I have read two books out of three, “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Fifty Shades Darker”. They were not particularly exciting or arousing for me, but I had to know what the fuss was all about. Now I have formed an opinion.
Like the literature it was inspired by (Twilight), it’s a wish-fulfillment story. And if you fantasize, you don’t deny yourself anything.
First of all, this book is a lot less about BDSM than people think. No wonder the real practitioners of BDSM think the book is misrepresenting BDSM. I would say the book doesn’t really attempt to show us true BDSM at all. It is pretty clear that Christian Grey’s taste for BDSM is due to the way he deals with early childhood trauma.
Second, it’s not about glorification of abusive relationships, either. All those feminist critics forget that the heroine wants this man, and pushes him in all sorts of ways, in order to get what she wants from him. She’s not a good submissive.
Here’s how the story goes, through the lens of my understanding. Virginal young woman meets hot, mysterious billionaire. They start a passionate relationship, sexual and otherwise. She finds out he wants her to be his submissive, and agrees to some of that in order to keep him. She wants him, but doesn’t really want him to hurt her. That’s not to say she doesn’t like many of his softer, less painful BDSM games, because she does. He does most of the work in bed, actually. In general, he entertains the girl in a variety of ways – sexual games, flying her on a helicopter, bringing her on his boat. Not only that, but he also thinks she’s unlike anyone he met with/had sex with/dominated before, and wants to keep her. He shows how much he wants to keep her to himself and from harm by stalking her, putting guards around without her knowledge, and controlling the company she works for. She is pushing against his control-freak tendencies, and eventually makes him less dominant, less mentally scarred, and not sexually sadistic anymore. Christian Grey might have a lot of monetary power, as well as intoxicating hotness, but Ana has the power to change him dramatically. Christian might be the Dom, but Ana is kinda topping from the bottom, emotionally.
To me, it reads like one of those stories where a woman fixes a hot, but emotionally hurt/broken man. That kind of romantic plot is not uncommon. I remember a few people on the Purple Pill forum were confused about why a romance with a somewhat emotionally weak guy would be so hot, if women can’t tolerate displays weakness. I think the Nostalgia Critic explains it best. For me, he does it better than most red pill writers, despite being a little feminist. In this video, he explains why Loki from the Avengers has so many fangirls. Christian is different, but there are some common reasons for why both of them are appealing. If you listen to it, you will hear the reasons for liking bad guys, powerful guys, and for liking men who are not stoic:
Taking Nostalgia Critic’s explanation into account, I can say Fifty Shades of Grey is popular because it has everything a good female fantasy would have. The guy is hot, smart, confident, entertaining (not boring), powerful and rich. And to make it possible for a woman to have all that, he has a vulnerability only someone really special can fix. And for that, he’ll be forever grateful and give her his undying loyalty.
What do you think Fifty Shades of Grey is about?