50 Shades of Whatever.

I know this is a parenting and family blog, so reviewing books that are categorized as “Erotic Romance” normally wouldn’t fly. But, 50 Shades of Grey has been the most passed around book between moms since… OK, well I guess since Twilight (which I have still not read). I can speak from first hand experience here, as I have in my hot little mommy hands the first two books in the Grey series. I finished both of them in just under a week and decided to share my thoughts on these books that everyone seems to be talking about.

I’ll try my best to avoid spoilers, but really, there isn’t much to spoil here.

Let’s get this out of the way right here and now. Its Erotic Romance, so yes there’s sex in it. Detailed sex. If that makes you giggle or blush so much you can’t finish reading the sentence you probably shouldn’t read the book.

Now, I am a pretty open-minded person. I am also an avid reader and I am no stranger to graphic novels anymore than I am a stranger to Jane Austen, Stephen King or Mark Twain. I have a varied taste in reading. So a little Erotic Romance is not a big deal to me. What is however a big deal is books with characters that do not inspire me.

The first time I heard about this book was on 20/20 I believe, and they were discussing the fact that the first book is selling out everywhere. “Mommy Porn” as its called is the new hip thing on the playground.

I’ve read my share of romance novels over the years and I agree with what many experts say about having a healthy dose of “mommy porn” or erotic romance is a healthy thing for the busy distracted mom. Who research has shown tends to put the sex pretty far down the list of things to do… And I do applaud 50 Shades for giving women some empowerment in that sense.

That being said, let me tell you what I don’t like.

The main character is Anastasia Steel, a virgin who is about to graduate college. She meets the super sexy and very rich Christian Grey, who is a dark brooding pool of dysfunction. Who, also happens to be into BDSM — a term that references dominance, submission, sadomasochism and other forms of sexual power play. Yikes. Shortly after their first date (which was only coffee) he has her sign a NDA and presents her with a sexual contract.

Did I mention she’s never had sex?

I was never able to get past this. Here is a man (rich or not) who carries so much baggage and dysfunction that he has to have her sign a NDA and contract for sex. I could not connect with a character this naive. I won’t bore you with the details only that the book pretty much goes like this. Will I? Won’t I? Let’s Have Sex. I love you. But you’re not good for me. Will I? Won’t I? Let’s Have Sex. I love You. But you’re not good for me. Will I? Won’t I? Let’s Have Sex. I love You. But you’re not good for me.

That’s pretty much the gist. By the end of the second book I was actually skimming more of it than I was actually reading and pretty much only reading it because I was holding out hope that at some point Anastasia would tell Grey to find the door. But she didn’t.

Books like this set a very ugly standard. Ladies, when you meet a man who practically wears a sign that says he is a hot mess, keep going! And for all the moms reading this for the “mommy porn” aspect, remember that in real life, sex is not all wine, roses handcuffs and swinging from the chandeliers. I don’t even think Heff has it as good as the folks in these books…

I see the appeal and for those of you on the 50 Shades of Grey bandwagon, more power to you. But me? I like my erotic romance with a side of smart chicks and a little less dysfunction.

What about you? Have you read 50 Shades of Grey?