10 Reasons Why Fifty Shades of Grey should never Tie any Self-Respecting Woman Down.

Via Waylon Lewis
on May 23, 2012
get elephant's newsletter

Why are so many women turned on by dominance?

Excerpt, Fifty Shades of Grey:

“Christian is standing over me grasping a plaited, leather riding crop.

He’s wearing old, faded, ripped Levis and that’s all. He flicks the crop slowly into his palm as he gazes down at me. He’s smiling, triumphant. I cannot move. I am BLEEP and BLEEP, BLEEP on a large four-poster bed.

Reaching forward, he trails the tip of the crop from my forehead down the length of my nose, so I can smell leather, and over my BLEEP, BLEEP lips. He pushes the BLEEP, BLEEP BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEP etc…”

Every month, elephant inherits a few angry comments from readers who hate the fact that we write about sex (a lot). We get nasty comments vilifying us for sins like “objectification.”

…And then, today, and yesterday, and last week, and the week before…I hear from my interns, Kate our editor, Kate our editor again, and—you know—millions of women that they’re all reading, loving, and—you know—getting off on some dehumanizing trashy bdsm “porn for mommies” novel called…

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” the erotic novel by E L James, features cliche characters, highly implausible plot turns and dialogue that alternately induces cringes and giggles. (Sample line: “ ‘Look at me,’ he breathes, and I stare into his smoldering gaze . . . cold, hard and sexy as hell, seven shades of sin in one enticing look.”)

…Another benefit of a book such as “Fifty Shades” is that it just may get your mind off work pressures, the laundry or having to make the kids’ lunches — and back into the bedroom.

Speaking of gagging…

So save yourself 10 hours: go have some mutually-respectful awesome sex with someone you love.

Or if you want to “read” some porn, god bless, go get yourself some Anais Nin. She’s amazing.

{drum roll}

But now it’s time for my list: 10 Reasons why Empowered Women should find something more Empowering to do.

Deflowering a Poorly-Written Opiate for the Masses: 10 Reasons Why Fifty Shades of Grey should never Tie any Self-Respecting Woman Down.

This list is too easy.

1. You’re a hypocrite: Shades of Grey is (I hear) a glorified airport romance novel that is so a cliché-ridden and poorly written, it gives Twihards fifty shades of self-respect.

2. By romance, I mean abusive sado-masochistic 100-years-of-feminism-f*cking fantasy.

3. Not having read the book, I’m out of ideas.


PS: to all you angry masochists ready to comment and say “don’t tell me what to do, young man,” don’t worry—unlike, say, Christian the Somehow-Sexy Abusive Billionaire, I’d never think of bossing a woman around. This is my kind of play.



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


106 Responses to “10 Reasons Why Fifty Shades of Grey should never Tie any Self-Respecting Woman Down.”

  1. Dave Allen says:

    How on earth can anyone presume to critique a book/books they themselves have not read? Fact is, the women that I know that have read the book are by no means bored housewives or shy of intellect. Without exception they loved, if nothing else the escapism of reading the "taboo" trilogy and again, without exception acknowledged that the writing was at best mediocre but the story-line captivating still. I have no intention of reading the trilogy since it does not intrigue me one iota, i also, however, will voice no opinion on the trilogy for the very reason that I have not read it. Let those who have read it do the critiquing, I think that would only be fair!

  2. […] are, indeed, more likely to take on the submissive role in BDSM than males. Some feminists see this as evidence that BDSM is oppressive to women. I believe many women are taking on the submissive role as an escape from having to work so hard to […]

  3. Heath says:

    Thanks for your thoughts. One thing I’ve got noticed is always that banks as well as financial institutions understand the spending patterns of consumers while also understand that a lot of people max away their credit cards around the trips. They prudently take advantage of this fact and start floodin

  4. Thea K says:

    S&M has nothing to do with abuse, empowerment has nothing to do with wanting to be submissive in the bedroom – GOD, people! Get your shit together!

  5. Facebook sex says:

    Thanks for your information on this blog. One particular thing I want to say
    is that purchasing electronic devices items in the Internet is certainly not new.
    The truth is, in the past decades alone, the market for
    online gadgets has grown considerably. Today, you will find practically any kind of electronic system and tools on the Internet, from cameras along with camcorders to computer pieces and video gaming consoles.

  6. Siiiigh. says:

    As a queer woman, a feminist, and a submissive, who read all three Shades of Grey books (along with plenty of stuff like the Story of O), all I want to say is: Fifty Shades of Grey is not really about BDSM (it's about a kinky person with some emotional issues who has a basically-vanilla partner in what seems to be a fundamentally sexually-incompatible relationship – part of the reasons women LIKE this series is because the protagonist is NOT embracing of her kinky interests – if any – she's doing it for her partner); it's nothing new (check out literotica.com if you want to know what women do instead of watching porn); BDSM is not inherently sexist and un-feminist (oh, and guess what? sometimes it doesn't even involve men! or hetereosexuals!); "so many women are turned on by dominance" [or submission] for the same reason that so many men are turned on by dominance [or submission] – it's hot, it's fun, and playing with power dynamics allows us to explore and connect sexually. If that doesn't appeal to you, don't do it, but don't tell other people what they should/should not find appealing and/or pretend it has anything to do with their morals or standing as "feminists" or thoughtful people. And watch "Secretary."