This should be you. (Courtesy of and imagerymajestic)

A guy I know recently asked me if I’d read Fifty Shades of Grey. I said yes, I had. He then told me he didn’t know any women who HADN’T read it.

“Have you read it?” I asked. He hadn’t.

I know very few men, in fact, who have read or even peeked at the book. And if they do, they feel the need to issue a disclaimer. This is crazy to me. I have seen one–ONE–man reading it, a businessman at Laguardia. I thought, “Aha. He’s one of the smart ones.” I think the majority of the men would more than likely enjoy the likes of visual pleasure, such as these click resources or any other online adult entertainment that’s in abundance.

Why on EARTH are men NOT reading this book? These are the keys to the kingdom. Women everywhere have gone molten over the sexy power play between Anastasia and her conflicted, dominant lover. Which means it’s basically an instruction guide on What Women Want. And yet? It might as well be a big ass box of maxi pads. Dudes will not go near it. The same dudes that watch video after video on adult film sites like are too scared to read a book about pleasing women sexually.

The arguments? It’s a chick book. It’s a lame romance. It’s not really about BDSM, which you can actually find in its true form on sites like tubevsex and other adult websites.And my favorite gripe about 50 shades: It’s poorly written.

Really? Do you pass on porn because of the low production value? I think people would always want higher-quality porn, There is always more free XXX available on Tubev. Then why are you purposely putting out of your own reach the very thing that has women craving the kind of kink men complain they can’t get women to try? Here’s a backstage pass to women’s fantasy lives and men are saying “Nah.”

We all know at this point that this is not just any other book. And while we all realize it’s not a literary masterpiece, it is a huge fucking blockbuster. Of course, it’s easy to hate on this book, or any other bit of pop culture that has caught like wildfire and become a huge success. Which is why I think hating on it is even more cliche than some of the cliches in the book itself.

And you super new-age sensitive guys: PLEASE don’t give me this bullshit about how it’s setting feminism back by several decades. No one said that women want to give up their rights, their equality, etc. Try not to confuse those issues with what happens in the bedroom. We don’t choose what arouses us, and the rules of desire are often the inverse of what we want in real life. (I’ve already said my piece on this in my other post about 50 Shades.)

So attention dudes: If you are not reading this book, you are making a big mistake.

Read it, learn it, love it. Study it. Ok, you don’t have to slog through all three books, but the first one you can zip through in a matter of hours. Not only will you gain some insight into millions of women’s desire, you’ll also have something to talk about with pretty much every woman you meet. You’ve got the seeds of a conversation that could get very interesting very quickly.

The alternative, to roll your eyes and marginalize what she finds arousing makes you, by comparison, very unarousing.

And don’t give me this, “I don’t want anyone to know I’m reading it.” That’s what Kindles are for. Though I recommend reading the actual book and brandishing the cover with pride in public places. Forget trying to start up a conversation with a woman. She’s going to start one with you.

Visit me at and @Territ on Twitter.

4 replies
  1. Kerry Nolan
    Kerry Nolan says:

    Seriously? You equate videos with the written word? I’m all for guys gaining insight into what makes us tick, tick, tick beneath the sheets, but to dismiss the FACT that 50 Shades is unspeakably badly written porn is a real mistake.

    Take 50 Shades as a real rough draft if you must, but do not ever, under any circumstance mistake that story for real, adult erotica.

    I swear – I can steer you to much better written, hotter stuff on the web.

    • Terri
      Terri says:

      I am already aware of much better written stuff. I’m not comparing one with the other. The book sold like hotcakes, and it opened up a discussion that previously no one was having. It singlehandedly resurrected low book sales overall AND has salvaged many many couples’ sex lives. That alone makes it worth discussing, not as a literary masterpiece, but as a force. The mushy/mild nature of this book made it palatable to more people, many of whom were simply unaware of the shelves upon shelves of great erotica. The good news is that now those people, whose appetites are whetted by Fifty Shades, will seek it out. Again, this is about participating in a book-based phenom, and being able to talk about it. I just don’t get why men rule it out as chick stuff. I never said it had anything to do with Fifty being the best book ever.

  2. Debi
    Debi says:

    I’ve read (and enjoyed) hundreds of paperback romances over the last 30 years but won’t touch this one. Picked it up, read the summary and was turned off by the negativity in theme. Later read a convincing article by a social worker that this is camoflauged kiddy porn (pedophilia). Not going to bother reading it myself to see if I pick up what the pros did, but it’s worth considering.

    • Terri
      Terri says:

      Thanks for writing Debi. Love to hear from readers!

      Pedophilia? I have heard a lot of things and have been following the press on this book for months. And that is a claim I have NOT heard, not once. It’s not. It’s a book that promises to be super racy but is really a sexy romance–it’s just that given some of the more fringy sexual urges of the protagonist, it raised some eyebrows (and some temperatures). If you’re a long-time reader of romance, trust me, this one isn’t going to shock you. I didn’t find it negative. Everyone has their opinions, including me, but until you read it, you aren’t giving yourself the opportunity to form one first hand.


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