Mommy Porn

I finally finished the final book in the Fifty Shades Trilogy. If you are not familiar with this book series, let me share that it is the #1 New York Times best selling erotic fiction noted for its particularly erotic scenes featuring BDSM. The plot traces the relationship between Ana Steele, a recent college graduate and Christian Grey, a manipulative, domineering, attractive millionaire that is into BDSM. Oh yeah, he is also an adoptee having been raised till he was four by his “crack whore birthmother”.

Female Sexual Deviants

My local TV station did a piece on the trilogy and called the book “mommy porn”. I laughed at the reference at the time but later wondered if I should be offended. Why is female sexuality, desire, and all related activities considered well, porn, meaning something that should not be discussed? Alternatively, why shouldn’t there be “mommy porn”? Are mothers supposed to drop their sexual desire the instant they give birth?  Why is Ana assumed to have such low self esteem and that she should not tolerate (or enjoy) such sexual activities?  The New Zealand Herald stated that the book “will win no prizes for its prose” and that “there are some exceedingly awful descriptions,” but that it was also an easy read and if you “can suspend your disbelief and your desire to – if you’ll pardon the expression – slap the heroine for having so little self respect, you might enjoy it. 

Slap the heroine for having so little self respect?  Huh?  Was it ever considered she might have LIKED the sexual activities?  We need to keep in mind that the character was a virgin when she became involved with Christian. She had no other benchmark for what a “normal” sexual relationship might be.  Clearly she was conflicted about his preference for BDSM and I believe she did a fairly good job of articulating that to him. She stated her hard limits, she left him when they were violated, and she continually discussed (with the reader and Christian) her conflict. By the end of the third book, it is fairly obvious that she has rubbed off on him and mellowed him just as much as he has influenced her.

Ana Steele had options. She had a place to live, an education, a job, a family. She was not a sexual slave. I did not feel sorry for her nor did I feel she was completely lacking in self respect.  She was not a prisoner in her relationship with Christian. She CHOSE to be there. Furthermore, if she enjoyed that type of “kinky fuckery”, enjoyed being demeaned or submissive, why is that a bad thing? Is that sort of sexual deviancy (if you choose to use that word) something that is acceptable by men only?  Important to note that prior to being a Dom, Christian was a submissive. I personally agreed with Dr. Flynn in this regard.  Christian and Ana were consenting adults engaging in an alternative sexual lifestyle.

It is likely no surprise that I would take this position on Ana.  I was (and technically still am) considered a sexual deviant.  I had sex outside of marriage. I enjoyed it.  Gasp! For shame! Get the holy water! I am a female that has had – and continues to have – a healthy sexual appetite.  I am not ashamed to admit it and will fight anyone who suggests women like me are deviant.

The Adoption Angle

It is noted early in book one that Christian Grey is an adoptee.  This fact surprised me more than the BDSM. It is suggested, overtly, that he is a deeply damaged individual and that damage was caused by the “crack whore birthmother” not the adoption.  Adoption by very wealthy doctors and lawyers “saved him” (how boringly cliché). I won’t go into it much; I don’t want to spoil it for you if you wish to read it, but I will say in Christian’s case adoption did seem to be a good thing. His crack whore birthmother was dead and father and extended family unknown.

I did not mind the adoption theme. It was there, in the background, a sub plot, but it was not whacking you in the face on every page (unlike Christian is with his riding crops and floggers) Yes, some of it was cliché, but some of it was rather, well, not cliché.  Ana insisted repeatedly to him that he loved his birthmother, he had to, all babies love their mothers, regardless of what they did or do to them.  I liked where she went with that thought, several times. I will add that the fact that Christian preferred to engage in BDSM relationships with women that looked exactly like his crack whore birthmother was a bit, well, cliché once again. (Yet even as I say that I am reminded of the picture I once saw of my daughters’ first boyfriend. He bore an eerie resemblance to her natural father and she had never even seen him. It kinda freaked me out. Weird how that shit works, eh?)

The books were easy to read, engaging, I liked the characters (and their crazy sexual appetities).  If I am accused of reading mommy porn, so be it.  I am good with that.

2 Thoughts.

  1. Clearly, I am a deviant for I am not horrified by the book and go so far as to suggest Ana was a willing participant and not a feeble minded female taken advantage of by a big bad man. (I did note many critics have not read all three books).

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