Trust me when I tell you that I’ve not led a sheltered life. Far from it. But never, in my wildest imagination, would I have ever thought that we’d be discussing BDSM as openly and casually as we are. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about you’ve got to be living under a rock.
Okay, for the three of you who have been in a cave for the past year or so, BDSM is a sexual practice that involves bondage, dominance and submission, to give you a few examples. And the reason it’s on everyone’s lips is because of a trilogy of erotic novels (Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed respectively) written by a former UK television executive, E.L. James.
According to Wikipedia, as of this month the series has sold 40 million copies worldwide, with book rights having been sold in 37 countries; and it’s set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time, surpassing the Harry Potter series. It’s being read by young women. Middle aged women. White haired ladies. Sophisticated women. Wealthy women. Executives. Professionals. Stay-at-home moms. Grandmothers. University students. City dwellers. Suburban housewives.
Husbands are buying the books for their wives. It’s on book club reading lists. It’s being discussed on Facebook and Twitter and in mainstream media like The New
York Times and on Piers Morgan Tonight.
But I actually don’t want to talk about the books. I want to talk about the emails exchanged between the two main characters — the innocent virgin, Anastasia Steele, a recent college graduate and Christian Grey, the young, drop-dead gorgeous, billionaire with all the issues.
I am probably the only person in captivity who’s going to say this, but I LOVE those emails. To begin with, they’re much better written than the books, which are as pedestrian as can be. So much repetition. Honestly, if she said “crap” one more time I was going to yell my head off; and if he said “feel it for me, baby” one more time I would have willingly given up sex forever. Pretty poorly written.
The emails are so much better that I wonder if the author hired a freelance writer to do them. They (and the subject lines and signatures) are witty, charming, fun, revealing and engaging. And through these frequent communications, you see a relationship progress from one of control into a love affair.
And truth be told, I am now paying much more attention to the emails I write to everyone.