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Does Fifty Shades of Grey define our generation?

By River Reporter Oct 11, 2012

Are people opening up to the idea of bondage, whips and butt plugs?

Samantha Bird

Fifty Shades of Grey is a literary experience that walks us through the steps of growing up.

Think of  the Harry Potter series. How far have we come since Harry Potter, when we waited seven books until Ron finally kissed Hermione?

Readers had to go through the first two books before they finally got to read of the much anticipated intimacy scene between Bella and Edward on their honeymoon in the Twilight saga.

However, somehow with today’s Fifty Shades of Grey, there seems to have been a giant leap. When did secret bedroom fantasies become the next step?

The trilogy, from author E.L. James, was released in 2011. In just under a year, the books sold over 40 million copies worldwide, surpassing Harry Potter. However, unlike Harry Potter, this book doesn’t cater to children, but to a much more broad mind women.

Fifty Shades of Grey hit me like a bomb this summer. Never have I read or heard of a book with this type of content. I thought intimate moments in books always ended with a door closing. How is it that this book is not just popular with older women with ‘needs’, but to a whole range of ages?

I am a 22-year-old student and I loved it. So did every one of my friends who read it. The same friends who read the Harry Potter and the Twilight series. Usually with these kinds of topics, it is still a little bit of a shy area; however, somehow reading this book was like the next big trend. With S&M, bondage and a ‘Red Room’, the book’s never-ending erotic scenes made sure it was a page turner.

Is it appropriate to start reading soft porn on the train now? I mean, we read other novels on the train so why is this one so different? I started reading the first book on the way up to Manchester and I may as well have been reading a playboy magazine with the amount of looks I was getting.

People thinking: “Oh…Fifty Shades of Grey…I know what you’re reading about “. Why did I think that it was ok to read this on the train, let alone any public place? After I had read the books, I started seeing other people reading the books, on the tube, on the bus etc. I thought: “Well good, at least I’m not the only one.” So why has this book, with such intense sexual contact between the characters, become so acceptable to read in public, especially for my generation?

Furthermore, with Fifty Shades becoming such a trend it may provoke people to be more open with their sex lives. Are people now opening up to the idea of bondage, whips and butt plugs or is this really just the next step in modern day society? Is the order of steps now: a kiss, a shag then a whip?

Another interesting point to this new media phenomenon is the open conversation on the ‘Red Room’.

Is it going to become normal to talk about whipping your partner at the office?

Are dominants and submissive people going to start coming out of the closest and on to our TVs?

Fifty shades of Greyis not just a book that has come and gone, this book has kicked us into a new level of sex media and is sure to stay for the future.

E .L. James, says that the books played out a personal fantasy she had always had. Have we all been having that very same fantasy and did not realise it until just now? Or are we just following a trend that seems slightly dangerous and exciting but acceptable?

After reading these books, I personally felt I had to try some of these tricks. I wonder what my partner would think if I walked into the bedroom with a whip…he would freak!  

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