Monday, November 5, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey: A Thorough Guide to Everything That Can Ruin Sex

Despite what you might guess, the story and characters of Fifty Shades of Grey bear little resemblance to those of Twilight, despite the former having originated as fan fiction of the latter. E.L. James writing style is also somewhat different from Stephenie Meyer's; whereas Meyer writes about exciting shit in a really boring way, James writes about boring shit in a really boring way.

I stretch out and open my eyes.  It’s a beautiful May morning, Seattle at my feet.  Wow, what a view. Beside me, Christian Grey is fast asleep.  Wow, what a view.

No no, you misused the word view in two instances up there. I believe what you meant to say was piece of stupid fucking drivel, not view.

She also has this weird habit of referring to her thoughts as her subconscious:

My subconscious has doubled over in laughter at me.

... my subconscious has woken.  She’s staring at me with pursed lips, tapping her foot.

My subconscious scowls at me… fucking – not lovemaking – she screams at me like a harpy.

My subconscious sneers.  I shake off the unwelcome thought.

You can't really be conscious of your subconscious, but whatever. It's not a huge deal or anything, E.L. Go cash your checks and forget all about things like "logic" and "coherence" and "definitions of words."

My hair is its usual wayward self.  Just-fucked hair doesn’t suit me.

Funny way you phrased that. I hope your hair used protection.

Just-fucked hair really, really suits him, as does his designer stubble.

OK, stop it. When I said "funny" I didn't mean "ha ha" funny, I meant "please don't sit next to me on the bus" funny.

Amy Studt is singing in my ear about misfits.  This song used to mean so much to me, that’s because I’m a misfit.  I have never fitted in anywhere and now… I have an indecent proposal to consider from King Misfit himself.

... And there's our first glimpse of a Mary Sue shining through. Listen to her cry about her miserable life where all she has going for her is her job and her really cool friends and her university degree and her billionaire lover! Meanwhile, there are places in the world where women are stoned to death for accidentally showing their hair in public, and they can't even listen to shitty emo music to console themselves over it.

“I don’t know where you keep your placemats.” I shrug, trying desperately hard not to look flustered.

There's nothing strange about the above sentence, I just initially misread "placemats" as "placentas" and realized that it wouldn't really change my perspective of Christian Grey whatsoever if he kept afterbirths around his mansion.

“Come, let’s have a bath.” He leans down and kisses me. My heart leaps and desire pools way down low… way down there.

... I'm not following you. Way down where? Your feet? Knees? Your... Oh. OHHHHHHHH. I see. You're talking about your... vagina, right? If it's so hard to say, why not make a funny euphemism for it? Try it with me, E.L.: "My heart leaps and desire pools way down low... way down in my sardine can." Or you could say, "way down in my slippery sushi bar," or "way down in my gynosaurus rex."

Or, you could just say "vagina" like a normal person. I'm pretty sure you won't be cast down to the second circle of hell.

He takes my chin in his hand and tilts my head up to reach his eyes.  They are soft and warm, heated even.  Oh my.  He’s so close.  I could just reach up and touch him.

Well, yeah. You could... because he's right in front of you. Touching you. What's your point? Oh, you mean to say that your author is a troglodyte. Gotcha.

His hands glide across to my breasts, and I inhale sharply as his fingers encircle them and start kneading gently, taking no prisoners.

I don't think I've ever heard "gently" and "taking no prisoners" in the same sentence together. This is probably because sentences are supposed to make sense.

Turning to face him, I’m shocked to find he has his erection firmly in his grasp.  My mouth drops open.
“I want you to become well acquainted, on first name terms if you will, with my favorite and most cherished part of my body.  I’m very attached to this.”


By the way, I wonder what his penis' name is. Maybe "pyramid scheme" because he uses it to screw idiots.

I pull him deeper into my mouth so I can feel him at the back of my throat and then to the front again.  My tongue swirls around the end.  He’s my very own Christian Grey flavor popsicle.

Thank God, E.L. I thought you were going to write something arousing for a second there.

“Don’t you have a gag reflex?” he asks, astonished.

E.L. James: "As he gently caressed my throbbing down there, he put his Christian Grey flavored popsicle in my mouth and asked me if I had a gag reflex."

"... Come, let’s go to bed, I owe you an orgasm.”

No wait, you spotted her that orgasm last Friday when she forgot her purse. You should be even now.

He cradles my head, his tongue exploring my mouth, and I get a sense he’s expressing his gratitude – maybe – for my first blowjob?  Whoa?

Well put, Keanu. 

My heated blood pools low in my belly, between my legs, right down there.

OK, we can take this in baby steps. Try just saying "V" followed by "agina." Then I want you to put a smaller and smaller space between them until you're saying "vagina." It's OK, many women suffer from vaginophobia. You're not alone, just really weird.

... then he’s between my legs, running his nose up and down my sex, very softly, very gently.

At least you didn't call it "down there" this time, but I hope you didn't forget our talk about trying funny euphemisms, E.L. No one's going to die if you call it a sperm chute or a dick garage or something.

My legs go rigid, and he slips his finger inside me, and I hear his growling groan.

I'm pretty sure growling is about the last thing you'd want to hear from someone when they have their mouth on your genitals.

Suddenly we both become aware of voices in the hall outside his bedroom door.  It takes a moment to process what I can hear... Christian blinks rapidly, staring down at me, wide-eyed with humored horror.
“Shit!  It’s my mother.”

Holy shit! You are just trying to fail, aren't you, E.L.? Having your mother discover you in a sexual act is the most profoundly un-sexy thing in the world. Fifty Shades of Grey is like an exhaustive encyclopedia of things that kill an orgasm.

He’s slipped on a white t-shirt and runs his hand through his just-fucked hair.

OK, seriously. Stop it with the "just-fucked" thing.

Holy crap… just-fucked pigtails do not suit me either. 

All right, E.L. If you're going to drop an F bomb in the most liberal fashion possible, why does your heroine say "Oh my" and "whoa" and "holy crap"? Why is it you can describe all kinds of sexual acts in detail but you can't bring yourself to refer to a vagina as such? Oh, I see... It's because you write silly shit like this:

“She’d probably have my balls if she knew what I wanted to do to you,” he adds so softly I’m not sure I’m supposed to hear it.
“Okay,” I agree readily, smiling up at him, relieved.  The thought of Kate with Christian’s balls is not something I want to dwell on.

Redundant shit like this:

He moves round the car with easy grace and folds his long frame elegantly in beside me.

Monotone shit like this:

He squeezes my knee again, and then returns his hand to the steering wheel as he puts his foot down on the gas.  I’m pressed into the back of my seat.  Boy this car can move.

And nonsensical shit like this:

“My first time was horrid,” she continues, making a sad comedy face.

The really sad thing, though, is that the book could still have some kind of basic carnal appeal in spite of the donkey shit stupid writing... but the sex is either hilarious or horrifying. E.L. James is such a terrible writer that she can't even make sex sound sexy. Not even Stephenie Meyer can fuck up that badly.


  1. I knew you could get across in writing exactly what I was feeling when I tossed the book away.

    Very well done!

  2. It's because of you and Jen Armintrout that I will never, EVER have to crack open one of these books. For that, I am most humbly in your debt.

    Although I may never be able to forgive you for reminding of the existence of the "Christian Grey flavored popsicle" phrase. There's...just not enough brain bleach.