“Fifty Shades of Grey,” the bestselling tale of sex, secrets and submission has swept through suburban carpools and book clubs like a Swiffer on steroids.
But aside from a few hot scenes—and a hilarious sex contract—the story left me cold.
I could overlook the author E. L. James’ awkward prose and silly dialogue: “Next time you roll your eyes at me, Miss Steele, I will take you over my knee.” But I couldn’t forgive that the heroine, Anastasia, is a 21-year-old virgin. I’m all for role-play, but come on. This book is billed as “mommy porn.” We moms may be virtuous, but unkissed college coeds we are not. (Were we ever?) Women with experience are sexy, too. We deserve stories with a female protagonist who is at least 35.
Still, the success of the “Fifty Shades” series shows that women of all ages long for erotic stories that are focused on the feminine. Porn is rampant on the Internet, but very little of it caters to women, who value storytelling, dramatic tension, context, and mood along with their mind-blowing make believe sex.
“Why can’t there be porn with love scenes like the ones in the film “The Notebook” just taken all the way?” asks Colleen, 42, a chic mother of three from Evanston, whose husband wants to watch sexy videos together. “That’s the stuff I’d like to see.”
“We had a free trial of premium cable so we watched an adult movie,” confided another girlfriend. “Ugh. It did nothing for me.”
In contrast to explicit, get-down-to-business videos, books like “Fifty Shades” can be savored slowly and privately, helping a woman get her mind into the act. But enough with the ingénues already. Let’s get a story that features a grown woman; one that real moms can relate to.
A story that would begin something like this:
Victoria woke, stretching luxuriously. What a delicious night’s sleep she’d had! She snuggled back into her plump feather pillows, running her palms slowly down her flat stomach. All the hard work had been worth it. She’d lost 20 pounds and hadn’t felt this great about her body since 1991.
The house seemed unusually quiet, and then Victoria remembered—the kids were away at summer camp and her husband was still off pursuing his lifelong dream of backpacking across Alaska. She was alone.
With not a stitch of laundry to be done in the house, and on summer break from her teaching position, whatever would Victoria do with herself for the next week? Read the classics? Plant a vegetable garden? Or perhaps, she mused, she could immerse herself in something more… invigorating. Her stomach growled assent. She was definitely hungry.
“Hello!” called a deep, rich male voice from downstairs, startling Victoria from her reverie. She scrambled to find her robe when suddenly a tall, bearded figure filled the doorway. A bolt of adrenaline shot through her. Who was this fierce warrior?
He strode into the bedroom and swept her into his arms; an intoxicating scent of pine and musk filled her nostrils. “Baby” he growled in her ear, “I’m home,” says her husband, “and I am ravenous.”
Now this is a fantasy a middle-aged chick can get into—positive body image, clean house, empty inbox, kids happily pursuing their interests far, far away and a husband made excitingly unfamiliar. Not to mention a full night’s sleep. Whoo-hoo! Bring on the private jets and handcuffs. Now the games for mommy can really begin!