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Fifty Shades of Grey

My mother has not read a book, cover to cover, in about 10 years.
She has already finished volume one of the Fifty Shades trilogy and read some passages of it to her Fiancé. (Yes, I said Fiancé. She announced her engagement during Weekend One of the current Spring Mastery.)
My best bud asked for a copy of the trilogy, on her birthday. Her sister swiped it from her last weekend and swallowed it whole before Sunday night.
Saturday Night Live has done a hilarious sketch on the subject.
I have sent this book to more friends than any book since Eat, Pray, Love.
And every friend who has read it gets a conspiratorial glint in her eye, as she reveals her guilty pleasure.
What is up, Sisters?
Why are we sucking down 50 Shades… like a group of slightly delinquent junior high schoolers, smoking their very first cigarette in the back of the schoolyard?
Does it mean all women just want a little spanky spank spank?
Does it mean we are bondage deprived?
Or just depraved?
What is it that we are we hungry for—starving for—that 50 Shades both fills and opens, at the same time?

I have to lay it out, right now—I loved 50 Shades of Grey.
I read it slowly, in the bath, over a few weeks’ time.
It was pure fun. And it wasn’t yucky tawdry fun, either. Like when I read certain kinds of chick lit or People magazine.
It was uplifting. Satisfying. Like the way a great burger is satisfying if you have not had one in a while.
What the author captured so magnificently was this: great sex, wild sex, experimental sex, in a loving committed union, heals and transforms.
That any consensual sexual act, in a loving partnership, deepens the relationship.
That there is endless creativity and expression and exploration possible between two creative, open partners who share their deep truth, and give each other full expression of their desires and outrageous longings. That boring vanilla sex is like canned vegetables—so yesterday, so not necessary, so lacking in nutrients. That the empty actions of porn are hollow and dry without the heat of true intimacy and deep communication.
Transparency is sexy. Bringing everything you—good, bad, virginal, savage, wild, timid—to the relationship is a huge turn-on.
And living your full-out sensual truth with integrity is deeply transformative and healing.

Women have made a lot of progress in this culture. We have more opportunities, more voice in the workplace, more choices in how we spend our lives. But our sensual evolution has lagged sadly behind. Basically, our culture still gives women only two options: you can be a virgin, or a slut. And actually, the slut inside every woman is the real virgin. That virgin is what gets the most air-time. We parade around all day in our buttoned up corporate suits, or in sexless PTA meetings followed by Mommy and Me classes, carefully maintaining a lack of sensual aliveness in our daily lives. Take a ride on the subway, or peek inside a factory, if you want to see what I mean. And when that sensual side of a woman is buried, her life force dies. Every woman longs to have her sensual side live its full, vibrant expression. She wants her life to be an endless voyage of sensual unfolding and deepening sensual experiences. For a woman to really experience her own ‘50 Shades’ (which is what we all desire), she wants her sensual voice to get louder and prouder every day, more meaningful every day, and more valued every day, in whatever form serves her soul.
What did you think of E.L. James’ book?
Did you get inspired? Offended?
Did you read it secretly on your Kindle?
Or proudly; in your lounge chair at the swim club?
Do you feel like you live your 50 shades? Or is she trapped inside your virginal exterior?
Please respond below and let me know what you are thinking! And if you’ve got a girlfriend who hasn’t yet caught on to 50 shades…share this post.

With so much love and pleasure,
Mama Gena

P.S. 250 newly minted Sister Goddesses are getting ready to take flight at the graduation ceremony for Spring Mastery 2012! I’d love for you to come celebrate with us. Click here for all the details and to register. And if you want a taste of last year’s Mastery graduation, watch this video.

P.P.S. Got an appetite for next year’s Mastery program? Stay tuned for a very important announcement on Thursday…

photo: lizlinder.com

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73 Comments / Leave a Comment

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  • Jilian July 27, 2012, 1:22 pm

    What I love about the trilogy: it has women talking about sex, about our pleasures, our dislikes, opening conversations in this platform and daytime TV! Women are talking about sex in the open in mixed company. Women who were raised in an era where those things were not discussed. I am a sexual health educator which I talk to women about sex; different types of foreplay and sex. What I have encountered is a lot of women afraid to discuss different ideas in the bedroom in fear of their partners reaction or perception change. This book has allowed many women to start to begin the discussions. Plus its a good way to dip your toes in the world of BDSM and Erotica. I totally agree with you!

  • Elena Karplus July 26, 2012, 9:30 am

    Sorry, I listed my blog incorrectly the first time:-)

  • Elena Karplus July 26, 2012, 9:28 am

    Awful writing, mediocre sex and uninteresting, not to mention not credible, characters. Perhaps a relatively efficient aid to our relationship with our vibrator but like others say in this discussion, there are much better reads.

  • Sarah Lawrence Hinson July 25, 2012, 3:42 pm

    I read a lot of books, but this book and the other two just pulled me right into the story, badly written or otherwise. (Have to say, at the time I didn’t even notice the bad writing!) :-0.

    I think books/movies stories we like are all about resonance. Whoever loved these books (me being one of them) resonated with some aspect of the story. I started the first one on a ‘plane on the way to Sedona for a spiritual conference – was in the middle seat with a woman seated either side. I probably wouldn’t have read it if men had been sitting there!

    The woman on the left noticed the cover and said “If you finish that on the flight, can I have it?” We had a good belly laugh.

    I did get annoyed with ‘Ana’ to start with, I was wondering how many young women will think it’s OK to hang with somebody with problems in the hope that the guy will be ‘healed’ like Christian…there’s enough of that already and many of the women are unsuccessful or stuck, let’s face it.

    Got more comfortable once I realized where the story was going and that CG was seeing a therapist too…perhaps that was a ‘safety’ put in by the author.

    The book is being talked about, so it’s creating a resonance. Well or badly written, it has sold a LOT of copies and made a lot of women a fair bit more happy.

    Overall, a fun read. Thanks for the other titles listed in these discussions. Will look them up!

    Cheers
    Sarah
    A Mom On A Spiritual Journey!

  • Brenda M July 25, 2012, 3:25 pm

    I’m in the middle of the third book – have been captivated by it. So many comments about the “no touching” …. you obviously didn’t read the whole book. It takes you through two people learning about each other in an intimate way, and how the hurt frail boy who couldn’t stand to be touched turns into a man who loves and adores this wonderful strong lady who is gentile enough to teach him “new things” as he also teaches her. It shows how if you accept a person for who they are, and accept yourself for who you are – anything is possible. It’s so much more than the sex – if you really read it, you’d see why it was recommended.

    • Bonnie Bee August 3, 2012, 11:23 am

      Thank you, Brenda, for mentioning that many of the critics of the series have snapped to judgment after a few pages or a few chapters. There is a disturbing trend to review movies without seeing a single frame, to review products without using them, etc. I believe that the first book is flawed by immature writing and suffers from extended exposition, but it leads into the second and third books, which expand on Christian’s psychological quandary and present a couple who learn to lean on each other’s strengths in order to overcome their weaknesses. As a teacher of literature, I have watched this erotic explosion over the last year with consternation… suddenly everyone is an expert on not only good writing, but ‘proper’ sex. Inasmuch as the books have opened the doors to conversation, they have also opened the blogs, chatrooms, magazines, etc. to people rushing to criticize, blame and castigate. As Sarah Hinson wrote “the books/movies/stories we like are all about resonance” and perhaps the majority of the people for whom the books don’t resonate should reflect on how they are creating a culture where the ones who are brave enough to talk about their sexuality, their repressed dominance, abuse as a child, or fear of fitting in… are suddenly shushed by the mainstream who consider anyone who reads the book to be a closet Twilighter or a soccer mom who have no better choice-making skills than to read a “bad” book. The open-minded, accepting and truly conversational reviews online are buried within the thousands of negative reviews. I encourage people to read to the end of the series and then talk with me. Only then do I think people have a wide-enough understanding of Christian’s character-arc and Ana’s strength to fully discuss the relationship. Keep reading…. keep reading.

  • Joni Lowe July 5, 2012, 10:17 am

    Hi Regena. I too loved the trilogy. I LOVE how you compared it getting caught smoking a cigarette in the bathroom in high school. Perfection!

    This was my intro to smut, and I discovered I like smut!! In fact, my husband loves me reading smut!

    I was so inspired, I wrote my first eBook, ‘Ten Shades of Self Love’. Christian and Anastasia could have each used a little more self loving. You can get it for free at http://www.JoniLowe.com.

    I LOVE the conversation above with all the recommendations. I’m going to definitely try some out.

    Regena, thanks for all that you bring to the world. You ROCK!!

    With admiration and a hip roll,
    BSG Juicy Joni

  • Johanna June 30, 2012, 11:20 am

    I absolutely agree with you, Mama Gena! And also with the critiques a few of the lovely ladies above have made.
    I´ve read a fair share of erotica myself. Yes, Fifty Shades is amateurishly written, it is evident the writer is not from the US, certain situations such as Chrisitian´s wealth make the plot seem “too ideal”, and still, none of this matters, really. Why? Because this EL James lady managed to capture the absolute thrill that opening yourself up to a man really represents. She made me feel things that lay forgotten in my brain and in my heart, from my first kiss, to when you wondered, really wondered and marveled at the wonderful things that unfolding to a partner teach you about him and yourself. She reminded me that it is ok to walk into a relationship without needing to be a know-it-all, open and receptive to the other person´s truth, finding your middle ground.
    And also, how great is it that a huge bunch of women are reading sexy, explicit writing, whether they regularly do so or not? It is a big step! I am in awe of EL James for putting herself out there, for the first time as a writer, with such a controversial book. So, despite its many flaws, to me, Fifty Shades was just what I needed, when I needed it. Cheers!

  • Sarah June 27, 2012, 7:57 pm

    I LOVED this trilogy! If you didn’t get through the first book, into the rest of the story, I hope you give it another chance…Mama, you hit the nail on the head…this story is one of wild desire, learning a new partner, each compromising in their own way…it’s beautiful! One of the best things about it, in my opinion, is the conversations that are started…so many friends reading it, all different reactions but in the end if we all come away more open to discussing sex, partnership and feeling more open in our own desires, I think that’s wonderful!

  • Thea June 27, 2012, 10:11 am

    I loved this trilogy! I am currently in the middle of book 3 listening to it on my iPhone! It made my travel to and from Mastery, oh so enjoyable and sparked more than a few conversations at the airport!! Pure fun!!!

  • Etaylor June 22, 2012, 1:15 am

    I’m around a third the way though the book and the whole time I’ve been thinking, when does this get good and live up to the hype. I was also wondering what’s up with the twilight similarities. Turns out 50 started it life as a twilight fanfiction. No wonder the writing is appealing given the inspiration material.
    I find it incrediably difficult to be stuck in Ana’s useless head, it’s just painful. She reads just like Bella Swan, clumsy, pale, crap at things, loves English literature, can’t organise herself out of a wet paperbag… And Edward, oh I mean Christian, it’s just horrific to read, and I wont be finishing it. Ever.

  • Rena June 17, 2012, 7:52 am

    I loved this book and can understand why women are flocking to it. For those that are scared to look their sensual self in the mirror this book broaches the subject in an easy manner. It is a a lot of fun and I am looking forward to seeing what my book club says next month as this is our selection.

  • Renee @ The Calm Mama June 12, 2012, 2:47 pm

    I absolutely LOVED this book! I just finished reading all 3 and boy, i’m SO bummed there aren’t more to read. I didn’t think the writing was bad – but actually, i wasn’t even caring about the writing because I was SO into the “story” – the love story of Christian and Ana – I couldn’t put these books down. Mama – what you’ve written about the book is SO spot on!! Sure there’s some sexual things in the book that many aren’t into…but this story is SO much more than that. OH…I just love every bit and piece of these books! thank you for writing this because there is way too much negativity out there on these books! 🙂 I personally feel it’s all about getting out your left-brain and getting into your right brain with in the moment fun! that’s what this book did for me! 🙂 pulled me out of my left-brain to-dos and what’s right and what’s wrong and pulled me into the moment of FUN! 🙂

  • The Tigress June 8, 2012, 2:01 pm

    Seems from these comments that I’m the minority who loved the book regardless of how “not well written” it was. I’ve read & seen the Story of O(available on Netflix) and I’ve read & watched Delta of Venus. The story of O is far more an abusive & 1 sided relationship than 50 shades ever was and Anaiis Nin’s Delta of Venus (the book, I adored the film) also leaves me wondering where the shared fun was. 50 shades also addressed the issues of trust & faith. To had such a relationship requires complete trust & faith in another. I have yet to find a man that can be trusted to such an extent. A man who is pure provider & protecter. Far too many men show up on dates & in relationships with san attitude of “what am I getting?” rather than “how can I provide & make her happy?”. I also see how the issue of boundaries is addressed in the book. As respecting a woman’s boundaries and “hard limits” makes her feel safe, this too is sorely lacking in relationships these days.

    50 shades is a beautiful story and I truly hope to find that kind of trust, openness, erotic fun & unconditional love in the world that Christian Grey actually provided to his Ana.

  • Jade June 7, 2012, 4:11 am

    Wow! I have just started reading Mama’s book and I’ve ordered my first erotic novel online. I looked at 50 Shades and after reading the comments here I’m glad I didn’t go with it as I also cannot stand a badly written novel! I decided to start my adventure with the House of Pleasure series by Kate Pearce, kicking off with Simply Sexual. Has anybody read it? Did I make a good choice? 🙂

  • SG luscious robin June 6, 2012, 8:37 pm

    Fantastic discussion! I love that everyone has different opinions and I will add my positive reaction — I just found it fun and sexy and it turned me on! I don’t care about the writing or the silly repetition, I just enjoyed feeling turned on and turned off my inner critic and went for a fun ride. It’s silly, erotic and the author doesn’t have to worry about any of her critics: she touched a nerve, is selling millions of copies and I’m just starting the third book. I loaned the first to one of my make friends (Christian) — he was dying to read it.

    Thank you, Regena, for opening up a lively discussion and to everyone for suggestions of other books to read.

  • Veronica June 6, 2012, 5:38 pm

    I too have wondered why it was so popular with the public and truth be told I am one of those women who feels like if I indulge in my sensual side I feel like a slut and it feels wrong (conditioning and such) I feel like I am finally breaking free from that thank you Mama for your courage and support through your books and school, I am now exploring by taking Pole Classes and I want to spread out into Bellydance and perhaps Burlesque later in the future. As for the book my first impression of it when I saw it was ‘ohh another best-seller but not sure if I really want to read it, it seems a little too sexy for me,’ since I continue to hear about it though I think I will pick it up along with the other titles the other S.G’s here have posted thanks to you all!
    Much Love! mwuah!

  • Jane June 6, 2012, 4:24 pm

    I love the line “The slut inside every woman is the real virgin.”
    I’ve been dying to read negative comments about this as this book doesn’t intrigue me in the least bit and I love filthy sex.
    I also love the contrast of opinions discussed here.
    Seems every woman has a different level of slut they have reached.
    Some have maxed out, some are afraid, and some have it just the way they like it.

  • SG "RevP." La Tonia June 6, 2012, 10:53 am

    I absolutely love this discussion. I love the CONTRAST, as Abraham calls it. We get to see that women are on different levels and I like anything that stirs their pot. I LOVE THE TITLES being listed, so let me add some to the mix, check out: ANY of the ZANE collection (to many to list but start with Zane’s Sex Chronicles (beginners), Brown Sugar Collection and Erotique Noire/Black Erotica and on my list is this. . . . Bedtime Erotica for Freaks (Like Me) dismiss freaks & it tells you why.

    All sex and sensuality begins in the mind and spirit. How one chooses to use it “to have their way with the world” is a Goddess prerogative, that’s the beauty and the bliss!!!

    Keep stirring our collective pots, Mama G!!! Love you SGs Always, LT

  • Melinda June 6, 2012, 10:16 am

    I think Kelly has great insight as to why this book is so popular, and why so many here don’t resonate with it. I actually have not read the book yet, but I have read Ann Rice’s Exit to Eden and Sleeping Beauty. I also have to admit to being an anonymous member of a D/S chat board back in the late 90’s. Clearly there is a whole new generation of women out there who are not raised to be ashamed of their sexuality and sensuality, which might indicate why this book is of no interest. But for those like me, who were raised to feel ashamed of our sexuality…that if we enjoyed sex we were a slut and therefore went into adulthood and marriage with issues around sex…exploring such shades of grey is liberating, even if poorly written.

    I also must add that back when D/S turned me on so incredibly, it was a time in my life where my responsibilities where overwhelming. Combined with my shame around sex, the thought of being dominated sexually was so intriguing. The opportunity to surrender and NOT be in charge for once all while wrapped up in something orgasmic felt so freeing. Could that be part of the lure around this book and/or D/S as a whole? Especially for those of us who have or still do find ourselves sexually stifled? Now that I’m 42, in a different relationship and much more sexually liberated, I don’t feel the same attraction to D/S, but I wouldn’t dismiss it either.

    Either way, the conversation here is awesome. I haven’t taken the time to read a blog in a very long time, but this drew me in. Great job Mama! Love what your doing 

    • Sarah Sherwood June 11, 2012, 12:51 pm

      Melinda,
      yes, I think you are right ~ I know my love of D/S comes directly out of the release of not being in charge, of trusting someone to hold space for me to respond in whatever way comes up & out of me… it has been an outrageously erotic, therapeutic (in the true sense of the word) relationship for me & while I don’t bite my lip, I do maintain an enormous amount of power in the dynamic, as all subs do…
      🙂
      Sarah

  • Sarah Sherwood June 6, 2012, 8:59 am

    As always, it is good to have your Mama around when something juicy & controversial is afoot!

    I agree with everyone! 50 Shades of Grey is terribly written & unforgivably repetitive (kind of like sex ☺ ). It is also unbelievably hot & enormously confronting when viewed through a standard feminist lens.

    Christian-as-archetype, like Edward (Twilight) before him, exerts an enormous pull on us, evolved or otherwise. Compulsively protective & controlling, omni-capable & resource-rich, these characters nonetheless fall on their knees to Goddess, happily laying all their worldly goods at her feet!

    Isn’t this the Divine Masculine we seek?!

    Yes, society is starved for the delirium of sacred sex, but in order for that to happen we need TWO poles for the spark to jump between. And what is the use of reclaiming the Divine Feminine within us, if we are to dance alone?

    There is nothing inherently right or wrong with either the feminine or the masculine, but we are gun shy coming out of this wounded era and still sadly all too ready to play the blame game.

    Can we not find ourselves right as we respond, en masse, to this story?

    What does Davin think? ☺
    xoxoxo
    L’Origine

    • Kelly June 7, 2012, 1:38 pm

      Perfect!

  • SG Courageous Cintra June 6, 2012, 2:18 am

    Great discussions! However…. Is there some trick so that you can read
    every word. I find it so irritating with the pink feather or the photo of the
    one who writes covering some important words. Please help me. xoxo

    • Datamatrix Emily June 6, 2012, 11:05 am

      Hi SG Courageous Cintra,

      Hmm…they should display just to the left of the comments. What browser are you using? Have you tried using a different browser?

      xo,
      SG Emily

  • bgsm June 6, 2012, 12:53 am

    I am a plain vanilla sex kind of girl and I own my inner slut like no other. Recently I have been having sex that is so off the charts, the best ever where I see God every minute……..and its plain vanilla. So plain vanilla plus owning your inner slut can result in complete ecstasy. I am having so much sex and orgasms that I dont have time to read 50 shades………

    • Jane June 6, 2012, 4:19 pm

      Could you please share what is the cause of this off the chart vanilla sex? It’s the connection? Mental foreplay? Husband, boyfriend, lover? Good brag by the way. lol

      • bgsm June 9, 2012, 2:49 pm

        Thanks for the upride. Good q about why its off the charts………the soul connection is so once in a lifetime and amazing………..I have also upleveled my yoga practice intensely over the past year which feels very integral to being connected to my pussy body mind and soul…… And the fun thing is that he is 55 and I am 46…………..best sex ever!!

  • Laurie June 5, 2012, 10:30 pm

    Love these books! Almost done with number 2…so much fun! I had lunch with 2 close friends today….the waiter was so handsome. After he explained a ton of stuff, my SG Kim
    looked right in his eyes and said “you just bring us the dessert menu and we’ll let you know!” As soon as he walked away she said…”I am the Dom.”

    We cracked up, we all are having so much sexy fun with it…who cares if it’s Romance Schlock 2012. It’s hot, hot, hot…
    Thanks Mama!

  • Julia in Woodinville, WA, USA June 5, 2012, 5:48 pm

    I am ALL FOR women discovering their sexuality & power, however, I do not feel that this book – this high schooler’s fantasy – is the real route. For sure, if anyone finds this exciting and mind-opening, read it. Don’t stop there. If you think this is erotica, you have merely tasted the sprinkle on the sundae.

    This is really only Twilight with some MILD BDSM. (Eeek.) Vampires don’t sparkle & this isn’t NEARLY as good as it gets.

    Discover on,
    Julia

    • lee August 11, 2012, 2:42 pm

      most of the women who have read (and enjoyed) this book exist outside of this blog? for them this is an introduction to erotic bdsm and it is as far as the vast majority will go. leave them alone to enjoy it.

  • Kat June 5, 2012, 4:58 pm

    (p.s. Dr. Steve B wouldn’t be satisfied with repetitive descriptions.)

  • Joy June 5, 2012, 4:58 pm

    Well..I am one of the few who hadn’t read this series…and I am all for delight and pleasure and joy in whatever form it is presented …:)

  • R June 5, 2012, 4:42 pm

    I am shocked that any SG, especially Mama, would embrace this book. I have not read it nor do I intend to read it (and I read a lot; a book a week on average. Although I have read a couple of summaries and a couple of excerpts and spoken to many who have read it). I won’t even talk about how bad the writing is on this book (it’s awful, based on the excerpts). But I do not understand how anyone who has read Mama Gena’s books and studied the Womanly Arts can write positively about the subject matter of this book. 50 Shades is the ANTITHESIS of everything I believe I learned from Mama’s books School of Womanly Arts and Care and Feeding of Men. 50 Shades is not about flirting, or feeling your feminine power, or getting what you want using your femaleness in an empowering way. It is about a woman being submissive to an abusive sexual relationship, and VOLUNTARILY AGREEING TO DO SO FOR MONEY. (Isn’t there another word for that? Hint: Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman and Elizabeth Shue have all played this role in movies).

    If this was just about smut, I’d be all for it. If you want R- (or even X-!) rated fun sex, check out Laurell Hamilton’s Anita Blake Vampire books or just about anything by Lisa Kleypas, as just two examples. These books have plenty of sex but they are also about truly POWERFUL women who take charge of their own lives, make their own decisions and REVEL in their independence and sexuality. There is everything right about escapism, fantasy sex in fiction, and women having fun with sex. However, there is no place anywhere for abuse, and this book exemplifies that.

    Mama, if you truly embrace 50 Shades as being consistent with the Womanly Arts, then I have completely misinterpreted what you are all about, and I want no further part in any of it.

  • Nita June 5, 2012, 3:18 pm

    Thank you, ladies, I thought I was the only one who found Shades of Grey pretty awful. So many women had raved about it, that I forced myself to finish it, to see what the hype was all about. There are so many beautifully written books of erotica that I find an instant turn on but this just left me cold.

  • Dawn June 5, 2012, 2:41 pm

    Hello Mama:
    I soooo agree with you on this one! I loved the trilogy! Now I know a lot of women could not get past the domination, control, spanking, and coldness of Christian. I bet many also could not stand how this woman would allow herself to be treated this way by this guy. I think they need to finish the books! It was a consensual sexual relationship that created a a loving partnership which not only deepened the relationship but healed them both (although lets face it Christian needed more work) I just want to thank you for saying what you loved about it. It wasn’t just a guilty pleasure bc of the constant sex scenes between them – it was a love story, a human development story, an example in between all the sex that love can heal even the most hopeless. Just wanted to say I feel you completely on this one! Enjoy the end of book 3 when you get to see 2 stories from Christian’s POV!
    XO D

  • Kelly June 5, 2012, 1:43 pm

    I agree with the “junior high” reference in describing the obsession with 50 Shades of Grey because I think on the whole, our society is at the junior high level in its sexual/sensual/desire development. The women who aren’t enjoying it are clearly more advanced on every level. Yawn…been there, done that. But I think there is a place for it in our society. It’s reaching women on the level that they need to be reached. Yes, it’s just a beginning, but for some women this is HUGE! I felt the exact same way when I read The Secret. I found it to be so elementary, but was thrilled that it was reaching the masses. I truly believe this book will help women to find their own voice and once they do – WATCH OUT!

    • regena June 5, 2012, 3:21 pm

      right on, kelly! and hasn’t the culture evolved in just the short span of our lifetimes? we have evolved from kindergarten to jr. high!

  • mila June 5, 2012, 1:40 pm

    I totally agree with Mama Gena. I have read and have on my night table a huge collection of erotica including but not limited to: Anais Nin and Violet Blue. And yes Fifty Shades is not a literary masterpiece, however, it is fun to read, very entertaining, I couldn’t put it down and read it openly on the subway. And it is a Turn ON!! Not only I was wet and had to pleasure myself while reading it, my two male friends (now friends past lovers) who I emailed the book to, both texted me and ask me if I was free for a date!!! I think people who are putting this book down are being “stuck up” and narrow minded. And yes we are starved to amazing sex and I think women who are putting this book down are also starved. I don’t mean ok, good sex, I mean Truly amazing, earth shattering sex, I want some so badly.

    SG Mila

  • SloopyOnnaHarlee June 5, 2012, 1:40 pm

    p.s…anybody remember The Story Of O by Pauline Reage? and my fave Pat Califia has something for everyone altho she wrote from a lesbian perspective…try Macho Sluts, Melting Point and Blood & Silver, all short story collections… her novels Mortal Companion, and Doc & Fluff are also imho great stuff…..and o yeah, 9 1/2 Weeks by Anonymous was the book that inspired the silly movie-even Mickey Rourke commented that the book was way better than the film-checkit out! XOXOX

  • Lauren Harkness June 5, 2012, 12:11 pm

    ooh, I am loving the discussion that your blog post has stirred up Regena! I do proudly lives my “Shades of Grey” as I have spent the last 5 years since taking my first course with you researching my “slut” intimately. I agree with you completely about the necessity for all women to exercise their sensual voice and the expanding capacity of discovering what truly turns them on deeply and intimately. And that is what is turning me on most about the discussion! Every woman’s deepest longings are unique. Some of us long to be “controlled ” and not “allowed” sometimes and some of us find those parameters repulsive. What is so cool about your work Regena and “Shades of Grey” is that it is bringing a much taboo subject out into the mainstream. It is time for women’s sexuality to be embraced and celebrated as a natural and vital component of all of our lives. Let’s uncage those “virgins” and learn what truly turns each of us on!

    • Laurie June 5, 2012, 10:41 pm

      Love this! I have a husband (number 3) who is into all-day-foreplay….
      My pleasure is his….weirded me out at first, but now 28 years later…
      I’m still in love with him and yes he has a Shady Past. Sometimes that’s a blessing!
      Cheers to sexy!

    • SG "RevP." La Tonia June 6, 2012, 10:58 am

      The world needs more of you, Lauren!!

  • Julie June 5, 2012, 12:05 pm

    I love this discussion!

    I adored these books and read them all in a week on the beach in Hawaii.

    They even inspired me to create a new perfume which I can’t keep in stock!!
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/99269464/fifty-shades-of-greyanastasia-perfume

    Yes, the writing was less than stellar. Yes, he asked her to stop biting her lip a little too often. But what I got from this book was nothing but desire…The longing for desire, the anticipation for desire, the need for desire and the giving and receiving of desire.

    My Mom is reading the book right now too!
    xoxo Julie

  • Jophiel June 5, 2012, 11:47 am

    Wow! What intense reactions/ replies!! It kind of ignites me, just the fervor of the intensity of responses! I think I may have to check out this work that stirs up soo many hot juices!!

    Thank you, Mama as always… and all the SG’s.. the world over… 😉

  • Lisa June 5, 2012, 11:46 am

    I wasn’t a fan of this book for many similar reasons as other comments here describe. However, I have enjoyed the discussions its brought up. One of which turned me on to the book Delta of Venus by Anais Nin which I am really enjoying.

    As always, I love reading your point of view Regena. And I thank YOU for helping me to un-bury my sensual side.

    Sending huge congrats to your mother on her engagement!

  • Sg Ti, Sugarbitch June 5, 2012, 10:53 am

    Get ye over to goodvibes.com and check out the Good Vibrations erotica selection! GV is employee-owned, women- and sex-positive and has a great selection of DVDs and written erotica for every preference, orientation, and area you might like to explore. I haven’t read 50 Shades because bad writing is physically distasteful to me. It hard to find your turn-on when your brain insists on noting she’s used the same words to describe people three times in the last 20 pages! I like erotica collections from different authors. Reading them aloud to a partner is a great way to find out what each of you likes.

  • Alishia June 5, 2012, 10:36 am

    OH mama! You hit the nail on the hammer when you wrote: great sex, wild sex, experimental sex, in a loving committed union, heals and transforms. Oh man I love that. I’m gonna tattoo that one on my butt 😉

    Loving the heated discussion about this book. Haven’t picked it up myself but its very curious how this bit of erotic fiction has taken the world by wildfire. I’m not as curious about the book as the hunger it seems to have inspired in its readers. Very cool.

    • Marlena June 6, 2012, 7:53 am

      I agree with you, Alisha!!! Haven’t read the book yet but I am more intrigued by the stir it has caused. I hoped right over to the blog once I saw that Mama G had written about it!

  • Kat June 5, 2012, 9:51 am

    I am enjoying this dialogue, not for 50 shades (which I have enough data to say the writing quality would turn off my big sexy brain and can’t bring myself to read it….) but for the recommendations of other erotic literature that the post has inspired… May I add the Sleeping Beauty trilogy by Anne Rice (very creative use of fruit in book 3…), and Little Birds and Delta of Venus by Anais Nin.

    • SloopyOnnaHarlee June 5, 2012, 1:43 pm

      luuuuuuve that book three: fruit salad indeed! gee, I wonder about Miss Anne…how did she do THAT research, hmmmmmm!!!!!

  • BSG Glitzy Cougar Karen June 5, 2012, 9:41 am

    And thank you, ladies, for the all erotic recommendations:)

  • Elana June 5, 2012, 9:38 am

    I read this book hungrily and felt both turned on and ashamed at how much I liked it given the EXTREMELY poor quality of the writing, for all the reasons mentioned, including flat characterization, etc…But some the erotic scenes were a big turn on. I am actually really interested in the music mentioned as well. I do not find “vanilla sex” boring, but I also am attracted to the elaborate scenes he/they created and the music and interested in experimenting in those veins.
    I am really grateful for the suggestion of “Violet Blue” and would love some other suggestions as well for higher quality erotica.

  • BSG Glitzy Cougar Karen June 5, 2012, 9:30 am

    Regena,
    You hit the nail with this one, and I get all the discussion following. I too LONG for that sensuous, loving, HOT union with a man in a monogamous relationship, with all the mutual experimentation and pleasure we can explore. I want to KNOW what it is to be a fully orgasmic woman. Given my mostly sexless 25 year marriage, it never even came close. And in spite of all the searching with these tantra teachers and my few pleasure partners, I haven’t had it yet. But the search goes on because I KNOW what you teach is true. I knew it for years before I got here. I know it when I hear Charles Muir teaching about the power of women’s ecstasy (last night), or Caroline’s teaching or the testimonies of goddesses.
    I read all three books, and yes, she can’t touch him initially, and yes, he is bossy, and she hits her hard limits as she allows the experimentation, but she also finds her voice, and lets him know (with his encouragement), and as the book goes on, through her transparency, with her desires more clearly focused, she moves it into a beautiful direction, and a beautiful relationship.
    Is it a fantasy? Yes, but I think it is a conversation this culture is STARVING for. I even wrote to New York Magazine about it after they wrote a rather demeaning article about the book and “mommy porn”. And I am now writing about that search in my memoir, (thanks to you, Mama, and your upride on my sistergoddess blog:). Thanks for lighting the fire, oh hot one.

  • Barbara June 5, 2012, 9:18 am

    I have a copy of “50 Shades.” Read the first page, which was so poorly written that the book got buried on my nightstand under what I’m reading now – the exquisitely penned “Anna and the King of Siam,” the source material for the musical “The King and I” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. If you’re looking for sexy material, download Barbara Cook’s version of “Shall I Tell You What I Think Of You?” from that musical and listen for the orgasmic flourish at the end. Once you hear it, you’ll know that’s how the song was written to be sung – way back in 1951. But, sadly, that interpretation is almost always censored. I’ll get around to “50 Shades” eventually. I’m sure it has something to offer – but I doubt it can compete with Rodgers and Hammerstein.

    • regena June 5, 2012, 2:33 pm

      shall we dance? 🙂

  • Rhonda June 5, 2012, 9:01 am

    As an aspiring author trying to figure out what clicked with so many people, I tried to read the 50 SHADES but couldn’t. I couldn’t stand Christian, let alone all the passive verbs. 😉 (Too much passivity anyway, IMO. 😉 ) There are so many interesting, imaginative volumes of women’s erotica out there waiting for you to enjoy them. Try Susie Bright’s anthology BITTEN, if you’d like something with a darker edge in the tone of 50 SHADES. Want to go a little lighter but still be transported to another time and place? Try Virginia Reede’s novella BEASTMISTRESS or Corrina Lawson’s FREYA’S GIFT. Works by Summer Devon. Or Anne Rice’s classic EXIT TO EDEN, as well as her other books written as Anne Rampling. Imaginative books of women’s erotic are out there, for every taste, but they just haven’t been talked up on “The Today Show.”

  • KATIE June 5, 2012, 8:18 am

    oh, mama! how i wish i could get over my fear of my sexual and sensual energy! I know it has power but afraid of the reaction from certain men who want to own or possess or diminish it. molested by my grandfather at 3 years old has made me very confused about my sexual identity. I crave sexual union with the man i love. I yearn to be free of negative thoughts about my sensuality. I read your blog and want to believe in a world where women’s sexuality is revered. But I can’t help thinking about women who have to live their lives in burquas or girls who are mutilated when they reach puberty. We feel the need to hide from men for merely being women. I am the mother of a beautiful sweet boy. I can teach him to respect a women’s sexuality but he’s just one boy. How can we reach the million of men who don’t?

    • mama gena June 5, 2012, 9:10 am

      such a good question, katie. the more you slowly unfurl, explore and live your own sensuality, the more your son will understand who and what a woman is, and how to honor the feminine.

  • Roo June 5, 2012, 7:53 am

    I could not even finish 50 Shades and not because I am a prude or found it to be too raunchy. I enjoy a good sex scene but there were many things about that “consensual” relationship that really turned me off. One is what Sister J Cline described where she couldn’t touch Christian. Others were that he was controlling and cold. He reluctantly revealed things about himself and while she did experiment and come into her own sexually it was not natural to her and she did much of it because he kind of bossed her into it. Maybe he opens up more at the end but I found him to be a major ass and not sexy at all. Also, if he told her to stop biting her lip one more time I was going to scream. The author did not have much variety in her way of characterizing the people in the book. They just repeated the same mannerisms and conversations over and over. I agree with your point that women can be too buttoned up and need to explore their sensual sides to really come alive but 50 Shades is not the best way to do that.

  • Andrea June 5, 2012, 7:52 am

    I agree with J Cline. There is very creative erotica for women written by women. Diverse, mature, satisfying and darkly dense.

    • mama gena June 5, 2012, 9:07 am

      thank you- list your favorite titles!

  • Mary, HawtMama June 5, 2012, 7:50 am

    I LISTENED to my 50 Shades on my SmartPhone…while moving. Talk about having fun no matter what!

    I was sweating, lugging boxes, cleaning, jamming things into my car, driving, unloading, bruising myself, averting glances while in traffic, and periodically dropping my jaw all while in the pleasure of that book.

    Now this move is a wonderful memory instead of a “blech” to abhor.

  • J Cline June 5, 2012, 7:23 am

    Mama-
    I am disappointed in you for the first time ever-porn is delicious if well written and this was not-there are beautiful collections of women’s erotica:Violet Blue to start, and great porn to watch: Jenna Jameson and the Masseuse but 50 Shades of Grey? High school stuff–and she was not “allowed ” to touch Christian? So not sexy to me. Give your followers a great list of erotica-and have them read it to their partners/friends.

    • SloopyOnnaHarlee June 5, 2012, 8:52 am

      I have to agree with you. Couldn’t get through even one chapter….but we loves you Mamaji, to each her own!!!!!!!! By the way, if D/S is what you dig, there’s so much of it around that’s written by women and far, far hotter..Carol Queen’s The Leather Daddy And The Femme is one of the best I’ve read….
      boooyaaaaaah!

    • Penelope June 5, 2012, 8:53 am

      I agree – what a juvenile, offensive and pathetic attempt at writing…worst ever! I kept hoping for the read to improve, never did.
      This is not erotica, there was no consensual relationship, there certainly was no sensuality. Christian’s ‘control’ is annoying and borderline abusive – which sets liberation back another 100 years or so non?
      To celebrate in just ‘how far we’ve come baby’ only to have millions of women swarmed by this horribly written piece of fluff is beyond disappointing.
      As a Sensuality Coach I instill in women to hone inner strength, power, beauty and how to effectively embrace mind, body and spirit. You can seduce a man (and yourself) simply with your eyes – when YOU choose to…come on you magnificant, sensual and confident women – snap out of it and take hold of that confidence…one of the sexiest things you own!
      On the other hand…IF ’50 shades’ ignited your mojo then kudos to you mama! Whatever works…as they say.
      Make a promise to yourself not to lose your sense of self worth and all the treasures you have worked/experienced/accumulated thus far in the journey, to elevate to the level of magnificance you choose to be!
      Ciao bellas,

    • mama gena June 5, 2012, 9:06 am

      hey j- thanks for sharing some of your favorite erotica! i have a huge collection and i am always looking to add more titles. i think disagreeing with one another makes us closer, dontcha think?

      • J Cline June 5, 2012, 9:20 am

        Absolutely Mama- don’t get me wrong: I love you-this is an opportunity for you-make a list of fantastic erotica and celebrate the hard work/talent of amazing women writers out there. Our pop culture has defined 50 Shades as the “it” book-and that is what is so sad. Another SG listed Susie Bright–love her! I look forward to Violet Blue’s collection every year and read her latest at a bar in an airport. How fun is that? Thanks for what you do–