Truth be told, to characterize E. The Fifty Shades novels are nothing but erotic romance novels.
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They lack the kind of passages that elicit the mix of disgust and intense sentiments associated with pornography. All three Fifty Shades read easily, like those many uncomplicated paperbacks read on planes or long train journeys. In fact probably these books owe their success to the way the writer weaves the description of physical pleasure with the emotions they elicit in a woman who is discovering her body and her feelings simultaneously.
It is this mix that makes these books stand apart from porn and makes them quite erotic. The sex is narrated in the voice of a protagonist who is experiencing it with intense emotional reactions, as many women do. To top it off, the author has no qualms introducing a number of interesting and different sexual possibilities. No wonder it has sold ten million copies in two months! But a few random paragraphs can serve as an example:.
Why Fifty Shades Leaves Women Wanting . . . More | Psychology Today
His touch sends shivers down my spine, waking every nerve ending in my body. He runs his nose down my exposed neck, inhaling all the way…The muscles in my belly clench, carnal and wanting. His words are like some kind of incendiary device; my blood flames. His smile is triumphant as he releases me and takes my hand and leads me through the apartment.
Ha…not your mind , my subconscious sneers. I shake off the unwelcome thought. What is truly soft in the book is the alleged sadism it contains. My jaw falls to the floor. Christian was hungry once. Holy crap. I swallow, my heart constricting at the thought of a hungry, gray-eyed toddler. Oh no. What kind of life did he have before the Greys got hold of him and rescued him?
The kind of life he might have had is hinted at again and again. He refuses, for example, her attempts to caress or touch his chest, even when they are making love. I feel sick. He turns and I can see his boots as he stomps into the kitchen.
He still has the belt. He is trying to find me. He stoops down and grins. He smells nasty. Of cigarettes and drink. There you are, you little shit. Paradoxically, Christian Grey attributes his salvation from this obscure past not so much to the generous couple who adopted him, but to the older woman who introduced him at fifteen to the pleasures of dominance in Sadistic relationships.
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Throughout the first book of the series, the threat of Christian Grey becoming a monster looms large: he presents her with a written pact of submission to sign, which states she will obey his wishes and if not, will allow him to punish her physically. However, this obscure and perverse Grey never materializes. He tries a few things, like spanking, but Anastasia Steele, an inexperienced year-old virgin, reacts quite forcefully and defiantly. His guilt and subsequent redemption are much more important throughout the trilogy than the short episodes where he attempts to live up to the expectations built around his character.
Anastasia Steele rapidly develops a healthy appreciation for sex, erotic toys and some kinky practices, like allowing him to tie her up which nowadays must not even count as sadism but she never signs the submission agreement, and smitten Christian quickly gives up sadism.
Miss Steele even manages to sound a bit disappointed:. He swallows and pales, all trace of humor gone. And yes, there it is — that little pinch of disappointment. I was devastated when you left.
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I explained that. I must admit I was relieved to realize that sadism is only a teaser in these novels. Therefore, men should be free to exercise their desire to dominate. He too has never known romantic love before they met. Like Twilight's Edward, he also has a curious maternal streak.
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He's over-protective, a bit of a nag, and worries she doesn't eat enough. They are, well, perfect: Gracious, relaxed, lovable, and most of all still very much in love. They live in a dream house—sophisticated but comfortable—and like their son have impeccable taste in all things. She is the fulfilment of all their fondest hopes for their son.
And some are less obvious, such as small feet on a woman. He is the epitome of male dominance, with just the right amount of dangerousness added. But at the same time he is the best listener in the world.
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How often do those qualities come together in reality? Christian Grey is the same erotic illusion, reimagined. A potent mash-up of tastes, guaranteed to maximize craving. Grey's dangerousness comes from his need to physically punish women, rather than from a thirst for human blood. And that special blend of Grey's scariness with his utter goodness, sincerity, and attention to detail—well, it's a special formula designed to make women want. Stephen Snyder, M.
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