I'm not usually one to expose my own personal bedroom practices but here goes (it's late; you've caught me in a loose moment LOL) ... The first book didn't turn me on in the least. I liked it, but it didn't have any effect on my libido. The second book - whoa! As Christian loosened up, things really heated up down south for me. Did my husband enjoy the benefits? Sadly, no. His initial attitude was, "Why do I want to do that? You'll be thinking of Christian, not me." I think it's more inspiration than straightforward fantasy in the bedroom, but he didn't get that at first. I think he's now come around, although, as I told him, "You missed the boat, dude!" I've already finished all three! HOWEVER, we've been talking very openly about sex toys and other elements of the book. I have no interest in pain in the bedroom (or anywhere else if I can avoid it) - just not my thing, regardless of what Christian Grey thinks about it. I enjoyed the story and I certainly don't mind a book that kicks the libido into gear - that's what this was for me. It hasn't revolutionized my sex life but it has made it a much more frequent topic of conversation that may have some lasting impact on things we try in the bedroom. In fact, my friends and I are planning a 50 Shades party with one of the sex toy party plans. It will be a fun way to talk about the book, play some book-related games, and get to see some of the toys in person ... and of course buy some new stuff for the bedroom. What the heck! It won't be a flogger for me, but I am acutely interested in those little silver balls. ;) I'm playful and openminded, but not particularly "kinky." Maybe I'm vanilla ... with some nuts on top. :)
I agree that this book has a very twisted idea about relationships, and you would have to be crazy to say that it is healthy. Though I think that threads like this have a 90 % chance to turn into fights.
Good for you for being open minded about it! We need more people like you in this world! I am a consultant for Pure Romance and we have been promoting Fifty Shades parties. It says a lot when our Founder of the company has read the books and is promoting the products! Although, we did have a lot of the products before these books came out.. Btw, the little silver balls, I believe are Ben Wa Balls..which are actually used to tighten the PC muscles. Enjoy your party!
I honestly did not have a clue what this book was about when I read it. A friend gave it to me without hinting at anything; she just said, "Read this. You'll like it." This might have been before all the media coverage, we don't watch a whole lot of tv so I hadn't heard anything about it. I didn't know it was based in Twilight fanfic or that the story was about BDSM.
I started reading it sitting on the couch in my living room. My husband and his brother were about five feet away from me watching a concert DVD on our laptop. As I started reading, I started picking up on the Twilight parallells (Ana is very clumsy and a virgin, Christian is very protective, etc). So my brain went into a kind of "Twilight mode." For any of you who have read Twilight, you know that NO ONE has sex in those books until the last one, when the entire honeymoon scene is little more than a giant fade-to-black. So I'm reading this book, expecting it to be just like Twilight. The first night that Ana goes to Christian's house, she asks him if he's going to have sex with her, and he says "no," so I'm thinking, "yep, this will be just like Twilight." I read through the contract, thinking, "Yeah, she'll never agree to this, so we'll never see it," and went on in Twilight mode.
All of the sudden, they are having very explicit sex. My eyes were probably the size of saucers. I could feel myself blushing. Without realizing it, while I started on the end of the couch that was closest to where my husband and his brother were sitting, I had moved to the opposite end, as far away as I could get. I don't know what expression I had on my face, but one second I was reading, totally lost in the story, and the next second I was startled when my husband said, "What in the world are you reading?" I was jerked out of my reverie and became SO embarrassed, I closed the book and just sat there and laughed. When everyone else went to bed, I finished it. I went out the next day and bought the other two books.
(Don't get me wrong. I've read erotica before. I own and have read "The Story of O" and all of Anne Rice's erotica, from the Sleeping Beauty series to "Exit to Eden." It was the unexpectedness of it that I found so...um...stimulating. lol!)
A week or so later, everyone on every tv station was talking about these books. My husband caught the interview with E.L. James on The View as he was walking through the living room, and he just laughed and laughed. He said, "Well, that explains a few nights since you read these." : ) Then he asked me to go through my copies of the book and highlight what I liked about them for him. My hubby is the greatest!
Gabi - Mmm, smell can certainly be a very big turn on and has a very strong tie to emotions and memories. I remember when I first started dating my husband. It was winter and he was always wearing a leather bomber jacket. I can still recall that smell. And the smell of his cologne did indeed make me weak in the knees. I definitely agree that smell can be powerful!
Of course, I can equally remember the disgusting BO smell of an obnoxious frat-boy type who kept trying to grope me at a party in college. Yes indeedy, smells stick with you ... for better or worse! LOL
Like you I have no interest in floggers but I don't mind a small amount of pleasure/pain. I love it when my husband bites me and a little spanking action can be interesting. I cannot imagine being hit with something like a flogger tho. However I did find the idea of being tied up and blindfolded with music playing so I can't hear very interesting. I just read that part last night so I haven't had a chance to suggest it to my hubby yet.
We've experimented with very light bondage before so I think he'll be into it. So far we've had some really great sex because the book has made me horny but nothing from the book and I'm certainly not fantasizing about Christian.
Like Ana I wouldn't deal well with the punishment. Being spanked as a part of sex can be fun but being hit as punishment would make me very angry! I would also have a huge problem with a man who got any enjoyment from hitting me in that way. That said these are just books and I'm not getting all bent out of shape about it.
I enjoy floggings, spankings, etc - my favorite new toy is a jackboot paddle (google it, I think Amazon may even carry it, but we bought it locally). MAN that thing packs a punch, and leaves marks for days (or weeks, depending on how it's used).
I cannot fathom why it would take this book to promote communication with a spouse. Why not just talk, express yourself, rent some porn, take some naughty pictures of each other, visit a swinger's club, go to a toy store and pick up a toy together, TALK??? It seems to me that the target audience really are women who cannot seem to talk to their spouses, so they emerge themselves in poorly-written smut.
W. Westphal - I'm just now seeing your post to me. I'm sorry you find that funny. How odd. I wasn't bragging - I was stating a fact. It's something I/we enjoy, and if you can't understand or comprehend it, then that's fine. I have marks on my back and shoulders right now from some play we did two weeks ago - he wasn't being mean, he was actually doing exactly what he knew I wanted. Maybe I'm jaded...maybe I just don't have enough "vanilla" friends - but not too many people in my world find this sort of thing remotely unusual or "funny."
About early July when FSOG became mainstream media fodder in NZ a tv news item focussed on the sudden increase of sales in sex toys from several sex toy shops, up by 70% in 2-3 weeks after the trilogy came out. Specifically the items from the book. The "balls" and the butt plugs. People were coming in with the list from the book - usually the husband arrived with the exact description of them written down.
I heard of / read about ben wa balls many years ago - specifically they contain another ball inside which unbalances the ball and causes it to rock against its 'mate' during movement of the wearer which causes a "buzzing" vibration as they hit each other (somewhat the way two billiard balls do when tapped together in the hands). Ana made no mention of the balls she was given as having the inner ball so I assumed, as I read, that these were simply heavy steel balls for the purpose of feel and "endurance" seeing as she was at a very public and active (dancing) function. Christian probably getting off on her potential humiliation if things went "wrong" for Ana. Author EL James seemed to know exactly what the effects of extended wear were, so, I also assumed she had tried them herself .... for 'research' purposes. lol Neither of my previous spouses were remotely interested in trying anything 'kinky' at my suggestion, so, I now have "must have a definite kink" on my future-partner description list.