst out laughing, because there is nothing quite like knowing that somebody you love is also reading about a man who is so confident in his total possession of his woman that he can reduce her to orgasm simply by FUCKING BLOWING ON HER LADY GARDEN.
And then my friend did a funny leg cross movement and said BOY OH BOY DID IT GET TO ME which was weird, because OH HI PREGNANT WOMEN WHO STILL THINK ABOUT SEX. But then she said something really disappointing about the sex parts getting boring after a bit, so she kept skimming them to concentrate on the narrative. I was all, SKIPPING THE SEX TO READ THE ACTUAL STORY? I SKIPPED THE STORY TO JUST READ THE SEX.
And then we did an awkward silence.
I say these books know no age limit because not long after this conversation her mother Skyped us from America. Two minutes in she said, ‘GIRLS. I’ve got a book for you.’
I held my breath, because it’s a phrase I’ve said myself so many times this week as I’ve slipped my paperback across table or lap to suggest to the receptionist at work, or a student in my classroom, or old friends at breakfast that they need in on this secret sex society. I held my breath. My Pregnant Friend’s mum is 65. I kind of didn’t want those next words to leave her mouth. Then she said it.
‘FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.’
OMFG. She went there. It was inevitable.
My Pregnant Friend and I burst out laughing, because it turns out we’re all sodding at it- we’re all turning into dirty little porn pushers, licking our lips and telling our friends to go have some special alone time with these naughty poorly-written tales.
And the reason I keep talking about this out loud is because if the straight males of this world do not wise-up to what is happening right now, with this mood of sexual revolution amongst women who otherwise would go their whole lives thinking vanilla is the only flavour to be tasted, then well. There is a huge injustice going on.
BOYS. GO BUY A COPY AND LEARN HOW TO BE CHRISTIAN GREY. Urm, minus the stalking bit though. But totally with the dominant bit, please.
Honestly. I’m telling you all this for your own good.
And possibly, in another 30 weeks time, mine. Because yes. I’m counting the days. Get your practise on.
THANKS E.L. JAMES.