Blushing Fifty Shades of Red


Friday, June 08, 2012

The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, about a young woman named Anastasia and her bondage-loving boyfriend Christian, has been jumping off shelves (and into e-book download queues) since it was released by Knopf’s Vintage imprint earlier this year.

Everybody’s reading it, but a book this risqué makes for some awkward conversations. What if your mom is reading it? Rebecca Lee Douglas went there.


→ Is there book, movie, or other cultural sex trash that you ended up loving? Tell us in a comment below.


Rebecca Lee Douglas

Comments [8]

Eric Hamell

It really isn't, but the initial advertising led me to expect the movie _Secretary_ to be trash, and to expect to enjoy it as such. What it actually turned out to be is by far the most accurate, sympathetic portrayal of kinky people in more-or-less mainstream cinema. I think it will eventually be seen as playing the same role for us as, say, _My Beautiful Laundrette_ for gay men, or _Go Fish_ for lesbians.

Jul. 02 2012 08:08 PM
Jakub Svec

Lolita. Very awkward to appreciate with enthusiasm.

Jun. 12 2012 04:59 PM
David N

I'm left wondering why Rebecca Lee Douglas sounds like she thinks being a fifty-three year old mom is some sort of disease, or disorder.
But maybe that I'm fifty-three years old as well somehow compromises my objectivity in this regard.

Jun. 10 2012 09:52 PM
Henry Miller from 01930-3550

How did Studio360, AKA "radio's smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop ..." ever manage to find, much less assign, Rebecca Lee Douglas to do a story on ANYTHING about what's "happening" in contemporary SEXUAL mores? Her mother sounds much more "happening" in that regard. Which also begs the question WHAT IS HAPPENING IN CSM's??!! PBS/NPR may be regressing, but STUDIO 360?!! I have a 41 year old son who's fairly "liberated", sexually, and I'm proud to have been able to have influenced him, as an engaged "'60's, ProSex, Veteran" in that regard. Remember Wilhelm Reich? Betty Dodson? Kathy Acker? Dan Savage? Judy Blume, fer chrissakes!! Have you read FUG YOU, Ed Sanders' recent memoir? (Or better, his TALES OF BEATNIK GLORY) I'd heartily recommend Rebecca (& Mom) access and explore Nina Hartley's wonderful, educational, and liberating YouTube(?) "How To Eat Pussy Like a Champ", FOR EXAMPLE. (It was listed on Tumblr, w/ Open Culture, as 2 of the Top Ten Blogs) I won't bore you, with even Mencken's admonition about Puritanism, but neither should you bore us with Rebecca Lee Douglas' pudeur.

Jun. 10 2012 03:22 PM
Woman of a Certain Age from New England

I don't understand women who act so embarrassed about this or whose children have never had conversations with their mothers about such topics. I must be an anomaly that I have such openness with my daughters--and son--about pretty much any topic. I do not mean crossing boundaries inappropriately--telling them about my sex life or asking for details about theirs--no, not that. I mean, to act embarrassed about it, or like it's all so titillating and so I just have to wonder why so many women are so naive and sheltered when we live in such a big world, with internet access, and pretty much the opportunity to explore any topic at any time. I am so glad I had avant garde parents growing up--not that they were perfect by any means (who is?!), but they always gave us permission to be open to life and experiences. Life's too short to pretend we are shocked by things like sexuality.

Jun. 10 2012 02:56 PM
Lara from New England

I'm 21, female college student. When I was listening to the story this afternoon my mum and I got into a (brief) discussion about the book that ultimately ended with her saying "You know I don't think that book was written for your age group." She also said that the book was for desperate women.
I thought she was being completely ridiculous! (I still love you, Mom).
I've been reading smut *cough* um since before I probably should have been, but if anything it opened my eyes and allowed me to question things I never even conceived and deepened my knowledge and understanding of my own sexuality. Reading is part of every other aspect of my life, why shouldn't sex be included?
I think romance / erotic novels are great, but I am a HUGE fanfiction fan (and I was surprised to learn that 50 Shades started as a ff!). I think fanfiction is the next romance novel. Some authors I follow are brilliant writers (I typically read long/plot-driven fics with a healthy dose of smut)!

Jun. 09 2012 05:23 PM
Derek in MD

My first short piece of gay erotica has just been published. I'd never written any before and it was way trickier than I imagined it would be. Most interesting part: going online and finding 300+ slang terms for penis. Some I couldn't use because they related to lady bits (a no-no for gay erotica) and others were too modern -- "Little Elvis" and "Godzilla thrilla" don't work for a dirty story set in the 1890s.

Jun. 09 2012 02:54 PM

Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty Trilogy was awesome.

Jun. 08 2012 06:49 PM

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