50 shades of shoddily written BDSM

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve probably heard of the popular “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy. This erotic BDSM series has attracted a lot of attention, both positive and negative. While I respect those who enjoy this series, I personally disliked the entire trilogy.

“50 Shades of Grey” focuses on the BDSM relationship between the dominant Christian Grey and the naïve virgin Anastasia Steele. My dislike for this trilogy comes from how the practice of BDSM is portrayed in such a negative way, as well as the repetitive, lackluster writing style of author E. L. James.

The acronym BDSM was formed either by joining B&D (bondage and discipline) with S&M (sado masochism or sadism and masochism), or by combining B&D, D&S (dominance and submission) and S&M. BDSM is the phrase used to include a wide-range of sexual activities in which one person (the Dom) is in control of another (the Sub).

To start, I do applaud James for writing about a male Dom and female Sub, as that’s not a common trend. However, Christian is a terrible Dom and has been panned by active members in the BDSM community. Christian rarely if ever comforts Ana after any sexual encounter, which is necessary to ensure the emotional well being of both parties, as BDSM practices can range in intensity.

Christian also has a Freudian excuse for why he started being a Dom. I won’t spoil it for those who don’t know, but while I feel bad him, it’s not an excuse for Christian to occasionally act like a cold jerk to Ana.

Now, I’m not a member of the BDSM community and everything I know is by extensive research. I am, however, a writer of fiction and as a writer I feel confident in saying the quality of this prose is mediocre at best.

It was rumored for some time that “50 Shades of Grey” started out as a “Twilight” fan fiction and that’s true. The story was originally titled “Master of the Universe” and published under the pen name “Showqueen’s Icedragon”. It was moved to James’ own website after comments were made concerning the sexual material.

“50 Shades of Grey” is around 514 pages, depending on the print format. With that many pages, repetition of phrases is going to happen, but no one other than George Takei should say “Oh My” as many times as Ana does.

A Goodreads user by the name of Katrina Lumsden counted very common phrases in the first book and “Oh My” was said 79 times. That’s about one “Oh My” every 6.5 pages and that’s not even the worst. With 82 “Jeez”, 101 “Craps”, 103 “Whispers” and 139 “Murmurs” I want to magically merge a thesaurus with this book. The fact that the series is shoddily written infuriates me more than the questionable BDSM portrayal.

For those who enjoy this series, there is a movie set to premier around Valentine’s Day, 2015 and will be rated either R or NC-17 depending on the version shown, as they’re planning to show two separate versions with the NC-17 containing more violent acts.

Should anyone feel compelled to dabble in another erotic romance, try the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward. It’s an ongoing series with fantastic characters, lots of romance and excellent writing. The fifth book, “Lover Unbound”, even focuses on a healthy BDSM relationship between a male Dom and female Sub.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *