Okay, so have you heard about Fifty Shades of Grey, the erotic new novel written by 40-something British TV-producer-turned-novelist E.L. James that’s been called controversial and troubling on “Today”? And if so, could we borrow your copy in near future? It’s all the rage in New York and L.A., and our friends there report it’s especially big in the suburban mom crowd. So we ask, “Is it taking hold in Baltimore?”
Obviously, we haven’t yet read the novel…but obviously we’re kind of keen to try it after hearing from, not only “Today” and The Huffington Post on the matter, but from our most glamorous hairdresser friend, too. (She liked it.) The “story” of Anastasia Steele (what a name!), a virginal young woman who gets involved in a relationship with a slightly older entrepreneur named — wait for it — Christian Grey, has got Dr. Drew scratching his head on “Today” — he hasn’t read it either, by the way — asking America, “What does this say about our society?” Meanwhile sex educator Logan Levkoff — who did read the book — replies that sometimes fantasies are just fantasies. (She loved it, fyi.)
Levkoff considers the book a healthful approach to erotic imagining, and she’s pleased to hear that many women readers in long-term marriages have reported that the novel has ignited their sex lives anew because it has reminded them of the power of sexual-storytelling.
Anyway, if you don’t have a copy we can borrow later today — we’d read it fast and give it right back — we’d like to know: Is this the kind of book you’d be perfectly comfortable purchasing at, say, The Ivy Bookshop, in the light of day? Is it wrong to read this kind of writing because perhaps it contains anti-feminist messaging? Do you agree with Levkoff that sometimes we fantasize rather automatically, separate from want, separate from intellectual control? In other words, is a fantasy ever just a fantasy? Please let us hear! And we’ll happily loan you our now-on-the-way-from-Amazon copy whenever you’re ready.