I’m just jealous. I’m sure that’s it.
E.L. James is livin’ the dream, making a ton of money off her writing in a very clever, and carnal kind of way, and I am not. I am Fifty Shades of Green.
In case you have been living under a rock (or under a huge pile of butt plugs and S&M manuals) Fifty Shades of Grey is a phenomenon, titillating and arousing women (and their grateful partners) the world over. It is porn, thinly disguised as romance, all neatly tied up in shackles and silk ties on a four poster bed where the empowered female libido can stretch her languorous self in the hopes of a good rousing spanking.
My butt cheeks burn with furtive glee.
The problem is… well, there are a lot of problems. Involving carabiners and cat-o’-nine-tails mostly. But the main problem is the believability of it all. And the smouldering. There’s an awful lot of smouldering.
At no point in my virginal, pre-intercourse, pure-as-the-driven-snow romantic life did I ever consider signing a contract promising that I would not poop on my partner, or insert sharp objects into his anus. (I don’t think I knew at that point in my life that things could go into anuses. A fact I am still staunchly willing to uphold. That is an outy. Not an inny.)
This is why I simply cannot jump onto the band wagon that is Fifty Shades of… seriously?
At twenty-one Anastasia has never been drunk, never had a boyfriend, never had sex, and she is blithely considering signing a contract basically saying romance is dead, you can’t pee without me telling you where and when and how much and oh, by the way, this is gonna hurt?
And don’t look me in the eye. Or touch me. And you have to call me Sir while I whip you.
So, he tickles her nipples and she comes. Impressive. After nursing four babies I am obviously out of my league with these kinds of athletics.
I’m just jealous. Not of her, Ana-beat-me-with-a-stick-stasia. She is a twit, and a twat, and a tool… I prefer my man to have a brain, a conscience and a gentle side, so I am perfectly happy to leave her to the smouldering Grey with his just-fucked hair. (I have a problem with repetition in novels. Use a good word once, then move on. You don’t reuse condoms, so don’t reuse vocabulary… although at one point Grey ties up a used condom and puts it in his pocket, which I think is quite gross.) I’m jealous because EL James is becoming a millionaire over the sweaty shattering of her heroine’s libido, while I am still a dime store wannabe who has trouble having her heroine kiss the hero, never mind tie him up and flog him with a paddle.
I hesitate to be critical of a real author’s writing, especially a millionaire author who can dream up grisly acts of delight involving anal fisting. Do I really want her as an enemy? I am especially hesitant to offer criticism of the craft when I am not famous, not worthy and not sure what genital clamps actually are. I obviously have huge gaps in my education which leave me with little room to judge much of anything.
I just wish every orgasmic experience didn’t leave the character shattered. First into a thousand pieces, then into a million pieces… my God the poor woman! It must be exhausting having to pick herself back up and rearrange all those sweaty pieces, because he sure isn’t going to. He’s too busy waxing his butt plugs. And then there’s the lip biting. It must be absolutely shredded because it’s her response to everything… he’s looking at me, chew chew chew… he’s not looking at me, chew, chew, chew. Christian-fuck-me-with-a-chainsaw-Grey finds it sexy, I just find it boring. Couldn’t she scratch her brow, or twirl her hair, or make condom balloons, just to change it up a little? Chew, chew, chew. She won’t eat a full meal but she’ll gnaw on that bottom lip like Big Bubba Joe on All You Can Eat Wing Night at Alley Nine.
I just wish the plot were slightly more believable. Ok, way more believable. The poor horn-queen can’t even say vagina, but she has no problem shoving weird ball things up her hoo hoo. “My muscles clenched deliciously down there.”
Down there? Where? The bargain basement of Giant Tiger?
(Oh come on, we all know what a hoo hoo is. Sheesh.)
I just wish there were a metaphor or two, maybe a simile here and there, to give it some literary weight. How about: “I chewed my lip like a beaver, while he whipped mine with a leather switch.” Or perhaps: “His just-fucked hair and my just-fucked hair smouldered in tangled abandon on the precipice of a shattering avalanche of sated flesh and anal beads.”
No? This is why I am jealous. How am I ever going to make my millions as an author?
I just wish he wasn’t always smouldering, or looking at her with hooded eyes, and I wish they would play chess, or do crosswords, or go fishing instead of this incessant fucking that is going on. Not that there’s anything wrong with a good fucking. But crosswords can delay Alzheimer’s. Ponder that for a moment.
I just wish I had thought of it first.
I’ve decided that my future novels will all involve random acts of bizarre intercourse… because it sells. My characters will be having sex with each other, their friends, their pets, their power tools, their outdoor patio furniture… nothing will be beyond the scope of my literary carnality.
Here is an excerpt of my future greatness :
“Oh look,” he smouldered. “It’s a hummingbird feeder.”
“Why yes, it is.” She chewed on her lip, on his lip, on the edge of the barbeque, on the neighbor’s dog who had wandered innocently over from next door. “I just filled it. It’s very… sticky.”
“I see you are chewing on the barbeque. That’s so hot. I want you.”
“But what about the dog? He doesn’t belong here.” She ran the hummingbird feeder slowly over her hoo hoo. It made a squeaky noise that reminded her of the squeegee mop. She always enjoyed the squeegee mop. “The neighbor was very angry about the dog last time. You remember last time, don’t you?”
“I picked dog hair out of my teeth for a week.” He ran his hands through his gonna-fuck-the-dog-with-a-hummingbird-feeder-hair, and smouldered at her again.
I think I am totally onto something.
Just send money.
Check out my new novel: That Thing That Happened, available now for kindle.
Finalist in WFNS Atlantic Writing Competition
Compulsion Reads Endorsed