For this one we are going a little deeper into Fifty Shades of why the big deal and I’m tackling the epic notion of love that rescues, saves, transforms.
Hi Lovies, in case you haven’t met me yet my name is Laura and I was a classic fixer until not so very long ago. If you don’t know what I mean let me explain. I have attracted a lot of emotionally broken dudes in my time, the last being my borderline sociopath ex-Paul. Short version is I met Paul at a time in my life when I didn’t have my shit together. It was an online relationship that brought havoc and turmoil in my life, heart, soul and mind. It was the biggest heartbreak of my life and it changed me for the better. Paul may have been the last boy I tried to fix, but he certainly wasn’t the first, or second, or third. I used to have a habit of falling in lust, like or love with men who were emotionally crippled commitment phobes who I allowed to string me along, sometimes for years at a time. Like all of us, I have my own set of childhood issues and wanting to feel loved and needed, cherished, paid attention to were all hot buttons for me. I would entangle myself with these guys and then if they weren’t giving me what I needed because of whatever issues they had I’d try to give more and more to them in an attempt to fix it, I’d try to be more and more what they wanted so they wouldn’t leave. Nothing extreme, just your typical, that guy treats you like shit why are you still with him, BS. Why? Well a myriad of reasons many of which I have written about, but for today I’m focusing on two things.
1. I did not love myself or think I deserved to be loved, they may have also felt the same way about themselves.
2. I wanted my love and care and how awesome I was to magically fix the guy. I wanted him to magically change through repeated exposure to my love, attention and personality.
Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight are books that along with Beauty and the Beast or any rom-com movie where the guy is magically transformed into You Complete Me, do nothing but perpetuate this myth of love that saves. And it’s absolute bullshit…but it makes for good reading and watching because somehow many of us are programmed to swoon over that stuff. We feel the characters angst, we see the love blooming, the set backs, the pain of the turmoil, the emotional break through and the happily ever after. I want a love like THAT, we think. I want my poor broken, sad, fucked up little man boy to love me, to change from a Beast to a prince, my prince. It’s fine on the movie or Nook screen, but real love can’t and shouldn’t work this way.
Anastasia’s love transforms Christian, one brutal emotional roller coaster ride at a time. I don’t think the guy stops trying on his forward momentum of transformation from the moment she trips into his office until the epilogue when they are expecting their 2nd baby. When I started reading this book the first guy I though of was Paul, my personal fifty shades. Not knowing what all the hype was about I got curious and started reading, mostly to see what the sex scenes were like. Then I was confronted with Christian, severe mommy issues, emotional issues, self loathing and no love of himself. Deja Vu, I buckled in for the potential emotional roller coaster and took the ride. He always trying, so did Paul, but unlike Paul, Christian is fictionally created to easily succeed at it. As I read I kept waiting for him to turn completely sociopath, or some other kind of evil monsterliness. This never happens, he is written with plenty of reason to roll your eyes at his controlling behavior and adolescent reactions to anything and everything, but he falls immediately for Ana and spends the next 3 books slowly changing, working to move forward out of the darkness and into the light with Ana. For her part Ana decides early on that this man is worth 110% of all her effort and seeks to bring him into said light with her, where they can be happy and he can be whole. Why anyone with any brains would want someone THAT messed up for her first real boyfriend I couldn’t begin to tell you, it’s fiction after all.
Shorty read before me and was worried about my emotional reaction to the last book, it get’s worse so if you need to show up on my doorstep when you’re done that door is open, she told me. I was just done with book one at that time. At the end she leaves him, wants no part of the sub/dom deal. If he wants to be with her it’s going to have to be in a normal and vanilla relationship. The 2nd book starts with him winning her back. I wondered very briefly what would of happened if I’d managed to make good on any of my attempts to remove myself from Paul’s life in order to try to push him to be what I wanted; what he said he wanted to be, for himself, for me, and for us. My fifty shades was either trying or pretending to try to get himself together, it never happened. I kept reading into book 3, and I had no choice but to tackle the theme staring me in the face, I wanted to save Paul, to fix him. I wanted my love to heal all of his emotional wounds. I wanted to be THAT girl for him. It never happened. I admit I got a little teary eyed, when Ana is in the hospital and the author is clearing up ALL of Christian’s emotional issues in one chapter while Ana drifts in and out of consciousnesses. before that it was all three steps forward two steps back and THAT is an emotional game I was very familiar with, because I lived it. Who knew a mediocre set of books would allow me to see and reconcile that while I was living that nightmare I wasn’t trying to fill a Babu hole with Paul, I was trying to fill Paul’s hole for him. It’s not the first time a book or movie has enlightened me out of nowhere. I once went right home and broke up with a guy after watching “He Said , She Said” or whatever that movie with Molly Ringwald and Kevin Bacon was called.
I’m not saying there aren’t real life examples of guys and girls that decided to get themselves together when they found “the one”, or “the one” left them. My ex-Mick got his stuff together when I left him, because I was the third girl he loved to do so for the exact same reason; his inability to share any kind of intimacy and allow a girl to get and stay close. It was too late for me to stick around but he is happily married now. Everyone has things inside of them that could use work, and another person could certainly serve as a catalyst to spark the desire to change, or be a pillar of love and support while someone is working to change. Love is supposed to be team work, but here is the thing…
It is not your job to fix someone else, you can’t, shouldn’t even. It is your job to love yourself, own your life, seek change and growth, to fearlessly be yourself. Only then can you properly give to another person. When you are completely reliant on someone else for ALL your emotional upkeep I think they call that co-dependent ( Christian is very co-dependent). No one can fix you, you can’t fix or save anyone else. You have to love you complete with beautiful flaws enough to believe that you DO deserve the best life possible. If you don’t, then you go around making the same mistakes in relationships over and over wondering why there aren’t any good men/women out there. Or in the case of the broken one, they get left or bail on every relationship they have because they feel like they didn’t deserve you anyway. The broken boy sees himself as unlovable, unworthy, he has no emotional skills worth coveting in a relationship. He isn’t fixable, HE CANNOT LOVE YOU BECAUSE HE DOESN’T LOVE HIMSELF. My attention, empathy, understanding, sexiness, feisty personality, attempts to make Paul see himself in the light I initially saw him in were never ever going to work. I’m pretty sure this is almost a universal truth.
Successful relationships require whole people who love and respect themselves enough to give appropriately, to set and hold to limits and boundaries. How can anyone else love or respect you if you don’t love and respect yourself. Stop messing with potential partners that don’t have that down. You are beautiful and lovable and you deserve better.
I very recently finished all three book in the Fifty Shades trilogy written by E L James. Are you wondering why these books are such a big deal, why everyone who reads them can’t put them down, even though the general consensus is that the writing is not that good, why SNL did an entire skit about what every Mom wants for Mother’s Day is Fifty Shades of Grey?
Possible Spoilers, read at own risk!
I got the book for Mother’s Day, well I got a Nook simple touch for Mother’s Day, with all 3 books loaded on it. Babu has this thing where because he is an IT guy almost very gift giving occasion I get something electronic, with mixed results. The Nook has been his most successful gift yet. He’s been trying to get me to try an e-reader, I had no interest. basically he tricked me into using it with the Fifty Shades carrot, it worked. I haven’t stopped reading on that thing since Mother’s Day. For the record Babu calls it frustrated SAHM porn, he isn’t far from the mark.
Let’s just cut to the sex…
So why are these books such a big deal? Basically it’s because it’s a modern-day Beauty and the Beast Fairy tale, with lots of kinky sex. It’s not just sex, it’s soul encompassing, passion fueled, power struggle, constant hot sex. The way she tells the sex portions are well done, even if her descriptive writing could use some work. I’ve written better sex scenes to gone wild boys and ex boy friends, but she goes into lots of technical and intimate details without being overly vulgar or overly chaste. I imagine it was a fine line to walk. Due to the amount of BDSM, toys, places they do it and biological details she presents, it almost feels educational. I actually learned some things from these books. One opinion among my circle is that it would be pretty amazing if our guys would read these books too, from a get ideas perspective. It’s not just all about BDSM. It’s not just the kind of sex, or the way the scenes are written, it’s also that they freaking do.it.all.the.time. She is constantly coming, and he is constantly coming immediately after she does, or they are coming together, more than once, sometimes more than twice. Now I’m not saying I’ve never had sex like that, but seriously, who has sex like that all the time? No one, that’s who. If you do then kindly make arrangements for me to come and personally shake your hand. If you are married and have kids of the still living in your house age, then I may just buy you a drink too. Well done, you are living the dream, most of us don’t. Christian and Anastasia have the kind of constant, take me now because I’m wet just thinking about you, sex that only happens at the beginning of relationships. They live permanently in a lust filled swoon of condoms and crying out each other names, then snuggling and sleeping together in each other’s arms. That kind of sex that causes cysts to burst, UTI’s to form and yeast infections rage. None of these ailments ever plague Ana of course.
Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele
Christian is an emotional infantile, broken, scared, 50 shades of fucked up control freak who also happens to be a billionaire with his own helicopter, jet, multiple homes and severe mommy and touching issues. The dude is written as gorgeous, young, successful, with a huge penis and a never ending supply of reasons why he doesn’t love himself and is incapable of loving anyone else. At 27, he has had ZERO relationships that didn’t involve a contract, a non-disclosure agreement, a trip to the Rack Room for new supplies and his temper. He is a sexual sadist with don’t touch me issues. He was horribly abused as a child. He is a broken, sad, scared little boy inside with no capability of dealing with his emotions or having real emotions for that matter. For the first one and a half books I kept waiting for him to turn into Paul, who I often referred to as the Beast, to his face. Christian isn’t a sociopath, he’s a broken hottie bad boy in need of just the right woman’s love. He is ugly on the inside, she makes him beautiful again. Fairy Tale…
Anastasia Grey is a 22 year old virgin, bookish, smart, strong, feisty, emotionally stable and outspoken, She is written all goody two shoes style with the I’ve never even kissed a boy more than a little bit before she falls, literally, into Christians clutches. When I first started reading I was all ready to be really pissed off that there was yet another book about some stupid spineless naive bitch who doesn’t get a back bone until late in the third act. I loathe characters in books and movies written as weak and whiny, lucky for Anastasia she is neither of those. She gives him a run for his money from the word go, and doesn’t stop fighting and making good choices throughout the whole series. I’m not saying she never comes off as stupid, pouty or obstinate, but the depth in which El James takes her makes her almost glow with her beautiful flaws. I adore Anastasia, well done El James, every girl wants to be some one’s Ana. Also a Fairy Tale
This is a fairy tale because men that fucked up just don’t magically open up and allow their experiences with your love and personality to heal their life long wounds in a matter of weeks or months, then marry you and whisk you away to multiple week vacations on yachts in the south of France. If this has happened to you or someone you know then please see above re: shake your hand and buy you a drink, golf clap, well done. In general men and women don’t, can’t, and shouldn’t “save” each other. Fix your own shit, it’s your job to own your life and fearlessly be yourself. I’m not saying another person can’t be a catalyst for change through love, patience, therapy or whatever, but not.like.this.book.
In order to ensure that all your spidey senses are on super high alert while reading E L makes sure to take you on MULTIPLE adventures involving people out to get Christian and/or Ana. Reading this book is like riding an emotional roller coaster, I was always on edge. Even when things were going ‘well” it never lasted for long before some other ridiculous bad thing was happening or being dealt with. As soon as a crisis resolved, another physical or emotional one was right on the horizon. It was eerily similar to the ride I took for 22 weeks with Paul from an emotional perspective. I desperately wanted to get comfortable and breathe, relax, trust that everything was going to work out ok, be happy for them. All that crazy wore me out, it was too close to home from a girl’s love saves broken boy perspective. And not in a boohoo way, in an oh please this is complete fiction way. The added layer of villains nestled in among the power struggle between Christian and Ana, and his working on emotional issues just led me to be continually on edge. I will completely admit the book also amped my sex drive temporarily way up. The horny wore off very early on in book two because a girl can only get turned on reading that much about sex for so long before it becomes formulaic and boring. Oh look, he is tying her up again, oh look they are coming together again, aww they did it on the piano. If you are into these books for the sex drive boost factor only I suggest you try very hard not to succumb to the story and ration all 3 books out over a period of weeks or months so the writing doesn’t lose its effect. Additionally it would be good idea to make sure your sexual partner of choice is readily available to reap the rewards of what this book will do to you libido. There is precious little respite in these books.
I’d give the book a C+ or B-. If you’re the least bit curious, I’d recommend reading it, if only to meet Ana or spice up your sex life, or both. Please just don’t take it very seriously, It’s basically mediocre Mommy porn dressed up as girl saves boy.
- Fifty Shades of Grey is no one-handed erotic read for me but … | Emer O’Toole (guardian.co.uk)
- 50 Shades of Grey (Matter): How Science is Defying BDSM Stereotypes – Huffington Post (blog) (huffingtonpost.com)
- 6 Actors Who Could Play Christian Grey (collegecandy.com)
- Why You Should Read Fifty Shades of Grey (ashrinkslife.com)
- How “Fifty Shades of Grey” Ruined My Soul (bearpursuit.wordpress.com)
- Power, Sex & Fairy Tales: Decoding the Popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey. (elephantjournal.com)
- Erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey sparks UK bondage fad (theweek.co.uk)
- Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James (csilibrarian.wordpress.com)