Full disclosure: I have not read the wildly popular “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy.
But then again, I’m not supposed to – am I?
It’s geared toward women, and it’s the new-fangled version of those romance novels with Fabio on the cover. Or perhaps Judy Blume’s “Wifey,” the children’s author who created a firestorm in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s with her first adult-themed novel about open marriages and bored housewives.
Only this time, the sex is a whole lot kinkier.
So, I did what any self-respecting man would do – I bought a copy of the first book and asked my wife to read it.
I threw in some flowers, too, so I would feel sorta romantic at the Costco check-out aisle. Yes, you can get the “50 Shades” series at the wholesale warehouse in Myrtle Beach, and no, you don’t have to buy ‘em by the 12-pack - or with the family set of whips and chains.
It’s baseball season – I don’t have time to read a novel.
I was unaware of “50 Shades of Grey” until fairly recently, and learned from my wife that it was actually borne out of something called fan fiction, a sort of online “what-if” type of writing based on the “Twilight” series.
But author E.L. James wound up rewriting her darker more erotic tales of Bella and Edward, renamed the lead characters and thus was born the current phenomenon now simply referred to as “50 Shades.”
But it’s also referred to as something else. It’s been dubbed “mommy porn” for its explicit sex scenes and themes of bondage, dominance, submission and sex devices.
Released initially in eBook form, some have speculated that the series became increasingly popular because e-readers such as a Kindle or Nook allow a certain level of discreetness. I.E., you can read soft porn by the pool without everybody knowing because there’s no sexed-up, Fabio’d book cover, or cheesy title on display.
After reading the first 100 pages of the first book in the trilogy, my wife reported that within those pages there had already been four detailed sex scenes.
After finding out what the “50 Shades” phenomenon was about, I just kept hearing about it. Ladies at the pool saying they were going to read it this summer, friends on Facebook looking to borrow copies, other female friends saying they didn’t want their husbands to know they’ve read it...
Sounds like a growing trend to me - and since we’ve generally produced a summer/beach books issue here in Surgeland, I thought we’d spice it up this time around and look at the “50 Shades”/mommy porn phenomenon as it tightens its grip on the Grand Strand.
And again, no need for me to read the trilogy because correspondent Jennifer Sellers has, and she talks with local women about their attraction to “50 Shades,” whether or not it’s too steamy for local libraries, and she explores how the books’ kinky fare is affecting local adult novelty stores - and it’s all contained in this week’s cover story, which you can read on our homepage.
And if you’ve already rifled through James’ trilogy, we’ve got a list of other mommy porn titles that might be up your alley as you search for summer/beach/poolside reading.
In all honesty, I had at least intended to read a sex scene or two from “50 Shades” prior to writing this column, but I forgot to grab it this morning before heading to the office, so I was left to trying to find some excerpts on the Internet, and what I came across was reminiscent of Penthouse Letters.
And then...You won’t believe it, but this is a true story I remembered. I had just moved into my new apartment, when two, hot college girls in bikinis knocked on my door and asked me if I’d help them apply sun tan oil because...
Kent Kimes, Editor