Tuesday, June 19, 2012

50 Shades of Freaked Out

I get asked about 50 Shades of Grey. A lot. So much that I wonder if someone scribbled "I Love Porn" in Sharpie on my forehead while I was sleeping. Even people who have no idea of its connection to Twilight. And most folks know I'm a bit of a Twilight fan...


People I barely know. Business acquaintances. Friends. Relatives. I'm starting to get a complex. Not that it's a bad thing, but when relatives start wanting to talk about a story focused on a BDSM relationship, that's where I draw a big fat line in the sand.

I recently say a Facebook exchange between a second cousin of mine and my aunt where the cousin told my aunt she should read it and that my uncle would thank her. T. M. I. Just fucking TMI. I'm lucky I wasn't scarred for life by this. Seriously.


But then the unspeakable happened. The stage: Father's Day dinner. The players: my mother and my grandmother. MY 85 YEAR OLD GRANDMOTHER! The subject: 50 Shades of Grey. My mom asked me if I read it. I told her that I did but not in its current form. My grandmother asked if it was good. My mom said a woman next to her at the nail salon was finishing up the first book. My grandmother said she thought she might like to read it. My head was spinning.

The next day there was an email exchange between Snarkier Than You, Jenny Jerkface and I that went a little something like this:
From: STY
To: JJ, LKW
Not really sfw website.
http://www.holisticwisdom.com/fifty-shades.htm
From: JJ
To: STY, LKW
And who needs a book for that? Just Google that shit!
From: LKW
To: JJ, STY
Even my fucking grandmother and mother were talking about it last night. Serenity NOW!!
From: JJ
To:  LKW, STY
I would be traumatized if my mother and grandmother were addressing that book. Just saying.
From: LKW
To: JJ, STY
I am.
From: JJ
To: LKW, STY
I mean, does that mean your grandma read the tampon scene??
From: LKW
To: JJ, STY
MY GRANDMOTHER HASN'T READ IT! She just heard about it. Do you honestly think if my g-ma had read this book, I would be functioning as a human being today??
From: JJ
To: LKW, STY
Maybe your mom and grandma should read it and then you guys can discuss it!! It'll be like family bondage, er, bonding time...
From: LKW
To: JJ, STY
I hate you.
From: JJ
To: LKW, STY
I'm totally doing that maniacal crazy laugh right now. I also think I squicked myself out a little but it was totally worth it. LMFAO!!
From: LKW
To: JJ, STY
I think after my g-ma is done reading it, I'll have her loan it to your mom. 
From: STY
To: JJ, LKW
Turpentine.
Exactly.

My mom and I always share books. But I'm having a hard time with the thought of her reading about flogging and spanking and shackling and safe wording. How has 50 Shades infiltrated your family?

37 comments:

  1. My cousin....my son's friend's mother (she's the editor of the kids' school yearbook, wtf?)...my neighbor, the massage therapist (not going to her EVER for therapy, nope...) btw, none of these ladies know and/or care about the Twi-connection, they are perfectly happy with Christian and Anastasia...

    Me? not so much...still see Edward/Bella every time...

    I would shrivel up into a permanent fetal position if I ever heard my mom mention this book...can't even think it, I get nauseous...

    and she thinks I'm in need of intervention for my Twilight obsession???! please, may she never know the rest.....

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  2. Praise Allah, I haven't had to discuss Fifty with my mother yet, because if the conversation with my boss and a co-worker this morning about the washing of the butt plug was any indication of the awkward meter level, I wouldn't survive. How has "literature" once reserved for reading alone in the garage become open fodder for the water cooler - this shit isn't right!

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  3. My sister texted me a while back and said she had a book for me to read when I come visit. When she told me what it was, I said that I'd read it as Twific, that it was awful, and that I wasn't interested it reading it again w/ different names (because, let's face it, that's about the only difference).

    She thinks the trilogy is fabulous and that I'm a literary snob for thinking it's garbage. AND our mother knows she read them. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about her reading it. I think.

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  4. So far... I'm safe.
    My male cousin's travel "friend" is a huge fan it turns out, so she talked about it a lot when she was here last month. She's convinced her entire office to read it. I tried to turn her on to some other fan fiction - smutty and not smutty.

    And I think when my cousin is here next week (lucky me - I'll be recovering from surgery) I will try to convince her to read it. Or something equally smutty. Just to get her out of her old-lady mindset. (she's two-years-going-on-twenty-years older than me)

    But if my mother ever threatens to read it, I'll throw myself off the top of the Space Needle. I was squicked out enough when she read the Dragon Tattoo series.

    I have to admit I do a little internal giggle every time I see "50" on the book table at the grocery store. Or on the end rack in the book section at Fred Meyer. You wonder if the night shift takes turns reading it over the loudspeaker at 3 AM.

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  5. Wow. I am so lost that it's pathetic. I've never even heard of this book (probably because I've secluded myself in my house reading The Twilight Saga over and over). I don't watch or even have cable, so no tv ads there about it. And I don't really talk to many people that aren't completely wonky and wrapped up in the Twilight universe, so no one in my tiny sad circle knows about it either...or they are scared to talk about it maybe, based on what you guys are saying I'm guessing it's embarrassing? Sounds like something I'd read (or pretend to read) just to freak people out, lol. Just the way I roll. :)

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  6. I totally get where you're coming from.

    I had a similar feeling when a cousin mentioned she was going to read it. She was sitting next to her 17-year-old daughter at the time, and I KNOW her daughter reads everything her mom reads! Um, I wouldn't have wanted my daughter to read that two months before going out-of-state for college!

    Speaking of . . . I begged my daughter to read MotU before we went back to Foooorks 2011. She started it, but didn't get past the first few chapters. She said she just didn't like it, but maybe she was just too squicked about discussing it with her mother! All her friends are reading 50 Shades now, so she tells them her mom is the expert on all things 50! (I don't know why she would suddenly feel uncomfortable after the way she molested blow-up Rob in front of me!)

    A male coworker knows of my Robward obsession. (He gave me my first FSE). He also knows I read a lot of smut, so he asked about the book. Now he's reading it with enthusiasm. He tells us he tried this or that move (from the book) with his GF! He thinks she believes he is coming up with these ideas on his own because he's such a sexy stud! TMI!

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  7. Everyone asks me about this book! A stranger in the park asked me about it while I was reading "The Taker" (Fabulous rec BTW,JJ) My baby SIL (19) brought it up at dinner the other night in front of my kids, hubs, HER DAD! A laboring mother and four of her family members are group reading it. Ummm, I'm checking your cervix and you are asking me about FSOG. GTFO.
    If my Nana, or mother brought this up I would die. DIE.

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  8. My mom asked me just last week if I wanted to borrow my sister's Nook to read it. gross.

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  9. im just 50 shades of over it all already!!!!!!!!!! just sayin

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  10. OMG, my Mom recently bought all three and is nearly done reading.
    She leaves me messages on my phone that I refuse to even listen to.
    In fact, if the woman were to be leaving me a message that someone died or that she is being held captive in a Turkish prison, I wouldn't know.

    I still haven't gotten over her telling me about her sex life with my step-dad when I was in my early twenties. The images haunt me.

    Effing ridiculous.

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  11. I know exactly where you're coming from. My mom gave me the Twilight books the summer of 2009 and I introduced her to FanFiction a few months later. Now she's retired and reads fics ALL DAY LONG! She reads so much I'm totally jealous. She recently told me she RAN OUT OF STORIES TO READ and then I pointed her to a site that was holding a fic contest that had links to dozens (if not hundreds) of stories so I suppose it will keep her busy for a bit longer.

    To be honest it's kind of nice to have someone to talk to about this and to throw stories back and forth, but the backlash is that sometimes we end up in conversations I just really *don't* want to have.

    She told me once that she started to read the Submissive (one I did NOT tell her about) and stopped because she was uncomfortable with the BDSM thing. Later she admitted she read the entire trilogy, but still wasn't comfortable with the BDSM thing so wasn't interested in MoTU. I've told her how well it's doing as 50 so in case she hears it in the press she'll know what it is, but luckily I haven't had to had a discussion about it.

    Now how about this article. Fifty Shades of God. OMG, people are really stretching.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/fifty-shades-of-god/2012/06/14/gJQAg6fccV_blog.html

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    Replies
    1. I couldn't even read the first paragraph without a major eye roll.

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  12. Thankfully, no one in my family has read it, that I know of. If my Mum has it on her iPad I don't want to know.

    I just feel like my two worlds have collided, and I'm not that happy about it. I am the first to admit I LOVED MoTU. LOVED. I mean, my first twitter handle was @I_heart_Fifty for goodness sake. I was a raise-your-hand front-of-the-queue MoTU number one FAN.

    But now? It's EVERYWHERE. And yes, we know it's not going to win literature prizes, but hey - it's not trying to. I'm ok with that. I just... I don't even know. I guess that comment above is right - "I don't talk to you about the p0rn I watch, I don't want to know about the p0rn you're reading." I mean, obv I talk to you all, my collective p0rn friends - but my Mum? My colleague? My hairdresser? HELL NO.

    Good on Icy for everything she has done - I would never try to take that from her... I just need to step back a little from the Fifty Shades mania.

    And DO NOT get me started on who should play who in the movie. I can't. Even. *shudders*

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  13. Family bondage. I'm still laughing.

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  14. TURPENTINE... holy shit, am I the only submissive that got THAT reference. Does that mean I have been in the FF game so long and read so many stories that you ladies have recommended that I am old and over the hoopla. JHC. I hope not. I love this Fandomland. I mean wow, my stomach hurts from laughing at that shit. Thank you.

    But oh, my sister-in-law said on her facebook that her 8 year old daughter has fifty's disease. I nearly called her a child abuser, to start. I mean WTF does that mean? Just proves how stupid my family is. Thank god I don't talk to or visit them. I think I would rather have my g-ma read these books instead of my SIL calling a child a sadist. REALLY

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  15. When all of the FSoG news and topics started going around I told my husband about having read it as MOtU, how the author P2P, the anger at her and the praise for her.

    Then he started hearing about it on various news sites and shows. He popped off a couple of weeks ago and said he would like to read it. Says it can't be anything worse than Sandra Brown is in some of her books. Having never read Sandra Brown I wouldn't know how true this is.

    Sooo...for my 57th birthday last week he gave me some Kindle money and I promptly bought the trilogy. I have a Kindle 2 and he uses a Kindle Fire. I told him it was there if he so choose to read it, and that I didn't want to hear anything like I can't believe you read this and so forth. It was his choice to read it.

    He started it last Friday and hasn't gotten to far into it yet due to a busy schedule but has said that so far he thinks it will be good. We will see...

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  16. Pretty much everyone I know is reading it. Including your Aunts LKW! TMI? Get over it. But yeah, not a book I want to discuss with my mom. But my derby girls are all a-flutter about it. I love telling them that I read it a few years ago in ff form. I even got a "Don't tell me this was based on characters from Twilight or I'll kill myself" It's like were one up on the masses.I can't imagine it in movie form. Chris Hemsworth would make a really HOT Fifty. JS.

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  17. My eyebrow torturist asked me about FSoG two months in a row! I admitted both times that I had read it a long time ago for free and tried to let it go at that. This last time she asked if she should get the second one because the first one was just a lot of sex, sex, sex! Then she admitted that the characters were starting to grow on her. I can't wait to go see her next month!

    I am such a closet twi-girl that thinking about talking about it makes my breathe start to quicken and not in any form of sexy manner...I still can't defend Twilight when I hear random folks talking about it.

    I always want to take pictures of FSoG when I see it in random places, like on the checkout counter at the bookstore at school (JFC, way to go SDSU!), but I am too shy or just afraid of having to explain myself. I only have one RL friend that knows I read fanfiction; most of the rest know I am a bit twi-obsessed, and they enable it by going to the movies with me. But even my girlfriend who knows about fanfiction isn't interested in reading FSoG [of course, she also doesn't believe in toys, wtf!]

    My biggest bitch, other than messing with my comfort zone, is that the books are so damned cheap now. This is a personal, I paid 20 bucks a piece bitch, not an everyone can now get them so cheap bitch (good for you). Yes, I read MotU I & II and found them enjoyable; yes, I have all three print copies and got them as soon as they came out; yes, as someone above mentioned, they are not going to win any literary awards; but damn, let's hope that whoever picked up the books the second round through actually edited them. I have as many sticky notes for typos as I do for "Sex!"
    Laters, Bitches! Jen

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    1. "it makes my BREATH quicken" not breathE...I hate typos, especially of the spelling kind...

      Delete
  18. I gave my mom my copy of the books. I knew she would want to be in on all the hoopla and I thought she would really like the story. By story I mean the romance/relationship that occurs between Ana and Christian and I was right. My Mom loved the books. And when we talked about them, it had nothing to do with the BDSM part (although she didn't mind and thought it was an interesting way to show Christian's darkness). She loved what I did in the story, the growth of both characters into love. The relationships with all the other characters and the funny/sweet moments between them all. She didn't even know it was related to Twilight in any way when she read them either and except for noticing that Christian puts his hand through his hair alot (like Rob actually), she still didn't see it when she was done. So there ya have it from the DangrMomma :)

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  19. I read this post this morning and decided not to wade into it, but it has been HAUNTING me all day. People, these are really "dirty" books. To us, not, because we came to it via Twilight and were interested also in the journey toward the light. Plus the sex, not without the sex. But I wonder how many of the casual askers have any idea what's in there. I mean nobody 85 could imagine and so don't let the poor dear(s) go there, EVER!!!!!

    Spottysmom gave me the first two books and I am still scared to read them. So afraid another silken cord to Twilight will be frayed and then broken.(I have a huge printout of MoTU in a drawer somewhere) But I treasure the books for the affectionate spirit in which they were given, and will read all 3 for sure someday.

    But LKW -- I feel for you. Oh, the horror.

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  20. JFC, my 19 year old sister-in-law is reading it. She's a virgin, for Christ's sake! She doesn't even understand have the stuff in there. And every other damn person on my Facebook is reading it. I want to scream.

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  21. My Mother currently has my copy. I am trying not to think about it.

    BUT, I did go to a book club meeting last week that 50 was the book!!! I find it ENDLESSLY AMUSING.

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  22. I saw a HUGE display in the bookstore yesterday and smiled to myself. On one hand I don't like it being "out there"....I liked it when it was our little secret and MoTU and Edward and FREE! @lostrosebrown I also paid too much for the print versions, apparently!!

    All of the attention is disconcerting. When I tell people that I read it years ago they look surprised. How can you NOT know it was fanfic first? Have you been under a rock? There's been so much hoopla around it - but I digress. *breathes deeply* Everyone seems to think it's just about sex and that's when I feel I must pipe up and say that the sex is part of the story, but not the whole story....if we didn't care about the characters we wouldn't have read it so voraciously.....would we? I like to think we're a slightly more sophisticated fandom than that....aren't we? Hello....anyone out there....*cue crickets chirping*.

    All right, I'm done now....thanks for listening. Saved me $$$ in therapy!

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  23. Don't forget about anal beads.

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    Replies
    1. It was bad enough that I had to have a conversation with my mother about a dishwasher-safe dildo. NO WAY would I survive one about anal beads.

      "Yeah, just don't rip 'em out like you're starting a lawn mower. Heard somewhere that would be really bad".

      (I did hear that somewhere and I wish I could remember where because the entire story was both horrifying and hysterical)

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  24. Not my mother but everyone else is talking to me about this. I had a mom, who I don't particularly like, bring it up to me in the library at our kids school with our librarian(who is super freaking cool and knows of my fanfic obsession)....but all I could think the whole time is how much I did not want to be having that discussion. Plus, the other mom thought it was awful in that it was pornographic...so clearly I disagree with that. Turpentine is right. I really need to get a shirt that says that.

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    Replies
    1. You should ask Lindsay Rae where she got hers...

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  25. Luckily no one in my family has mentioned it and I seriously hope it doesn't get to your point LKW anytime soon! I'm all about having pride for something amazing you did but when it comes to 50, well it's quite eye boggling! MoTU was my dirty little secret, frankly all of my smut was MY secret that I loved for the fact it was hush hush and discussable only on the fanfic sites and blogs. Now the fact that I can't stop hearing about 50 shades anywhere is just frustrating and getting embarrassing. I agree with some of the ladies above that it wasn't just for the sex but for something deeper that involved the characters we love so much. I still can't read the newer version, it just doesn't seem right, I can only see them as Edward and Bella!

    Thank you for finally bringing this little problem to light!

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  26. OMG. I've been waiting for this. I've been pretty open in my alter egoness that I got pregnant from reading Fifty Shades. However, with my family? Oh HAIL NO! Okay, except for my future sister-in-law. She asked me if I'd read it so I spilled the beans. She was reading book one...even messaged me on FB when she started book two.

    Then, my mother-in-law tells me the other day that when she was at brother-in-law's birthday party last weekend, all the young (30-something) women were talking about this "Fifty Shades book". MIL knows I'm an avid reader and that I read "romance novels" so she asked if I'd read it. And I Could. Not. Stop. Myself. I had verbal diarrhea and told her I'd read it when it was still being written, that I have a first edition copy of the books from the Australian publisher, that I've conversed with the author, etc. Then I said it. It just came out. I told her that's how we'd gotten pregnant.

    She changed the subject. Don't think she'll be reading it anytime soon...if ever.

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  27. My sister and I read it while it was being posted on fanfic. I have even carried around a MotU charm in my purse for a few years that I got from an Esty crafter (y'all showed her work on the blog once). I have even recommended the book to a few people and given dirty looks to others that ask me if I have read the book then let them know that I read it while it was a work in progress on fanfic.
    HOWEVER- I totally freaked out when I found out that my husband read it!!!!! He read it while he was gone working out of the country.

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  28. I had no idea she wrote fanfic until about half way through the book, I said to friend how much I was disapointed in the book, it was pure trash, and it reminded me way to much of twilight without any good story line, that's when I learned she'd written fanfic. So... I read book two - when I could actually pull out sentences that reminded me of twilight I put the book down and got to reading something better!

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  29. First of all, that cat picture is hilarious.

    Secondly, I would be MORTIFIED if I knew my mother read stuff like that. I just don't like to even think about my mom reading the red room of pain. That's a total Turpentine moment.

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  30. HAHAHA! I'm so glad I'm not the only one that gets squicked out by the thought of discussing flogging with your mom. Or worse, grandma. I need to crawl under a rock until this craze goes away.

    See... now I've gone to a place I can't return from. What if my mom reads the book and talks my dad (if he can stay awake long enough) into trying out some RRoP tricks? Brain bleach please. When did Jenny Jerkface crawl into my head and plant that evil seed?

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  31. You guys continue to crack my shit up! I get a huge giggle out of FSoG being everywhere, and have told some people that I read it as it was being written and posted chap by chap as FF. As far as I'm concerned, MOTU is the original and I will always think of it that way. FSoG is like a poser. And yes, I too bought the first two books for like $25 each, and the third on Amazon for like $7. WTF Icy? Hope she's making BANK on this though. I love her HUGE even though these books aren't going to win any lit awards. Neither will Twilight, as we all know.....

    But if my mom read it, I don't know about that......my husband would never b/c he's just not a reader. My mom and I are pretty close so it might not be that bad actually.

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