6. Having read romances for the last five years, I’ve noticed BDSM romance, and BDSM
elements, becoming more mainstream within the genre. With the benefit of
20/20 hindsight, it’s
obvious that someday a BDSM erotic romance would break out and become a phenomenon theway Fifty Shades has.7. For evidence of the phenomenon, see Pornography for Mommies, an article about Fifty
Shades in the Huffington Post. Or don’t, if you don’t want to be annoyed by the condescension(but it’s self
condescension, so maybe that’s ok? Or… maybe that’s the oldest and most
hypocritical trick in the book? You decide!) in comments such as:
Also, I have been so busy reading “real” books
that, no, I have not read anything dumb and
erotic like this since college. And I think that’s true for many of my women friends. We read the
latest historical fiction bestseller¬s (like The Paris Wife, or The Help, which are definitely notbodice-rip¬pers
) and then we sip wine and meet for book club. So that’s why it is fun (andfunny) to rediscover this stuff in our 40′s. Not sure why this one was the break
-out erotica to
“trip” on, as you say, but it has certainly crossed over.
8. People get mad at you i
f you like this book: You don’t know good writing! You are part of the horde who encourage the publication of poorly edited books! You don’t care that the author
ripped off her Twilight fanficdom and/or Stephanie Meyer! You are promoting work thatencoura
ges the stereotype that folks who are into BDSM are “damaged”!
9. And they get mad if you don’t: You’re an elitist snob! You don’t get it! You are some crazyTwihard who can’t bear the thought of Edward with a whip! You’re sexually repressed! You are
g to tell women which sexual fantasies are ok and which aren’t!
10. Boy, is this book popular. Check the number of reviewers on Amazon (4.5 stars, 180 ratings,190 likes) or Goodreads (4210 ratings, avg rating of 4.41 out of 5). Just compare that to the latestbook by New York Times bestselling romance writer Nora Roberts, The Next Always (published
around the same time, also priced at $9.99): Amazon (3.5 stars, 197 reviews, 1014 likes… thelast number showing Roberts’ strong Facebook presence, something James can’t now, or perhaps
ever, compete with), Goodreads (3687 ratings, 3.88 average rating).11. But wait! Fifty Shades is not, technically, a romance novel (no happily ever after, although
there is one at the end of the series). It’s not published by a
romance publisher. The cover is
certainly not romancey. And, I could be wrong, but I don’t think it was primarily romancereaders that first discovered this book: it was members of the author’s fan fiction community.Indeed, my romance reading “friends” o
n Goodreads give it a much lower average review.12. If you want more Fifty Shades, you can read the next two books in the series, Fifty ShadesDarker (supposed to be pretty good) or Fifty Shades Freed (supposed to suck).