I consider myself a fairly open-minded person, perhaps with a bit of a prurient streak, but mostly straight and narrow. When Fifty Shades of Grey first came to my attention, I shrugged and said, “Bring it!” I was curious about what was behind the hype. BDSM sounded like an exclusive club and I wanted a membership, or at least a good seat in the balcony.
I read all three books, and by the time Christian confessed his horrible secret [spoiler alert]—that he was a sadist and loved to hurt women who looked like his mother—[not] I was all, “Yeah, and?” I worked that out eons ago. A man didn’t lure a novice to the BDSM lifestyle unless he himself got off on it. Couple that with a Martha Stewart Designs torture chamber decked out with all the latest Gucci whips and straps and I figured he was interested in a lot more than just acting bossy.
Now some of the stuff in the books seemed sort of hot until I imagined myself in Anastasia’s place. Sex with a full bladder? Nuh-uh. That would be a fast ticket to a UTI, my friend. Whipping the va-jay-jay? Uh, no thanks. That part of my body was meant to be coddled and lavished with affection unless something with half my DNA was emerging. Tucking a pair of ben-wa balls in place for a long evening of wining, dining and dancing? Not unless I wanted to shuffle with legs clamped to the ladies room after every song to “tuck”.
Clearly I wasn’t getting it. I read a couple of other BDSM books and still didn’t get it. If anything, I was even more horrified and missing Christian Grey’s milk chocolate mousse flavor of BDSM—not vanilla but still pretty light and fluffy, like a Wendy’s Frosty. Time to move on to a different kind of kink.
My favorite places to peruse examples of legal sexual depravity were All Romance ebooks and Bookstrand, and that’s where I went. Books about fisting, forced breeding, cuckolding, and extra friendly daddies abounded, as did the really odd paranormal shifters. Were-Emperor penguins anyone? How about a ménage with the entire colony? (Okay maybe I just made that last one up, but dibs on it for a future story.) I didn’t get those stories either.
That’s when I finally
rationalized realized there was absolutely nothing wrong with vanilla sex (though the occasional dollop of hot fudge sauce on top would be acceptable too). There was nothing wrong with M/F (with no extra letters) romance either. Just because “everyone” seemed to be jumping on the ménage and BDSM trains did not mean they were going anywhere particularly fun…for me. It didn’t mean all my neighbors were having pass-out-from-delirium, new-age sex either.
And maybe…perhaps…not “getting it” was okay too, because heaven knew, my heroines were all far too independent and controlling to put up with the Christian Greys of the world and hurray for that.
Lila Shaw is the pen name for an author of erotic romance and erotic horror, all infused with healthy doses of humor. Her fictional works include: Soul of the Succubus, Vixen and the Pea, All’s Fair in Love and War and her forthcoming release, Prometheus Unstitched, all from Evernight Publishing. Lila lives in the Pacific NW with her very funny husband, the Silverback, and their two teenaged sons.