A Male Perspective: 50 Shades of…
Written By: Male Correspondent #2
[editors note: This is a response to our Bitchy Book Club post]
This goddamn book. It’s been quite the talk at work – mostly because I work with 40-something soccer moms whose main source of excitement is a sale on Lunchables at the grocery store. These people haven’t been so fixated on something since Kate Middleton’s wedding, and after reading this book, I’ve decided that is exactly its target audience.
That’s right, I’ll admit it. I’m a heterosexual male who usually reads nonfiction, and I read 50 Shades of Grey. Since I’ve just outed myself, I feel obligated to explain why.
I read it primarily because I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I wanted to see what was making every sexually deprived woman in the country have to change her panties (well, these kinds of women wear “undergarments”) 3 times a day. I wanted to read what was making otherwise sexless, missionary position wives suddenly Google the hell out of “steel balls I can put in my vagina.”
Everyone knows the stereotypical male standards by which society forces women into eating disorders: thin, huge breasted women looking like they’re just starving to go down on every guy standing in the grocery isle looking back at them. I wanted to get a sense of the opposite. In other words, I knew this book was the quintessential fantasy for a certain cross section of the female population, therefore I wanted to get a sense, as a guy, as to what incredible and unattainable standards were on that list.
Second, the book is everywhere. From SNL parodies, to seeing the paperback butterflying across vacant beach chairs, to what the girl across from you has on her kindle during your subway ride. Not that I was prying. Once in a while I feel like I have to tap into pop culture even realizing it probably isn’t something I’ll like – it’s why I downloaded an Adele song once. It’s probably why you felt you wanted to blog about it in the first place.
Third, I knew this book contained graphic sex, and (bonus!) from a female perspective. And really guys, who doesn’t want to read that?
So one day, per my request, a coworker snuck it into my office in a non-descript bag and said “have it back to me in a few weeks, my neighbor wants to borrow it next.” Suddenly I flashed back to age 14, when my buddies and I used to smuggle Penthouse magazines to each other with the “try not to get the pages too sticky” disclaimer.
I expected to read steamy pages filled with erotic detail – the kind that makes you realize you haven’t exhaled in about five seconds, while you drive recklessly home from work with a zipper-breaking boner, so you can furiously jerk off to the that chapter you read during your last conference call. I found no such thing.
I hate this fucking book. I’ve never read something so completely unrealistic in my life. So while you’ve written about why it sucks from your perspective, allow me to speak to a few points from the perspective of someone armed with a penis.
- You already hit on this point, but this author couldn’t be more repetitive. I literally said out loud once, “if she flushes one more time, I’m going lose my fucking head.” Aside from that, unless you have a bizarre capillary disease, no one blushes that much. No one. I really want to mail this author a thesaurus, and ask her to find other words for: someone’s breath hitching (wtf does that even mean?), pursed lips, prickly scalp, biting lip, and “down there.” Oh and if you ever ask me to put something inside “your sex” you will see my erection deflate and zip around the room like an untied party balloon.
- And yes we get it. He’s good looking, but no human being is this good looking. Yes, his pants hang off his hips. The copper highlights of his hair, the blazing eyes..really, you couldn’t even draw someone so perfect. But we also have to hear in excruciating detail, what he’s wearing. I just picture two girls sharing a tub of bon bons, while one is describing him, and the other is squealing with delight at each detail. It’s as if the author is satisfying the burning question of the stereotypical female reader, “but what was he wearing!?!? *squeal*” The answer of course, is usually some sort of linen. Pants hanging of the hips, of course.
- Also, enough about his eyes. They’re burning. Then they’re dark. They’re smoldering, they’re steel, they’re intense…Christ, if they ever make this into a movie they’re going to need to give the lead actor a pair of remote controlled, mood reflecting contacts made from rare African chameleon skin. My palm started twitching just reading this.
- Now, let me get this straight – this college senior who it seems has never graduated from 7th grade level dating, is now being courted by the most famous billionaire in the country (also in his 20’s? really?), while his also presumably rich brother has hooked up with the roommate? These seemingly normal apartment-dwelling kids are double dating the most eligible bachelors since Zack broke it off with Kelly? Really?
- Enough with the half-naked morning piano playing of some melancholy concerto in E minor or whatever the fuck. We get it. He’s musically sophisticated. He’s a troubled soul. Learn the solo from Metallica’s One on guitar, you tousle-haired pussy.
- I’m not sure what you ladies feel when you have an orgasm, but this authors description makes it seem more like an acid trip than the best feeling on earth. She’s constantly “splintering into a million pieces,” or “falling apart beneath him.” Of course this is always followed by him “finding his release” immediately. This book has the most anti-climactic way of describing a climax.
- Her infatuation with him at the beginning is out of proportion with what she’s actually done with him. In other words, he’s just come over to her place and fucked her with his foil packet for the 3rd time, and she can’t stop swooning over the fact he has sent her an email? “My goodness, Christian Grey is emailing me?” Shouldn’t you have said “Christian Grey is pounding me from behind?” two hours ago? Really, it’s your email that’s making this all surreal?
But back to my initial point. What this book will teach impressionable fellas about what a girl wants is this: You have to be a neurotic, controlling, commanding, hyper-jealous stalking, endlessly wealthy young douchebag, with stop-everyone-mid-sentence-looks, who can fly anything, and fears nothing except commitment, abandonment, and being touched. Congratulations to our chubby author, you’ve just created a generation of men who think women get wet over being stalked through cell phone tower triangulation. At least the helicopter pilot instructor industry will endorse the book’s message.
I should mention though, a good female friend of mine read 50 Shades and absolutely hated it for the shit that it is. I sent her your post, and she loved it. So instead of thinking Christian Grey is the fantasy of every female, I came away realizing this: it is the fantasy of every female I would never want to be in a relationship with. If anything, that is what this book taught me.
I believe there are many ways you can tell a lot about a person. How they treat wait staff, the music they listen to, the way they talk to their momma. But now, I’m now adding “What did you think of 50 Shades of Grey” as a new way to ask someone, “are we compatible as far as anything in life goes?”